Last season’s finish may have been a disappointment for the No. 24 Virginia’s men’s basketball team — they missed the NCAA tournament and lost in the semifinals of the NIT — but for the Cavaliers, it was less the end of a journey than a step in the development of the program. The team lost four players going into the season — two to graduation and two to transfer — but a talented recruiting class and the addition of redshirt sophomores Malcolm Brogdon from injury and Anthony Gill from transfer may ease the absence.
As Jones enters his sophomore season competing for playing time at point guard with sophomore Malcolm Brogdon and freshmen London Perrantes and Devon Hall, he has made it his priority to become a lockdown defender.
Few jobs are as prestigious as being a professional sports player. Fewer jobs require the same level of unceasing physical and mental exertion. Two former Virginia stars, basketball player Mike Scott and football player LaRoy Reynolds, are putting in the effort and living the life so many people wish they could have.
As soon as the curtain closed on a surprisingly successful 2012-13 Virginia men’s basketball season, the team and its supporters turned their attention eagerly to next season, when the team was initially expected to return all starters except for senior point guard Jontel Evans and add a slew of talented contributors.
Back in January 2007, before I could grow more than a creepy strip of blond peach fuzz above my lip and when all I knew about the University was that its main building looked sort of like a brown Jefferson Memorial, I attended the New Orleans Saints’ 39-14 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Bears at the NFC Championship game.
From the moment the Virginia basketball team learned its season would culminate not in its second straight NCAA berth but rather in the NIT, the team set its sights on making the trip to historic Madison Square Garden that had eluded them earlier in the year. Wednesday’s season-ending 75-64 loss to Iowa at John Paul Jones Arena once again snuffed out those hopes, but the result was far more painful this time around.
Two and a half weeks ago, Charlottesville bid farewell to its basketball team. After scrambling to erase a 17-point deficit and edge Maryland 61-58 in overtime March 10, Virginia left John Paul Jones Arena and a regular season-closing 17-game home win streak behind for the next weekend’s ACC Tournament — presumably before moving on to the NCAA Tournament.
Led by another assertive effort by budding star freshman guard Justin Anderson, the Cavaliers (23-11, 11-7 ACC) coasted past St. Johns (17-16, 8-10 Big East) 68-50 for their 19th straight home victory, the fourth longest active streak in Division I men’s basketball.
If the motto for March is “Survive and Advance,” the Virginia basketball team should have left John Paul Jones Tuesday night pleased with the result. But after beating overmatched Norfolk State in the first round of the NIT Tournament 67-56 in an all-around eyesore, the Cavaliers could hardly mask their disappointment.
The Virginia men’s basketball team was not selected for the NCAA Tournament during “Selection Sunday,” leaving the squad awaiting a consolation spot in the NIT Tournament. The Cavaliers lost three of their final four games including a blowout 75-56 loss to N.C.
Scott Wood hit seven 3-pointers—including four straight in a pivotal second-half stretch— for a game-high 23 points, and the Wolfpack dominated Virginia on the boards 39-28 to cruise to a 75-56 victory at the Greensboro Coliseum.