As expected, Virginia basketball’s Sam Hauser will be moving on to pursue professional opportunities. Hauser, a redshirt senior, is foregoing the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA as a result of the pandemic.
Hauser finished his one season of play in Charlottesville as the team’s leading scorer with 16 points per game. He was an efficient scorer with an offensive rating of 123.6, good for second on the team behind Trey Murphy. After a bit of a slow start, Hauser finished the season shooting 60% from two and 42% from three. At the free throw line, he was almost perfect, going 43-for-48 (90%) on the season. He was lethal in the mid-range, and provided some much-needed offense for the Hoos.
Hauser took to both Twitter and Instagram on Thursday night to break the news. The videos he shared were the same, but he added a more detailed caption on Instagram saying, “THANK YOU! Being a part of this program for the last 2 years has been a blessing. I can’t thank Coach Bennett and the rest of his staff for believing in me. To my teammates, you already know what it is, appreciate you all [heart emoji]. This University and this program will forever hold a place in my life. I am excited in pursuing the next step in my career at the next level.”
To the University of Virginia,— Sam Hauser (@Big_Smooth10) March 25, 2021
THANK YOU! Being a part of this program for the last 2 years has been a blessing. I can’t thank Coach Bennett and the rest of his staff for believing in me. To my teammates, you already know what it is, appreciate you all❤️. pic.twitter.com/Ndml89OPue
Throughout the pandemic-affected 2020-21 season, head coach Tony Bennett said how unfortunate it was that Virginia’s fans never got a chance to see the 6-8 forward in person. Hauser transferred from Marquette before the 2019-20 season, but had to sit for a season due to the former NCAA transfer rules. His entire season in action for Bennett and Virginia took place in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, limiting fans at John Paul Jones Arena to 250 max.
Hauser improved immensely on the defensive end of the court over the course of the season, and was a ferocious rebounder. He finished with 6.8 rebounds per game — second on the team behind Jay Huff — and had a 21.6% defensive rebounding rate per KenPom.
Over the course of the season, Hauser hit 20+ points six times, and scored double digits in 23 of 25 games. His 24-point performance on 9-for-14 shooting at Louisville helped Virginia lock up its third ACC regular season title in four years and set a season high scoring mark for Sam.
Hauser was the lone player in the ACC that was both preseason and postseason First-Team All-ACC.
Virginia could see more roster turnover in the next few days as a handful of players may also forego their final year of eligibility or decide to transfer. It’s expected that Jay Huff will go pro, with the departures of Tomas Woldetensae and Trey Murphy also a possibility. Second year Casey Morsell announced earlier this week that he would be entering the transfer portal.
Stay tuned for updates when available, and best of luck to Sam!