Home Scott German: Nothing good to take away from Virginia’s ugly, ugly loss at Duke

Scott German: Nothing good to take away from Virginia’s ugly, ugly loss at Duke

Scott German
duke uva basketball
Photo: Duke Athletics

There’s not much positive you can take from Virginia’s 73-48 bludgeoning by Duke Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Digging deep, it was the fact that after trailing 40-18 at intermission, the Cavaliers lost the final half only 33-30.

I’ll go with that, because, well, that’s all I got.

I guess a backhanded positive would be that in losing, Virginia needed little time to reach that conclusion.

Duke needed fewer than 10 minutes to build a 10-point lead, and fewer than 15 to take a 20-point lead.

Indeed, the Cavaliers spared their fanbase any drama.

How ugly was the 40-18 first-half score?

Kyle Filipowski’s 15 first-half points nearly matched Virginia’s entire scoring of 18.

That ugly.

Filipowski, who somehow made Wake Forest’s court-storming last Saturday appear as though he had survived Spain’s Running of the Bulls, was simply too much for any Virginia defender.

Want uglier?

Virginia made just 6-of-26 shots in the first half, for just 23.6 percent. The Cavaliers had more turnovers (seven) than made shots during the first 20 minutes.

Duke led by as many as 25 before the break.

The second half?

Purely academic.

Back to Filipowski for a moment.

His only scoreless game of his career came last season, when Duke lost 69-62 in overtime to Virginia.

The game had a controversial regulation ending.

“We remember what happened last year,” Filipowski said. “We’ve got to keep that in our mind, and we’re going to make a statement this year for sure.”

Oh no, Duke is going to use that game in JPJ last season as motivation when playing UVA for the next four decades.

Like the mileage the Blue Devils got out of Terry Holland playing Ralph Sampson for 40 minutes (actually 14) in a 40-point blowout of Duke in the ACC Tournament.

Duke is so easy to dislike.

Enough about Duke.

Now to Virginia.

Another double-digit loss for UVA this season, but who’s counting?

For those that are counting, it’s nine.

Yep, Virginia is 21-9 on the season.

When they lose this season, they leave no doubt about it.

Nobody can describe Virginia as a competent offensive team this season.

UVA has failed to reach the half-century mark in four of its last five games.

Virginia made just four of its first 21 shots as Duke built a 38-13 lead.

At that point, I texted AFP editor Chris Graham, who was in Cameron, no doubt having a great time, a technical explanation of the Cavaliers’ play: “We suck.”

For which, I received a strong reprimand for my candor.

I was thisclose to being out of a job.

I retracted my comment and substituted: “We’re bad.”

Whatever word salad you prefer, the Cavaliers aren’t any better in March than they were in December.

Hard to figure out why that is, especially factoring in that eight-game winning streak UVA manufactured in between.

Remember that?

The blowout losses are a concern.

Coaching adjustments and coaching strategies continue to be a question.

Saturday, Duke coach Jon Scheyer took full advantage in the first half when Virginia used Jordon Minor to guard the 7-footer Filipowski, which from the opening tip was an obvious bad matchup.

The second-half adjustment to have Ryan Dunn guard Filipowski was too little, too late.

When UVA doubled Filipowski under the basket, Duke had a player crashing the lane, allowing for a Filipowski flip for an easy basket.

That was the Duke play, almost knowing what the Cavaliers were going to do.

Offensively, Virginia is just brutal to watch.

The coaching staff seems content to just “play harder,” making little in-game adjustments.

Opponents know what’s coming.

Honestly, I doubted that Virginia would pass 40 points Saturday; I’ll give the staff that.

I’m still trying to figure out why Andrew Rohde is starting and getting 20-plus minutes, while Elijah Gertrude sits, and a dependable Taine Murray gets a few minutes and is forgotten.

It’s as though Bennett is determined to prove everyone wrong that Rohde is a huge transfer-portal miss.

On Saturday, Rohde had one point.

But this is not anything new for Bennett. Last year, Kadin Shedrick rode the bench while an often-ineffective Ben Vander Plas got his minutes.

Shedrick left Charlottesville and is now playing for Texas.

Maybe not all that well, but still.

I could be overthinking about the playing time situation.

Bennett simply may look down the bench and see no better options than Andrew Rohde.

If that’s the case, then it’s back to the transfer portal for Virginia, to again add pieces that fit Bennett’s system.

Good luck with that.

Scott German

Scott German

Scott German covers UVA Athletics for AFP, and is the co-host of “Street Knowledge” podcasts focusing on UVA Athletics with AFP editor Chris Graham. Scott has been around the ‘Hoos his whole life. As a reporter, he was on site for UVA basketball’s Final Fours, in 1981 and 1984, and has covered UVA football in bowl games dating back to its first, the 1984 Peach Bowl.