Inside the Numbers: UVA gets win, starters get rest
With a 19-point halftime lead that ballooned into the 30s in the second half, top seed UVA was able to get rest for its starters as Thursday’s first-round NCAA Tournament game with Hampton wound down.
“I think it can help the team as a whole a lot,” said senior guard Malcolm Brogdon, who scored a modest 11 points in 28 minutes in the 81-45 Virginia win. “I think rest is the most important thing coming into the tournament. And then, you know, playing these games almost back to back. I think it’s going to help us tremendously get up by a lot, win by a lot and be able to rest our guys.”
Brogdon logged 37 minutes in last year’s first-round NCAA Tournament game, a 79-67 win for a #2 seed Virginia over #15 Belmont.
Three other starters – London Perrantes, Evan Nolte and Anthony Gill – all played 30 or more in the Belmont game.
On Thursday, Perrantes was on the floor the most, at 30 minutes, with Gill at 27 and Devon Hall at 26.
Not only were the starters able to keep the tread fresh on the tires, but the reserves who got more time were able to get some good NCAA Tournament muscle memories going for themselves to be able to maybe build on.
Marial Shayok scored 10 in 12 minutes off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting. Mike Tobey had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting to go with six rebounds in 16 minutes.
Darius Thompson hit two threes in 19 minutes.
Brogdon called the contributions from the Virginia bench “huge.”
“We need our guys to come off the bench to play with confidence going forward,” Brogdon said. “I think most of the time the teams that have the best bench production, whether that’s getting stops or producing on the offensive end, I think they end up winning a lot more games than the teams that don’t.”
D on Chievous, Johnson
UVA coach Tony Bennett was concerned going in about the matchup with Hampton forward Quinton Chievous, who Bennett compared favorably to Clemson first-team All-ACC forward Jaron Blossomgame.
“He’s really quick off the bounce, so we were concerned about that matchup, and he exploited it a little bit,” Bennett said. “Then Isaiah (Wilkins) did a good job, but we had to take advantage of our – I mean, I don’t think it shows too much on the glass, but our size was an advantage, so we tried to go inside, and Anthony did a good job and Mike and some other guys once they got some touches.”
Chievous still got his numbers, scoring 17 on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.
Hampton’s leading scorer, Reginald Johnson Jr., had flashes of brilliance going one-on-one for long stretches against Brogdon, the ACC defensive player of the year, but Johnson’s final numbers were underwhelming: 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting, two assists and three turnovers.
– Story by Chris Graham