NC State Vs. UVA Preview: Here Come The Slows

USA TODAY Sports
UVA Offense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 50.7 103
Turnover Rate 18.8 83
Off Reb Rate 27.5 296
FTA/FGA 35.4 193

UVA Offense 12-13
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 51.6 58
Turnover Rate 19.6 141
Off Reb Rate 30.6 212
FTA/FGA 29.7 306

UVA @ StatSheet
2012 Stats
2013 Stats
2013 Roster
2013 Schedule

Ah, the Sultan of Slow himself, Mr. Tony Bennett. Prince Valium. Virginia ranks 344th nationally in adjusted tempo, which means that only three D-I schools are playing slower. Bennett's UVA teams actually have gotten slower in each successive season, so I'm thinking this may be some sort of terrible experiment. By year 10 of his tenure, Virginia will be averaging 45 possessions per game, and all of its opponents will forfeit after their eyeballs fall out.

For a team that had to replace Mike Scott's efficient production, they've done a good job of holding up so far. Their two-point accuracy has suffered, but they are shooting considerably better from outside, and they have the best eFG% in league play. But the Cavs are also still averaging fewer than a point per possession in ACC games because they rank ninth or worse in the other three factors.

State probably doesn't have to be too concerned about giving up second chance opportunities or trips to the free throw line. But the Cavs aren't likely to turn the ball over much--but against NC State, who does?--which means they're gonna get a lot of shots at the rim.

Startery-types:

Jontel Evans (5-11, 188) -- Oh, Jontel, how offensively challenged you have been and apparently will always be. He deserves to be cut some slack because he's missed a lot of time thanks to injury this year, but his shooting is indicative of the last three years--it's just not his thing. Evans never managed to expand his range--he took 14 threes all of last year and has zero attempts this season--and his two-point field goal percentages have been pretty bad. And that's not surprising given his stature. His assist rate is good, and he's important to the Cavs defensively, but everything else...yikes.

Paul Jesperson (6-6, 197) -- Jesperson is not a frequent shooter, though he is hitting 38.3% from three, and he's just as likely to attempt a three as he is a two. Given his struggles inside the arc, it would be best to make him put the ball on the floor.

Joe Harris (6-6, 211) -- This is the Joe Harris show, without question. Mike Scott used a ton of possessions and left behind a huge void as a result, and Harris has been able to step up his usage this year without sacrificing efficiency. That's a crucial development for Virginia. He's shooting a career-best 46.7% from beyond the arc, which is actually a smidge higher than his two-point shooting percentage (46.6%). He's no offensive rebounding threat and he won't often get to the line, but he definitely can kill the Pack from deep.

Evan Nolte (6-8, 207) -- This dude has had a hell of a start to his college career: 85% at the line, 51.4% from two, 44.3% from three. He ranks among the top 400 nationally in turnover rate, steal rate, and block rate. They might should look to get this guy more touches.

Akil Mitchell (6-8, 234) -- Mitchell is easily having the best year of his career, and what's particularly impressive is that his workload has nearly doubled. He is a fantastic rebounder at both ends, but especially defensively. He's also making almost 55% of his twos.

Bench:

Teven Jones (6-0, 180), Mike Tobey (6-11, 227), Justin Anderson (6-6, 226). Jones did not play in Virginia's last game ("coach's decision") so I dunno what is going on there. He started nine games up to this point, and isn't looking to shoot much. Decent three-point shooter so far though.

Tobey is your token guy-off-bench-who-shoots-a-ton. He's getting 13 minutes a night, and by golly, he is going to make the most of them--his workload is the highest on the team. Normally this is the part where the scolding begins, but he is shooting 52.6% inside the arc, so good for you, son. You keep on firin' that puppy rimward

Anderson is shooting 50.7% from two but the outside shot isn't there yet.

It appears the Cavs will be without Darion Atkins (6-8, 222), who is recovering from a stress reaction in his right leg. That's a tough loss--he's one of the few guys with a decent offensive rebounding percentage, and he is Virginia's best botherer of shots. Not a bad scorer in the paint, either.

UVA Defense 11-12
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 44.7 20
Turnover Rate 21.2 121
Off Reb Rate 25.7 5
FTA/FGA 31.2 56

UVA Defense 12-13
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 41.9 8
Turnover Rate 21.8 96
Off Reb Rate 26.9 20
FTA/FGA 32.0 97

Bennett sure knows how to get guys to defend. All three of his Washington State teams ranked in the top 20 in defensive efficiency, and while there was a bit of a dip in his first two years at UVA (had to clean out all the lingering Leitao), he's right back on track. Virginia finished last year sixth and this year it is 13th. These friggin' guys with their effort and hustle, man.

The Pomeroy Predictor likes Virginia by four.

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