Per a release from the Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball program, forward Ben Vander Plas fractured his right hand in practice on Wednesday and will be out for the remainder of the 2022-2023 season, including the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. A super senior, this also will unfortunately put an end to the Ohio transfer’s college career with his extra year of eligibility used up this season.
With UVA slated to play the North Carolina Tar Heels at 7:00 PM ET tonight, Vander Plas’ injury comes at a horrible time for the team. This will leave them without a starter and, frankly, one of just two front-court players who’s been in the rotation throughout the season.
Fortunately, freshman Ryan Dunn has been coming on well as of late and should consequently see a massive increase in playing time with Vander Plas out. More will obviously be asked of Jayden Gardner, while center Kadin Shedrick who didn’t play in the team’s last two regular season games will likely be called upon to come back into the rotation alongside Francisco Caffaro as the two front-court pieces off the bench.
For tonight’s game, the front-court that the Tar Heels have was going to pose a significant threat to Virginia even with Vander Plas (who’d also been dealing with a lower back injury for the final third of the regular season). Without him, UVA’s going to need a collective effort from its front-court players to fill the heavy minutes that BVP has been playing all season long.