Question: How has the transition gone from high school to college?
Evans: The transition was tough in the summer, waking up early in the morning, lifting weights and then going to class and coming back in the afternoon to play basketball. It was tough in the beginning, but as fall came I got used to it and it became a lot easier.
Question: Do you feel as though you’ve settled in at Virginia?
Evans: Not until I play my first game. I feel welcome from the standpoint of the coaching staff, my teammates and the fans, but I need to play that first game.
Question: The previous coaching staff recruited you and after Coach Bennett was hired you waited before making a final decision. How did that play out?
Evans: I was real close with Coach Leitao and the previous coaching staff. When they left, my mind was in a whirlwind and I didn’t know what to do. Then I heard Tony Bennett had been hired and I didn’t know a lot about him. I started to read about him in the newspaper and got to know a little bit about him. He came to visit my family and me in my home and it was a wrap after that. I fell in love with his personality and his demeanor. He’s an all-around great guy and I just wanted to play for him. I wanted to stay committed to the University of Virginia.
Question: Was it difficult not playing football this fall?
Evans: Yes it was difficult. There’s a part of me that still loves football, but my passion is for basketball. I had to let some things go. All good things come to an end, so my football career came to an end my senior year in high school. Now I’m just focusing on basketball.
Question: What led you to the decision to play basketball in college rather than football?
Evans: I was being recruited for both. Football programs were waiting because they didn’t want to waste a scholarship on me because they didn’t know which sport I was going to play. Basketball programs were offering me because they wanted me to play basketball. That made my decision a lot easier because I had more offers in basketball and that led me to the decision to play college basketball.
Question: What did you work on this summer in preparation for the upcoming season?
Evans: I worked on my conditioning, running the hill over by Washington Park, and my shooting. Jeff Jones has me in the gym working on my shot. I want to be the kind of point guard who can dump it inside, but when the big man is in trouble he can depend on me to make the shot when he kicks the ball back out.
Question: You mentioned conditioning and you’ve lost some weight. Did you have a goal of losing a certain amount of weight before the start of the season?
Evans: Before I got here in early July I kind of let myself go. I was relaxing and just being Mr. Cool Guy. I wasn’t working out and I got overweight. I came in here at about 200 pounds and Coach Curtis did a wonderful job with my body and my conditioning and got me down to 185. I feel great – faster, stronger, quicker, everything.
Question: You have a reputation of being a very good on-the-ball defender. Is that something you take a lot of pride in?
Evans: Yes, I take a lot of pride in my defense. When I was playing AAU basketball for coach Howard Chamblee and my father, Walter Evans, they drilled into my head at a young age that you’ve got to be able to stop somebody. You can’t play basketball unless you can stop somebody. Since then I’ve been taking pride in my defense. I want to stop people. I get excited when I rip somebody at half court and go in for a lay-up. I think that brings energy to the team and to the crowd.
Question: How would you describe your offensive game?
Evans: In high school I could penetrate into the paint at will, but in college I’m not going to be able to get to the paint as easily as I did in high school. The guys at this level are bigger, stronger and faster. That’s why I’m working on my jump shot. My offense this year will probably be like a pass first point guard, not looking to score because I’ve got great scorers on my team. If I kick it to them, I’m getting back on defense. That’s how much confidence I have in them.
Question: Have the practices been what you expected?
Evans: The practices have been tough. I knew leaving high school and coming here that the practices would be tough and that it would be real competitive.
Question: How has it been working with Coach Bennett and his staff?
Evans: It has been wonderful. They embraced me and welcomed me with open arms. Coach Bennett still recruited me when he easily could not have, but he’s a big defensive guy and I guess he heard about my defense. It has been great working with the coaching staff. They’re my new family.
Question: With the first game approaching, I imagine you and the team are anxious to get the preseason behind you and play in a game.
Evans: All the guys are anxious. Today when we scrimmaged I got a steal and a fast break with just the goal and me. I told Mustapha if that was on Friday I probably would have tried to dunk it, I was so excited. All the guys are anxious to show the world what we’ve got because we’re going to be a sleeper in the ACC. We’re getting better every day. If we just listen to the coaching staff and believe in ourselves we can do some special things this year.
'Hoos Look to Break Through at CameronMen's Basketball2/13/16At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, in a game ESPN will televise, No. 7 Virginia meets ACC foe Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.Post-Signing Day Football NotebookFootball2/12/16The start of spring practice is still more than a month away for UVA football players, whose current focus is the team's winter strength and conditioning program.Rivalry Win Continues Cavaliers' AscentMen's Basketball2/10/16In defeating Virginia Tech for the 10th time in the rivals' past 12 meetings, seventh-ranked Virginia never trailed Tuesday night at John Paul Jones Arena.
Director of News Content
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.
Jeff White: Early Test Exposes Cavaliers' Flaws
M. Basketball | 11/17/2015
After losing 73-68 Monday night to George Washington in Washington, D.C., sixth-ranked Virginia...
No. 6 Virginia Drops Road Contest at George Washington, 73-68
M. Basketball | 11/16/2015
Virginia (1-1) was led by Malcolm Brogdon, who had 28 points and eight rebounds. Brogdon was the ...
No. 6 Virginia Plays at George Washington on Monday
M. Basketball | 11/15/2015
No. 6 Virginia (1-0) continues non-conference action at George Washington on Monday (Nov. 16)....
No. 6 Virginia Cruises Past Morgan State in Season Opener,...
M. Basketball | 11/13/2015
Mike Tobey had 15 points and eight rebounds and No. 6 Virginia shook off early shooting problems ...
Jeff White: Perrantes Ready to Get Rolling Again
M. Basketball | 11/12/2015
London Perrantes' third season as Virginia's starting point guard begins Friday at John Paul...
No. 6 Virginia Hosts Morgan State in Season Opener on Friday
M. Basketball | 11/12/2015
No. 6 Virginia hosts Morgan State in season-opening men's basketball action on Friday (Nov. 13). ...
UVA Men's Basketball Signs Four Student-Athletes
M. Basketball | 11/12/2015
Kyle Guy (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central), Jay Huff (Durham, N.C./Voyager Academy), De'Andre...
Jeff White: Long Wait Nearly Over for Cavalier Duo
M. Basketball | 11/09/2015
After sitting out the 2014-15 season, 6-11 center Jack Salt and 6-4 guard Darius Thompson are...
- Online Stores