CHARLOTTESVILLE (WAVY) – Justin Anderson may be back in the lineup, but after two games in last weekend’s ACC Tournament, it’s clear Virginia’s best player is far from the All-American form he showed through the early portion of the season.
In 21 games this season, Anderson has averaged 12.3 points per game and adds a definite element of defense and athleticism. He broke his pinky finger against Louisville on Feb. 7 and missed the next eight games. In limited action against Florida State and North Carolina, Anderson played just 12 and 14 minutes respectively and scored a whopping zero points.
The 2-seed Cavaliers managed to pull away from Florida State, but never led in a 71-67 loss to the Tar Heels, which cost them a no. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
As the Hoos prepare for Belmont, Head Coach Tony Bennett admits the the bandage on his shooting hand is affecting Anderson’s shot, but it’s “more than that.
“It’s the break he’s had away from playing,” said Bennett.
Anderson only attempted six shots through his last two games, but missed on all of them and did not seem anywhere close to in-rhythm on a few.
Bennett says Anderson “will find out this week” if the doctors can remove the tap keeping his pinky and ring fingers together. ” I don’t know if they do X-rays to make sure everything is okay, and we’ll get a feel for that,” he said. “I’m sure if they could do something it would be great, but I don’t know yet.”
Virginia opens with Belmont at 3:10 on Friday.