Virginia Basketball Media Day: Quick Take With Freshman PG Kihei Clark

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Virginia head coach Tony Bennett at men’s basketball media day on November 1. ~ Photo courtesy of Matt Riley of Virginia Athletics

In an interview with last April, Kihei Clark, who at the time was finishing out his high school career at Taft Charter (Woodland Hills, CA) and was only a few months away from enrolling at the University of Virginia, believed he had an opportunity to earn a spot in the Cavalier rotation this coming season. He had good reason.

“[Coach Bennett] said there’s a spot for me on the team,” Clark said in the April article. “There is a spot for me to get in and touch the paint. When they can’t make shots, being able to get in the paint is important.”

Defensively, “I talked to Coach Bennett and he said there is a place for me to apply ball pressure,” Clark said.

Virginia’s 2018-19 team, which held its annual Media Day event on Thursday (November 1), has a formidable top six rotation that includes Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, De’Andre Hunter, Mamadi Diakite, Jack Salt and Braxton Key. The Hoos will need others to emerge off the bench, and Clark appears to be on his way to carving out a role. The 5’9”, 175-pound true freshman point guard has impressed his coach and teammates in the weeks and months leading up to the November 6 season opener versus Towson.

“He reminds me a lot of me when I first got here, just really wanting to play