For the second straight day, transfer news hit the Virginia basketball program. On Thursday, UVA announced the transfer intentions of Darius Thompson from the program. Thompson joined Marial Shayok and Jarred Reuter as transfers for the offseason.
With only nine scholarship players on the current projected roster for next season, UVA now has four open scholarships.
“Darius Thompson informed me he has decided to play his final season at another school following his graduation from Virginia,” Bennett said in the news release. “Although you never want to see young men transfer, I understand this is part of coaching. Darius, Marial, and Jarred feel it’s in their best interests to pursue other options for the remainder of their college careers. I will always appreciate the contributions they made to our program. Two of our main priorities for Virginia basketball are to continue to build a winning culture and serve the young men in the program. I know Darius, Marial and Jarred have been served well and have also been part of a winning culture during their time at UVA.”
Thompson joined the Cavaliers as a transfer from Tennessee when his coach Cuonzo Martin left for California. After sitting out one season, he played in 70 career games for the Hoos with 25 starts. He averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 assists with 55 steals in his career. He saw more minutes this season, but never carved out a consistent spot in the rotation in either of his years on the floor. He opened both seasons in the starting lineup, but eventually gave way to other players as the schedule progressed.
Thompson’s most memorable highlight came against Wake Forest last season when he banked in the game-winning 3-pointer to cap a furious road rally.
Prior to the decisions by Shayok, Reuter, and Thompson, Virginia had not experienced much upheaval on its roster due to transfers in recent years. After the 2015-16 season, no one left the program. Following the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, only one player left at the end of each year. Teven Jones departed in 2014, while B.J. Stith moved on in 2015. The last time more than one player transferred during an offseason came in 2013 when Paul Jesperson and Taylor Barnette both exited for other programs.
With three departures, UVA goes into the spring’s regular signing period (April 12-May 17) for National Letters of Intent with four open scholarships. There’s also the transfer market to consider as approximately 700 players changed programs between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Expect Virginia to be active in both.
The Cavaliers return nine players to the roster, including Jay Huff and De’Andre Hunter after redshirt seasons.
“As we look forward, we have a strong nucleus of players returning and I’m excited for their continued development,” Bennett said in the news release. “As a staff, we are focused on finding student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and all the University of Virginia has to offer.”