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Dante Harris returning to UVA: And what about that other point guard?

Chris Graham
uva dante harris wake
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

Dante Harris has withdrawn from the transfer portal and intends to return to the UVA Basketball program as a walk-on, and there are murmurs about another former Virginia point guard.

More on that one in a second.

First, to Harris, who got lost in the shuffle in his first season at UVA after transferring in from Georgetown.

That might be putting it mildly. Harris averaged 2.5 points and 1.4 assists in 13.7 minutes per game last season, with atrocious shooting numbers – 28.0 percent from the field, 10.0 percent from three, 50.0 percent from the free-throw line.

Harris transferred in after two promising years at Georgetown. As a sophomore, the 6’0” point guard averaged 11.9 points and 4.1 assists per game, and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big East Tournament after leading the Hoyas on a surprise run to the tournament title.

He never came close to having the same impact at UVA last season. You’ll read about how it was because of injuries – Harris missed 10 games after suffering an ankle injury in the Nov. 20 loss to Wisconsin, and was not 100 percent health-wise thereafter – but even before the injury, his numbers were meh.

In the four games before the injury, Harris averaged 5.3 points and 2.0 assists in 22.8 minutes per game, on 6-of-16 shooting.

Harris is now returning to a suddenly very crowded backcourt, after Tony Bennett added Kansas State freshman Dai Dai Ames and Florida State junior Jalen Warley from the transfer portal.

Ames, who has three years of eligibility remaining, is a true point guard, and Warley, a 6’7” combo guard, can give Bennett minutes at the point.

Ames and Warley will compete for minutes at the one with redshirt freshman Christian Bliss, a four-star recruit.

uva beekman ncaa tournament
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

And then there’s the specter of … one Reece Beekman.

I mentioned, above, murmurs. That’s overstating it; it’s more like a murmur. One person who is usually right about most things is indicating to me that there’s a possibility that Beekman, the four-year starter at the point for Beekman, is thinking about pulling out of the NBA Draft pool, which I could understand if it were to happen, given that Beekman has dropped well down past the end of the second round in the upcoming draft.

Earlier in the spring, before Beekman declared for the draft, I laid out a scenario in which it would make sense for Beekman to return, involving an NIL deal that would pay him somewhere between the G League contract minimum – a mere $40,000 – and the value of a two-way NBA/G League deal, which comes in around $500,000.

I’ll concede here that I have no direct insight into Beekman’s thinking on this, but it would shock me if the murmurs, murmur, whatever, turns out to be true.

Just passing that along, because that’s what I do.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].