Virginia Announces Kihei Clark Will Return

After week of speculation and tea leaves surrounding the status of guard Kihei Clark, the Virginia basketball program announced that the senior will return next season. Clark is using the bonus eligibility year created by the pandemic.

The news came across UVA social media channels Monday evening.

Clark, of course, brings a wealth of experience back to the table. In four years at Virginia, he has 1,082 points, 368 rebounds, 539 assists, and 113 steals to go with 274 turnovers. He became just the fifth player in school history with 1,000 points and 500 assists in his career this past season. He ranks fifth on the program’s all-time assists list.

The California native earned All-ACC recognition in each of the last three seasons. He landed on the All-ACC third team in 2019-2020 and on the honorable mention team in both 2020-2021 and 2021-2022.

In the 2018-2019 season, he averaged 4.5 points per game with a 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. In 2019-2020, he averaged 10.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. He ranked first in the ACC in minutes (37.1), second in free throw percentage (87.6%), third in assists (5.9), and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7). In the 2020-2021 season, he averaged 9.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. He ranked third in the ACC in assists (4.5) and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1). In 2021-2022, he averaged 10.0 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.9 rebounds. He finished second in the ACC in minutes (36.1), fifth in assists (4.4), and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.99).

The Cavaliers have posted 97 wins and 31 losses in his career. That includes the 2019 National Championship and ACC Regular Season Championship, the 2021 ACC Regular Season Championship, and an ACC runner-up finish in 2020. The 2022 Hoos missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013, but advanced to the NIT Quarterfinals.

College basketball analyst Jon Rothstein Tweeted earlier in April that senior Jayden Gardner, who joined the Hoos after three years at East Carolina, will also return to Virginia by using the extra year of eligibility allowed by the NCAA due to the pandemic. That means that UVA currently is expected to have the top six rotation players back from this past season. Joining Clark and Gardner are juniors Reece Beekman and Kadin Shedrick and seniors Armaan Franklin and Francisco Caffaro.

That group will be joined by the 11th ranked recruiting class in the nation according to 247 Sports. Isaac Traudt, Isaac McKneely, Leon Bond, and Ryan Dunn make up the four-person class.

6 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. This team will have the kind of depth and experience that, when added to the development trajectory of most of Coach Bennett’s student-athletes and the infusion of raw talent from the new class, is capable of the kind of run the Miami Hurricanes had this past season with their blend of talent and experience. Should be little pressure on the incoming class to perform straight out of the box. Excited for the 2022-23 campaign. Wahoowa!

  2. So happy for Kihei and so thankful on our behalf… I’ve never understood the animosity some fans have, just because he isn’t Kyle Guy or Malcolm Brogden. He is unique in so many ways, truly multifaceted; and we are the better for it when he’s on the court. Wahoorah!!

  3. His numbers speak for themselves. Kehei and Beekman can reek defensive havoc on opposing backcourts. We are fortunate to have him back. Looking forward to the upcoming year with the terrific blend of veteran and new players.

  4. awesome, another year of a pg that can’t shoot and loves to drive into traffic and get his shot blocked. Color me excited. At least when Murray or one of our new recruits transfer at the end of the year, we’ll know its because we gave their playing time to Kihei.

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