The upcoming Virginia basketball season is full of question marks. Even the closest college basketball observers aren’t quite sure what to make of the Cavaliers with preseason predictions. They range from challenging Duke for the ACC title to finishing in the bottom half of the league, and struggling to make the NCAA Tournament.
Why the uncertainty?
A portion of that uncertainty comes from many not knowing quite what to expect from freshman guard Marco Anthony. Anthony, a 3-star recruit from San Antonio, is far from the most high-profile incoming freshman in the ACC, but he seems to be the kind of player who perfectly compliments UVA head coach Tony Bennett’s system.
The question is how much he can contribute in his first year for Virginia basketball.
Anthony’s size, he’s listed at 6-foot-4 and 228 pounds, and style that features a smooth mid-range game were bound to draw comparisons to NBA Rookie of the Year and former Virginia ACC Player of the Year Malcolm Brogdon.
That’s going to be a daunting comparison for any young Virginia guard, especially when you consider it took time for Brogdon to become a star.
More on that…
But there could be some clues within the Brogdon comparison to how Bennett and his staff would like to use Anthony this season. Brogdon was never really considered a point guard in college, not with a pure point in London Perrantes working as a four-year starter for the Cavs.
But later in his college career, Brogdon spent a significant amount of time handling the ball. By midway through his rookie season with the Milwaukee, he’d essentially become the Bucks’ point guard.
Next, After London for Virginia basketball
Bennett has to figure out what to do at the point in the Post-Perrantes era of Virginia basketball; it’s almost a certainty Ty Jerome will primarily fill that role this season. However, if Anthony can prove himself to the a Brogdon-esque combo guard, who can guard bigger players on the perimeter while also helping with the ball handling duties, it could be a way for the freshman to become a major contributor.
After all, the Cavaliers roster is crowded on the wing. Kyle Guy, Devon Hall, graduate transfer Nigel Johnson and redshirt freshman De’Andre Hunter will all push for minutes at the off guard spots, but it’s not really clear if any of them are suited to be the backup point guard.
You can bet if ball handling and running the offense is what will get Anthony on the floor, the Texan has been putting in hours perfecting those skills.
His work ethic is becoming somewhat legendary after Jerry Radcliffe of the Daily Progress reported Anthony’s daily workout includes a self-imposed requirement to make 700 to 1,000 jump shots before school and an intense strength and conditioning regimen in the afternoon.
Virginia basketball fans have spent the summer fretting over the Cavaliers missing out on point guard prospects for the upcoming recruiting class. But maybe Virginia’s point guard of the future is already in Charlottesville.