What UVA Basketball fans need to know about Stony Brook

UVA basketballIt felt like Virginia had a bit of a breakthrough in its last game, a 56-47 win over North Carolina back on Dec. 8.

This happens this time every year, that you see a UVA team get hot, then there’s the exam break, so, nothing new here.

But, here we are. The next game is Wednesday night, 10 days after the win over UNC.

The opponent: Stony Brook.

The Seawolves are 7-5, but it’s not the most impressive 7-5 you’re going to see. The best win, per KenPom.com, came over Brown, which KenPom has ranked 189th right now, though they are coming off what was probably their best overall effort, an 82-78 loss to Providence (KenPom: 75) over the weekend.

Stony Brook will primarily go four-guard, rotating 6’9” junior Mouhamadou Gueye (6.8 ppg, 6.3 rebs/g) and 6’11” junior Jeff Otehere (3.3 ppg, 6.5 rebs/g) at the five.

They average a combined 44.2 minutes per game, meaning the guards get 77.5 percent of the minutes, and coach Geno Ford has only used the two in tandem for 2.6 percent of Stony Brook’s minutes over the past five games.

This could force UVA coach Tony Bennett to think about his lineup structure, since he’s been using 6’9” Mamadi Diakite and 7’1” Jay Huff together for 34.5 percent of Virginia’s minutes over the past five.

Virginia may need to go small for longer stretches so as not to expose the bigs to having to chase around Stony Brook’s leading scorer, 6’5” junior Elijah Olaniyi, who is averaging 19.2 points per game, and shoots a cool 43.3 percent from three-point range, on 5.6 three-point attempts per game.

Olaniyi is a good stretch-four-type, alongside another combo guard-forward, 6’5” junior Andrew Garcia (12.6 ppg, 44.4 percent from three).

The third guard is 6’1” junior Makale Foreman (14.2 ppg, 34.3 percent from three).

Ford will go seven-deep with his rotation, also getting minutes from 6’3” sophomore Miles Latimer (8.3 ppg) and 6’1” junior Jordan McKenzie (1.3 ppg, 14.0 mins/g).

Virginia fans tuning in are hoping to see continued good perimeter play from junior Tomas Woldetensae and sophomore Kody Stattmann, who had strong efforts in the Carolina win.

The status of senior Braxton Key heading into Wednesday night is still unknown. It would be nice to have Key back to get him some minutes ahead of the weekend contest with South Carolina, but then also, you shouldn’t need him just in the context of this game.

Tip is at 6:30 p.m. Keep that one in mind, because that’s an odd time. (Thanks, ACC Network.)

Story by Chris Graham

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