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Virginia's Paul Jesperson announces transfer

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

Virginia had one of the stranger NCAA tournament resumes this past season, and its seven sub-100 losses eventually left it out of the field. Next season, though, the Cavaliers were expected to take the next step.

Tony Bennett's crew took a slight hit on Monday, though, when starter Paul Jesperson announced he was transferring.

"I would really like to thank my coaches, teammates and all of my supporters for the opportunity I had at UVa," Jesperson said in a release. "They made my time here unforgettable and I'm extremely grateful for that. I wish them the best and I'm looking forward to continuing my college career at my new school."

Jesperson started 33 games this past season, averaging 4.7 points and 2.2 rebounds. He shot 37 percent from 3-point range, although he scored just nine total points in his final five games.

It's likely Jesperson saw the writing on the wall for next season. The Cavaliers were slightly undersized this season, with Akil Mitchell the lone consistent inside player. However, Mike Tobey started to play better late in the season and Darion Atkins had some injury issues that should be resolved next year. Moreover, South Carolina transfer Anthony Gill will be eligible.

As a result, the Cavaliers won't need to play a perimeter player at the power forward spot anymore. Justin Anderson can slide to the small forward position, and versatile redshirt Malcolm Brogdon will be back too. Obviously, Joe Harris isn't going anywhere at the two. In other words, there was a major logjam for minutes where Jesperson would play.

If Virginia can get consistent point guard play, it can be a borderline top-25 team throughout the season.

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