This, needless to say, was the Tobey that Virginia fans had hoped to see for his senior season.
Count UVA coach Tony Bennett among those who hope to see this Mike Tobey again before it’s all over with.
“Mike, who has had some ups and downs, seeing him play and rebound like that was inspiring,” Bennett said after the Cavs’ 68-46 win over #11 Louisville. “It brings me a lot of joy. He was really active and that was important for us. His size was helpful.”
Tobey also had 15 points, his first double-digit point output since his 10 against Virginia Tech on Feb. 9, and just his fourth in ACC play.
But it was his work on the boards that was key to the blowout win.
“I was so happy for him. That’s awesome,” senior forward Anthony Gill said. “At the end when he had 19, I just wanted to box my guy out so he could get 20. He played awesome tonight. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Tobey conceded after the game that he was aware that he was nearing an in-game milestone.
“Coach Sanchez was keeping me updated on how many I had because I was like, Coach, I want to get 20. I had never had 20 ever in my life, so he was keeping me updated,” Tobey said. “Even the last one, all of my teammates were saying on the foul line, Get it! Get it! Get it! It was a pretty easy one that just fell down, so they all just boxed out and let me get the rebound. It was just a great night.”
This aggressive Tobey could be a difference-maker for Virginia as the season shifts to tournament time.
“Yeah that is something that I have been trying to work on, going into this game especially,” Tobey said. “I sat down with Coach Bennett, we actually went to lunch, and we talked about what I need to do at the end of the season, and stuff like that, to help make the team make a big run. He just said, Play with a reckless abandon, and I really just tried to do that tonight.”
– Story by Chris Graham