Virginia Basketball Notes: Summer Practice, NBA Rumors, & More

It may officially be summer now on the calendar, but that hasn’t kept basketball out of the headlines this month. There have been several storylines related to Virginia players, including the start of summer practices.

Both the men’s and women’s teams began the formal NCAA allowed summer sessions this week after freshmen reported over the weekend. On the men’s side, the Cavaliers enter their 14th season under coach Tony Bennett with hopes of returning to the NCAA Tournament after missing out last season for the first time since 2013. They have a blend of experienced returning players, a graduate transfer, and a highly rated 2022 recruiting class that will chase that goal.

Bennett got things started with ball security and shooting drills as an emphasis.

The Hoos may be working with a little different intent this summer with a trip to Italy on the docket in August. That leaves a short amount of time to get Ohio transfer Ben Vander Plas as well as incoming freshmen Leon Bond, Ryan Dunn, Isaac McKneely, and Isaac Traudt up to speed before the trip. Of course, part of the trips purpose is to get the team into real game situations before the season actually starts in November.

On the women’s side, Virginia begins the Amaka Agugua-Hamilton era this season. She brought in transfers Sam Brunelle (Notre Dame) and Alexia Smith (Minnesota) as well as freshmen Cady Pauley and Yonta Vaughn since taking the job in March. The Cavaliers finished 5-22 last season so a complete turn-around is in order.

National Teams

That’s not the only basketball news for Hoo fans. Qualifying continues for the 2023 FIBA World Cup with a window from June 27-July 5 up next. Several Cavaliers could see action in the games.

Current roster members Francisco Caffaro, Taine Murray, and Kihei Clark were mentioned in this Jeff White article as potential participants. Caffaro, who played in the Olympics last summer as well, has already returned home to work with the Argentina National Team. Argentina faces Venezuela on June 30 in a qualifying game and then plays against Panama in another on July 3.

Murray is not on the New Zealand senior roster, but is expected to return home to train with the group. New Zealand faces the Philippines on June 30. Clark may join China’s national team. China has games on June 30 (Australia), July 1 (Chinese Taipei), July 3 (Australia), and July 4 (Chinese Taipei).

Former UVA player Mike Tobey is on the roster for Slovenia after playing with that national team in the Olympics. Slovenia faces Croatia on June 30 and Sweden on July 3.

On The Move

Speaking of Tobey, the Cavalier fan favorite wrapped up his contract with Valencia this offseason. He played most of the last five seasons with the club in Spain. In fact, Tobey played in 227 games for Valencia, the third most by an American player in the organization’s history. Tobey averaged 10.3 points and 5.7 rebounds last season.

It will be interesting to see what’s next for Tobey. The aforementioned appearance in the Olympics last summer captured the attention of Virginia and Dallas Mavericks fans because Tobey seemed to establish a connection with Slovenia’s Luka Doncic, who is also the star of the NBA franchise. A Google search brings up 2021 articles about those dreams, but nothing recently. Could a solid showing once again this month lead to a summer league or camp invite? Tobey played in two games for the Charlotte Hornets back in 2017.

Other Virginia NBA Rumors

While there isn’t much in the current rumor mill with Tobey, that’s not true for other Virginia ties. Malcolm Brogdon, who plays for the Indiana Pacers, has been part of trade speculation for weeks. Ian Begley of ties his name to the Knicks, while ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski could see numerous landing spots including the Washington Wizards. Wojnarowski said he could see Brogdon move this week.

Brogdon’s UVA teammate Joe Harris has been mentioned at times in the trade rounds as well. Per, the Nets have fielded calls about Harris. There appears to be much less likelihood for him to be traded, though.

One other Virginia player in the NBA landed in a speculation article as well. Anthony Gill, who played the last two seasons with the Wizards, is mentioned by as a player that could join the EuroLeague next season.

Virginia Players Back In Town

With the summer in full swing, several UVA players have returned to Charlottesville this month. Some Hoos spotted around town in recent weeks include Ty Jerome, Jack Salt, and De’Andre Hunter.

1 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. It’s a Hoo’s-Hoo of Hoos in Hooville this summer!

    IMHO, that photo of the tiny fierce girl getting ready to shoot, with Jerome “guarding” her, is a sports classic for the ages. It’s now on my rotation of desktop saver images.

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