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Inside the Numbers: Better shooting, solid D key UVA

uva basketball#23 UVA held Pitt to 42 points on Saturday, but Cavs fans might have noticed improved production on the other end of the floor.

Virginia shot a modest 43.5 percent in the win, but was 11-of-22 from three-point range, a nice output from long-range for a third straight game.

The ‘Hoos hit on 10-of-24 from three-point range in the 53-43 win over #5 UNC on Monday, and 11-of-16 in the 70-55 win at N.C. State last weekend.

That’s a cool 53.2 percent from the bonusphere (33-of-62), after UVA had shot an abysmal 18-of-78 (23.1 percent) over the course of the four-game losing streak that had threatened to put the Cavs’ 2016-2017 season on the kibosh.

So the shooting touch is back, after all that wailing and gnashing of teeth about how Virginia was playing tired, was finally starting to feel the effects of the dismissal of projected starting four Austin Nichols, and more fundamentally the notion from some of the message-board set that maybe the mover-blocker offense favored by coach Tony Bennett needed to become a thing of the past.

One thing that never was at question, even during the losing streak, was the effort on the defensive end. Virginia’s four opponents scored 1.023 points per possession, which would have ranked the Cavs D fourth in the 15-team ACC in that span.

Since, yeah, we’ve seen classic UVA defense, maybe historically classic. State, UNC and Pitt have scored 140 points in 120 minutes over the past eight days, at a rate of 0.800 points per possession.

For more perspective, the opponents in question aren’t exactly chopped liver – UNC is fourth nationally (of the 351 D1 teams) in adjusted offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com, scoring 1.215 points per possession, with N.C. State 36th (1.138) and Pitt 46th (1.129).

So, yeah. Good D against good offensive teams, and improving shooting.


#1 with a bullet

The recent run has Virginia a clear #1 nationally in defensive efficiency per KenPom.com, surrendering 0.857 points per possession (South Carolina is a distant second, allowing 0.876 points per possession).

Virginia has done its work against the nation’s sixth-toughest schedule according to KenPom.com, with its opponents ranking ninth in adjusted offensive efficiency (South Carolina has played the 45th toughest schedule, and its opponents rank 49th in adjusted offensive efficiency).


Perrantes back on track

Remember when London Perrantes was stinking up the joint? Glad to see that movie is over.

Perrantes was 8-of-12 from the field and 4-of-6 from three-point range on Saturday to post a game-high 22 points in his last game at JPJ.

Over his last three, Perrantes has averaged 17.0 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field (17-of-34) and 52.6 percent shooting from three-point range (10-of-19).

He also has 17 assists and just two turnovers in 103 minutes on the floor in that span.

Back in the four-game losing streak, LP put in 13.0 points per game, shooting 27.6 percent from the field (16-of-58) and 17.9 percent from three (5-of-28), with nine assists and seven turnovers.

Just a rough patch.

Column by Chris Graham

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