CHARLOTTESVILLE — Senior guard Tomas Woldetensae, who helped spark Virginia basketball in the second half of the 2019-20 season but never got going this past year, won’t return for an extra year of eligibility, a school spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.
The Italian native transferred to UVa in 2019 from Indian Hills Community College, where he shot 39.4% from 3-point range.
With the Cavaliers, he helped ignite the offense his first season, starting 22 of 29 games, playing 27.1 minutes and averaging 6.6 points and 2.2 rebounds per outing. He hit 36.1% of his shots from 3-point range.
This year, the 6-foot-5, 197-pound Woldetensae hit 41.8% of his 3-point attempts, but never earned consistent playing time. He averaged 4.4 points while playing 13.5 minutes per game.
Woldetensae is the third senior and sixth player overall to decide not to return to UVa next season. He joins fellow seniors Sam Hauser and Jay Huff, who are turning pro, and sophomore forward Justin McKoy, sophomore guard Casey Morsell and freshman guard Jabri Abdur-Rahim, who entered the NCAA transfer portal.
The moves leave Virginia with just eight scholarship players on the current roster, a group that includes former walk-on Jayden Nixon.
The Cavaliers still hope to have three starters back in junior Kihei Clark, freshman Reece Beekman and junior Trey Murphy III, along with freshman Carson McCorkle and junior Kody Stattmann, who missed most of this season with a medical issue not related to COVID-19.
UVa went 18-7 and won the ACC’s regular-season championship with a 13-4 record in league play. It had to drop out of the conference tournament in Greensboro after McKoy tested positive for COVID-19.
The ensuing team-wide quarantine meant the Cavaliers could not practice or travel to Indianapolis — site of the entire 2021 NCAA Tournament — until the day before the Ohio game.
The 13-seeded Bobcats beat four-seed Virginia 62-58.