Ty Jerome plays big role in UVA road win
But while Jerome, a four-star recruit, is getting just 9.4 minutes a game off the bench, coach Tony Bennett has been managing those minutes to the benefit of the development of his future floor general.
The 10 minutes that he got, for example, in the December home loss to West Virginia, playing against the Press Virginia full-court press. And the nine minutes against Florida State, another tough defensive team.
The blowout road win at Boston College last week gave Bennett the opportunity to put Jerome on the floor for 23 minutes, and Jerome responded with five points and five assists.
The treatment feels like a baseball manager giving innings to a young stud pitcher in the sixth and seventh innings of blowout games, just to get a feel for big-league hitters, to build confidence, toward the long-range goal of giving the kid a start with some positive muscle memory.
Jerome didn’t play like a little-used freshman Tuesday night in Virginia’s 71-54 win over Notre Dame.
You could say that he keyed the win in his 14 minutes off the bench.
Jerome scored eight points, including a pair of three-point buckets, and assisted on a London Perrantes three in the five-minute second-half stretch that saw the Cavs break the game open.
The first three, with 8:11 left, extended a six-point lead to nine. The second three, with 5:19 to go, came after Notre Dame had cut the lead back down to five.
Next came a veteran play – pump-faking the three to get his defender into the lane for a 10-foot jumper that put Virginia up eight.
The assist to Perrantes on the three with 3:56 left was the dagger, pushing the lead to double digits, and sapping the will of the Irish.
Jerome also had two defensive rebounds late.
These were his stats for the night – his eight points, his two boards, his one assist.
They came in crunch time.
Story by Chris Graham