Tinsley progressing in first UVA preseason

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Brianna Tinsley is still wearing her familiar No. 1, though she has traded her St. Anne's-Belfield basketball jersey for the orange-and-blue of Virginia.

The Madison County native was a three-time VISAA all-state first-team selection for the Saints. She averaged 15.2 points, 3.9 assists and 3.9 steals in her STAB career.

Now Tinsley is a first-year guard at UVA, with her first college basketball game set for Friday night at No. 7 Mississippi State. UVA head coach Joanne Boyle said this week that Tinsley is "coming along" in her first preseason with the Cavaliers.

"She had a bright spot, a couple bright spots in the scrimmages, and I think for her it's a learning curve," Boyle said. "She's coming in at a very significant position. It's not as though she's coming in as the fourth wing. She's got to come in and be vocal and lead a team when she's in there. So it's always harder for a point guard to do that."

Breyana Mason had been a constant at that point guard spot for Boyle's teams the past three seasons. Mason started all 98 of UVA's games the past three years, and led the Wahoos in both points (10.3) and minutes (35.2) per game, as well as assists (92) as a senior last season.

Boyle plans to split up those point guard duties this season, with Tinsley in the mix at the position along with sophomore Dominique Toussaint and senior J'Kyra Brown. In practices, Tinsley has been able to learn behind those two more experienced teammates.

"Definitely she's progressing," Boyle said. "I mean no doubt, every day you see a little more."

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