Cavaliers Relying on the Will of Wilkins

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Isaiah Wilkins chases down a loose ball against Boston College Isaiah Wilkins chases down a loose ball against Boston College
UVa senior forward Isaiah Wilkins UVa senior forward Isaiah Wilkins

The Virginia men's basketball team improved to 1-0 in the ACC with a one-point win over Boston College on Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena.

Senior forward Isaiah Wilkins did a little bit of everything for the 'Hoos, and his all-around game is something the Cavaliers have come to depend on.

Wilkins says he's been focused on defense for a long time, but it wasn't necessarily by choice.

"I've been this way since I was little," says the senior, "but it wasn't because I was always in love with defense.  I was just sorry offensively.  So I was just trying to stay on the floor, for real, and then it works for me now."

Head coach Tony Bennett says,  "He's a great anticipator.  That's what great defenders are.  They don't react, they anticipate.  He's so continuous.  Those are the hardest things to teach young guys coming in from high school, 'Can you anticipate defensively, and be continuous?' and he has that at the highest level." 

Wilkins set a career-high with 14-rebounds against the Eagles.

"I was trying to steal as many rebounds as I could," says Wilkins.  "Ty (Jerome) or Kyle (Guy), one of ya'll stole a rebound from me at the beginning of the game, so I was like, 'I'm stealing everybody else's.'"

The senior forward had four blocks against BC to move into sixth place all-time at UVa with 110 blocks in his career.

Bennett says, "All of our guys work hard, but he has something innate, or something inside him, I mean he gives you everything he has."

Virginia will play at Virginia Tech on Wednesday night. 

Wilkins knows the Hokies are tough to beat in Blacksburg.

"At home?  Yeah, it's gonna be a fun game," says Wilkins.  "Yeah, fun game." 

The 'Hoos and Hokies will tip-off on Wednesday at 9 PM in Blacksburg.

You can watch the game on NBC 29.