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Game Notes: Virginia travels to NC State for key ACC matchup

uva basketball
Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Virginia (11-7, 5-3 ACC) travels to NC State (9-10, 2-6 ACC) for an ACC contest on Saturday. Tipoff at PNC Arena is set for 4 p.m.

Broadcast Information

  • The Virginia-NC State game will be televised on ACC Network and streamed online at WatchESPN.com and ESPN App.
  • The game will also be broadcast on Virginia Sports Radio Network, VirginiaSports.com and Virginia Sports app.
  • Live statistics will be available on VirginiaSports.com and Virginia Sports app.

Virginia Notes

  • The Cavaliers play defense, take good shots, share and take care of the basketball, rebound, and play more defense.
  • UVA is led by its returning backcourt of Kihei Clark (9.1 ppg & 4 apg) and Reece Beekman (8.1 ppg, 4.8 apg, 3.6 rpg & 2.2 spg), and the additions of transfers Jayden Gardner (14 ppg & 7 rpg) and Armaan Franklin (12.2 ppg).
  • The Cavaliers added transfers Gardner (East Carolina) and Franklin (Indiana) to fill the void left by standouts Sam Hauser (16 ppg), Jay Huff (13 ppg) and Trey Murphy III (11.3 ppg).
  • Gardner averaged 18.5 points and 8.9 rebounds in 79 career games at East Carolina, while Franklin averaged 11.4 points and shot 42.5 percent from 3-point range in 2020-21.
  • Kadin Shedrick (6.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg & 2.7 bpg) and Francisco Caffaro (4.1 ppg & 3.6 rpg) anchor the paint. Shedrick started the first 16 games, while Caffaro has started the last two contests.
  • Kody Stattmann (35.5% 3FGs), Taine Murray (42.1% 3FGs), Igor Miliĉić Jr. (36.4% 3FGs) and Carson McCorkle (33.3% 3FGs) provide perimeter depth.

NC State Notes

  • Get back to the foul line. NC State has attempted the 10th most free throws in NCAA DI this season with 377 (19.8 attempts per game), but has attempted just 25 in the last three games. NC State attempted 77 more free throws than its opponents in non-conference play, but in ACC play, the Pack’s opponents have attempted 24 more free throws than the Pack.
  • NC State has made 40 steals in the last four games (after only posting 25 in its first four ACC games) and now ranks third in steals (8.0) and fourth in turnover margin at +3.16 in conference play.
  • Saturday’s matchup is of two teams that value the basketball. UVA ranks second in the ACC and 17th in the NCAA in turnovers per game at 10.1 per game. NC State ranks fourth in the ACC and 21st in the NCAA with an average of 10.3 turnovers per game.
  • Casey Morsell getting back to it. The UVA transfer started the season by averaging 12.3 points per game in the Pack’s first eight games of the season. He injured his ankle in the Pack’s four overtime win over Nebraska and missed NC State’s next two games. Since returning to the lineup, Morsell struggled on the offensive end, but had his best game since returning on Wednesday night when he scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-4 from long-range. Wednesday’s double scoring effort was the fifth of the season for Morsell. He only had four double-digit scoring performances in 53 games with the Cavaliers. The Ft. Washington, Md., native also tied his career-high with three steals against the Hokies on Wednesday and now has eight steals in the last four games after only having seven steals in the first 13 games of the season.
  • Smith is not shy: Freshman guard Terquavion Smith has shot at least nine three-pointers in seven of the Pack’s last eight games. He only attempted nine or more three-pointers in one of the Pack’s first 11 games this season. In conference games, Smith leads the ACC in three-pointers made per game at 3.5 and ranks 10th in three-point field goal percentage at 38.4 percent. If you take out Smith’s two off games (vs. Clemson and at Duke) where he shot a combined 1-of-16 from downtown, the Greenville, N.C. native is shooting 47.3 percent from downtown in his other six ACC games.

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