CHARLOTTESVILLE - If you look closely, it wouldn't be too difficult to envision London Perrantes on a beach with aviator shades on, catching some sun. He is, after all, from Los Angeles.
"It was a dream of mine since I was a little kid to come out to the east coast and play basketball. I always felt there was better basketball [on the east coast] with the Dukes and the Carolinas, other powerhouses, and being able to play in that same conference is still a dream," the freshman point guard said.
So far he's fitting in quite well.
His head coach Tony Bennett said, "[London] doesn't get sped up. I think you saw that against the pressure we saw against VCU. He has a calm and a poise to him. He has vision. You like that with your guard who has the ball in his hand a lot. He really sees the floor. He's always looking."
This is not to say Perrantes has everything already figured out. He still has things to work on – like his first half man-to-man defense against Liberty guard Davon Marshall – but the good far outweigh the bad at this point in the season.
"I just want to be able to get in and produce, do everything I can to help us win. If that means play 10 minutes and knock down some shots and get assists and keep the turnovers low, that's what point guards are supposed to do," Perrantes explained.
His teammates had nothing but praise for him.
Fellow guard Malcolm Brogdon noted the jump from high school to college can be difficult but said London has adjusted particularly well. "He has a very good IQ of the game, sees plays develop before they're actually there, and is a very good passer. He's consistent for us and I feel as a freshman for us he's stepped into a big role, big shoes to fill behind Jontel [Evans ]and he's done well," Brogdon said.
Forward Darion Atkins added, "He's crafty, shifty, he can shoot the ball, he probes, he pretty much can get it to anyone who he wants to on the court. It's amazing how he creates shots for everyone else. He puts his own unique touch to it. Everyone can see it. He's gifted that way."
With his west coast style and mannerisms Bennett has called him nonchalant at times during practice but Bennett has grown to understand that if Perrantes is on the court, he's ready to play. "I just think that he's a natural leader. He's a freshman but he leads the team so well. He's so composed down the stretch," teammate Anthony Gill said.
Brogdon elaborated, "When the rest of the team is getting riled or getting to up London will be the guy that keeps us level-headed, calm, and consistent.