Virginia basketball coach Terry Holland pulled off a significant recruiting triumph yesterday by signing 6-5 forward Jeff Lamp, the Kentucky high school player-of-the-yeear.
According to Cavalier athletic officials, Lamp probably is the most highly recruited player ever signed by Virginia. The only other athlete in his category was Wally Walker, but Walker was not sought by as many schools as Lamp. Lamp averaged 25 points, shooting 6 per cent last season.
Lamp had been expected to sign with Indiana University and had also considered Louisville and Minnesota.
"I was learning to IU (Indiana) before I visited Virginia," said Lamp yesterday. "I liked the atmosphere at Virginia and I liked the players and coach Holland. I just wound up liking Virginia better than the other schools."
Lamp was also influenced by the fact that his best friend, 6-5 Lee Raker, signed with Virginia last week. Raker and Lamp played for Ballard High in Louisville which won the state championship last season.
Lamp's high school coach, Richard Schmidt, reportedly also will come to Virginia as an assistant coach.
"When Lee signed, it made me look at Virginia a lot harder," said lamp.
Holland said he recruited both Ballard players separately and felt that Lamp was going to sign with Indiana.
"He is an unbelievable player, a perfect player," said the Virginia coach. "He's the best prospect I've signed since I've been here."
Holland has a 42-42 record in four years at Virginia. He won the ACC Tournament in 1976 and lost in the final this year.
Lamp is the fourth player signed by Virginia. The recruits will join such returning players as Otis Fulton, Dave Koesters, Steve Castellan, Mike Owens, Robert Stokes and Marc Iavaroni.