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Virginia enters regular season with 'two-headed monster' at point guard

By Steve Yanda

Sophomore Jontel Evans and freshman Billy Baron will handle the point guard duties for Virginia while junior Sammy Zeglinski recovers from recent knee surgery. Coach Tony Bennett said Tuesday that senior Mustapha Farrakhan could play point guard "if we're in a pinch," but primarily it will be Evans and Baron being asked to provide the role of the steadying hand on the court for the Cavaliers.

"It's kind of a two-headed monster I guess is what you're looking at right now, and they both provide something different," Bennett said of Evans and Baron.

Evans's quickness and defensive acumen are well known; it's his offensive capabilities that are the question. Evans shot 26.4 percent from the field and missed all seven of his three-point attempts during ACC play last season. But Evans said he dedicated this past offseason to making his shot more compact, and Bennett said he has seen improvement in Evans's shot in recent months.

As for Baron, the key will be not allowing the speed of the college game to overwhelm him. Bennett said Baron has a tendency to get "sped up," but the coach also lauded the freshman guard's feel for the game, as well as his three-point shooting ability.

Baron "tweaked his ankle a little bit" during Virginia's 82-50 exhibition win Saturday over Roanoke College, according to Bennett, but he is expected to play Friday night in the regular season opener against William & Mary.

Bennett said he saw Zeglinski "shooting some tip-toe shots" and doing lateral slides from a standstill position on rubber tubing Monday. So far, the coach said, Zeglinski is on pace to return to full speed in mid-December.

"I know it's killing him, and he's been through a lot," Bennett said of Zeglinski. "I think he sees our inexperience and how important it would be for him to be out there, but I believe he's progressing well. I know he is, according to (Head Athletic Trainer) Ethan (Saliba). I think Sammy would tell me that no matter what he was feeling, but he seems to be coming along."

By Steve Yanda  | November 10, 2010; 8:29 AM ET
Categories:  Men's Basketball  
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