CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The 22nd-ranked Virginia men’s basketball team has opened conference play with three consecutive wins, including a 61-49 victory against Boston College on Saturday.
Senior forward Sam Hauser has recorded a double-double in all three games.
Credit can also go to the Cavaliers’ two-headed attack at point guard.
Junior Kihei Clark has played all forty minutes in each of the Wahoos’ last two games.
Freshman Reece Beekman has averaged 37 minutes, which means UVA has had two point guards on the floor for the majority of the action.
Clark says, “My first year, we had two point guards, me and Ty (Jerome). This year, me and Reece. It’s just different. He can bring up the ball. I can bring up the ball. He can play in the mix in three-game, so we just try to play off each other, and try to learn each others strengths, and what we like to do, but it’s fun being on the court with him at the same time.”
Head coach Tony Bennett says the duo both have the skill which is most important to running the point.
“Feel,” says Bennett. “Guys who have feel can see stuff. They draw, they kick, they know how to play, and put pressure by penetration, are important, and I think Reece and Kihei have done a good job.”
Beekman did not make a shot from the field against Boston College, but Bennett says the freshman still made an impact.
“Offensively, Reece, from a scoring standpoint, he (only) had four free throws, but he still created,” says Bennett. “He had that beautiful pass to Jay in the 2nd half, where he drove baseline and dropped it. He has those instincts. As his game continues to improve, and his shot gets more consistent, it’s good.”
Beekman and Clark have just seven turnovers combined over the last three games.
Clark says, “Trying to just stay poised. As a point guard, I can’t turn the ball over. Just trying to be more sound on offense. It doesn’t give the other team the chance to push in transition, so just trying to do my job, as best I can.”
Virginia will be back in action at home against Notre Dame on Wednesday.
The start time for that game has been changed, again, and the teams will now tip-off at 4:30 at John Paul Jones Arena.