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De'Andre Hunter Provides No. 3 Virginia More Versatility on Defense

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Redshirt freshman De'Andre Hunter Redshirt freshman De'Andre Hunter
De'Andre Hunter has scored 24 total points in Virginia's last two wins De'Andre Hunter has scored 24 total points in Virginia's last two wins

The Virginia basketball team climbed to No. 3 in the latest top 25 Associated Press Poll released on Monday.

UVA received one first place vote and is ranked behind No. 1 Villanova (52) and No. 2 West Virginia (12). 

The Mountaineers are the only team to beat Virginia this season. 

Since that loss in Morgan Town, the Cavaliers have won six straight games to improve to 14-1 and 3-0 in the ACC.

In the 'Hoos last two wins, red-shirt freshman De'Andre Hunter had made a big impact.

Hunter has scored 24 total points during that two-game stretch.

He scored 14 in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech and was second on the team with ten points against North Carolina.

Hunter had the highlight of the day against the Heels Saturday.

The six-foot-7 forward threw down a one-hand dunk on Tar Heel senior guard Joel Berry, which ignited the crowd inside John Paul Jones Arena.

Head coach Tony Bennett says that Hunter's ability to defend at the four-position is a big reason he's been effective in league play.

"He guarded Javon Carter from West Virginia well and he can guard on the perimeter," says Bennett. "His versatility defensively is very helpful and it allows you to do some things that way. You get different match ups. Sometimes he'll have a four on him and he's done some good things that way, so I thought the last two games he's really helped us with his quickness and his speed. Either beating someone off the dribble and scoring some baskets. He's shown his versatility."

Hunter says, "Earning coach's trust is the main priority, so if he trusts me enough to be in the game with North Carolina, I feel pretty good -- If you don't play defense, you're probably not going to play, so if you want to be on the court, you're probably going to have to play defense. Its as simple as that, basically."

Virginia continues a three-game homestand Tuesday against Syracuse.

Tip off is set for 8:00 p.m. from John Paul Jones Arena.

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