Home UVA Hoops Mailbag: Andrew Rohde playing time, no touches for the bigs

UVA Hoops Mailbag: Andrew Rohde playing time, no touches for the bigs

Chris Graham

The Andrew Rohde experiment continues?

uva andrew rohde
Andrew Rohde. Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

Once again, I was baffled to see Andrew Rohde in the starting lineup for Notre Dame. I thought that experiment had ended. As you noted, the results were the same as before: a flatlined stat line. There seems to be no intention of developing his shooting as he 100 percent passed on several wide-open threes.

If the underclassman is playing to gain experience (a reasonable explanation), could we instead develop Elijah Gertrude and Leon Bond? I love what I’ve seen thus far. Let’s see how high of a ceiling they have. And why, exactly, did we burn Gertrude’s redshirt?


uva taine murray ncst
Taine Murray. Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

I, as well, don’t get the continued experiment with Andrew Rohde. We have plenty of data points to look at with him.

As for Leon Bond, I don’t know that he’s a solution. His game isn’t ready yet; for a 6’5″ guy, he has no perimeter game, so we have to play him in the post on offense, and he’s not big enough to play much in the post.

I see him as a transfer possibility.

I think the better solution for us this season is Taine Murray. Taine is steady, can shoot, can play D, and just doesn’t make mistakes.

Elijah Gertrude is uber-talented, but he needs to figure out how to play in the system before he can get more minutes.

– Chris


Why no touches in the post for the bigs?

uva jordan minor vt
Jordan Minor. Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

With UVA on a five-game winning streak it’s getting hard to find something to fret over, but here it is. Early in the first half I got tired of Cory and turned off the sound, which resulted in noticing new things.

UVA’s offense was bizarre. In the first 15 minutes of the first half, the ball was passed to Jordan Minor, Blake Buchanan or Ryan Dunn exactly once. In the last five minutes Dunn got a few touches after Tony Bennett put him, Minor and Groves in the game at the same time.  It’s odd watching a game in which only three of the five players are allowed to touch the ball.

It’s concerning that Tony gives up so easily on inside play. Yesterday we shot 52 percent on 25 three-pointers. If we had shot 40 percent (still great), it would have been a one-possession game.

Basketball players aren’t machines that you can turn on and off. When Minor, Dunn and Buchanan go big stretches of the game with no touches, they won’t be ready when the ball does come their way. I don’t think it would have hurt to dump the ball into Minor five to six times this game. When he missed, Dunn would have probably put in on the follow-up. As well as he played, I don’t want victory to hinge on Jake Groves making 6-of-8 three-point shots.


uva ryan dunn dunk
Ryan Dunn. Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

This is the way, good, bad or indifferent, that basketball is played in this day and age.

Post play is from guards driving the lane, or dump downs off screen-and-rolls.

This isn’t just UVA; it’s D1 and through the NBA.

Even bigs in the NBA (think: Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns) are pick-and-pop guys.

Ryan Dunn’s offense is derivative; he gets offensive rebounds, and dump downs off screen-and-rolls.

This isn’t just Tony; it’s everybody.

Blame Europe …

The job of bigs – not just with Tony, but up to the top of the food chain in the NBA – is to set screens, clean up the offensive boards, and play defense.

And if you want to bring up Armando Bacot, Hunter Dickinson and Zach Edey to say, there’s another way, there’s also a reason those guys are still in college.

They put up nice stats, but their teams don’t win, and they’re not going to play in the NBA.

– Chris

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].