Your All-Time UVA Basketball Roster: Starters, Bench, Non-Schollies
How about a twist on the all-time roster thing: a UVA Basketball roster not set as first team, second team, third team, but building a team from starters, rotation guys, guys challenging those guys for PT, then the non-scholarship guys.
I’m not asking a question here. It’s what I’m doing.
You get 13 scholarships, because that’s what coaches have to work with these days.
You then put two non-schollies on the end of the bench, because.
Eight-man rotation. I’m channeling Tony Bennett here.
Also channeling Bennett: I’m going four-guard with my lineup.
It’s what win championships.
That having been set, here goes.
Ralph Sampson: Ralph would be the centerpiece of any all-time UVA Basketball team, however you would construct it. For this team, he’s the ultimate five when you go four-guard. Dude was the quintessential rim-protector, and I can only imagine how a guy with his skill set would have done in modern basketball. I tend to think he would have been a taller Kevin Durant. Anyway, wow, we have Ralph.
Buzzy Wilkinson: He averaged 32.1 points per game as a senior, and 28.6 points per game over his three-year career. Wilkinson never got to play in the NBA, because of serious injuries suffered in a car accident after being drafted by the Boston Celtics. The college Wilkinson gives our all-time UVA Basketball team an aweome one-two punch with him and Ralph as the centerpieces.
Bryant Stith: He could score from the perimeter, off the dribble, he could back guys into the paint, and he was stout (6’5”, 210). Oh, and technically, he is the all-time leading scorer at UVA, though I say technically because, he was able to play four years, and if Wilkinson hadn’t have had to sit out his freshman year due to NCAA rules at the time, Wilkinson would be that guy. Anyway, we got us two big scorers at guard.
Malcolm Brogdon: Brogs! Another big guard (6’5”, 220), who can score from multiple spots, who can play D. I’m liking how our starting five is shaping up.
John Crotty: UVA’s all-time assists leader, Crotty could also put the ball in the basket (he averaged 16.0 points a game as a junior and 15.5 ppg as a senior).
I’m going with three recent guys who were named ACC Sixth Man of the Year: Justin Anderson (2014), Mike Tobey (2015) and De’Andre Hunter (2018).
These guys are here because they obviously can be productive coming off the bench.
(My team, my weird rules for how to put it together.)
Anderson and Hunter give us points and D off the bench, and Tobey spells Sampson in the post, and gives us rim-protection, offensive rebounding and offense for 8-10 minutes.
Wilkinson and Brogdon take over playmaking duties when we need to give Crotty some time on the pine.
The guys who push the rotation guys
Jeff Lamp: Here we have a guy who averaged 18.8 points a game and shot better than 50 percent from the field as a junior and senior at guard sitting on the bench pushing guys in the rotation.
Kyle Guy: Here we have a two-time first-team All-ACC guy and the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four sitting on the bench pushing guys in the rotation.
Norman Nolan and Junior Burrough: We need a couple of bigs to practice with Ralph and Tobey.
Cornel Parker: Here’s a guy who will hound the absolute crap out of the guards in practice. They will all hate him, which is good.
Doug Newburg: By far, my favorite end-of-the-bench UVA Basketball guy. Who, of course, being an end-of-the-bench guy at UVA, went on to earn a Ph.D. in sports psychology.
Austin Katstra: I like my end-of-the-bench guys to dunk in warmups and shoot 47.1 percent from the field in games.
Story by Chris Graham
UVA Basketball Fans!
Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”
Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”
Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell