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  1. #1
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    MBB: Duke vs UVa (Sat Feb 20, 8pm ESPN) Pregame and Ingame Thread

    Big game Saturday. If we win, we're very much back in the at-large conversation. I'd even venture to say we'd be likely to make it with such a win, albeit far from out of the woods. A loss wouldn't end it for us, but we need to at least continue our progress that we've shown the past couple of games.

    Discuss.

  2. #2
    Here's my fun stat of the year: we're 5-0 in games with 65 possessions or less, and 4-8 in games with 66 possessions or more. Maybe UVA is a good matchup for us?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Big game Saturday. If we win, we're very much back in the at-large conversation. I'd even venture to say we'd be likely to make it with such a win, albeit far from out of the woods. A loss wouldn't end it for us, but we need to at least continue our progress that we've shown the past couple of games.

    Discuss.
    I'm having more fun lately too, but I just cannot understand why people keep saying this about our NCAAT chances all of a sudden. We're a game over .500 and haven't been in the NCAAT discussion--nobody's first eight out--in weeks. At the time of the Miami game, when we also were not in any national media bracket discussions (ten games left), we'd probably (?) have had a fighting at-large chance if we went 8-2, and then we proceeded to lose to a bad Miami team, a bad ND team at home, and a bubble team at home (Carolina). It's not about some platonic ideal of what an NCAAT is in the pandemic season, but about all the traffic in front of us. We still haven't beaten anybody who's going to make the tournament.

    If we win out the regular season, that puts us at 7-3 in those last ten with UL and UVA wins, and then I'll start listening, but until then, it's Jimmy Vollmer "come on."
       

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by throatybeard View Post
    I'm having more fun lately too, but I just cannot understand why people keep saying this about our NCAAT chances all of a sudden. We're a game over .500 and haven't been in the NCAAT discussion--nobody's first eight out--in weeks. At the time of the Miami game, when we also were not in any national media bracket discussions (ten games left), we'd probably (?) have had a fighting at-large chance if we went 8-2, and then we proceeded to lose to a bad Miami team, a bad ND team at home, and a bubble team at home (Carolina). It's not about some platonic ideal of what an NCAAT is in the pandemic season, but about all the traffic in front of us. We still haven't beaten anybody who's going to make the tournament.

    If we win out the regular season, that puts us at 7-3 in those last ten with UL and UVA wins, and then I'll start listening, but until then, it's Jimmy Vollmer "come on."
    Well, we haven't been in anyone's discussion because we have been trending the wrong direction. Teams in free fall and without enough wins are easy to discount. National media people don't look at teams on losing streaks and say "well if they win their last seven games they have a shot at an at large bid."

    Also, we have a really tough finish. If we can get a string of wins against tough opponents, we will work our way back into discussion.

    And yeah, it's still an outside chance, but our team has given this board reason for optimism, so don't urinate all over it just yet.

    There will be plenty of room for "I told you so" after Saturday if we lose.
       

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by throatybeard View Post
    I'm having more fun lately too, but I just cannot understand why people keep saying this about our NCAAT chances all of a sudden. We're a game over .500 and haven't been in the NCAAT discussion--nobody's first eight out--in weeks. At the time of the Miami game, when we also were not in any national media bracket discussions (ten games left), we'd probably (?) have had a fighting at-large chance if we went 8-2, and then we proceeded to lose to a bad Miami team, a bad ND team at home, and a bubble team at home (Carolina). It's not about some platonic ideal of what an NCAAT is in the pandemic season, but about all the traffic in front of us. We still haven't beaten anybody who's going to make the tournament.

    If we win out the regular season, that puts us at 7-3 in those last ten with UL and UVA wins, and then I'll start listening, but until then, it's Jimmy Vollmer "come on."
    clemson.

    I agree though. it's recency bias applied to something that is far more holistic. While recent performance often has some pull, "body of work" is the committee's favorite term...and ours still does not look so good.
    basketball is back, baby!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Well, we haven't been in anyone's discussion because we have been trending the wrong direction. Teams in free fall and without enough wins are easy to discount. National media people don't look at teams on losing streaks and say "well if they win their last seven games they have a shot at an at large bid."

    Also, we have a really tough finish. If we can get a string of wins against tough opponents, we will work our way back into discussion.

    And yeah, it's still an outside chance, but our team has given this board reason for optimism, so don't urinate all over it just yet.

    There will be plenty of room for "I told you so" after Saturday if we lose.
    If we win on Saturday, I'll be exactly where I am now, hoping to win out.
       

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by throatybeard View Post
    We still haven't beaten anybody who's going to make the tournament.

    If we win out the regular season, that puts us at 7-3 in those last ten with UL and UVA wins, and then I'll start listening, but until then, it's Jimmy Vollmer "come on."
    We destroyed Clemson who will likely make it and as high as a Bracketology 5-seed. However, I tend to agree we need to beat UVA, the Cheats and not lose more than 1-2 games in regular season and then maybe win 2 in ACC tourney to qualify.
       

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by throatybeard View Post
    If we win on Saturday, I'll be exactly where I am now, hoping to win out.
    And we will all be there with you!
       

  9. #9
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    Scouting Report

    Our friends from the UVa world are more than welcome to chime in, but here's the scouting report from my perspective.

    We all know UVa of recent years. They have become a real powerhouse in the ACC under Tony Bennett. He runs a very specific system on both ends of the floor, requiring discipline and experience. He identifies the right players for that system and he coaches them up in the system. UVa is almost always VERY experienced, and as a result combined with their unusual style of play they are VERY hard to beat. Regularly a juggernaut defensively, they've also become quite proficient on offense. They play an extraordinarily slow pace, and they put a high value on each possession on both ends of the floor. Everything they do is with that concept/religion in mind.

    Offensively, this year's UVa team is quite different than usual. Historically, they've had bigs whose primary purpose was to screen for the guards, and offense was generally driven by those guards. They've always been a good 3pt shooting team under Bennett, and this year is no exception. But what is different is that it is their bigs that drive the offense. They sport two elite shooters at the PF and C spots, and their SF is also a terrific threat from 3. Conversely, their guards are not so great as shooters. It's like bizarro UVa, at least offensively. Defensively, they aren't as experienced together as previous teams, and their particular players aren't as well-suited to defensive prowess. So while they are still very good defensively, they aren't the defensive juggernaut that UVa usually has. In short, it's a good UVa team, and one that is feasting on a down year in the ACC, but it's not a great UVa team. Everything about their results is familiar: on offense they don't turn it over at all, they hit 3s exceptionally well, they they take good 2s and thus hit those well, but they don't offensive rebound or draw fouls. Defensively, they don't allow any second-chance points, they don't foul at all, and they block shots, but they don't force turnovers at all and they don't defend the 3 very well. They aren't a deep team, relying heavily on their starting 5 and their 6th man, with other guys playing 5-10 mpg.

    Centers: Jay Huff (7'1", 240lb redshirt senior from Durham) is their starting center, and he's developed into a terrific player. As mentioned, Huff can REALLY shoot: 45% from 3, 61% from the field. He's also a really strong defensive rebounder and shotblocker, accounting for nearly all the damage UVa does in blocks. Huff is a good roll man who uses his length and decent athleticism for his size to finish at the rim with regularity. He's a one-or-two dribble guy, but he can punish a poor closeout. He's also a pretty confident kid, and not afraid of the moment at all. And he doesn't mind taking it to you, especially if the "you" is his hometown team. Behind Huff is Francisco Caffaro (7'0", 250lb redshirt sophomore from Argentina). Caffaro is more of the typical UVa center: big, physical, not a shooter. He plays regularly but sparingly, as the Cavs rely heavily on Huff at center. When Caffaro is in, he's there to grind rather than to provide impact skills. With time he might become more, but that time is not now. Still, he's spent 2.5 years in the system so he knows the drill. Kadin Shedrick (6'11", 216lb redshirt freshman from Raleigh) is the other option, and plays a similar number of minutes as Caffaro. Shedrick is a former top-100 recruit. He is long and lean, and a promising shotblocker and rebounder. He's still a bit raw offensively, but he has real promise and will likely become a starter for UVa in the coming years.

    Forwards: Sam Hauser (6'8", 220lb senior transfer from Marquette) is the team's biggest star. Houser shares a lot of the same skills as Huff, but in a smaller player. He's a 44% 3pt shooter and a terrific defensive rebounder. He doesn't have Huff's length, and thus doesn't block any shots, and he's lacking in experience in the system so he's not as strong defensively overall. But one thing he adds is that he's a terrific passer and highly skilled in general with the ball in his hands. The Cavs are quite capable of running the offense through him. Hauser and Huff are almost certainly the best 1-2 frontcourt punch in the country in terms of offensive efficiency and 3pt shooting. They'll be a tough assignment. Behind Hauser, Justin McKoy (6'8", 215lb sophomore) fills in sparingly off the bench. McKoy is a decent shooter, and not terrible with the ball in his hands for a PF. But he's not a great athlete. Very much a system player at this stage, but with time he should fill in quite nicely. And as of now, he's not a detriment when he's on the floor. He's strong and physical, and is learning the system.

    Wings: Trey Murphy (6'9", 205lb junior transfer from Cary via Rice) is the team's other star. Like Hauser, Murphy is only 1.5 years into the system, so he's good but not fluent yet. But what he does best is on the other end of the floor. Murphy is an ELITE shooter: a 50/40/90 guy. Murphy was a no-name prospect in high school who took the Dunleavy path by growing 5 inches. That got him on the D-1 radar, and he ended up at Rice. He was decent there, and continued to improve since moving up in competition. Murphy is extremely long and lanky, and as such he gets his perimeter jumpshot off with ease. He's a fluid athlete but not explosive, but given his length and SG skills he's able to finish in traffic on occasion. That being said, the vast majority of his damage comes as a catch-and-shoot guy from 3pt range. And he's fantastic in that role. Behind Murphy is Casey Morsell (6'3", 195lb soph). Morsell has terrific size and strength. He's not much of a shooter from 3 yet, but that should come with time as he's solid from the FT line. And despite not hitting at a high percentage yet, he's not being discouraged from taking them. Morsell is not a super explosive leaper, but he's a very good athlete with good body control and a nice understanding of how to use his strength. The limitation at this stage is his shooting and that he's pretty much a straight-line driver off the dribble. But he's a top-100 recruit, so there are high hopes for him long-term. Behind those two is Tomas Woldetensae (6'5", 195lb senior JuCo transfer from Italy). Woldetensae is probably best known around here for hitting a game-winner against UNC last year. He is almost exclusively a catch-and-shoot 3pt guy, with limited ballhandling skill and athleticism. But he can definitely hit the 3, at 44% this year. Last but not least is perhaps a familiar name to NBA fans: Jabri Abdur-Rahim (6'7", 215lb freshman). Jabri is the son of Shareef. He's a smooth and talented prospect, but one who plays primarily in blowouts at this stage.

    Guards: Kihei Clark is the guy that runs the show for UVa. Clark is a tiny jitterbug of a guard. He's not a great shooter, and he's not super explosive aside from his quickness, but he's not afraid to attack the rim. His height can cause him problems in traffic, and he usually prefers to pass when he drives. The biggest danger with him is his ability to draw in the defense and kick it to one of UVa's many 3pt shooters. FSU mainly stayed home on the shooters and forced UVa's drivers to score inside, which is how the Noles prevailed. We will likely need to take a similar strategy to give ourselves a chance. Otherwise, it will become a shooting contest, and while we're getting better at shooting they would have the upper hand. Defensively, Clark is pesky with his quickness, and would probably get more steals in a more aggressive defensive system. But in UVa's system, that asset is mostly neutered. Alongside Clark in the starting lineup is Reece Beekman (6'3", 175lb freshman). Beekman has good length for a PG and is solid athletically. He's a combo guard who can play either on or off-ball. Beekman isn't a great shooter and is better off the dribble at this stage in his career, although it's probably more accurate to say that his offense in general is lagging. Still, he's a solid athlete who is one of UVa's better-rated recruits in recent memory, so there is plenty of potential there. And it's not like he's bad now, just not fully realized yet.

    Clark will do most of the team's dribbling, and is asked to initiate a LOT of their offense. Controlling what he can do without losing shooters is going to be critical. It's going to be tough, especially as Williams' instincts are to protect the rim. But not losing UVa's bigs on the 3pt line when Clark drives is going to be pretty important. If we get caught helping off, then it becomes a game of hot-potato as UVa passes around the perimeter for an open 3. And that is bad news.

    On the other end, we'll have to be very disciplined in getting the shots we want. Those shots are almost certainly not going to come at the rim, but we'll need to work to find GOOD 3pt looks rather than taking the first look we get.

    Big test for the team. It's not an impossible task, even though UVa is very good. Hopefully our guys are up to the challenge.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by throatybeard View Post
    I'm having more fun lately too, but I just cannot understand why people keep saying this about our NCAAT chances all of a sudden. We're a game over .500 and haven't been in the NCAAT discussion--nobody's first eight out--in weeks. At the time of the Miami game, when we also were not in any national media bracket discussions (ten games left), we'd probably (?) have had a fighting at-large chance if we went 8-2, and then we proceeded to lose to a bad Miami team, a bad ND team at home, and a bubble team at home (Carolina). It's not about some platonic ideal of what an NCAAT is in the pandemic season, but about all the traffic in front of us. We still haven't beaten anybody who's going to make the tournament.

    If we win out the regular season, that puts us at 7-3 in those last ten with UL and UVA wins, and then I'll start listening, but until then, it's Jimmy Vollmer "come on."
    Because in spite of our awful resume, we are currently #61 in NET, #29 in KenPom, and #39 in Torvik. And the team is playing differently and well of late. And, quite simply, because it's true. If we go 4-1 over the next 5 games and win a couple of ACC tourney games, we'll be in the tournament. If we go 5-0 over the next 5 games, we'll be in the tournament. If we go 4-1 over the next 5 games and one of those is this weekend, we'll very likely be in the tournament. The remaining games on our schedule are mostly against tourney-caliber teams, and as such winning most of them will push our NET ranking into a pretty good place.

    Folks aren't used to being in this position, so I think they tend to overstate the quality of the teams that make it as at-large bids on the bubble.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    clemson.

    I agree though. it's recency bias applied to something that is far more holistic. While recent performance often has some pull, "body of work" is the committee's favorite term...and ours still does not look so good.
    Yeah. Maybe Clemson.

    There's another problem here too. The at-large field isn't selected by KemPom efficiency ratings, but rather by people. What game intangibles might affect that if we're on the cut line?

    Duke's a draw, people will say. Well, Duke isn't a huge TV draw this year. (See recent Carolina game). The tournament is bigger than any one team, and Duke as an 11 seed doesn't move a huge ratings dial or help you renegotiate that contract next time a ways in the future. Yes, you'd like to see Duke/Carolina/Kentucky/Michigan State get their acts together, but the world continued to spin when Carolina missed a few times, when Kentucky did.

    Will they be subtly influenced by public opinion? Were I on the committee, I'd say I wasn't but deep down I'd be sensitive to the blowback that might come from placing a Duke team that's two to four games over .500 in over somebody else. I'd feel a lot better about placing Duke in if Duke had made it a no brainer, and Duke fired that case out of a cannon during the Miami-Carolina-Dame sequence. Those games still count. They weren't in November, either.

    If we squeak in with an 11 seed, we better get to the S16, because otherwise I don't want to listen to the yammering about it for the next 25y when people discount the consecutive NCAATs streak with "but 2021."

    We gotta do this the Smith Barney way. Now play the Jim Mora playoffs soundbyte in your heads.
       

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by throatybeard View Post
    Yeah. Maybe Clemson.

    There's another problem here too. The at-large field isn't selected by KemPom efficiency ratings, but rather by people. What game intangibles might affect that if we're on the cut line?

    Duke's a draw, people will say. Well, Duke isn't a huge TV draw this year. (See recent Carolina game). The tournament is bigger than any one team, and Duke as an 11 seed doesn't move a huge ratings dial or help you renegotiate that contract next time a ways in the future. Yes, you'd like to see Duke/Carolina/Kentucky/Michigan State get their acts together, but the world continued to spin when Carolina missed a few times, when Kentucky did.

    Will they be subtly influenced by public opinion? Were I on the committee, I'd say I wasn't but deep down I'd be sensitive to the blowback that might come from placing a Duke team that's two to four games over .500 in over somebody else. I'd feel a lot better about placing Duke in if Duke had made it a no brainer, and Duke fired that case out of a cannon during the Miami-Carolina-Dame sequence. Those games still count. They weren't in November, either.

    If we squeak in with an 11 seed, we better get to the S16, because otherwise I don't want to listen to the yammering about it for the next 25y when people discount the consecutive NCAATs streak with "but 2021."

    We gotta do this the Smith Barney way. Now play the Jim Mora playoffs soundbyte in your heads.
    at least your family isn't from bethlehem, pennsylvania
    basketball is back, baby!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    at least your family isn't from bethlehem, pennsylvania
    580513.jpg

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  14. #14
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    There is a Bethlehem, GA also. On Christmas Avenue there is a Veterinarian named Dr. Frost. Don’t know if he treats reindeers.
       

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Our friends from the UVa world are more than welcome to chime in, but here's the scouting report from my perspective.

    We all know UVa of recent years. They have become a real powerhouse in the ACC under Tony Bennett. He runs a very specific system on both ends of the floor, requiring discipline and experience. He identifies the right players for that system and he coaches them up in the system. UVa is almost always VERY experienced, and as a result combined with their unusual style of play they are VERY hard to beat. Regularly a juggernaut defensively, they've also become quite proficient on offense. They play an extraordinarily slow pace, and they put a high value on each possession on both ends of the floor. Everything they do is with that concept/religion in mind.

    Offensively, this year's UVa team is quite different than usual. Historically, they've had bigs whose primary purpose was to screen for the guards, and offense was generally driven by those guards. They've always been a good 3pt shooting team under Bennett, and this year is no exception. But what is different is that it is their bigs that drive the offense. They sport two elite shooters at the PF and C spots, and their SF is also a terrific threat from 3. Conversely, their guards are not so great as shooters. It's like bizarro UVa, at least offensively. Defensively, they aren't as experienced together as previous teams, and their particular players aren't as well-suited to defensive prowess. So while they are still very good defensively, they aren't the defensive juggernaut that UVa usually has. In short, it's a good UVa team, and one that is feasting on a down year in the ACC, but it's not a great UVa team. Everything about their results is familiar: on offense they don't turn it over at all, they hit 3s exceptionally well, they they take good 2s and thus hit those well, but they don't offensive rebound or draw fouls. Defensively, they don't allow any second-chance points, they don't foul at all, and they block shots, but they don't force turnovers at all and they don't defend the 3 very well. They aren't a deep team, relying heavily on their starting 5 and their 6th man, with other guys playing 5-10 mpg.

    Centers: Jay Huff (7'1", 240lb redshirt senior from Durham) is their starting center, and he's developed into a terrific player. As mentioned, Huff can REALLY shoot: 45% from 3, 61% from the field. He's also a really strong defensive rebounder and shotblocker, accounting for nearly all the damage UVa does in blocks. Huff is a good roll man who uses his length and decent athleticism for his size to finish at the rim with regularity. He's a one-or-two dribble guy, but he can punish a poor closeout. He's also a pretty confident kid, and not afraid of the moment at all. And he doesn't mind taking it to you, especially if the "you" is his hometown team. Behind Huff is Francisco Caffaro (7'0", 250lb redshirt sophomore from Argentina). Caffaro is more of the typical UVa center: big, physical, not a shooter. He plays regularly but sparingly, as the Cavs rely heavily on Huff at center. When Caffaro is in, he's there to grind rather than to provide impact skills. With time he might become more, but that time is not now. Still, he's spent 2.5 years in the system so he knows the drill. Kadin Shedrick (6'11", 216lb redshirt freshman from Raleigh) is the other option, and plays a similar number of minutes as Caffaro. Shedrick is a former top-100 recruit. He is long and lean, and a promising shotblocker and rebounder. He's still a bit raw offensively, but he has real promise and will likely become a starter for UVa in the coming years.

    Forwards: Sam Hauser (6'8", 220lb senior transfer from Marquette) is the team's biggest star. Houser shares a lot of the same skills as Huff, but in a smaller player. He's a 44% 3pt shooter and a terrific defensive rebounder. He doesn't have Huff's length, and thus doesn't block any shots, and he's lacking in experience in the system so he's not as strong defensively overall. But one thing he adds is that he's a terrific passer and highly skilled in general with the ball in his hands. The Cavs are quite capable of running the offense through him. Hauser and Huff are almost certainly the best 1-2 frontcourt punch in the country in terms of offensive efficiency and 3pt shooting. They'll be a tough assignment. Behind Hauser, Justin McKoy (6'8", 215lb sophomore) fills in sparingly off the bench. McKoy is a decent shooter, and not terrible with the ball in his hands for a PF. But he's not a great athlete. Very much a system player at this stage, but with time he should fill in quite nicely. And as of now, he's not a detriment when he's on the floor. He's strong and physical, and is learning the system.

    Wings: Trey Murphy (6'9", 205lb junior transfer from Cary via Rice) is the team's other star. Like Hauser, Murphy is only 1.5 years into the system, so he's good but not fluent yet. But what he does best is on the other end of the floor. Murphy is an ELITE shooter: a 50/40/90 guy. Murphy was a no-name prospect in high school who took the Dunleavy path by growing 5 inches. That got him on the D-1 radar, and he ended up at Rice. He was decent there, and continued to improve since moving up in competition. Murphy is extremely long and lanky, and as such he gets his perimeter jumpshot off with ease. He's a fluid athlete but not explosive, but given his length and SG skills he's able to finish in traffic on occasion. That being said, the vast majority of his damage comes as a catch-and-shoot guy from 3pt range. And he's fantastic in that role. Behind Murphy is Casey Morsell (6'3", 195lb soph). Morsell has terrific size and strength. He's not much of a shooter from 3 yet, but that should come with time as he's solid from the FT line. And despite not hitting at a high percentage yet, he's not being discouraged from taking them. Morsell is not a super explosive leaper, but he's a very good athlete with good body control and a nice understanding of how to use his strength. The limitation at this stage is his shooting and that he's pretty much a straight-line driver off the dribble. But he's a top-100 recruit, so there are high hopes for him long-term. Behind those two is Tomas Woldetensae (6'5", 195lb senior JuCo transfer from Italy). Woldetensae is probably best known around here for hitting a game-winner against UNC last year. He is almost exclusively a catch-and-shoot 3pt guy, with limited ballhandling skill and athleticism. But he can definitely hit the 3, at 44% this year. Last but not least is perhaps a familiar name to NBA fans: Jabri Abdur-Rahim (6'7", 215lb freshman). Jabri is the son of Shareef. He's a smooth and talented prospect, but one who plays primarily in blowouts at this stage.

    Guards: Kihei Clark is the guy that runs the show for UVa. Clark is a tiny jitterbug of a guard. He's not a great shooter, and he's not super explosive aside from his quickness, but he's not afraid to attack the rim. His height can cause him problems in traffic, and he usually prefers to pass when he drives. The biggest danger with him is his ability to draw in the defense and kick it to one of UVa's many 3pt shooters. FSU mainly stayed home on the shooters and forced UVa's drivers to score inside, which is how the Noles prevailed. We will likely need to take a similar strategy to give ourselves a chance. Otherwise, it will become a shooting contest, and while we're getting better at shooting they would have the upper hand. Defensively, Clark is pesky with his quickness, and would probably get more steals in a more aggressive defensive system. But in UVa's system, that asset is mostly neutered. Alongside Clark in the starting lineup is Reece Beekman (6'3", 175lb freshman). Beekman has good length for a PG and is solid athletically. He's a combo guard who can play either on or off-ball. Beekman isn't a great shooter and is better off the dribble at this stage in his career, although it's probably more accurate to say that his offense in general is lagging. Still, he's a solid athlete who is one of UVa's better-rated recruits in recent memory, so there is plenty of potential there. And it's not like he's bad now, just not fully realized yet.

    Clark will do most of the team's dribbling, and is asked to initiate a LOT of their offense. Controlling what he can do without losing shooters is going to be critical. It's going to be tough, especially as Williams' instincts are to protect the rim. But not losing UVa's bigs on the 3pt line when Clark drives is going to be pretty important. If we get caught helping off, then it becomes a game of hot-potato as UVa passes around the perimeter for an open 3. And that is bad news.

    On the other end, we'll have to be very disciplined in getting the shots we want. Those shots are almost certainly not going to come at the rim, but we'll need to work to find GOOD 3pt looks rather than taking the first look we get.

    Big test for the team. It's not an impossible task, even though UVa is very good. Hopefully our guys are up to the challenge.
    Are you Tony Bennett? That's one of the best scouting reports on this UVA team that I've seen. I think you know this UVA team better than 98% of UVA fans.

    This UVA team is constructed differently than previous UVA teams. That's good in some respects but causes problems in others. The guards are very good defenders but none of them can shoot. The bigs are excellent shooters but lack the athleticism to stay in front of their men on defense. Huff has actually made the defense look a lot better than it really is with his rim protection. UVA doesn't have many players who can create their own shot but Hauser and Huff are difficult matchups for opposing defenses. Most teams are starting to sag off Clark and Beekman and force them to beat them with the perimeter shot.

    This UVA team is more of a finesse team than years past and that has not been a good thing when they've faced the better teams on the schedule. They've been blown out by Gonzaga, FSU, and VT. There's no shame in losing to those teams but, aside from the first 30 minutes against VT, they haven't been competitive in those games. Granted, none of those games were home games but it is still cause for concern. I'm curious to see how this UVA team responds to the FSU loss against a Duke team that is finding its stride.

    It's also pretty funny that Duke has a bunch of guys from VA on their squad (Roach, Williams, Coleman) while UVA has a bunch of guys from NC on theirs (McKoy, Shedrick, Murphy, Huff, McCorkle). Murphy and Huff are both from Durham and Shedrick is from Raleigh. UVA recruited the VA Dukies pretty hard, especially Williams and Coleman. You can see their potential. Williams has such a fluid game and Coleman, although raw in areas, plays really hard. Good luck on Saturday but I'll be pulling for a UVA win.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    3 thoughts:

    1. Big game! Even bigger given Duke's NCAAT aspirations. To me, a win gets them several steps closer to a bid. A loss doesn't necessarily push them back, but they are running out of games to make their case. But I'll also point this out - a win will give them 10, thus continuing the 10-wins-in-a-season streak that has been going on since the 1920's - a record.

    2. Our bigs could play a huge role this game. CDu's write up seems spot on. Controlling their bigs would certainly aid a victory. I'm a big Williams fan, but he won't be able to do this alone. Can Coleman and Tape play a role? Or another thought - bring in JGold to pester them? If a guy like Clark is going to beat Duke with his scoring, so be it. That being said, Duke can't foul its way to a win - the Cavs shoot too well from the line.

    3. Barring a major surprise from someone else, Hurt and Steward will need to continue to produce offensively. But I don't think they alone can carry the load. Duke will need another guy in double figures, as well as some bench scoring. Can Baker keep his shooting touch going, or can Moore find a BC-like game again? Scoring's always at a premium against UVA.

    9F
    Bucket List - Throw a party when Duke MBB has a winning record against Carolina.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill

    Let's play tough at both ends Saturday and see what happens

    It seems hard to believe, but Duke did, at one point, win three conference games in a row this season. We did not, in so doing, play well three games in a row. The second of the three was a one point win over BC, a game that was not a good look for Duke. The game was played at Cameron, and Duke won by one point with a second half rally only because BC, which outshot Duke from the field, from three point, and from the free throw line, and nearly matched us on the boards, managed to commit 21 turnovers, many of which were unforced.

    Saturday we host Virginia with a chance to play well for the third time in a row -- for the first time all season. Just as it's possible to play poorly and win, it's possible to play well and lose. Virginia might be the kind of team that could make that happen, but I kind of think not. I think that if Duke plays tough Saturday, we come away with the W. What do we have to do to win? You don't have to be a hall of fame coach to know that the answer is we have to play better than they do, and we have to be better the whole game.

    The thing is, there's more than one way to be the better team, and this is where I am going to leave it to the coaches. I think when we are playing well, we are as good as any body in the league. So far, it appears Virginia and Florida State are the two best teams. I like our chances against UVA better than FSU. I think we can take them with a great performance. I also think we can take them with a good performance so long as we are consistently the tougher team on the court. My gut says that the sometimes soft team we have seen earlier this season left the locker room with a departed teammate. Not because he was the cause, but because his departure represents a challenge to this team to stand tall. Let's play tough and see what happens.
    GTHC

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by kako View Post
    But I'll also point this out - a win will give them 10, thus continuing the 10-wins-in-a-season streak that has been going on since the 1920's - a record.
    Carolina has one of those that goes all the way back to 2003.

    This is the one I was most worried after the Miami-UNC-ND tailspin.

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Who’s gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mount Kisco, NY
    I woke up this morning thinking about tomorrow's game and my primary thought was, "This is a big boy game for Matthew Hurt!"

    Hurt has been our best player this year and is clearly a lethal offensive force. He's the second leading scorer in the ACC but getting less All-Conference hype because our team has been mediocre. Saturday night is a showcase game against the program who has, hopefully temporarily, seized the mantle as the best in the conference and is known for their defense. It is 8PM on ESPN. The College Basketball world should be watching. To beat Virginia, we need to play at or near the level of the Clemson, Wake and State wins. While this is not the quality of UVA team of recent years, neither are we.

    Forget Matthew...we need Hurt Nowitzky to show up Saturday night and lead us to victory and show the country what the Hurt-hype has been about.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by kako View Post
    3 thoughts:

    1. Big game! Even bigger given Duke's NCAAT aspirations. To me, a win gets them several steps closer to a bid. A loss doesn't necessarily push them back, but they are running out of games to make their case. But I'll also point this out - a win will give them 10, thus continuing the 10-wins-in-a-season streak that has been going on since the 1920's - a record.

    2. Our bigs could play a huge role this game. CDu's write up seems spot on. Controlling their bigs would certainly aid a victory. I'm a big Williams fan, but he won't be able to do this alone. Can Coleman and Tape play a role? Or another thought - bring in JGold to pester them? If a guy like Clark is going to beat Duke with his scoring, so be it. That being said, Duke can't foul its way to a win - the Cavs shoot too well from the line.

    3. Barring a major surprise from someone else, Hurt and Steward will need to continue to produce offensively. But I don't think they alone can carry the load. Duke will need another guy in double figures, as well as some bench scoring. Can Baker keep his shooting touch going, or can Moore find a BC-like game again? Scoring's always at a premium against UVA.

    9F
    Go small ball and run them out of the gym

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