Live Blog: #3 UVA faces Syracuse in ACC Tuesday hoops action

uva syracuseAFP editor Chris Graham leads our live blog as #3 UVA (14-1, 3-0 ACC) faces Syracuse (12-4, 1-3 ACC) Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Charlottesville.

Broadcast Information

  • The Virginia-Syracuse contest will be televised on the ACC Network and streamed on ACC Network Extra (ESPN3.com) and ESPN App, and broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network, VirginiaSports.com and Virginia Athletics mobile app on iTunes or Android.
  • Live statistics will be located on VirginiaSports.com and the Virginia Sports app.

Players to watch: Syracuse

  • Tyus Battle leads Syracuse with 19.5 points per game, shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from three-point range.
  • Franklin Howard averages 15.4 points per game, a team-best 37.7 percent from three-point range, and a team-best 5.8 assists per game. Howard is also turnover-prone, coughing up 4.2 turnovers per game.
  • Oshae Brissett averages 15.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, and gets to the line a lot (6.9 free-throw attempts per game), and shoots 78.4 percent from the line. Notably, he also shoots just 33.5 percent from the field.

Players to watch: Virginia

  • Kyle Guy is Virginia’s leading scorer, at 14.9 points per game, shooting 42.8 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from three-point range.
  • Devon Hall averages 11.9 points per game, shooting 47.3 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from three-point range.
  • Isaiah Wilkins averages 6.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, and leads the ACC in defensive rating (76.9).

Keys to the game

  • Patience against the Syracuse zone: You’re not going to beat the 2-3 by passing the ball around the perimeter and shooting jumpers. That’s what Boeheim wants you to do. The key is getting an entry pass to the foul line area, and having the player in that role kick it out to the wing to an open shooter, find a big cutting back door toward the hoop, or knocking down the open 12- to 15-foot jumper. Easier said than done, of course. Anthony Gill was good at this on past Virginia teams. Isaiah Wilkins has the shooting and passing ability to fill this role offensively on this year’s squad.
  • Make ‘Cuse earn it on their end: The Orange shoot 42.9 percent from the floor as a team (269thnationally) and 31.5 percent from three-point range (303rd nationally). Key to their ability to score is their ability to get to the line (KenPom.com has Syracuse 35th nationally in the free-throw attempt to field-goal attempt ratio line item). Again, easier said than done, but you know going in that Syracuse likes its guards on dribble-drives forcing contact and getting to the line, so you respond accordingly.
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