CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Dean and Markel Families Men’s Head Basketball Coach Tony Bennett announced Monday (April 25) the addition of forward Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) to the Cavaliers’ program.
Vander Plas has signed a financial aid agreement and is transferring to Virginia after playing four seasons at Ohio University.
“We are excited to add Ben to the Virginia basketball family,” Bennett said. “Ben brings valuable experience, leadership and production to our team. He had an outstanding four-year career at Ohio University, and we look forward to having him join our program.”
Vander Plas amassed 1,572 points and 758 rebounds in 122 career games at Ohio. In 2021-22, Vander Plas averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds en route to All-Mid-American first-team honors. He shot 45.7 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from 3-point range for the Bobcats (25-10). Vander Plas earned a spot on the 2021-22 Academic All-America® Division I Men’s Basketball Team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and was named the Division I Academic All-America® of the Year.
Ben Vander Plas highlights
He is a three-time All-MAC honoree and four-time Academic All-MAC member. Vander Plas arrives at UVA with an undergraduate degree in communications and master’s degrees in sport administration and management. He sports a career 3.96 GPA and is a three-time Academic All-District® Men’s Basketball Team selection.
As a redshirt junior in 2020-21, Vander Plas had a game-high 17 points as No. 13 seed Ohio upset No. 4 seed Virginia 62-58 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2021. Vander Plas earned All-MAC third-team honors after averaging 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 33.8 percent from 3-point range. He was named Academic All-MAC, Academic All-District and Academic All-America with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Vander Plas also earned the 2021 MAC Medal of Excellence award.
In 2019-20, Vander Plas earned All-MAC third-team honors after ranking second at Ohio in scoring (15.7 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.9 rpg). He shot 49.2 percent from the field and scored in double figures in 27 of 31 games. Vander Plas scored 20 or more points seven times and had seven double figure rebounding games.
In 2018-19, Vander Plas averaged 8.6 points, 6.8 rebounds in 31 games. He was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team and named MAC Freshman of the Year. Vander Plas redshirted the 2017-18 season due to a leg injury suffered prior to the start of the season.
“I am very excited to be a part of the basketball family at Virginia,” Vander Plas said. “The program has a great history of success, and I am looking forward to being able to contribute to continuing that success. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to play for Coach Bennett and his staff and continue to grow as a person and player this next year. There is a great group of guys in that locker room, and I can’t wait to get to Charlottesville and start working with them.”
Vander Plas is a 2017 graduate of Ripon High School where he averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.8 steals over 70 career games under his father and head coach Dean Vander Plas. His father was a college teammate of Tony Bennett under Tony Bennett’s father, Dick Bennett, at Green Bay from 1989-91. Ben Vander Plas’ full given name is Bennett as a tribute to the Bennett family.