Tony Bennett comments on Ty Jerome, De’Andre Hunter NBA Draft decisions

tony bennett national champsUVA basketball coach Tony Bennett is wishing guards Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter well on Monday as the star Cavaliers prepare for the 2019 NBA Draft.

“De’Andre and Ty leave Virginia with tremendous legacies,” Bennett said. “They were outstanding players and role models, and I’m so proud of the men they have become. We won a lot of games and championships with De’Andre and Ty, and they are ready to realize their life-long dreams of playing in the NBA.”

A press release from UVA Athletics confirmed what had been suspected all along as the news involving Jerome and Hunter trickled out: that both players intend to remain in the NBA Draft.

Hunter earned consensus second-team All-America honors, NABC National Defensive Player of the Year, All-ACC first-team and ACC Defensive Player of the honors after his breakout season in 2018-19. He averaged 15.2 points and 5.1 rebounds, while shooting 52 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from 3-point range and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. Hunter racked up 10 20-point games, including a career-high 27 points against Texas Tech in the NCAA championship game. He averaged 12.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 71 career games.

“I have been dreaming about this moment for a long time and I’m excited to enter my name into the NBA Draft. My last three years at UVA have been magical and playing with this team has been amazing. I want to thank Coach Bennett, my family and teammates for this opportunity. Ending my collegiate career as a national champion means the world to me.”

Jerome averaged career highs in points (13.6), rebounds (4.2) and assists (5.5) during his junior season in 2018-19. Jerome netted six 20-point games, including 24 against Purdue and 21 against Auburn in the NCAA Tournament. Jerome registered three double-doubles and tied a school record with 14 assists at Syracuse. Jerome, who was two-time All-ACC honoree, totaled 1,011 points, 317 rebounds and 384 assists in 105 career games in three seasons at UVA.

“I would like to thank Coach Bennett and his staff for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to play at this level,” Jerome said. “This is the hardest decision of my life because of how much I loved my teammates and my three years at UVA. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for the NBA Draft and I’m excited to go chase this dream.”

Virginia has produced five NBA draft selections under Bennett since 2012, including Mike Scott (Atlanta, 2012), Joe Harris (Cleveland, 2014), Justin Anderson (Dallas, 2015), Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee, 2016) and Devon Hall (OKC, 2016). Anderson was the last UVA underclassman selected in the NBA Draft after Dallas selected him 21st overall in 2015. Scott (Washington), Anderson (Atlanta), Harris (Brooklyn) and Brogdon (Milwaukee) are currently playing in the NBA.

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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