Inside the Numbers: #1 UVA builds depth in win at BC

uva basketballThe best thing about the UVA win at Boston College last night: it wasn’t the usual suspects doing their thing.

Mamadi Diakite was the key guy in the 83-56 win, scoring 18 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the floor, and pulling down seven rebounds in 25 minutes.

Diakite has been averaging 9.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game over his last five, shooting 64.7 percent from the floor in that span.

Good stuff, there.

Also having a big game: De’Andre Hunter.

Now, you’re supposed to expect that, but Hunter, despite being the second-leading scorer for Virginia this season, has been up and down.

And lately, he had been down: averaging 9.8 points per game on 32.4 percent shooting in the five games coming into last night.

So, his 18-point, 6-of-11 shooting game was a nice bounceback, and hopefully a harbinger of things to come.

One other nice game to highlight: Braxton Key.

Key is the, you know, key guy on this team, to me. Tony Bennett calls his him swiss-army knife. He can guard the wing, the post, can score inside, can bring the ball up the floor and distribute.

Last night, Key had nine points, on 4-of-5 shooting, in 27 minutes, and a game-high nine rebounds, along with two assists.

Over his last five, Key is averaging 10 points a game, on 65.5 percent shooting, and 5.8 rebounds per game.

He’s also averaging 23.4 minutes per game off the bench over that stretch.

Hot shooting

Virginia shot 60 percent from the floor at BC (33-of-55). It was the second time this season that the ‘Hoos shot 60 percent or better. The other: the 97-40 win over Coppin State on Nov. 16, in which UVA shot 60.3 percent from the field (35-of-58).

Tempo

Remember that Marshall game? Of course you do. Virginia scored 100 in that game.

That one also had a 76-possession pace, which is absurd for a team averaging 60.8 possessions per game, 353rd, and dead-last, in the nation.

The last two have been more Virginia-like. The win over Florida State last week, and last night’s win at BC, both were 63-possession affairs.

Column by Chris Graham

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