Inside the Numbers: Bench key in Virginia NCAA Tournament win

virginia basketballMalcolm Brogdon had 22, Anthony Gill had 19, but it’s safe to say that Virginia would not be playing next week in Chicago without the contributions of its bench.

Marial Shayok had his second double-digit scoring game off the bench in Raleigh, scoring 12 Saturday night on 4-of-9 shooting in 25 minutes, largely taking minutes from Isaiah Wilkins as UVA coach Tony Bennett went to a four-guard lineup to counter Butler’s four-guard lineup.

Mike Tobey had 10 points in just nine minutes off the bench, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, with two offensive-rebound stickbacks.

UVA had a 22-7 advantage in points off the bench. Butler actually had a slight advantage in bench minutes, 47-43, as Bennett and Butler coach Chris Holtmann cut their rotations down.


Boring ol’ UVA can’t score

The first half went according to a script that Colin Cowherd would have written, with Virginia trailing Butler 25-23 at the break.

Cowherd and the other blowhards would have to then explain the Golden State-like second half in which UVA scored 54 points on 73.1 percent shooting.

Virginia started the half 12-of-13, and despite shooting just 20 percent from three for the game (2-for-10) still connected on 55.8 percent from the floor on the night.


Another game where Virginia outscores, not stops, opponent

Virginia beat a good Villanova team in December despite giving up 75, beat a good North Carolina team in February despite giving up 74, and beat a good Butler team Saturday night despite giving up 69.

This team can beat you its way (holding Hampton to 45 on Thursday), and can beat you your way (Butler scored 1.078 points per possession).


Minutes watch

It doesn’t matter much, because the Cavs don’t play again until Friday, but Brogdon went 39, Perrantes 38, Gill 34, Devon Hall got 30, and Shayok 25 off the bench.

Story by Chris Graham

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is now available at a special pre-sale discounted price of $20. The book is expected to ship by May 15, 2019, and expected to retail for $25.
Pre-order for $20: click here.

The book, with additional reporting by Scott Ratcliffe and Zach Pereles, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
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