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April 13, 2010
4:28 p.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — UVa guard Mustapha Farrakhan, who stands 6-4, played at a slender 175 pounds this season.

His lack of bulk can make it difficult for Farrakhan to match up with the ACC’s bigger perimeter players, as he was reminded during Virginia’s games against Boston College, whose wings include 6-6, 218-pound Corey Raji and 6-5, 228-pound Rakim Sanders.

And so, as Farrakhan embarks on his final offseason at UVa, he’d like to add some solid weight.

“He’s a very lean guy, and I think the Boston College game sort of made him think that he needed to add a little more size,” said Mike Curtis, the strength-and-conditioning coach for men’s basketball.

“So that’ll be a goal for him, but at the same time we have to make sure that what we’re putting on is functional mass, because his biggest asset is his athleticism. To put on non-functional mass is going to be a disservice to him, so we’ll just have to go through that process this summer: a metamorphosis in terms of his body that allows him to gain some weight but doesn’t take away what has made him what he is, which is his quickness and explosiveness.”

Like UVa center Assane Sene, Farrakhan is not naturally a big eater, and the rising senior from Harvey, Ill., needs to be educated, Curtis said, about “those nutritional things that are going to help him make the gains that he has to make.”

As a junior this season, Farrakhan averaged 6.5 points, 2 assists and 1.7 rebounds. He shot 31.1 percent from 3-point range and 78.3 percent from the line.

Farrakhan has played in 72 games for the Cavaliers, the most of any guard who’ll return for Tony Bennett in 2010-11.

Jeff White

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