Albemarle's Austin Katstra Helping 'Hoos in Practice, Enjoying the Postseason Ride
Katstra could see some late-game playing time if the game is a blowout, like many 1-seed versus 16-seed games are in the NCAA tournament.
CHARLOTTE, N.C, (WVIR) - The UVa basketball team is a 21-point favorite for Friday's NCAA tournament game against Maryland-Baltimore County.
UVa freshman forward Austin Katstra could see some late-game playing time if the game is a blowout, like many 1-seed versus 16-seed games are in the NCAA tournament.
"I'm just doing my job in practice every day running UMBC's plays," says Katstra. "They're a great team, they have some really good actions that they run. We're just doing our jobs right now and if it happens, it happens."
Last year Katstra was helping lead Albemarle High School to the state tournament.
Now he's a freshman walk-on with the Cavaliers, and getting to experience the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
"It's a pretty surreal experience, I've been watching the NCAA tournament my whole life growing up," says Katstra. "It's cool to finally be here and playing in it. It's definitely an opportunity I won't take for granted and I'm going to make the most of every moment."
Virginia's backcourt is made of experience sophomores.
Sophomore guard Kyle Guy got his first taste of the NCAA Tournament last year.
"Me and Ty getting to play last year was huge for this year, backcourt wise we're very experienced," says Guy. Guy jokingly says, "Devon's been here for 12 years, Isaiah's been here for 11. Those two alone, that's just a lot of experience and I think that will help us down the road."
"They joke me like that but I didn't play my first year, "says Wilkins. "They both played their freshman year, Kyle and Ty. Same with Devon, that's what we feel like, so we'll use that experience to help us out here."
One guy who won't get to experience the tournament on the court is freshman De'Andre Hunter, who is out with a broken wrist.
"It was tough," says Hunter. "I've just been supporting the guys in practice and help anyway I can."
The 'Hoos are heavy favorites for the first round game, but they aren't looking past the Retrievers
"We all watch the tournament, we all know what happens every year, " says Nigel Johnson. "Anybody can beat anybody and they've earned their right to be here just like we have so we're just going at it that way and not taking anything for granted."