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



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