Virginia Coach Tony Bennett was hoping for the best Wednesday night when point guard Jontel Evans hobbled off the floor midway through the second half of the Cavaliers’ win over Tennessee, but it appears the senior is once again on the mend.
Virginia announced Friday that Evans will not play in the team’s game Saturday against Mississippi Valley State after re-aggravating the injury to his surgically repaired right foot against the Volunteers. Redshirt freshman Teven Jones will start in Evans’s place.
The school did not reveal how much time Evans could miss or the outcome of X-rays following Wednesday’s game, but if there’s one silver lining to this, it’s that Virginia has no nonconference games remaining against power-conference teams before ACC play begins next month.
Evans had already missed five games this season as he recovered from an offseason surgical procedure to repair his foot, which was stepped on during a preseason workout. But after looking rusty during his first two appearances of the season, Evans seemed to be turning a corner.
He finished with a team-high seven assists after playing a season-high 23 minutes last week in a win over Green Bay and Bennett rewarded him with a starting role against Tennessee. Before leaving the game Wednesday, Evans had four points and four assists in 18 minutes.
But Jones has acquitted himself well in Evans’s absence. He’s averaging 4.5 points, 2.5 assists and two turnovers per game since serving a three-game suspension for violating team rules to start the season.
The Cavaliers have a 6-0 record since Jones returned to the fold.