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UVa basketball: Huff returning to Cavs for senior season

UVa basketball: Huff returning to Cavs for senior season

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Stony Brook guard Elijah Olaniyi shoots as Virginia forward Jay Huff (right) defends last season.

If there have been times when Jay Huff has kept Virginia men’s basketball fans on the edge of their seats, none would have topped Huff’s move Saturday.

Fans who followed Huff on Instagram had to shudder at the following post:

“It’s been a ride, Charlottesville, and I wouldn’t trade my four years here for anything in the world.

“But, it’s time.”

UVa fans had to fear that Huff, a 7-foot-1 post player had decided to make himself available for the NBA Draft.

“Between lots of prayers with my family and those close to me, I’ve made a decision that I’m at peace with,” his Instagram post continued.

“So, in the words of Michael Jordan, ‘I’M BACK.’ Can’t wait for one more year in Charlottesville.”

Huff, who redshirted as a freshman in 2016-17, started 18 of 30 games this past season for the Cavaliers (23-7) and averaged close to 25 minutes per game.

He recorded 8.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and had a team-high 61 blocked shots. He led the team in field-goal accuracy at 57.1 percent and was 19 of 53 from 3-point range.

Sam Vecenie, who covers college basketball for The Athletic, wrote that Huff “has a real case as the best rim protector in college basketball.”

Huff’s most memorable game occurred Feb. 29, when he had 15 points, nine rebounds and 10 blocked shots in a 52-50 victory over visiting Duke, his hometown school in Durham, North Carolina.

Four days later, he scored the Cavaliers’ first 17 points in a 46-44 victory over Miami.

Huff, who is engaged to be married in September according to his father Mike, will be joined in UVa’s frontcourt next season by Sam Hauser, a high-scoring transfer, as well as a pair of national top-75 recruits in Jabri Abdur-Rahim and Reece Beekman.

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Doug Doughty is in his 44th year at the Roanoke Times, having produced an estimated 10,000 by-lines, a majority of them on University of Virginia athletics.

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