CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) -- When Sam Hauser suits up for Virginia as a redshirt senior next season, he will provide an immediate spark to the Cavaliers' offense.
The Wisconsin native played his first three years of eligibility at Marquette, where he made the All-Big East second team as a junior.
Hauser said the connection formed with UVA back in high school made transferring to Charlottesville a natural fit.
"Coming off the national title, you can see where this program can take you and, obviously, I have aspirations to get to a level like they just experienced this past year," Hauser said over video conference on Tuesday. "That was a big part of my decision and I think this year was great for me and the team. I think I got a lot better throughout the year redshirting and it was really good to just have a year to get a feel for the system and what it's like at Virginia compared to where I came from."
In his junior year with the Golden Eagles, Hauser averaged nearly 15 points per game and shot more than 44 percent from behind the arc over his three seasons.
"I'm labeled as a shooter, so I think I can shoot the ball pretty well. I use that to my advantage," Hauser said. "I have a pretty good mid-post game. On the defensive end, I hold my own. I do what I'm told and I'm gonna' play hard. I like to rebound, but I just try to make the winning plays when it matters."
After sitting out last year, the 6-foot-8-inch forward will slot in as one of Virginia's most experienced players when the season begins.
He said he's ready to help fill the leadership roles left by departing seniors Braxton Key and Mamadi Diakite.
"At Marquette, I was looked at as a leader and captain, so I have that experience of being that and I think I can bring a lot to the table, in terms of this coming year," Hauser said. "I think this year, it was just good for me to really just compete in practice and lead that way, really lead by example. I think next year, I'll have to be more vocal."
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