newsbest performance of the season five observations from virginias win over clemson

Best performance of the season? Five observations from Virginia’s win over Clemson

francisco caffaro
Photo: ACC/N. Redmond

Game score: 99

The eye test tells you that Virginia’s 76-56 win over Clemson in the ACC Tournament semifinals might have been the best performance of the 2022-2023 season for these ‘Hoos.

The metrics from tells you it was.

The game score of 99 was tied for tops this season. The 63-50 win over NC State on Feb. 7 also got a 99 from BartTorvik.

The 129.0 adjusted offense rating from the site was third-best for Virginia against a Power 5 or ACC opponent this season.

The 86.7 adjusted defense rating also ranked third.

The 42.3 adjusted margin, probably obviously, ranked first.

Virginia: The landlord

Virginia outscored Clemson 40-22 in the paint, but its ownership of the lane was more than just that.

The ‘Hoos made 18 of their 25 shots at the rim – layups and dunks.

Clemson was 7-of-18.

Jayden Gardner, who had 23 points and 12 rebounds, was 7-of-8 on shots at the rim.

The one miss, he rebounded and scored on.

Armaan Franklin, who had 14 points, was 4-of-6 at the rim.

Kadin Shedrick, who had eight points and seven boards, was 3-of-4.

On the Clemson side, 6’10” center PJ Hall had 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting Friday night, 1-of-4 on shots at the rim and 3-of-6 on short jumpers.

Hall had 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting, 2-of-3 at the rim and 6-of-8 on short jumpers in Virginia’s 64-57 win over the Tigers on Feb. 28.

taine murray
Photo: ACC/Jaylynn Nash

Welcome back: Taine Murray

Sophomore guard Taine Murray got rotation minutes in Virginia’s loss at Miami back in December, then got a total of seven minutes at the end of blowouts until the Clemson game last week.

Murray isn’t quite what you’d call a rotation guy, but he’s getting regular meaningful minutes for the first time in forever.

In Friday night’s win, Murray logged eight minutes, and scored five points, hitting a first-half three and a garbage time long jumper.

Tony Bennett had said after last week’s win over Clemson that Murray had earned playing time because he was playing and, in particular, shooting well in practice.

At a sturdy 6’5”, 205, he’s also a tough guy to get around on the defensive end.

Next man up: Continued

Wahoo Nation lit up the interwebs on Thursday over the rumors, eventually confirmed, that starting center Ben Vander Plas had suffered a season-ending injury.

Credit to backups Francisco Caffaro, Kadin Shedrick and Ryan Dunn for stepping up in BVP’s absence.

Caffaro, for the second straight night, got the start at center, and he scored four points on 2-of-2 shooting, a pair of dunks, with two rebounds in 12 minutes.

Shedrick, in 19 minutes off the bench, had the previously mentioned eight points on 3-of-5 shooting and seven rebounds, and a not previously mentioned blocked shot.

Dunn got 21 minutes off the bench, 11 at the five spot, and though he didn’t score, and only took one shot, he had five rebounds and two blocked shots.

The total for the three-headed monster at the five: 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, 11 rebounds, three blocks.

Nearly perfect symmetry

Virginia shot 50 percent (16-of-32) from the field in the first half, and 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field in the second half.

The ‘Hoos were 3-of-9 from three in the first half, and 3-of-8 from three in the second half.

Clemson shot 36.0 percent (9-of-25) from the field in the first half, and 35.7 percent (10-of-28) from the field in the second half.

The Tigers were 4-of-12 from three in the first half, and 3-of-11 from three in the second half.

Clemson was 11-of-16 at the line for the game, 8-of-11 in the second half.

Virginia was 10-of-16 at the line for the game, 8-of-10 in the second half.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, Want to reach me? Try [email protected].

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