augusta free press news

Sam Hauser: Impact UVA Basketball transfer learning patience

Sam HauserThis is Jay Huff on Sam Hauser: “That dude can shoot.”

UVA Basketball coach Tony Bennett on Sam Hauser: “He’s really competitive. Whenever he’s out there, he wants to win.”

A great guy to add to the mix, right?

One issue. Hauser has to sit out his transfer year.

Bennett could certainly use Hauser, a senior who averaged 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, shooting 45.9 percent from the floor, 40.2 percent from three-point range and 92.4 percent from the free-throw line last season at Marquette.

The best he’s going to get out of the 6’8” sharpshooter is a guy who will compete like hell in practice.

“It’s my first time doing this type of thing, so I think it’s going to be really difficult when the games start happening, and I’m not going to be able to be out there with the guys,” Hauser said at last week’s media-day event. “I’ve got to treat practice like game days, every day. It’s my job to go at these guys to my best ability. It’ll make them better, and I know doing that, it will make me better.

“It’s all part of the process, and there’s a bright light at the end of it. So, I’ve just got to stick with it.”

Hauser’s presence reminds him of the 2012-2013 redshirt year when he had Malcolm Brogdon redshirting after missing some time that year from an injury and also had Anthony Gill sitting out after transferring in from South Carolina.

“I remember how good practice was and how hard it was at times to be successful against the second unit, or the green group, we call them. You see that in Sam. He brings that. He’s very competitive, and his experience, obviously being four years now, going on four years in college, it helps,” Bennett said.

Reporters remember Joe Harris, now the starting shooting guard with the Brooklyn Nets, talking after being named first-team All-ACC in 2013 that he wasn’t even the best player on the team, pointing to Brogdon, now the $80 million point guard for the Indiana Pacers.

Huff heaped similar praise on Hauser.

“It’s a little bit crazy sometimes just watching some of the moves that he pulls off,” Huff said. “He’s pretty athletic, but he’s not one that will jump out of the gym or anything like that. So, the way he gets some shots up. Sometimes it’s a running, one-legged whatever, you got a hand up, there’s no way, then … swish. It’s kind of weird, but it’s been great to see, something to look forward to for next year.”

Ah, next year. Seems so far off.

In the meantime, Hauser has to pace himself.

“Whatever team I’m on, the scout team or whatever, I’m expecting to win. I don’t like losing. That’s why I’m going to push so hard. I want to win each drill, each rep. I think I’m going to do a great job of that,” Hauser said.

Story by Chris Graham