The No. 12 Virginia Basketball team (11-1) knocked off No. 6 Louisville (11-2) on the road in their first ACC Conference battle Wednesday night 61-53. The matchup is just one of many marquee games that the ACC – the deepest conference in college basketball – will feature throughout the season.
The win for UVA marks a promising start to conference play – an area where they have thrived in previous years. The ‘Hoos have won two of the last three ACC regular season titles.
But, the December 28th early season victory also marks the emergence of a new element taking on a life of its own and growing in power and popularity for Virginia. This element is the ‘Guy Bun’.
Dick Vitale mentioned the term in the first half during his broadcast of the UVA/Louisville contest. It refers to the unique man bun hairstyle that occupies the head of UVA’s freshman guard Kyle Guy.
The man bun is not new. It has been featured recently in various forms by the likes of Bradley Cooper and Justin Bieber, and less recently by David Beckham and Johnny Depp.
The official site for man buns and long hair says, “A man bun is a type of long hairstyle that involves the tying of one’s hair into a single bun to be placed upon the crown area of the head.”
Guy’s bun is different. It is a smaller portion of hair tied only on the top of his head. It rests separated from the sides and back of Guy’s head, which are buzzed tight to the scalp.
Kyle Guy is beginning to shine as a cold-blooded shooter for the Cavaliers this season. Meanwhile, the Guy Bun has simultaneously taken on a life of its own.
Guy is averaging 9.3 points per game – second behind senior point guard London Perrantes’ 9.9 points per game – on only 17.7 minutes per game off the bench. The Guy Bun is likely averaging 40 minutes of fan heckling on the road, 150 hours of fan praise at home, and probably a couple hundred social media posts per game highlighted by two twitter accounts made exclusively for Kyle Guy’s man bun.
Virginia has a reputation for stout defense and efficient basketball. They are criticized for lacking a go-to scorer this season. After three stellar shooting performances, Kyle Guy may be emerging as Virginia’s guy to “get buckets.”
He has displayed an ability to make jump shoots from any spot on the court. He brings back memories of Michigan State’s Drew Neitzel who came off screens to sink 3-pointer after 3-pointer from 2004-2008: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqWKI3SN3kc
In two straight road victories against California and Louisville, Guy flashed an aura of confidence when he had the ball on offense. His teammates looked for him to convert on key scoring opportunities.
Guy’s role on the team as a scorer may be limited by his struggles on defense, struggles that have limited his playing time thus far. Tony Bennett has been known to limit minutes of young talented players, like Justin Anderson and Anthony Gill, until they master his system and develop into stronger and more polished players.
The Guy Bun has no limits. It has just taken on life thanks to a national television broadcast, but this is only the beginning. Next comes signs at home games. Then some student buzz around “Grounds” once spring semester begins. Then a new twitter hashtag. Then a Wikipedia page. Who knows what comes after that…
In the blink of an eye, the Guy Bun will transform into a spiritual being. It will pump life into home crowds, television supporters, coaches, trainers, managers, and teammates.
Watch out college basketball. Today the Guy Bun becomes a Guy.