Advice: Don’t try to out-Virginia Virginia

virginia basketballOakland coach Greg Kampe knows as well as anybody how Virginia coach Tony Bennett beats you.

Bennett, with his Pack-Line defense, and Mover/Blocker offense, makes you beat him at what his team does best.

Oakland is a case in point. The Golden Grizzlies averaged 88.4 points per game heading into Wednesday’s game with the Cavaliers, but Kampe decided beforehand that his team’s best chance to win was to try to out-Virginia Virginia.

“We really wanted to play their game and not ours. I thought if we played our game it wouldn’t go well,” Kampe said after Oakland’s 71-58 loss.

The 58-point output was by far the lowest for the Grizz this season, and the 64 possessions were 12 off their season average.

It doesn’t seem to make sense to try to beat a team at its own game, but that’s what Kampe thought was his best shot.

“Their coach and program are so good that nobody is going to come here and run up and down the floor on them. We decided, Let’s guard them,” Kampe said.

This isn’t to say that Virginia is unbeatable, obviously, but there’s a reason the ‘Hoos are 71-12 since the start of the 2013-2014 season, Bennett’s fifth in Charlottesville.

The Oakland game is again a case in point there. Virginia trailed by one at the half after shooting just 33.3 percent from the floor, but it wasn’t as much what Oakland was doing as it was shots just not falling.

“They have a system, and they never got rattled,” Kampe said. “We took stuff away in the first half, and we did what we had to do. That’s why they only had 28 points and their shooting wasn’t good. But they didn’t go away from their system.”

Importance choice of words there. Kampe emphasized it later in his press conference.

“That is why they are so good. They have a system and they stick with it. Teams that are not good panic and go away,” Kampe said.

– Story by Chris Graham


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