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Virginia Beach's Devon Hall was a top 150 recruit, while London Perrantes was named player of the year in Los Angeles.
Associated Press | File February
Virginia coach Tony Bennett (right) was in search of a point guard following the departure of senior Jontel Evans, so he went out and signed a pair.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Virginia would be the wrong basketball team to question about the danger of having too many point guards.
If there was one game that cost the Cavaliers an NCAA tournament berth in 2012-13 more than any other, it was an early season home loss to Delaware on a night when point guards Jontel Evans and Teven Jones were unavailable.
One day later, Virginia announced the signing of two point guards, Devon Hall and London Perrantes.
Actually, Hall and Perrantes had been committed for months, Hall since July 1 and Perrantes since Sept. 2, although the exact timing of their arrival had been up in the air.
Hall, a 6-foot-5, 212-pounder, had reclassified twice during his career at Cape Henry Collegiate.
After playing his sophomore year in 2010-11, Hall decided to repeat a grade and put himself in the recruiting class of 2014.
“Me going back a year had nothing to do with academics,” said Hall, who turns 18 next week. “I was already ahead of my grade.”
Hall’s older brother, Mark, already had committed to Virginia for football, so Devon was more than familiar with Charlottesville when he came to UVa basketball camp last summer.
“When we had him in camp, Devon really impressed us as a player and person,” UVa assistant Ritchie McKay said Friday.
Knowing that Evans would be a senior and with some of their other candidates committed elsewhere, the Cavaliers successfully pitched the idea of having Hall enroll in 2013.
Virginia had seen film of Perrantes, an uncommitted 6-2, 184-pounder from Crespi Carmelite in Los Angeles but had not watched him in person.
“All of a sudden, Devon committed,” Perrantes said this week, “and then they backed off.”
McKay was on the West Coast later in the summer when he got a chance look at Perrantes.
“And, I loved him,” McKay said. “I just thought he was the perfect fit for Coach [Tony] Bennett and our system and how we play. So, I asked [Bennett] to come out and see him, and Coach felt the same way.”
Yes, UVa had backed off, but Perrantes took McKay’s call. “I just asked him, ‘Hey, are you offended, or is it too late for us to get reinvolved, if you will?” McKay said. “And, he said, ‘nope,’ and ‘nope,’ so we did and we were fortunate.”
It helped that Perrantes’ mother is from the Reading, Pa., area.
“She wanted me to come here, too,” Perrantes said. “One of my dreams was to come to the east for college and play in one of the big conferences. When I got that chance, I wanted to make the most of it.”
Hall is rated among the nation’s top 150 prospects for 2013, but Perrantes was late in coming to national prominence despite being named Los Angeles Daily News player of the year.
“I’ve always been underrated just because I don’t necessarily have some things that people look for in a recruit,” Perrantes said. “I like being underrated. My high school team was always underrated and we always overachieved.
“I like having a chip on my shoulder. A while ago, I wasn’t athletic and I was always getting knocked for that. That just made me want to get in the gym and prove people wrong.”
When Perrantes was in Charlottesville for his official visit, Hall was in town unofficially to watch the UVa football team. Perrantes and Hall later met up at an all-star game in Memphis and they’ve shared a dorm room since the start of summer school.
There’s no doubt in their minds that they can play together.
“If you know coach Bennett, you know he loves versatile guards,” McKay said. “Devon certainly has got size and can shoot it, He’s got some versatility to his game. London is much more the general of the team who can get you into your offense. When he has the ball, he’s a threat who can pass, score, shoot.
“This appears to be a very versatile group. By the same token, they’re very young. I don’t know if they’re ready to steal an ACC game just yet.”
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