Inside the Numbers: Some weird numbers from Virginia-Louisville

UVA basketballLouisville was 10-of-16 from three-point range in the first half Saturday against Virginia. Then put up 17 threes in the second half, and made two.

Sixty percent of the Cardinals’ shots from the floor – 33 of the 55 – were threes.

Season average for threes as a percentage of overall shots: 43.9 percent.

Only one make from two in the first half, and just five for the game – on 22 attempts.

Louisville had two stretches of five-minutes-plus without a basket in the second half, back-to-back, spanning 10:50 of game time, from the 11:39 mark, when U of L went up 47-43 on a Steven Enoch three, to the 49-second mark, when a garbage-time Christen Cunningham layup cut the Virginia lead to 62-52.

The Cardinals made two shots in the paint on 11 attempts. Virginia was 19-of-26 on shots in the paint.

That translates – quick math – to a 38-4 advantage for the ‘Hoos in the points in the paint category.

A lot of that was D. The other side of that was Virginia’s bigs: De’Andre Hunter, Mamadi Diakite and Jay Huff scored a combined 52 points on 22-of-29 shooting in 75 minutes.

Hunter had missed two shots from the field by the first media timeout. He didn’t miss again, and it’s not like he wasn’t active.

(He scored 26.)

Huff’s 17 minutes were a season-high, and the most he has played since his first game in a Virginia uniform, Nov. 13, 2017, against Austin Peay, which saw him score 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting in 24 minutes, in a performance that makes UVA fans shake their hands at the heavens at Jack Salt getting consistent minutes to set screens and box out big guys without getting rebounds.

Salt, since we’re talking about Salt now, had one rebound and was 0-of-1 from the floor in six minutes.

Over his last four, Salt is averaging 1.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game.

The D, the bigs, good. The backcourt: meh: Virginia got 12 points on 4-of-26 shooting in 119 minutes combined from guards Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, Braxton Key and Kihei Clark.

The last time that Guy didn’t make a three in a game was that game that we don’t talk about that ended the 2018 season.

Positive for the littles: just five turnovers on 57 possessions, after Virginia had averaged 12.5 TOs over a six-game stretch coming in.

Plus, they played good D up front, especially closing out on threes in the second half.

Still, all that said, that was one weird game there.

Column 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 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, 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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