Home Jordan Minor provides much-needed lift for UVA in 65-57 win over Virginia Tech 

Jordan Minor provides much-needed lift for UVA in 65-57 win over Virginia Tech 

Scott German
uva jordan minor vt
Jordan Minor. Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

Virginia returned home Wednesday night, fresh off its latest road beatdown, to face state rival Virginia Tech.

The Cavaliers needed a major contribution from someone, and they got it from Jordan Minor in a 65-57 win over the Hokies in the friendly confines of John Paul Jones Arena.

The transfer from Merrimack, who has been MIA for most of the season, finished with 16 points. But it was his effectiveness in the paint on both ends of the floor that was the game-changer for Virginia.

The much-needed performance from Minor and the usual steady play of Reece Beekman fueled the win over the Hokies.

The game went by the script, the Cavaliers are unbeaten at home, while Tech is 0-4 on the road this season.

Virginia has now won 20 straight at home, the longest home winning streak in men’s college basketball.

The road struggles this season have been well-documented for Virginia, but at home it’s a different story.

Minor, who has been written off several times this season, including by this writer, was the difference for UVA, from the very start.

Another big boost for Virginia was the return of Dante Harris, who made his first appearance since November 22nd after suffering an ankle injury.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett said both Minor and Harris were a huge boost for the Cavaliers.

“It was noticeable to have Jordan Minor’s physicality, and then the athleticism of Dante to defend the ball at times, or beat some screens and then touch the pain,” said Bennett in his postgame comments.

Defensively, Minor’s presence was huge. Hokie center Lynn Kidd was held scoreless in the first half, with Minor using his big frame to deny Kidd position.

Minor credited his teammates for keeping him motivated when things aren’t going so well. “Just knowing that my teammates want me to succeed is big,” Minor said after the contest.

“My teammates and coaches give me confidence,” added Minor.

No doubt about it, Minor was the difference for Virginia Wednesday.

Who saw that coming?

If Minor were a cat, he was down to just a few lives remaining.

After his huge effort against the Hokies, he earned a few back.

Minor was active on the boards and helped Virginia win the rebounding battle.

As important, Minor was an effective screen setter for Beekman and Harris. He was effective in the paint, exactly what he was brought to Charlottesville to do.

If there was a silver-lining to the blowout loss against Wake Forest on Saturday it was the improved play of Minor. Wednesday against Tech he gave the Cavaliers hope.

While Minor was the biggest boost for UVA, you can’t ignore what the return of Harris provided.

Harris gave the offense a better flow, brought a spark from the bench and allowed Beekman to move to Pedulla, when they were on the floor together.

With Harris on the floor, it can make Beekman an even more effective defender.

Not sure how much anyone missed Harris from the lineup, but Wednesday he displayed his value. Harris has excellent ball-handling skills; his five assists and zero turnovers were huge for UVA.

An impressive performance from Minor, the return of Harris, down count the Cavaliers out just yet.

If they can figure things out on the road, then we can look back to a chilly night in January as the start of something good.

Scott German

Scott German

Scott German covers UVA Athletics for AFP, and is the co-host of “Street Knowledge” podcasts focusing on UVA Athletics with AFP editor Chris Graham. Scott has been around the ‘Hoos his whole life. As a reporter, he was on site for UVA basketball’s Final Fours, in 1981 and 1984, and has covered UVA football in bowl games dating back to its first, the 1984 Peach Bowl.