Tempo no problem as UVA posts impressive win at VCU
Things had been going the way seventh-ranked UVA had wanted them to. Then Treveon Graham happened.
Three straight trips down the floor, VCU ran a dribble-penetration play with point guards Briante Weber and Melvin Johnson on the left side of the floor that found one of the few holes in the Virginia Pack-Line. Once the post defender committed to cutting off the penetration, that freed up Graham to set up in the corner for the open look at three.
Timeout, Virginia, 6:58 left. The Siegel Center, rollicking in the pregame, louder in the opening minutes, then silent for a long stretch as the ‘Hoos built a double-digit, was at a fever pitch.
It was a good test for Tony Bennett’s guys, the first big one for the 2014-2015 UVA team.
All you need to know from here is that VCU would not make another shot from the floor.
The conventional wisdom about Bennett’s teams is that they want the game to be played at a snail’s pace, and that when faced with pressure by teams who play tempo they are lost.
More possessions is no problem for this group, though you can bet that Bennett still prefers the slower tempo, grind-it-out games that his teams win by submission more than anything else.
Saturday, the Cavs proved that they can.
– Column by Chris Graham