Dante Harris withdraws from portal, returning to Virginia

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo by Jon Golden

After spending a month-and-a-half in the NCAA transfer portal, Virginia point guard Dante Harris is reportedly headed back to Tony Bennett’s program as a walk-on.

The question is, where does Harris fit in with the “new” Cavaliers, which had an infusion of point guards via the portal? Harris, who transferred to UVA from Georgetown, didn’t live up to expectations last season and announced he was leaving the program. Now, he has withdrawn his name from the portal to give Virginia another try.

Since he entered the portal, Bennett added two experienced point guards in Jalen Warley, a grad transfer from Florida State, and Dai Dai Ames, a sophomore from Kansas State.

Warley had three years of experience for the Seminoles, while Ames, who was the top recruit for K-State a year ago, played in 32 games for the Wildcats and played his best basketball down the home stretch of the season.

In addition, UVA has redshirt freshman Christian Bliss, who spent last season learning the Cavaliers’ system after reclassifying and enrolling in college a year early.

Which leaves us to Harris’ return. Where will he find playing time in a loaded backcourt? In addition, because UVA had such success in the portal, it used up all its available scholarships, leaving Harris as a walk-on.

The 6-foot redshirt junior never found a way to consistently blend with Virginia’s lineup last season and finished with career lows in points (2.5) and assists (1.4). Opposing defenses often left him unguarded, almost daring him to shoot, and with good reason. He made only 10 percent of his 3-point attempts and averaged less than one triple attempt per outing.

He was supposed to serve as Reece Beekman’s backup last season and he played a lot early until suffering a nasty high-ankle sprain that sidelined him for 10 games in late November and extended his lack of playing time until the middle of January. Harris was never quite the same after the injury and only a shadow of the once-Georgetown freshman who earned Big East Tournament MVP honors.