Busting Brackets

Virginia Basketball: Elijah Gertrude injury a serious blow for 2024-25 campaign

Virginia v Notre Dame
Virginia v Notre Dame / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

With the departure of do-it-all star guard Reece Beekman, it will be a new era at Virginia Basketball in the backcourt. With the loss of starter Jacob Groves too, only Isaac McKneely (12.3 ppg) is back from the perimeter starters.

That leaves opportunities for some of the younger guards who to get bigger minutes, such as Elijah Gertrude. He’s a former four-star prospect in the 2022 class, who played 16 games as a freshman in under 10 mpg. The 6’4 guard averaged 3.4 ppg and 1.2 rpg on 36% shooting from the field, including a 13-point game against NC Central in December.

Although there were growing pains in the offensive, Gertrude is known for being a quality defender who could’ve replaced Beekman as the lead guy on defense. And while St. Thomas transfer Andrew Rohde started (his position shouldn’t be viewed as secure if someone like Gertrude were to break out as a sophomore.

However, we’ll have to wait a year to see what Gertrude could do, as he’s suffered a season-ending injury. We’re at the beginning of teams having offseason workouts and unfortunately, these are the kinds of things that pop up in the months before the season.

Virginia Basketball does have depth on the wings so this isn’t a crushing blow. However, this does add pressure for others to step up, mainly returning role players, Rohde and Taine Murray. Outside of McKneely, there are a lot of question marks on this roster in terms of who’ll break out as go-to guys. Duke transfer forward TJ Power is the guy to watch, along with FSU transfer point guard, Jalen Warley.

Next. NBA Draft profile of Reece Beekman. NBA Draft profile of Reece Beekman. dark

Freshman guard Ishan Sharma will be someone who also has the chance to take advantage of the minutes opening up without Gertrude around. But this injury is something to watch for a Cavaliers roster already with concerns.