Home It only counts as one L, and other observations from UVA’s 75-41 loss at Virginia Tech

It only counts as one L, and other observations from UVA’s 75-41 loss at Virginia Tech

Chris Graham
tony bennett
Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia Tech led 16-14 after a Jordan Minor layup at the 9:43 mark of the first half.

Virginia, at that point, was a just-fine 7-of-15 from the floor, six of the makes coming at the rim.

That, as it turns out, was as good as it would get.

The next make for the ‘Hoos wouldn’t come for another 8:57 of game time, and what felt like an eternity to have to watch, on a dunk from Leon Bond III.

Virginia Tech had, by that point, scored 20 straight, on 8-of-10 shooting – four makes at the rim, two threes.

Virginia missed eight straight shots and had four turnovers on the 12 empty possessions.

The final first-half stats for the Cavaliers: 8-of-25 from the field, 0-of-5 from three, just two made jumpers, twos and threes combined, on 16 attempts.

It was 36-16 Hokies at the break, and the outcome was already no longer in doubt.

It’s no shame to lose in Cassell Coliseum, because Tech is a good home team – 12-2 this year.

To not be remotely competitive with a team that had lost four of five coming in when you’re trying to make a case for being an NCAA Tournament team, that’s inexcusable.

What is up with Ryan Dunn?

ryan dunn
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

I’m just the messenger here, but yes, Ryan Dunn is a first-round pick if he declares for, then stays in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Don’t @ me on that; I’m just telling you.

I’m also telling you, no, it ain’t because of his offense.

Dunn, over his last seven games, has scored a total of 30 points, on 14-of-27 shooting from the floor, 0-of-2 from three, 2-of-9 at the line.

Meaning, yes, a guy averaging all of 4.3 points per game for three weeks will be signing his name to a big contract in a few months.

It’s because of, supposedly, his defense, but, bad news there, he’s not been all that great there of late.

Same seven games in which he’s averaging four points on four shots a game, he’s giving up 6.0 points per game, on 39.4 percent shooting.

In Monday’s loss, Dunn’s counting numbers were two points, on 1-of-2 shooting, five rebounds and one block in 22 minutes; on defense, he was responsible for nine points on 2-of-4 shooting from the floor.

I’ve taken to calling Dunn’s offensive game, such as he has an offensive game, as being derivative – he gets his points, exclusively, on back cuts and offensive rebounds, unable to hit an open jumper or in the post.

His season numbers, per Synergy Sports, bear me out there.

Dunn has made 95 shots this season; 76 are layups, dunks or tips; another six are short runners in the lane.

There’s no midrange to speak of – three makes on 11 attempts, across 27 games.

And then, he’s 6-of-27 from three.

UVA fans will get this – right now, he’s basically Cornel Parker without the jumper.

Throwing in the towel

uva tony bennett nc state
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

The 75-41 loss in Blacksburg was the seventh of the season for UVA.

All seven have been by double-digits.

Average margin of defeat: 21.3 points.

One commonality to the seven: once Virginia got down big, it stayed down big.

  • Wisconsin (65-41, Nov. 20) led by double-digits for the final 11:15
  • Memphis (77-54, Dec. 19) led by double-digits for the final 13:01
  • Notre Dame (76-54, Dec. 30) led by double-digits for the final 27:25
  • NC State (76-60, Jan. 6) led by double-digits for the final 16:20
  • Wake Forest (66-47, Jan. 13) led by double-digits for the final 18:41
  • Pitt (74-63, Feb. 13) led by double-digits for the final 5:17
  • Virginia Tech (75-41, Feb. 19) led by double-digits for the final 26:45

Average time left on the clock when the game was over: 16:57 in the second half.

Anybody seen Jake Groves?

uva jake groves miami
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

Jake Groves had a four-game stretch from Jan. 31-Feb. 10 in which he averaged 14.3 points in 22.8 minutes per game, and made 22 of his 36 shots from the field overall and was 13-of-18 from three.

Man, those were the days.

In his last three: 3.0 points in 19 minutes per game, on 3-of-9 shooting overall, 1-of-5 from three.

Virginia has lost two of the three, and scored 49 points in the win.

Maybe put his photo on the back of a milk carton or something.

I hate doing this

uva andrew rohde
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

Andrew Rohde is a punching bag, and it’s not the kid’s fault that he’s not the 17-points-per-game scorer that he was in the Summit League last year.

Just is what it is.

Rohde put up another goose egg in 16 minutes Monday night, his sixth of the season, and fourth in the last month.

Over his last 11 games, Rohde is averaging 2.8 points and 2.9 assists per game, on 10-of-45 (22.2 percent) shooting overall, and 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) from three.

It’s most certainly not all on Rohde, but when you’re already getting nothing from your power forward, Dunn, and from your center spot – Minor and Blake Buchanan had a total of five points on 1-of-9 shooting in 31 minutes Monday night, and in the recent two-losses-in-three-games stretch, they’re combining for 6.3 points per game on 8-of-24 (33.3 percent) shooting – that puts a lot of pressure on Reece Beekman and Isaac McKneely.

If you’re Mike Young or any other head coach right now, you game-plan to make it hard for Beekman and McKneely, and take your chances with the other guys, knowing you’re not gambling all that much.

That strategy worked Monday night: Beekman had just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, two assists and three turnovers in 30 minutes, and McKneely had 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, nine on 3-of-5 shooting in the second half, with the game long over by the time he started hitting.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].