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Despite fluctuating minutes, Meyinsse earns role

Few on Virginia's roster seemed to benefit more from the Cavaliers' offseason coaching change than Jerome Meyinsse, a seldom-used big man under former coach Dave Leitao who was entering his senior season.

Meyinsse's stock improved even more when the Cavaliers started the season shorthanded in the interior when Assane Sene was suspended and Jamil Tucker took a leave of absence. He played 20 or more minutes in the team's first four games.

His minutes have decreased ever since, although Meyinsse still has a role in the rotation. He had his best scoring output of the season in last week's win over Alabama-Birmingham, scoring six points while connecting on all three shots. Coach Tony Bennett has praised Meyinsse's willingness to accept any role in the rotation, which remains fluid.

"I think there's not a ton of separation in a lot of of our guys," Bennett said. "He's got to be ready when called upon."

Bennett said Meyinsse has been "pretty steady" with the ball in his hands and is one of the best players on the team when he makes a move and tries to score. He must improve on defense, where Meyinsse can be slow in reacting to ball screens.

Regardless, Meyinsse will have a role on the team in his final ACC season after playing on the bench during most of his first three seasons.

"He's provided great leadership," Bennett said. "Whatever his role is, he embraces it. He's got a lot going for him."

By Zach Berman  |  January 4, 2010; 9:56 AM ET
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