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Inside the Numbers: Breaking down #4 Virginia defeat to San Francisco

A tale of two Jay Huffs

jay huff
Jay Huff protects the rim against San Francisco. Photo credit: Johnnie Izquierdo / Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

Virginia is better when it has Angry Jay Huff on the floor.

You know that Jay Huff: the one stuffing Vernon Carey Jr. to clinch the Duke win, missing a triple-double by one rebound.

Today, Virginia got Nice Jay Huff.

He shot the ball from the floor twice.

Twice (!).

It looked like Tony Bennett, in the timeout ahead of the one-and-one miss, set up the play to run to Huff.

Kihei Clark dribble-penetrated deep into the lane for the kickout to Huff at the top of the key, a play you’ve seen those two guys run a hundred times.

Huff had daylight, but he hesitated – maybe because he’d missed badly from the corner with 2:30 to go.

He passed it up, for Sam Hauser off a down screen, and a contested fadeaway three.

It’s one thing to be democratic, give the ball to your best shooter.

The better shot is Huff, his momentum going forward, on a pitch-and-catch.

Angry Jay Huff takes that shot and growls after sinking it.

Nice Jay Huff is … a great human being, but there’s a reason he barely saw the floor for three seasons, and it ain’t because he can’t ball.

How about McKoy, Beekman?

Postgames after a loss tend to be funereal, but, OK, we’re still talking about the reigning, defending champs here.

Every game is important, but the important games are in March and April.

We know this.

So, let’s take this opportunity to praise two young’uns for getting some valuable minutes Friday.

First, Justin McKoy, a three-star recruit who averaged 7.4 minutes a game in 14 games a year ago.

He’s started both games on our young season to date, and Friday, he showed why Bennett has been high on him.

McKoy, whose profile pic is in the dictionary beside the word motor, had 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including a three – he didn’t even attempt a three last season – to go with six rebounds, and a team-best plus-minus of +8 in 18 minutes.

His metrics were solid – a team-best +7.4 net points, an efficiency rating of 13, tied for second-best on the team on the day, and an 8.1 game score, also second-best on the team on the day.

Best in terms of metrics was Beekman, the heralded (#51 in the ESPN 100) four-star point-guard recruit, who looks to be not just the future, but the present, for Bennett in the backcourt.

Beekman had 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a three, in 27 minutes – for a team-best efficiency rating of 15 and a team-best game score of 9.1.

Sophomore Casey Morsell has been getting the starts alongside Clark in the backcourt, but it will soon be time to insert Beekman into the starting lineup, if only to accede to the reality that Beekman is too good to keep on the sidelines for too long.

What is up with Clark on D?

Kihei Clark earned minutes coming out of camp his freshman year two years ago because of his defense.

Which is why it’s a shock to see him getting utterly exploited the past two games.

Per StatBroadcast, Clark has been responsible for a team-high 21.9 points through the first two games – that’s 19 percent of the points allowed through two games.

Then you look at numbers from Synergy Sports, and you see what’s going on.

First, pick-and-roll. Per Synergy, Clark’s guys have been 6-of-6 on ball-handlers shooting coming off pick-and-rolls.

The rest of the team has forced 11 misses on 14 such offensive plays.

Spot up: Clark’s guys are 4-of-8. The rest of the team has allowed eight makes on 27 spot-up shots.

Overall, Clark’s guys are 11-of-17 from the floor (64.7 percent).

The rest of the team has allowed 30 makes on 94 shots (31.9 percent)

It all works out to 1.56 points per possession against Clark, which for a team that is allowing .833 points per possession is … noticeable.

Then you factor in that his offensive PPP is .762 – shooting 4-of-11 from the floor, with six turnovers and a ghastly 23.8 percent turnover rate …

Yeah. Work to do.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press