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Virginia men's basketball team to fill point guard position by committee in Sammy Zeglinski's absence

Virginia Coach Tony Bennett said Wednesday at the ACC basketball media day that the Cavaliers will turn to several players to fill the point guard position recently vacated due to a knee injury to redshirt junior guard Sammy Zeglinski. The team announced Tuesday that Zeglinski will miss approximately eight weeks as he recovers from cartilage surgery on his left knee.

With Zeglinski out at least until the middle of December, Bennett said sophomore guard Jontel Evans, senior guard Mustapha Farrakhan and freshman Billy Baron each will spend time at the point guard spot. Freshmen K.T. Harrell and Joe Harris also will have greater opportunities to earn playing time in Virginia's backcourt while Zeglinski works back to full health.

"Well we were real young with him, and now we're extremely young without him," Bennett said of Zeglinski. "Certainly those new guys who really want an opportunity to play will have a great opportunity on the perimeter. There will be ample opportunity certainly. I hope it will pay dividends down the road, and if Sammy's rehab goes well, he'll be able to get back and be strong for certainly most of the ACC season or all of it. It will provide opportunities and experiences, whether they're ready or not, for our five perimeter players."

Not surprisingly, Bennett said that the player who earns the most minutes at point guard will be the one who proves most capable of defending opposing point guards. That being the case, Evans would seem to have a leg up on the competition, though Bennett said Farrakhan has proven capable of defending opposing point guards, as well.

"It will be by committee," Bennett said. "Sammy played some combo guard last year, so it can certainly be a sliding scale."

Bennett said he'll have a better idea in three to four weeks whether Zeglinski is on track to return in the eight-week time frame. Tuesday's surgery was Zeglinski's third since coming to Virginia. He's also undergone ankle and hip surgery.

Zeglinski led the team in assists, steals and three-point field goals in each of the last two seasons. He started 29 of 31 games last year and averaged 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest.

"I just feel bad for Sammy because he was out this summer with hip surgery, and he was coming along nicely," Bennett said. "He looked good; he looked strong. I guess the surgery went very well. It was a good outcome, at least from the surgen's standpoint."

By Steve Yanda  | October 20, 2010; 3:27 PM ET
Categories:  Men's Basketball  
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