Inside the Numbers: Brogdon, Gill huge for #3 Virginia

virginia basketballThe crew from ESPN College GameDay looked at the ACC player of the year race as a winner-take-all. Which means Virginia senior Malcolm Brogdon wins, we have to presume.

Brogdon was the difference for Virginia, scoring a game-high 26 on 9-of-16 shooting from the field, pulling down six rebounds and dishing out three assists in 38 minutes in the Cavs’ 79-74 win over UNC on Saturday.

Brogdon was at his best in the first half, hitting on 6-of-8 from the field for 17 points, while Johnson, besieged by UVA’s relentless double teams, had a quiet six on 3-of-5 shooting.

It was obvious that Carolina coach Roy Williams emphasized getting the ball to Johnson in his halftime chalk talk. The senior scored six points in the first 2:43 of the second half, and Virginia got into a quick foul hole trying to defend the onslaught.

And then … crickets.

A missed dunk, a missed front end of a one-and-one and two turnovers was all Johnson had to show for the final 17:17.

Johnson finished with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and seven rebounds, and five turnovers, struggling against the Virginia post-to-post doubles, and wasn’t even the best senior power forward on the floor.

That would have been Anthony Gill, who himself had a quiet first half, four points on 2-of-4 shooting and three rebounds, not getting on the scoreboard until 13 minutes in.

Gill then turned in a scintillating second half, scoring 11 on 4-of-7 shooting with six rebounds to finish with 15 and 9.

Marcus Paige, the preseason ACC co-player of the year with Brogdon, had another average game in what has been a surprisingly average season for the senior, scoring 13 on 4-of-13 shooting.

Text the engraver. He has his name for the plaque. It starts with a Malcolm.


Big night for Devon Hall

Fans on the message boards have been clamoring for coach Tony Bennett to bench Devon Hall. Who responded to the support with a huge night, relatively speaking, 11 points in 27 minutes, a pair of first-half threes when the only other guy hitting anything was Brogdon, and the two seal-the-deal free throws in the final seconds.

Hall was only 3-of-11 from the floor, but even that could be viewed as a positive. We’ve been saying for weeks that other guys need to step up and be more assertive on offense. Taking 11 shots from the floor is about as assertive as you can get.


Offensive boards

A big worry going in was Carolina’s power on the offensive boards, and the Heels did finish with 13 on the night.

Virginia, which eschews the offensive board in favor of getting back on D, in accord with the philosophy of the Pack-Line, also had 13, and a 14-10 advantage in second-chance points.

The ‘Hoos also outscored UNC 32-28 in the paint.

Coming into the game, Virginia rebounded just 29.9 percent of its misses, 14th in the ACC. The Cavs collected 36.1 percent of their misses.

For what it’s worth, UNC rebounded 39.4 percent of its misses on Saturday, in line with its average coming in (39.1 percent, second in the ACC).


Free throw discrepancy?

At first glance, Virginia must have gotten some home cookin’, going 18-of-21 at the line, to Carolina’s 7-of-13.

Aha, but then you dive into the play-by-play.

UVA was 5-of-6 in the final 32 seconds on clock free throws.

Then, Carolina missed the front ends of two one-and-ones.

Flesh those out, UNC shoots 15 free throws. Take out the clock free-throw attempts, Virginia shoots 15 free throws.



Odd stats

  • North Carolina came in as the ACC’s worst three-point shooting team, at 31.4 percent. Naturally, the Heels connected on 9-of-19 (47.4 percent).
  • Fast break points: Carolina had a 2-0 advantage. So much for UNC setting a fast pace.

– Column by Chris Graham

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