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Boring? Virginia breaking mold with offensive ouput

uva-basketballVirginia basketball, according to sports jacket-wearing radio weanie Colin Cowherd, is, oh, so, boring.

UVA apologists would say, but you have to watch it to appreciate it. The efficiency numbers are solid, and, you know.

Didn’t matter. The bean counters like Cowherd can’t comprehend much more than final scores. (As if they actually watch games.)

It takes the ‘Hoos dropping 86 on Villanova in a win to get your attention.

Villanova coach Jay Wright: consider your attention got.

“I really think they are,” Wright answered a reporter who asked if he thinks the Cavs are underrated offensively.

His top 20 defense had just allowed Virginia to shoot 56.5 percent from the floor, 8-of-12 from three and score 1.45 points per possession.

Consider Jay Wright a convert.

“When you add [Darius] Thompson making shots like that, [Devon] Hall making threes, that is a dangerous team. [Anthony] Gill is just a beast. He is as efficient as anyone I’ve seen in a while in the post area,” Wright said.

Gill scored 22 points on nine shots from the floor. Malcolm Brogdon scored 20 points on eight shots from the floor, and added six assists.

Brogdon was the difference for Virginia, according to Wright, who said his team’s inability to guard Brogdon was its undoing.

“Early, we were trying to contain him so we could take away threes. We did a good job in the first half. And then they made an adjustment and had him just start driving the ball,” Wright said. “We couldn’t contain him, so we started leaving shooters to help. And when we left shooters, there is a way you can leave shooters to help and still get back to the shooter. Every time we were overaggressive on leaving shooters, he found [London] Perrantes, and bang. When we got down and we double-teamed, they reversed the ball, and bang.

“That is what good teams do. It was choosing your poison there.”

Brogdon and Perrantes flipped roles Saturday – Brogdon initiating the offense, Perrantes finishing.

The junior point guard had 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and 6-of-7 shooting at the line, and he was able to create on a couple of key late-shot-clock possessions.

“He knows when to step up and be assertive,” UVA coach Tony Bennett said. “He did it against West Virginia in the second half. He made some big plays getting to the paint and hitting his threes.”

When your top three scorers combined for 61 points on 27 shots from the floor, you’re going to win a lot of games.

And yes, Virginia is once again looking solid in the stat-geek numbers. KenPom.com has the Cavs ranked #1 in the nation in offensive efficiency.

But you’re only noticing it now because the scores are reflecting a team with high offensive output.

Saturday was the sixth time in 10 games that the ‘Hoos scored 80 or more. Virginia has two such efforts all last season, and one has an asterisk beside it, since the 89 points in the win at Miami in January came with the aid of two overtime periods.

Might the Colin Cowherds of the world still think Virginia boring? Probably not. All they do is look at scores, and the needle is moving there.

– Column by Chris Graham