Inside the Numbers: Virginia getting things on the right track on offense?

UVA basketballThere were things to like, amid the things to dislike, from the 54-50 Virginia loss at #9 Florida State on Wednesday.

Yes, you’re tired of reading this, and I’m sure as hell tired of writing it: the gang still didn’t shoot straight.

Enough with that. It’s cliché now, a trope.

Then, the turnovers. Eighteen of them. Nine from your point guard.

Not good.

No, awful.

Now, to the things to like.

You had to like the way Virginia touched the paint. Twenty-two of the 46 shots put up by the Cavaliers were at the rim.

In Virginia’s last three games against teams that play man (Virginia Tech, Boston College, FSU), shots at the rim have comprised 48.7 percent of the team’s overall field-goal attempts.

This is in the context a season average of 35.6 percent.

Basically, adjustments are being made. There is an awareness that the gang can’t shoot straight, so coach Tony Bennett and staff are trying to scheme around that.

The adjustment resulted in Virginia having a 30-14 advantage in points in the paint over Florida State, the biggest team in college basketball, according to

That ended up being enough to counter FSU’s advantage from three (the ‘Noles were 8-of-22 from three, to UVA’s 3-of-15, a 15-point edge overall).

Not that it mattered in the end, but Virginia was also more efficient on two-point jumpers: 5-of-10, to Florida State’s 6-of-19.

The maddening thing: that the team attacking the paint shot the same number of free throws (8) as the team hoisting 41 jumpers.

The whistle-stuffing is a big reason the less-efficient and -effective team won that one, but such is life.

Bottom line: keep getting in the paint, get the refs to blow some whistles, cut down on the turnovers, give Tomas Woldetensae (who’s shooting 42.4 percent from three over his last eight) some more minutes, and the results will come.

Story by Chris Graham

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