Inside the Numbers: Breaking down UVA 2019 NCAA Tournament seeding

UVA basketballOK, so, we know what happened last year, when UVA was the overall #1 national seed.

No 1 will ever overlook a 16 again. Guaranteed.

What, then, must we know about Gardner-Webb heading into Friday in Columbia, S.C.?

They’re pretty good.

The Bulldogs were 2-1 in ACC play in 2018-2019, defeating Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, and losing in early November at Virginia Tech.

Gardner-Webb also lost in OT to Furman, a team you heard talked about as a possible tourney at-large team, and lost by 12 to VCU, which is an 8 seed, and led the ‘Hoos late in a December game in JPJ.

Breathe.

They’re not big: no one in the rotation is over 6’6”.

Average height, per KenPom.com: 6’3”, 345th nationally among the 353 teams in D-1.

The key guy for the ‘Dogs: David Efianayi, a 6’2” senior, who scores 18.3 points a game, on 48.9 percent shooting from the floor, 41.4 percent from three.

Jose Perez, a 6’5” freshman, averages 15.1 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, shooting 44.2 percent from the floor and 36.8 percent from three.

The third guy in G-W’s Big Three is DJ Laster, a 6’6”, 230-pound senior, who averages 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds, and shoots 56 percent from the floor, and can hit the three – shooting 45.1 percent from long-range – though he doesn’t shoot much from beyond the arc (1.5 attempts a game).

 


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Coach Tim Craft’s rotation goes eight deep, with seven of those averaging double-digits in minutes.

The Bulldogs play at a sort of medium pace – 67.1 possessions per game, and are slightly better on offense (107.5 points/100 possessions, 111th in D-1, according to KenPom.com) than on defense (108.2 points/100 possessions, 253rd in D-1).

Last thing: this team is about as hot as you can be as a 16 seed, winning eight of its last nine, including two road games in the Big South Tournament, at regular-season champ Campbell and runner-up Radford, to get here.

They’re not going to be an easy out.

Story by Chris Graham

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 now available at a special pre-sale discounted price of $20. The book is expected to ship by May 15, 2019, and expected to retail for $25.
Pre-order for $20: click here.


The book, with additional reporting by Scott Ratcliffe and Zach Pereles, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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