Despite my repeated attempts to contact the NCAA with phone calls and an endless stream of letters, they have refused to give London Perrantes any additional years of eligibility. Therefore, tomorrow will mark London’s final game at John Paul Jones Arena, so I thought it would be a good time to go down memory lane and relive some of my favorite London moments over the last four years. Let’s go!
Honorable Mention: The Finger Smell
OK OK OK I KNOW. The association is with the game and then everyone gets unbelievably depressed, but whatever. It’s a top moment.
10. A Place in the Record Books
With his start against UNC on Monday, Perrantes earned a spot atop the Virginia record books with the 129th start of his career. He passed some names you may be familiar with - Ralph Sampson, Bryant Stith, Malcolm Brogdon, and Joe Harris - to take the top spot. Additionally, London could still become the winningest player in Virginia history, needing just five more wins to tie Malcolm Brogdon at 110 wins, and six to take the lead.
On the all-time UVA list he is also currently:
-Second in three-point shooting (41.1%)
-Fourth in assists (555)
-Sixth in three pointers made (203)
-41st in points (1,145...not bad for a guy who isn’t known for offense)
9. Leading the ACC/Big Ten Comeback
The Hoos looked dead in the water against Ohio State at JPJ in the 2016-17 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Then London flipped the switch. Perrantes scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half as Virginia erased a 12-point halftime deficit to take their first lead with under two minutes left in the game. Virginia would go on to win 63-61 and help the ACC clinch the challenge.
8. “Tell ‘Em What You Said”
Technically, this should be a Malcolm Brogdon moment, but I have two distinct London memories. First, Jay Williams saying that Perrantes, “gotta get going” as he brought the ball up is a full-on “Cali Swag” moment.
But even better is the post game interview with Brogdon.
That voice you hear off camera is London, the first year, asking Brogdon to tell the media what he said following the game winning shot.
“You said, ‘I’ve never done this before! What do I do?’”
7. Droppin’ Dimes on Notre Dame
London’s first year, the Hoos traveled to South Bend to take on Notre Dame in “the Game Where Digger Phelps and Bob Knight Lost Their Damn Minds Over LP”. Virginia cruised to a 68-53 win as London dished out some gems.
6. First ACC Start vs FSU
During his first season, London started all but four games (the first two of the 2013-2014 season, Northern Iowa, and Tennessee). Following the Tennessee disaster show, Coach Bennett put London back in the starting lineup. Just a couple minutes into the game, Virginia’s leading scorer, Joe Harris (SWOON), had to leave the game after being kneed in the head. For a team that hadn’t won in the state of Florida since 2001 and that was coming off of a 35 point blowout loss, things didn’t look good. Justin Anderson and Perrantes had something to say about that, however. Perrantes shone in his ACC debut, scoring 14 points and dished out three assists with one steal (no turnovers) as the Hoos went on to win 62-50.
5. The Bloody Jersey Game
Playing FSU is always dangerous, especially when injuries are yet again caused by your own teammates. During the home matchup with the Seminoles in London’s second year, Perrantes and Brogdon collided. London’s face met Malcolm’s dome, and London’s face lost. Big time.
Brogdon would re-enter the game to help the #2 Hoos win, 61-51, but London would go on to miss the next game (at Wake) with a broken nose and concussion. Anthony Gill got a kick out of the whole thing, however:
When London returned, he helped lead Virginia to a Senior Night win over Virginia Tech, scoring 11 points and adding six assists...despite re-breaking his nose in the first half.
4. That Cali Swag
Cali Cool, Cali Swag...whatever you want to call it, London embodied it. While Brogdon was the more stoic on and off court leader, Perrantes always had a little bit more...flare.
There aren’t many players that can pull off that hair, and he’s somehow gotten springier with age:
3. Perrantes En Fuego vs. Miami
As a second year, London went on the road to Coral Gables and went toe-to-toe with Miami PG Angel Rodriguez in a 2OT thriller. Perrantes scored a career high 26 points as he went 5-for-9 from three (and 11-for-12 from the free throw line) in the 89-80 win.
2. Cali Swag Crushes Cal
Over the course of his career, Perrantes has been able to come up with some pretty big shots. His third year, Virginia hosted Cal in an epic game at JPJ in which the Hoos struggled early. Virginia only led for 32 seconds in the game and London only hit four shots in the game, but his final bucket was a big one.
1. Saving the Best for (Second to) Last
London had arguably his best game of his career (so far) last Monday as Virginia took down #5 North Carolina, 53-43. Perrantes drew the assignment of guarding ACC POY candidate Justin Jackson, who dropped 18 points on the Hoos in the first half of the epic 24-point beatdown UNC put on UVA just nine days before. This time around? Jackson finished with seven points on three made baskets with two turnovers as the Tar Heels scored half of their season average. We already knew Perrantes could hit the big shot - which he did as he hit three clutch three-pointers in the second half - but this defensive performance was by far his best.
For London, the rematch was a chance to exact some revenge. “I was looking forward to playing against him and North Carolina, especially after how the first game went,” Perrantes told reporters after the game. “That’s probably the most frustrated I’ve ever been, from a defensive standpoint. I felt like he could get whatever he wanted in the first game.”
Hopefully, London still has some moments left to create in the next month. Senior Night (Day?) will take place before Virginia’s final home game against Pitt, Saturday at noon. Get to your seats early to honor this great Hoo.