Meyinsse Makes Presence Felt for Cavs

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Jerome Meyinsse recorded eight points, six rebounds and two assists against Georgia Tech, all ACC career-highs.

The cover of the Virginia men’s basketball media guide features action photos of two players. Sylven Landesberg is there for his athletic prowess – the caption reads, “Sylven Landesberg ; 2009 ACC Rookie of the Year.” Jerome Meyinsse , meanwhile, appears for his academic achievements. The caption reads, “Jerome Meyinsse ; Two-time All-ACC Academic Team.” And indeed, Meyinsse is a wiz in the classroom. The qualifier, “for a basketball player,” need not be applied to his abilities as a student; he is a good student, period.

In his senior season, he is turning into a valuable asset for the school’s basketball team, too. Wednesday night against Georgia Tech, which featured one of the most talented frontcourts that Virginia has encountered in the last four years, Meyinsse received the first conference start of his career. His eight points, six boards and two assists in 20 minutes don’t blow you away, but for Meyinsse, it is uncharted territory – all three statistics were ACC career-highs for the senior.

The box score doesn’t entirely reflect Meyinsse’s value in the Hoos’ upset victory, though. There is no statistic for post defense and that is where Meyinsse truly excelled. Whether he was D-ing up Gani Lawal – who torched Duke for 21 points and nine rebounds in the Ramblin’ Wreck’s win against Duke – or the one-and-done candidate freshman Derrick Favors, Meyinsse treated every defensive possession like a personal battle. And a battle it surely was; Meyinsse commented after the game that he had never played a more physical game as a Cavalier. But, then, he was also asked whether this was the best game he had