Of the scholarship offers Blake Buchanan attracted as a high school player in Idaho, Virginia’s was the only one from a school east of the Mississippi River.
In committing to the Cavaliers, Buchanan took the road less traveled. But two games into his college career, Buchanan appears to be a good fit in Charlottesville, Va.
On Tuesday, Virginia looks for more of the same from the 6-foot-11 Buchanan when it hosts North Carolina A&T of the Coastal Athletic Association.
In a 73-70 win on Friday over Florida in the Hall of Fame Series in Charlotte, N.C., Buchanan came off the bench to tally 18 points and seven rebounds. He also used his length to disrupt the Gators, who committed 16 turnovers.
“He’s got quick feet and he’s very active and mobile,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “As he gets stronger, he’ll get better.”
The Cavaliers (2-0) had 15 steals, including seven by Ryan Dunn, which matched a school record. With two seconds left, Reece Beekman had the game’s biggest steal, sewing up the win.
Beekman, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, finished with 13 points, five assists and three steals.
Oklahoma transfer Jacob Groves had 12 points in 16 foul-plagued minutes as Virginia won despite getting outrebounded 47-30.
“No one knows exactly how good Florida is,” Bennett said, downplaying the win. “No one knows how good Virginia is.”
Meanwhile on Friday, North Carolina A&T (0-2) fell 94-78 at UNC Greensboro despite 32 points from Landon Glasper.
Camian Shell added 11 points, six rebounds and six assists. Glasper and Shell arrived this year as a backcourt tandem from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.
With eight freshmen on the roster, the Aggies are in transition under first-year coach Monte Ross.
“We are in the learning process right now,” Ross said. “We will continue to grind.”
Virginia won 94-50 back in 1994 in its lone meeting with North Carolina A&T.
–Field Level Media
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