ACC 6th Man of the Year De'Andre Hunter Brings a New Dimension for Cavs
De'Andre Hunter won the ACC's 6th man of the year award
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
De'Andre Hunter's impact on the top-ranked Cavaliers can't be overstated.
The redshirt freshman was named the ACC's 6th man of the year.
Hunter's stellar first season might have come as a surprise to many but not to Hunter himself or any of his teammates.
"I knew since summer time," says senior forward Isaiah Wilkins. "We just didn't know where. It ended up working out where he was at the four and that's kind of a difficult guard because he has the guard skills he has and things like that."
Hunter says, "In the summer coach [Tony] Bennett actually told me that he expects that from me. To use my versatility and stuff but like you said, its definitely progressed."
The six-foot-seven, 222-pounder has been a nightmare match up for opponents.
Hunter lines up at guard, small forward and power forward and is effective at all three positions.
"When we've played him as the forward, his ability to either stretch, or drive, or get some post ups helps," says Bennett.
"Whoever we're playing against is thinking twice," says sophomore forward Mamadi Diakite. "I know he can shoot. I also know he can drive and I also know he can pass."
Wilkins says, "He does a great job of scoring in spots and he gives us a really really big lift. Its hard for me to wrap my mind around him being a first-year."
Hunter's signature moment up to this point in the season was hitting a buzzer beating three to win at Louisville, but Hunter's athleticism and length is something that allows him to attack the rim and get inside.
Its an offensive element that Virginia lacked going into tournament play last year.
Hunter says, "It'll be huge. The game we shot a lot of three's, it didn't really go so well. Having the inside presence definitely helps."
Sophomore guard Ty Jerome says, "Dre is super talented offensively. Unbelievable. He's probably our best on ball defender too. He just gives us a dimension we wouldn't have without him."
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