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Previewing Virginia

2008 Scouting Report / 2008 Game Plan
2008 Schedule
2008 Roster

Virginia Offense 07-08Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%49.9174Turnover Rate20.4123Off Reb Rate37.042FTM/FGA23.9211

Here it is, the titanic matchup of the league's two worst teams that no one's looking forward to. NC State's season to date, put succinctly:

A few good breaks in close games combined with some resilient play put the Pack at 4-4 in the league halfway through the season. The Pack played like a bad team, but it won enough games to look like a decent team.

The only difference between State and Virginia is luck; NC State has been fortunate in close games, while Virginia hasn't, playing and losing three OT games in conference play.

 Off_Eff Def_Eff ExpW-L ActW-L
NCSU 100.4 113.1 2-10 4-8
UVA 98.4 108.2 3-8 2-9

As the ACC's most perimeter-oriented team, Virginia needs its three-pointers to fall, and for the most part they haven't in league play. The Cavs are shooting 33.1% from three, 46.2% (eFG) overall. Fortunately for them, they take care of the ball and grab a decent percentage of their misses, else the offense would be an enormous disaster.

Their four primary outside shooters--Singletary, Diane, Joseph, Baker--have all regressed in conference play. Comparing their full-season and in-conference 3FG%s:

 FullSeason ACC-Only
Singletary 38.1 36.5
Diane 41.7 33.3
Joseph 36.9 31.4
Baker 41.7 37.8

Starters:

Sean Singletary (6-0, 185) -- As he always has, Singletary carries the Cavaliers offensively, using 28% of the possessions and taking 27.8% of the shots in ACC games. In addition to providing efficient scoring, his respective assist and turnover rates are very good as well. I hope the coaching staff remembers the Boston College game and doesn't try to guard Singletary with Javi all night. It should be clear we have to use Fells here.

Calvin Baker (6-2, 186) -- Aside from Singletary, you won't find much in the way of good passing; Baker's modest 13.7% assist rate in ACC play ranks second on the team. Everyone else in the rotation is below 10%.

Mamadi Diane (6-5, 201) -- Diane is the only other Cavalier using an above-average number of possessions--and averaging double-digit points--in conference play. He's shot the ball horribly from inside the arc (42.9% overall), but he doesn't turn the ball over and does a reasonably good job getting to the line and grabbing offensive boards.

Adrian Joseph (6-7, 201) -- Joseph should have been someone, like Diane, who asserted himself and took more shots in JR Reynolds's absence. He did that throughout the early portion of the schedule but has been less assertive against conference foes. That's a shame for a team that, in conference play, is shooting 44.2% from inside the arc because Joseph is one of the few Cavaliers who is shooting at a good clip from two.

Mike Scott (6-8, 233) -- Scott is a good rebounder at both ends, but, whew, the post game needs some work. He's hit just 35.3% of his twos in ACC games. Staying out of foul trouble has also been a problem for the freshman; he averages nearly six fouls per 40 minutes.

Bench:

Laurynas Mikalauskas (6-8, 246), Jamil Tucker (6-8, 241), Ryan Pettinella (6-9, 249), and Jeff Jones (6-4, 193) should see most of the time off the bench.

Mikalauskas, newly-healthy and energized, might be a huge factor in Virginia's success.

Pettinella rarely factors into Virginia's offense, though he has shot well on the rare possessions where he does shoot. He's incredibly foul-prone, doesn't rebound as well as he should, and form at the free throw line--where he is 5-23 (.217) on the season--is horrifying.


Virginia Defense 07-08Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%50.4200Turnover Rate19.1282Off Reb Rate28.928FTA/FGA34.1125


Scoring has come easily for ACC opponents, who've hit 37.1% of their threes and 51.6% of their twos against the Cavs. Virginia is a bad at forcing turnovers as NC State is, so their good rebounding at this end doesn't make much of a difference for them.

Cavs by four, according to the Pomeroy predictor.