Inside the Numbers: A step forward for Virginia?

uva basketballVirginia shot 57.7 percent in the first half, led by 11 just before the break, and then, well, you knew what was going to happen.

A 15-3 Navy run over a more than 11-minute stretch put the Midshipmen in the lead.

Yeah, yeah, the Cavaliers responded with a 12-0 run to take the lead and went on to win, 65-56.

But this one felt like another step back for a team still struggling to find its identity with ACC play proper beginning next week.

“We had a couple uncharacteristic things. It’s some of the inexperience showing, you want to be assertive you want to look, you’d like to penetrate, you’d like to get aggressive stuff, and you just feel a little of that uneasiness, which is part again of inexperience,” UVA coach Tony Bennett said.

It’s odd to say, aside from that 11-minute stretch, but, yeah, aside from that 11-minute stretch, this was the best Virginia has played offensively this season.

The ‘Hoos scored 37 in the first half, connecting on 15-of-26 from the field and 5-of-10 from three, to go into the break up eight.

But they were still stuck on 40 inside of 10 minutes to go, beset by missed shots, turnovers, general sloppy, uninspired play.

And then, in a flash, it was back.

UVA scored 25 points in the final 9:09, scoring on 11 of its last 15 possessions.

But, that first 11 minutes. There were seven turnovers among everything else, after a pretty clean first half – just one turnover in the first 20 minutes.

“Some of those turnovers cost us,” Bennett said.

Navy had eight points off turnovers in the second half, so, yeah, the turnovers cost Virginia.

But, credit where credit is due, the Cavaliers were able to move past it.

Kihei Clark came back from an awful game in the loss to South Carolina last week – seven turnovers – to put up 13 assists against two turnovers on Sunday.

“This was a good game for me to get a good assist-to-turnover ratio,” said Clark, who also 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting in 39 minutes. “I thought I did a better job of taking care of the ball, and my teammates were knocking down shots, which made it easy to get assists.”

Virginia finished 8-of-19 from three-point range, with Casey Morsell connecting on 2-of-6 from long-range, and Tomas Woldetensae going 2-for-4.

Woldentensae, in particular, may be coming around. The JUCO transfer is 8-of-15 from three-point range over his last four games.

There’s an awful lot to still figure out with this group.

“There are a lot of things we can always improve on, but at the same time, I think we are where we need to be in terms of coming together and knowing what we need to do,” forward Jay Huff said. “I think today was a good example of that. We put a lot of stuff together, and we need to make sure we keep that up. There were times in the huddle where, rather than pointing fingers and asking what happened, we knew what we did, and in the second half we tightened it up.”

Story by Chris Graham



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

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 available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.