Inside the Numbers: #2 UVA races past up-tempo Thundering Herd

UVA basketballMarshall actually goaded UVA into playing its pace, which, that never happens.

Each team had 72 possessions in Virginia’s 100-64 win on Monday. The Thundering Herd came in averaging just under 77 possessions per game; the ‘Hoos had averaged a shade over 60.

“They are a unique team in terms of how they space the floor and some of the shots that they will take, so you have to be ready,” UVA coach Tony Bennett said.

The extra possessions are why you saw two unusual numbers in the final score. First, the 100 for the Cavaliers, their most ever under Bennett; and the 64 for Marshall, only the second game this season in which a Virginia opponent scored more than 60.

Even with that output, Marshall averaged 0.889 points per possession, a smidge above the 0.877 that Virginia has been allowing opponents.

On offense, Virginia scored 1.389 points per possession, the second-best showing this season.

UVA averaged 1.515 points per possession in the 97-40 win over Coppin State on Nov. 16.

“I think we did well in the stretches, even defensively they force you to make plays off the bounce, they channel you to the hoop and overload it,” Bennett said. “It was some solid basketball, we had our moments where we had some lapses, if you look at the turnovers you can pick out some things, but overall, we played well enough and got a nice a lift and Kyle [Guy] was really shooting the cover off the ball. That was really sweet to see.”

Guy: The man

Guy had 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting, 7-of-9 from three-point range, and a season-high 182 offensive rating, according to KenPom.com.

The 6’2” junior made his last seven shots from the field, five of them threes.

“I think for us, we never really feel out of rhythm,” Guy said. “Maybe our shots aren’t going in, but we know that there are other ways we can impact the game. Especially for me, if I know my shots aren’t falling, then his shots are going to fall. I try to find him and vice versa.”

Guy also had eight rebounds, a career-high.

The 30 points and seven made threes: also career highs.

Speaking of career-highs

Actually, no, it wasn’t a career night for Jay Huff, who had 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting in 13 minutes.

Huff, a redshirt sophomore, had 16 points in his first game as a freshman – a 93-49 win over Austin Peay in November 2017.

It just felt like a career night for the 7’1” Huff, whose playing time has been hit-or-miss, mostly miss, this season.

Huff had played six minutes total in Virginia’s last three games, and has logged double-digit minutes just four times in 12 games this season.

“I think he presents some challenges for the other team with his ability to stretch it,” Bennett said of Huff, who is 3-of-6 from three-point range this season. “I don’t think he hit a three today, but his length, that’s a valuable experience for him. As I’ve said all along, he shows flashes, he’s got to continue to become more consistent, and sometimes that’s the best way to be out there in those situations.”

Yes, he does. Bennett had been going with a seven-man rotation of late, but it’s hard to imagine that going seven-man is going to get the job done for an extended period in ACC play and then into tournament time in March.

“As I’ve said, we’ve got our seven-man rotation we’re looking at establishing, is there an eight or a nine in the process? Jay has done some good things, that was good experience for him today,” Bennett said.

Column by Chris Graham

 
augusta free press

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