Inside the Numbers: UVA D dominant in win at Syracuse

UVA basketballThe UVA backcourt looked like a group that needs to get its legs offensively, particularly having to open on the road in the ACC.

The D was surprisingly strong.

Syracuse scored 34 points on 59 possessions, for 0.58 points per possession, per KenPom.com.

That’s a level that you didn’t see once last season, which, for those who need their memories refreshed, was a national-title year.

The last time Virginia had that level of output defensively was back on Jan. 23, 2018, in a 61-36 win over Clemson – remember that one?

Clemson scored 0.58 points per possession in that one.

Also impressive in this one tonight: UVA had a 47-28 advantage on the boards, with three guys – 7’1” Jay Huff (12), 5’9” Kihei Clark (11) and 6’8” Braxton Key (10) in double figures.

Backcourt

UVA shot 4-of-24 from three. Not much else to say about that – it was woeful.

Tomas Woldetensae started, didn’t do much – 0-for-4 from the floor, 0-for-3 from three – and played just 13 minutes, looking like a JUCO guy who didn’t think he deserved to be in an ACC game.

Casey Morsell was Jekyll and Hyde. Offensively, just 1-for-6, all threes. Defensively, he checked Syracuse’s top offensive player, Elijah Hughes, and though Hughes had 14 points, he was just 4-for-14 from the floor, 3-of-10 from three as he couldn’t get past the freshman playing his first college game, on the road in the ACC, at the Carrier Dome.

Not bad, young man.

Kihei Watch

The aforementioned Clark was just 3-for-9 from the floor, 2-for-8 from three.

But Clark’s final stat line is impressive: 10 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists.

If Kihei Clark is going to flirt with triple-doubles with any frequency this season, don’t plan much outside of basketball for March into April, is what I’d recommend.

Story by Chris Graham

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.




augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press news