When freshman shooting guard Kyle Guy stepped onto Grounds this fall, few students knew his name. Now, after seven games into the basketball season, the five-star recruit out of Indianapolis, Indiana has cemented himself as a solid go-to option off the bench for head coach Tony Bennett.
Guy has already logged an average of 16.3 minutes, 7.6 points, and 1.7 assists per game over the course of the still-early season. Despite a small 6’3”, 165-pound frame, he has outperformed fellow freshmen, point guard Ty Jerome and forward Mamadi Diakite, thanks in large part to his so-far stellar shooting performances.
In the Cavalier’s 90-34 win over Grambling State, Guy scored 20 points, went six for seven from the field, and five of six from three. He accomplished the feat in a meager 13 minutes of playing time. If he can continue his freshman year form, he has the potential to become a steady piece in the Virginia rotation in coming seasons.
It should be noted, however, that Guy may have to wait a few years until he has a central role in the Cavalier’s lineup. Next year, Virginia only loses two seniors – starting point guard London Perrantes and walk-on bench player, forward Jeff Jones. The team’s front-court rotation of junior forward Isaiah Wilkins, freshman forward Mamadi Diakite, sophomore forward Jarred Reuter and sophomore center Jack Salt will remain intact, with the addition of redshirt-freshman forward Jay Huff, as well as any recruits Tony Bennett adds to his team.
The Cavalier’s back-court, however, may be even more crowded. Guy, Jerome, junior guard Devon Hall, junior guard Mariel Shayok, and junior guard Darius Thompson all return, with the addition of redshirt-freshman guard De’Andre Hunter. If Guy wants more playing time, he will have to compete with bigger and more experienced players.
Luckily, playing under pressure is something Guy has become accustomed to. During his senior season in high school, he averaged an astounding 23.5 points per game, and won Mr. Basketball for Indiana, an annual award given to the state’s best male basketball player. Guy was also selected as an Adidas All-American, a McDonald’s All-American, and was ranked 27th in the class of 2016 by ESPN.
In short, it’s still too early to tell what Kyle Guy’s ceiling will be at UVA. But if his early-season performance is any indication, his future could be very, very bright.