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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.
 
Discussion
  • Keys to the game: UVA
    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 attacking.

  • 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).

  • The ‘Hoos (14-1, 3-0 ACC) lead the nation in defensive efficiency, allowing .844 points per possession, according to KenPom.com.

  • Syracuse (12-4, 1-2 ACC) ranks 11th on that metric, allowing .922 points per possession.

  • Syracuse ranks 345th nationally in adjusted tempo, at 64.2 possessions per game. Virginia is dead last, 351st, playing to 60.5 possessions per game.

  • This year’s Orange goes big across all five positions – 6’5” Frank Howard, 6’6” Tyus Battle, 6’8” Oshae Brissett, 6’8” Matthew Moyer and 7’2” Paschal Chukwu getting the bulk of the minutes, with 6’9” Marek Dolezaj the primary guy off the bench.

  • ‘Cuse has won the last two in the series, including a 66-62 win in the Carrier Dome last February, and the 68-62 win in the Elite Eight in 2016 that many Virginia fans will never get over.

  • It is said of up-tempo teams that an upcoming game might very well resemble a track meet. Tuesday’s ACC clash between #3 Virginia and Syracuse might better be made akin to Greco-Roman wrestling.

  • Virginia 6, Syracuse 5, 15:51/1st. UVA getting good looks, largely, on offense. Attacking the paint with the high post entry pass to Wilkins well.

  • Syracuse 10, Virginia 7, 11:57/1st. I keep thinking UVA is getting good looks, but the shots aren’t falling. Cavs just 2-of-11 from the floor, 0-of-5 from two, oddly.

  • Syracuse 19, UVA 17, 7:06/1st. DeAndre Hunter has eight points in five minutes off the bench playing the four. Ty Jerome just picked up his second foul. Syracuse is getting a lot of good looks right now.

  • UVA 24, Syracuse 22, 3:00/1st. Nice defense from Cavs in the last stretch. Syracuse has gone 2:25 without a point.

  • DeAndre Hunter has 13 points. UVA leads 29-24, 1:23/1st.

  • Half: Virginia 29, Syracuse 26
    FG UVA 11-27 (40.7%) Cuse 10-26 (38.5%)
    3FG UVA 3-12 Cuse 4-9′
    Rebs Cuse 20-13
    Turnovers Cuse 4 UVA 1
    Howard has 11 for Syracuse. Hunter has 13 to lead UVA. Guy had nine and played all 20 minutes.

  • UVA 35, Syracuse 31, 15:52/2nd. Not good offense coming out of the locker room. No DeAndre Hunter, either.

  • UVA 44, Syracuse 35, 11:57/2nd. Cavs are 4-of-8 from three in the second half. Two threes from Ty Jerome.

  • UVA 50, Syracuse 44, 7:44/2nd. Virginia is 6-of-14 from three and 0-of-4 from two this half.

  • Virginia 54, Syracuse 46, 4:07/2nd. Syracuse has gotten a bit stale on offense of late: made just one of its last seven from the field.

  • UVA 60, Syracuse 50, 2:00 left. Virginia ball, timeout, 20 seconds left on shot clock.

  • 9-0 Syracuse run cuts Virginia lead to 64-59, 29.4 seconds left. More troubles with the press.