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VIDEO: Highlights and recaps from Virginia basketball’s trip to Spain

Nichols leading production from fresh faces on Hoos’ European trip

Butler v Virginia Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It’s been a big summer for UVA athletes overseas. #HoosInRio has been a smashing success, with two medals for Leah Smith (with a third possible tonight) and another for rowing alumnus Inge Janssen.

But this morning we got news from the foreign excursion at the front of every Hoo fans’ mind: the basketball team’s trip to Spain.

Jeff White had the write-up for

The first two games were Wednesday and Thursday in Pabellón Felipe Reyes, a venue with seating for about 100, including the coaches and players on the sidelines. The opponent each night was the Madrid Generals, a local team made up of players from Spanish professional leagues, among them 6-10 forward Ivan Cruz Uceda, who as a Miami Hurricane faced UVA three times in 2015-16 (and went 5 for 10 from 3-point range). ...

The two games in Madrid supplied some answers. The Cavaliers cruised to a 92-81 victory in the first and rallied for a 78-76 win in the second.

White included some info on who was “starting,” and how Coach Bennett was rotating his new and old faces.

Virginia platooned two units for most of each game. Shayok, Hall, Perrantes, Wilkins and Nichols played roughly the first half of each 10-minute quarter on Wednesday, and Hunter, Guy, Salt, Thompson and sophomore Jarred Reuter the second half.

In the rematch, Bennett started Nichols, Thompson, Guy, Diakite and Hunter, then subbed in Hall, Jerome, Reuter, Huff and Shayok.

But even better than words, we got highlights, courtesy of VSTV.

Austin Nichols looks GOOD in these clips. He’s averaging 15.5 points in the first two games. If he can step into a high-production role at both ends of the court, the Hoos will be in good shape in 2016-17.

Another player who shines here is Darius Thompson. There are three straight plays in the Game 1 video (around the 3:00 mark) where DT steps into a passing lane or picks a guy’s pocket, and turns it into easy points at the other end. Turnovers and easy scores usually lead to UVA blowouts, so let’s hope this is a preview of coming attractions.