Inside the Numbers: #19 UVA flips the script in win at Clemson
So much for the script for a Cavs win, right?
The Tigers, for their part, shot 50 percent from the floor, and scored 1.141 points per possession, well above the .902 points per possession that Virginia was allowing opponents coming in.
So there’s one flip to the script.
Another: UVA had 16 turnovers, well above its 9.4 per game season average coming in, and Clemson turned the miscues into points, outscoring the Cavs 23-11 in the points off turnovers category.
The turnovers also helped Tigers rack up 10 fast-break points, which feels like a season’s worth, for the religious UVA basketball observers out there.
So you could look at the numbers and say, Wow, Virginia shot the lights out and only won by four, bad news.
Or you could look at it and say, Clemson shot 50 percent, forced 16 turnovers, had a 42-16 advantage in points in the paint, and lost at home.
Half-empty or half-full. I’m going with half-full, because you don’t look road wins in the ACC in the mouth, and Virginia has two of them now.
Game MVP: Marial Shayok
With apologies to LP, Shayok was the difference-maker on Saturday. He had 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting, and played a team-high 36 minutes.
It was the fourth double-digit scoring game in a row for the 6’5” junior, who is averaging 14.5 points a game on 53.3 percent shooting in the stretch.
Shayok is the key to this team’s success. His ability to create his own shot off the dribble in the mid-range and to get to the rim is a perfect complement to Perrantes, who has himself flourished (18.8 points per game, 54.3 percent shooting over the last four) as Shayok’s level of play has ratcheted up of late.
UVA’s bigs played a combined 59 minutes, meaning coach Tony Bennett went four-guard for roughly 21 minutes.
The only post player to contribute anything of note was Isaiah Wilkins, who had eight points on 4-of-7 shooting and a game-high 13 rebounds in 31 minutes.
Jack Salt had two points and two rebounds in 18 minutes before fouling out.
Jared Reuter got in for just three minutes, had his only shot blocked, committed two fouls and had a turnover.
Mamadi Diakite got seven minutes of PT, scoring a point (1-of-2 at the line), snaring one rebound and committing three fouls.
Diakite has looked out of sorts since the start of ACC play, and his minutes have been steadily decreasing of late, from 18 minutes in the home loss to Florida State on Dec. 31 to 11 minutes in the loss at Pitt on Jan. 4, to 10 in the home win over Wake last week and the seven at Clemson today.
Good news: No more Jaron Blossomgame
Unless we see him in Brooklyn, anyway.
Blossomgame had 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting Saturday. That actually represented a slight downtick from what he did to Virginia last year, when he averaged 27 points a game in two narrow UVA wins.
Good riddance, and good luck in the NBA.
Compiled by Chris Graham