Ah, that sweet sweet smell of victory. It’s back, and the Hoos played almost exactly as we thought they would. Yea, they lost the tip, but Isaiah Wilkins’ 3 less than a minute in gave UVa the lead they would not relinquish the entire night for the 76-51 victory.
A well balanced attack on both sides of the court allowed the Hoos to handle the Spartans. Five Cavaliers scored in extra points making Diakite and Nichols’ absence not a worry for much of the night.
Darius Thompson showed off a sharp shooting accuracy not seen in his first year in a UVa uniform. The redshirt Junior shot 39% from 3 last year, but was an impressive 3 of 4 from three tonight and added a few more from the stripe and field to get to 12 points.
Big man Isaiah Wilkins made up for the lack of depth under the basket leading the Hoos with 9 rebounds and added 10 points of his own.
The Faithful got their first look at the first years likely to make an impact for years to come. Just before tip the news broke that Deandre Hunter and Jay Huff were likely to redshirt this year, virtually shoring up the bigs for the next 4+ years. That meant Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome got their first action in the orange and blue. Guy took to the opportunity, showing that he appears to have grasped the defense already, adding 7 points, including knocking down his lone shot from long range.
Oh, and the leading scorer for UVa? Marial Shayok. Color me surprised as the 3rd year added 15 of his own.
Perhaps the best news of all this was that the Hoos were able easily handle Greensboro with 4th year London Perrantes only adding 10 points and 3 assists. Many expect Perrantes might need to up his scoring this year to take the place of Gill and Brogdon, but if he can spread the ball and keep the offense moving like he did tonight, the Hoos will be just fine.
The Hoos open up the JPJ season on Tuesday when they play host to St. Francis-Brooklyn.