On September 12, 2015, De’Andre Hunter gave his verbal commitment to join the Virginia Cavaliers’ recruiting class of 2016. With the commitment, head coach Tony Bennett had acquired a four-person recruiting class consisting of all four-star, ESPN Top 100 players in Hunter, Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, and Jay Huff. This Thursday, Hunter, Jerome, and Guy will anxiously be waiting to hear their names called in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Before they go pro, we take one more look at what this heralded trio of recruits did to exceed expectations and deliver a national title.
The numbers largely speak for themselves. Over the past two seasons, Virginia had a nation-best record of 66-6 (.917). Jerome missed one game this year—a win against Miami—and Hunter missed a game last year—one that was technically erased from NCAA history (trust us on this one). That leaves a 65-5 (.929) record when all three were on the court.
This past season, each of them averaged at least 13 points per game. No Virginia team has been able to do that since Roger Mason Jr., Travis Watson, and Chris Williams all shared the court at UHall back in 2002. That 2002 team, by the way, peaked as high as No. 4 in the country in January before a slow tumble and ultimately not making the NCAA Tournament. This group had a very different outcome.
In the past 25 years, the only Hoos that had season with at least 500 points, 150 rebounds, and 75 assists were Malcolm Brogdon in 2016 and each of the Big Three this past season.
From 2015 to 2019, no Virginia player had a game with at least 21 points and 9 rebounds. That is, until Guy did it against Purdue in the Elite Eight. Then Jerome did it against Auburn in the Final Four. Then Hunter did it against Texas Tech in the Championship Game. That’s a heck of a run to the title.
Speaking of the title game, they combined for 67—SIXTY SEVEN!—points in that win over Texas Tech. It’s the most points they scored as a unit in the 70 games that they played together at Virginia, and you really can’t ask for them to go out in any better fashion.
All three also finished in the top ten all-time in career 3PT% for Virginia with Guy at 42.5%, Hunter at 41.9% and Jerome at 39.2%.
As this legendary trio move on to the next phase of their careers—either in the NBA or elsewhere—we’re confident that we’ll see these names hanging in the rafters at John Paul Jones Arena pretty soon. The NBA Draft broadcast is on Thursday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.