On October 20, 2014, Kyle Guy announced his commitment to play for the Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball program. The shooting guard from Lawrence Central in Indianapolis, Indiana became the second commit in UVA’s recruiting class of 2016, joining Ty Jerome. De’Andre Hunter and Jay Huff committed to Virginia the following year, forming the most talented recruiting class in Tony Bennett’s tenure as head coach and perhaps the best recruiting class in the history of the program.
Guy was coming off of a great summer on the AAU circuit, causing his recruiting profile to accelerate rapidly as several major programs began to take a serious interest in him. In particular, the big basketball schools in the Indiana area - Butler, Purdue, and Indiana - had all begun to pursue the Indianapolis native. As Guy had not even begun his junior season in high school yet, it was expected that the Indiana schools would be fighting over him for at least another year before he made a decision.
However, after taking a visit to the University of Virginia in October 2014, Guy surprisingly announced his commitment to play for Tony Bennett and the Cavaliers just one day after returning from Charlottesville.
“It shocked myself, really, how much I liked everything about Virginia,” Guy said. “The coaching staff, the campus, the style and just everything about it. I waited a day because I wanted to make sure, but I felt the same way when I got back.”
Guy chose Virginia over offers from Butler, Indiana, California, Iowa, Iowa State, NC State, Northwestern, Ole Miss, and Purdue.
“I just fell in love with Virginia, with Tony Bennett,” Guy added. “They had everything. It’s the perfect package.”
Tony Bennett bought stock in Guy at the perfect time, as he continued to shine for the remainder of his high school career. In his senior season at Lawrence Central, Guy turned in an impressive statline of 23.5 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, and 3.7 assists per game and was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball. Guy was named a McDonald’s All-American and was eventually rated the top-ranked player from the state of Indiana in the class of 2016.
Kyle Guy surpassed all expectations in his three seasons at UVA.
In his first year, Guy became the talk of college basketball for his iconic man-bun. He did not let the hairdo distract him, however, as he played in all 34 of Virginia’s games his freshman season and shot an astonishing 49.5% from three-point range.
As second years, Guy and Ty Jerome were asked to become leaders and primary scorers for UVA, alongside seniors Devon Hall and Isaiah Wilkins. Expectations were not high for the team going into the 2017-2018 season following the departure of London Perrantes, the last critical piece of the Brogdon Era, and the Hoos began the season unranked.
Guy and the Wahoos went on to win 31 games that season, turning in a record of 28-2 in the regular season, including a 17-1 record in the ACC. In February 2018, Virginia was ranked the No. 1 team in the country in the AP poll for the first time since 1982. Guy led Virginia to the ACC Tournament Championship and was named the MVP of the tournament.
After De’Andre Hunter fractured his wrist and UMBC pulled the all-time upset over Virginia in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Guy led UVA to one of the greatest comeback seasons in the history of sports.
The Hoos won their second-straight ACC regular season title in 2019 and were again a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This time, UVA went all the way. Guy scored 25 points and 10 rebounds, his first-career double-double in the epic overtime win over Carsen Edwards and the Purdue Boilermakers in the Elite Eight. Guy and Jerome went shot-for-shot with Edwards, who dropped 42 points and seemed to have beaten the Hoos, before Kihei Clark made the pass to Mamadi Diakite, who drained the buzzer beater to save the season.
In the Final Four, Virginia trailed Auburn by four points with less than ten seconds remaining. Guy made a tough three-pointer in the corner to cut it to one. After Auburn made a free throw to go back up by two, Guy was fouled while attempting a three-pointer with just six-tenths of a second left on the clock. Guy calmly sank all three free throws to send UVA to the National Championship.
Guy scored 24 points in the title game to lead Virginia to victory over Texas Tech and capture UVA’s first-ever National Championship. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four.
The accolades of Guy’s collegiate career are almost as impressive as his clutch moments in the title run. Guy was named a Third-Team All-American and All-ACC First-Team in both 2018 and 2019. He was also a finalist for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award in 2019. He sits at third all-time on the Virginia leaderboards in career three-point field goals made with 254 and his 120 threes in 2019 is second-most in UVA history, trailing only Curtis Staples. Guy holds the UVA record for career three-point field goal percentage at 42.5% and the record for minutes played in a single season with 1,344.
It was seven years to the day that Kyle Guy made the decision to commit to the University of Virginia. We didn’t know it yet, but the trajectory of the UVA men’s basketball program changed forever with that decision. Happy anniversary to one of the greatest players in the history of Virginia basketball.