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Virginia vs. NC State preview: No, you're slow, pal!

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

UVA @ StatSheet
2013 Stats / 2014 Stats
2014 Roster
2014 Schedule

UVA Offense 13-14
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 49.3 174
Turnover Rate 19.6 240
Off Reb Rate 35.7 67
FTA/FGA 45.7 81

As you might have heard, Virginia plays at a relatively slow tempo. That is indeed true. And sure, you can go ahead and keep making jokes at the Hoos' expense, but I think it's worth noting that 20% of the ACC is playing slower than UVA right now. If you feel like taking a vacation from UVA, you've got Syracuse, Clemson, and Miami (dead last in I-A) there for the joshing (the Cuse-Miami game last week had 49 possessions). Pitt and BC are also in the vicinity.

I'm just trying to offer up some options since I heard Tony Bennett crying in his office the other day. He doesn't warrant the full brunt, people! Just because he can also build a team that plays defense doesn't mean he deserves ire piled on top of ire, day after day! You owe this man and the packline some respect!


Virginia was positioned for a breakthough year under Bennett in 2013-14, but wrapped up the non-conference slate with four losses; the Hoos still could end up competing for the ACC regular season title, but they've felt like a disappointment because their offense has been unexpectedly pedestrian. The team's shooting percentage is down and its turnover percentage is up. The Cavs are compensating with better offensive rebounding, but that hasn't been enough to halt an overall drop in offensive efficiency.

None of the losses on UVA's resume are bad--all of those defeats came against teams in the top 55 of the Pomeroy Ratings. (Though a 35-point loss to Tennessee, under any circumstances, don't look so good.) And the defense is gonna be there for Virginia--that much you can count on from a Bennett team. If they can begin to sort themselves out at the offensive end, they could look more like a group capable of doing damage come March.

Startery Types

London Perrantes (6-2, 189) -- His free throw rate is excellent, but he only occasionally shoots the ball, so his rate of 2.5 fouls drawn per 40 minutes is probably a better indicator of how often he'll be creating problems in the lane in any given game. So when he tries to score, he's good at getting a foul out of it; he just doesn't try to score all that much. Solid assist and steal rates, poor turnover rate.

Malcolm Brogdon (6-5, 217) -- Brogdon is shooting 36% from three after hitting 32.4% from outside last year, and considering both his modest 2FG% and high turnover rate, he seems like the sort you'd want to force to score off the dribble.

Joe Harris (6-6, 225) -- Harris' workload is down considerably, which makes little sense given his shooting percentages: 57.1% from two, 40% from three. He has a career-high TO% and a career-low FT%, and those things obviously aren't helping right now, but they aren't reason enough to start sending more possessions elsewhere. Go back to leaning on this guy more heavily, UVA. Or actually, wait until next game to do that.

Akil Mitchell (6-8, 235) -- Mitchell was a significantly underrated asset last season, while this year, well ... it's tough to figure what's happened. His shooting percentage inside the arc is down from 54.8% to 44.9%, his turnover rate is up, and he's shooting a career-low 45.8% at the free throw line. Some of it might be explained by a larger role in the offense, except that his role has actually gotten smaller. Maybe last year was an aberration to some extent, but he hasn't been this inefficient since his freshman year.

Mike Tobey (6-11, 253) -- He wasn't shy as a freshman, averaging 15.8 shots per 40 minutes, and that remains true in his second season. This time around, though, his 2FG% is way down. He's been an exceptional offensive rebounder and shot blocker.


Justin Anderson (6-6, 227), Anthony Gill (6-8, 230), Darion Atkins (6-8, 234), Evan Nolte (6-8, 227). Bennett has given starts to eight different players this year, and UVA's sports info department is so unsure about the lineup, it chose to punt in the game notes and simply list the starters from UVA's last game rather than suggest any probable starters. Based on the Cavs' recent lineup trends, Anderson and Atkins should figure prominently.

Anderson is taking nearly a quarter of the team's shots while on the floor and has proven to be a solid inside-outside threat. Not a bad shot blocker, either. Atkins appears to be doing too much at the offensive end, but he is a tremendous offensive rebounder, as has been the case throughout his career.

UVA Defense 13-14
Four Factors Percent Nat'l Rank
eFG% 43.1 15
Turnover Rate 19.8 96
Off Reb Rate 24.7 6
FTA/FGA 30.1 18

The Pomeroy Predictor likes UVA by two.