CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia men's basketball head coach Tony Bennett announced Thursday (March 23) that redshirt junior guard Darius Thompson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) is leaving the Cavaliers' program. Thompson is the third player to transfer from UVA following the 2016-17 season along with sophomore forward Jarred Reuter (Marion, Mass.) and junior guard Marial Shayok (Ottawa, Ontario).
"Darius Thompson informed me he has decided to play his final season at another school following his graduation from Virginia," Bennett said. "Although you never want to see young men transfer, I understand this is part of coaching. Darius, Marial, and Jarred feel it's in their best interests to pursue other options for the remainder of their college careers. I will always appreciate the contributions they made to our program.
"Two of our main priorities for Virginia basketball are to continue to build a winning culture and serve the young men in the program. I know Darius, Marial and Jarred have been served well and have also been part of a winning culture during their time at UVA.
"As we look forward, we have a strong nucleus of players returning and I'm excited for their continued development. As a staff, we are focused on finding student-athletes who want to be a part of this program and all the University of Virginia has to offer."
Thompson averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 assists in 70 career games during the two seasons he played at Virginia.
In 2016-17, Virginia tallied a 23-11 mark en route to its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Cavaliers have tallied 23 or more wins in each of the last five seasons and have been ranked in the AP top-25 poll for 64 straight weeks.
UVA will return six players in 2017-18 who received significant playing time last season: seniors Isaiah Wilkins (Lilburn, Ga.) and Devon Hall (Virginia Beach, Va.), junior Jack Salt (Auckland, N.Z.) and sophomores Kyle Guy (Indianapolis, Ind.), Ty Jerome (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and Mamadi Diakite (Conakry, Guinea). Rising redshirt freshmen De'Andre Hunter (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Jay Huff (Durham, N.C.) and incoming freshman Marco Anthony (San Antonio, Texas) will also push for immediate playing time.
Butts' Bond With Benkert GrowingFootball10/18/17A redshirt junior from the Philadelphia area, UVA tight end Evan Butts has become one of quarterback Kurt Benkert's most reliable targets.Salt Evolving Into Pivotal PresenceMen's Basketball10/17/17A redshirt junior from New Zealand, 6-11 center Jack Salt has grown into a team leader for UVA, which has made four straight NCAA tournament appearances.Cavalier Men's Basketball NotebookMen's Basketball10/16/17The season starts Nov. 10 for the Cavaliers, whose third annual Pepsi Blue-White scrimmage is Sunday afternoon at JPJ.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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