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Armaan Franklin struggles in first outing for Virginia but needs to keep shooting

The Indiana transfer was cold all night long but still has the confidence of his coach and teammates.

Navy v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

In the Virginia Cavaliers’ 64-58 loss to the Navy Midshipmen on Tuesday night, the Hoos largely struggled to hit shots from deep. Specifically, Armaan Franklin — a player who came to UVA as a shooter and floor spacer — couldn’t get much of anything to fall.

Considering that Franklin shot 42.4% from beyond the arc last season, his 1-7 shooting performance from distance is a surprising one. But, despite a rough opening night, the team needs Franklin to keep shooting.

“He’s a guy that shot the ball well in Indiana, and he just had an off shooting night,” says Tony Bennett, who adds that “he got some pretty good looks and just had one of those nights. There’ll be nights he’s going to make them.”

In general, Bennett emphasizes that “I tell our guys, when you have an open shot, I don’t care if you miss it,” as he is a proponent of the mindset that “if it’s a good shot, you take it with confidence and then you’re on to the next, and you have to play that way.”

Kihei Clark echoes similar sentiments when asked about Franklin’s off night, pointing out how “I didn’t shoot well either,” but saying that “we all just need to stay confident. He knows he puts in the work, we all do.”

Clark goes on to say that “I just tell him to keep shooting because I know he can, he knows he can. It’s one game so we will just move on to the next.”

“[Shooting] is like putting and chipping in golf,” says Bennett. “All of a sudden things can get in your head, you miss a couple easy ones, in rhythm ones and then you doubt a little bit and got to kind of play through that stuff.”

Fortunately for Franklin and the Wahoos that opportunity to play through and past the struggles of the Navy game comes Friday against Radford in JPJ at 7pm.