As No. 3 Virginia has stormed out to a 15-1 start, several players have found ways to contribute offensively. Four of those 15 wins have come against ACC foes, too. The start of conference play can be a rude awakening for any freshman hooper.
However, that isn’t the case for De’Andre Hunter. The advent of ACC play appears to be a line of demarcation for Virginia’s star reserve.
After some up-and-down minutes in the non-conference portion of Virginia schedule, De’Andre Hunter is playing like the top bench scorer in the ACC.
Hunter has played 75 minutes across UVA’s first four ACC games — nearly 19 minutes per contest. The redshirt freshman has seen more than his playing time increase, though; Hunter is getting more touches, too. In ACC games, Hunter has used over 29.1 percent of Virginia’s possessions, according to Sports Reference. For the season, Hunter has a usage rate of 25.8 percent.
This means: Over UVA’s last four games, when Hunter is on the floor, over 29 percent of the team’s possessions end with Hunter shooting, drawing a shooting foul or turning the ball over.
The 6-foot-7 forward is shooting 61.9 percent on two-point field goals in ACC competition, which ranks 11th in the league, per KenPom. He’s also drawn 4.8 fouls per 40 minutes; that also ranks 11th in the ACC.
In the 12-point win over North Carolina, Hunter grabbed three offensive rebounds. In ACC games, Hunter has an offensive rebounding rate of 7.8 percent — No. 25 in the league. Watch all of these attributes combine in one emphatic play against UNC.
Yeah, that’s Joel Berry landing on a poster.
Hunter’s 15 points in the win over Syracuse are the second-most he’s scored in a game this season. He’s scored double-digit points in three of Virginia’s ACC games; Hunter is now averaging nearly 21 points per 40 minutes.