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Tristan Spurlock speculation intensifies in final week

As much as coaches exist in a bubble, they're more aware of outside opinion than they often let on to the public. One of the most discussed subplots surrounding Virginia basketball in the past three weeks has been freshman Tristan Spurlock's lack of playing time and his future with the Cavaliers.

Coach Tony Bennett has been asked about Spurlock on a handful of occasions during this period, specifically regarding why Spurlock is not play and what he must do to earn more playing time.

When Bennett recently spoke about Spurlock, he subtly acknowledged a question some fans have asked, as evidenced by my e-mail inbox and multiple Virginia message boards.

"Tristan, he's got a nice upside, he is a work in progress," Bennett said. "I know everybody says, 'Why doesn't he just throw him in there and play him more?' I just got to keep watching and that's a decision I've made up to this point."

Spurlock has received more practice time against first-team players, and Bennett has been playing him more in the second half in the past few weeks. With two games to go, Spurlock's playing time -- or lackthereof -- is among the most intriguing subplots.

Spurlock said he'll take it "year-by-year" when considering his future, and the commitment of Billy Baron on Tuesday means someone on Virginia's current roster will leave the team before their eligibility expires.

By Zach Berman  |  March 3, 2010; 2:52 PM ET
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