Since this one-of-a-kind season began, men’s basketball in Virginia has had to rely on several new faces to play an important role. In fact, three of the top five Cavaliers players are newcomers to the team in the total minutes played. One of those newcomers is senior striker Sam Hauser, who has quickly become the goal option and leader of the team on offense. As Virginia prepares to compete in its seventh consecutive NCAA tournament despite a surprisingly positive coronavirus test among one of the players, Hauser’s performance will be the key to a deep run.
Looking back, Hauser’s trip to Virginia was not an easy one . Hauser was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, but grew up about 100 miles away in Stevens Point, Wisconsin – a town where Coach Tony Bennett happened to be from first through ninth grades.
After After a prolific high school career at Stevens Point Area Senior High that included a state title, Hauser – a highly regarded four-star candidate at the time – had a number of college applicants. One of those applicants was Bennett, who « [Hauser] hired hard from high school ». Bennett was hoping to add Hauser to a recruiting class that would ultimately consist of four national champions – Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, De’Andre Hunter, and Jay Huff. Despite Virginia interest, Hauser decided to stay closer to home and visit Marquette in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
« A big thing for me when I got out of high school was that I was closer to home wanted to play just so my family could watch me, « Hauser said on the Wahoo Central Podcast in early March. « That was a big factor … [Marquette] had been recruiting me since my sophomore or sophomore year so I just felt this might have been the place for me at that time. »
In three Hauser started seasons at Marquette 97 times and helped the Golden Eagles win 63 percent of their games and twice received an NCAA tournament offer. Hauser really came to life in the 2018-19 season when he averaged 14.9 points and secured a spot on the All-Big East second team. Despite Hauser’s excellent game, this season has been a roller coaster ride for Marquette. The team won 23 of their first 27 games before losing six of their last seven – including a loss to Murray State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Less than a month after the disappointing end of Marquette’s season, Hauser announced – along with his younger brother Joey, who was also on the Golden Eagles list – that they would change.
« I would like to thank Marquette University for the myriad opportunities it has opened up to me over the past three years « said Hauser on social media. « I want to thank everyone involved in the Marquette basketball program. Marquette will always have a special place in my heart. But as I continued my basketball career, I decided to transfer. »
Ultimately, they separated the two brothers, with Joey preferring Michigan and Sam choosing to play in Virginia. While it may have happened later than he wanted, Bennett eventually landed Hauser’s engagement.
« I’m very excited to be on the basketball program in Virginia, « Hauser said in the Virginia press release. » I have had a lot of respect for Coach Bennett since he recruited me from high school. I feel that U.Va. is offering me the best opportunity my college career on and finish off the court. ”
Although Hauser officially joined the men’s basketball program in Virginia in the fall of 2019, he had to wait a year to approve the NCAA transfer rules of actually stepping onto the field. Apart from that, Hauser didn’t waste his year on the sidelines. In addition to supporting his teammates, Hauser used his red shirt season as an opportunity to grow as a player.
Hauser was best known as a catch-and-shoot and spot-up shooter at Marquette. Last year, however, Hauser worked on his screen scoring ability, developing his playing skills, and most importantly, learning how to play in Virginia’s infamous Pack Line defense.
« A whole Redshirt year to really get into your game work benefits you, « Hauser said on the Wahoo Central podcast. “Redshirting is in no way bad when you take this route. I was able to really concentrate on my game and work hard. I think I’ve changed, I think I’m just doing different things. “
All this work seems to have paid off, because Hauser was a force to be reckoned with this season. Hauser leads the team in minutes and points, an average of 34.1 minutes and 16 points per game.
The former Marquette player not only scores many goals, but also at an extremely efficient pace. Hauser currently scores 51.8 percent of his field goals, 43.4 percent of his three-point shots – the highest score in the ACC and the ninth-best in the country – and 88.1 percent of his free throws.
If Hauser is able, these Holding brands, he could be the first player in Virginia to ever finish a season in the exclusive club « 50/40/80 ». In just his first year in Charlottesville, Hauser can achieve something none of the other legendary Bennett-era shooters in Virginia – including current NBA players Kyle Guy, Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris – could ever achieve in college.
Hauser made an instant impression, losing 19 points and eight rebounds in his first orange and blue game – and has not slowed down since then. So far this year Hauser has scored in all but two double-digit numbers and has exceeded the 20-point mark six times in the last 13 games.
At the press conference before the ACC tournament in Virginia, Junior Guard Kihei Clark mentioned that he knew Hauser was a talented shooter from day one. Hauser certainly met these expectations.
Admittedly, the 2020-21 season had some ups and downs for Hauser and Virginia. The worst stretch was the loss of the Cavaliers in three games in mid to late February – the only time the team has lost more than one game in a row this year. Fortunately for Virginia, when the team needed him most, Hauser stepped forward and took command.
In Virginia’s last five games, Hauser has scored 20.6 points per game – including a season high of 24 in regular Season finale. Hauser’s latest string of strong performances saw Virginia claim the 10th title in the ACC regular season and advance to the semi-finals of the ACC tournament before COVID-19 issues disqualified the team. Just in time for the NCAA tournament, Hauser is playing the best basketball of his season.
« [The losing streak] taught us a lot about our team and ourselves, and about where we need to improve, » said Hauser in a press conference on August 8th . March. We came with a better mindset and really focused on the attention to detail … we tightened the defense, we tightened the offense. We know how good we can be. “
With a 6-foot-8 frame and an effective field goal percentage of 63 percent, Hauser’s unique combination of size and shooting has drawn him a lot of attention. For example, Hauser joined the elite company when he became only the sixth player in Virginia under Bennett to be named to the All-ACC first team. This exclusive group includes Virginia icons like Mike Scott, Joe Harris, Malcolm Brogdon, Kyle Guy, De’Andre Hunter and now Hauser.
Despite Hauser and Virginia’s individual and team successes so far this season, they are concentrated Cavaliers now only for one thing: the 2021 NCAA tournament. This March madness will likely be Hauser’s last shot at a national title, and the Wisconsin native is excited about the opportunity.
« You have to play as if you either win or you are done, and that is the mentality of many teams that take part in this tournament, « said Hauser at the press conference. « Having the ball is even more important this time of year … If the chips fall where they fall, you live with them, but of course you want to win. »
Looking to the future, Hauser has an interest in his playing career in coaching and hopes to draw on the degree in Youth and Social Innovation he is currently pursuing at the Curry School of Education and Human Development. However, the coaching has to wait for a while – Hauser has a game to play.
Under coach Tony Bennett, the Cavaliers are notorious for defending the pack line and the blocker-mover offensive – two deliberate and efficient approaches on either end of the floor that have brought Virginia many victories.
Virginia continued its winning streak with a midweek win over Towson, extending the streak to 20 games from 2019
The entire Cavalier coaching team was released from its coaching activities with immediate effect.
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Associated Title :
– Meet Sam Hauser: The Wisconsin native who will lead the Cavaliers into the NCAA tournament
– <a href = "/? S = Roster Mystery adds UVA& # 39; to kick off the NCAA tournament from UVA& #
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