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Game Notes: #10 Virginia hosts Virginia Tech in Wednesday ACC hoops matchup

Commonwealth ClashTenth-ranked Virginia (13-3, 5-2 ACC) hosts Virginia Tech (11-6, 1-5 ACC) on Wednesday at John Paul Jones Arena.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. The game is being broadcast on ESPNU, with Dave O’Brien and Jay Bilas on the call.

Virginia Notes

  • Returning starters Kihei Clark (11 ppg, 6 apg), Reece Beekman (9.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.9 apg), Jayden Gardner (10.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg), Kadin Shedrick (8.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.7 bpg) and Armaan Franklin (11.9 ppg, 40.2% 3FG) have started 14 of 16 games.
  • Clark, Beekman, Gardner, Franklin and Ben Vander Plas (7.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg) started at Florida State.
  • Isaac McKneely (5.9 ppg, 40.6% 3FG) Ryan Dunn (2.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1 bpg), Francisco Caffaro (2 ppg, 1.9 rpg) and Taine Murray (1.7 ppg) provide depth off the bench.
  • UVA ranks fourth nationally in assist/turnover ratio (1.67), fifth in turnovers per game (9.5), 11th in scoring defense (59.4 ppg), 23rd in 3-point percentage (38.5%), 32nd in fouls per game (14.4) and 35th in turnover margin (3.3).
  • Clark (110 wins) needs one win to pass Mamadi Diakite (110 from 2017-20) for first on UVA’s career wins list.
  • Tony Bennett, who passed Terry Holland (326-173, 16 seasons) as the all-time winningest coach at UVA with the win over Syracuse on Jan. 7, needs two wins to reach 400 career wins.
  • Bennett is 17-8 all-time vs. Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech Notes

  • Grant Basile dialed up a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds at Syracuse to record his third double-double of the season.
  • Justyn Mutts ranks third in the ACC in field-goal percentage at 58.1 percent. Mutts is the only player in the ACC to average at least 13 ppg, 3.5 assists/g, 1.5 steals/g and 50 percent shooting.
  • Tech got the ball in great spots against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone last Wednesday, but only managed to connect on 3-of-19 from beyond the arc in the 82-72 loss. “Didn’t shoot it well, but I thought the ball got in great spots,” coach Mike Young said after the game. “You’ve got to ring the bell. You’ve got to make shots. That’s just the bottom line.”

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, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].