This past season the University of Virginia found itself shorthanded at the point guard position. It cost the Cavs dearly, especially during its long losing streak. But in the past week, head coach Pete Gillen and his staff decided to solidify that position for the 2003-2004 season.
Virginia landed T.J. Bannister, a 5-11, 160-pound guard from Arlington Country Day High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He is a quick guard who has the skills to get to the basket.
Virginia is now likely to utilize Bannister for a 10-15 minute role. The Cavs have slated Todd Billet, Majestic Mapp, and even J.R. Reynolds to play some of the minutes at the lead guard slot.
It's likely Billet will get the bulk of the minutes. He is capable of handling the role. But some in the college basketball world believe Billet is more of a shooting guard. The Cavs would love to take advantage of Billet's offensive skills and relieve him of some of the ballhandling duties that go along with the point guard position. So it was necessary to land a lead guard like Bannister, especially since Keith Jenifer was granted his release.
Bannister had previously played some AAU ball with John Adkins' Tallahassee Wildcats, a team that played at the Showcase and National AAU event last July in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Alabama and Florida State were his two top schools during the summer. When both went somewhere else to land recruits, this opened up the recruiting process for Bannister.
Bannister is rated a three-star player by RivalsHoops.com. RivalsHoops.com has seen Bannister play many times. He is a very capable guard who will likely provide some insurance and security at one of the college basketball's most critical positions.