Alright guys, let's get these previews back up and rollin'. We have been somewhat lackluster recently for several reasons. Admittedly it has been difficult to get the motivation to take the time to write these when we aren't seeing any wins. I'm going to change that and throw this one up for the game tomorrow!
This is a huge game for the Deacs (7-13, 0-5) as they take on the Virginia Cavaliers (11-9, 2-4) at the Joel today at 4 (ACC Network, ESPN3). The Cavaliers are coming off an embarrassing 66-42 at home on Thursday night to the Maryland Terrapins, and the Deacs are of course coming off of a better-played-than-the-score-would-indicate 83-59 loss to the #2 Duke Blue Devils last Saturday.
Click through for projected starting lineups, predictions/projections, and general information about the game.
|Adj. Efficiency:||105.4 96||101.1 157||101.0|
|Adj. Tempo:||60.5 340||67.4|
|Effective FG%:||49.2 160||51.0 248||49.0|
|Turnover %:||18.1 48||19.4 239||20.6|
|Off. Reb. %:||29.2 275||29.0 51||32.6|
|FTA/FGA:||34.9 242||28.6 28||37.9|
|3P%:||38.1 44||37.7 303||34.3|
|2P%:||44.8 273||48.1 186||47.7|
|FT%:||70.4 119||67.4 111||68.8|
|Block%:||9.4 189||8.5 195||9.2|
|Steal%:||8.3 66||8.8 222||9.6|
UVA has played very well at times this year, but with the loss of Mike Scott, (their leading scorer and rebounder on the year) they have really struggled in ACC play. According to KenPom, UVA is by far the best chance left on the schedule if Wake Forest wants to win a game this year in the ACC (29%, next closest is 20% against State).
UVA has an above average offense, and an average defense, but neither is extremely impressive. They do not turn the ball over very much, but don't force turnovers either, so that is a wash. Offensively, their shooting is mediocre, but defensively they are not very good (allowing opponents to shoot a 51% eFG%). The interesting thing about the Hoos is the fact that when they have a sector that they do well offensively or defensively, they are just as bad on the other side of the ball in that sector (see offensive rebounding % and free throw rate).
With Mike Scott out for the year, the Cavs are relying heavily on Mustapha Farrakhan and KT Harrell to carry the scoring load. Joe Harris also has shouldered a bit of that burden. Farrakhan has stepped up to the challenge, and is averaging 16 ppg in his last 7 (including a 31 point output against Howard earlier this month). When Scott went down, rebounding is what really suffered. Assane Sene is the only other player on the team averaging over 4 rebounds. Since Scott went out, Sene has averaged 7.5 rpg, but that is not enough to make up for the loss of Scott.
Sammy Zeglinski, whose father, John Zeglinski played football and basketball at Wake Forest, has seen limited minutes after coming back from a cartilage injury in his left knee. He certainly has not been as effective this year, averaging 5 ppg and 2 apg, compared to 9 ppg and 3 apg last year.
UVA will likely start the following players:
- Assane Sene (C)
- Mustapha Farrakhan (G)
- Jontel Evans (G)
- Joe Harris (G)
- K.T. Harrell (G)
They do not have the best size in the ACC, and we should look to get Sene into early foul trouble to make that deficiency even more glaring. If this can happen, Carson could have a great day out there (especially if he can get his layups to fall). UVA will likely only get 7-8 players meaningful minutes (Sherrill, Zeglinski and Miller + the starters).
- Short Turnaround for UVA- The Cavs are coming off a thrashing in their own arena to a hated rival in Maryland on Thursday night. The Deacs have had a week since their last game against Duke, and should be well rested. UVA can come out one of two ways: they could come out sluggish and sleep-walk through the first half, or they will be jacked up and ready to play, embarrassed with their previous game. If we were a powerhouse team this year like Duke, I would suggest the second option is more likely for UVA, but obviously we are not. Since we are the worst team they have the rest of the way, I believe they will get off to a slow start, and we will capitalize early to get a lead, and hold it at the half (maybe 6-8 points). The only hesitation I have here is due to Tony Bennett being the head coach and really getting them up for this game.
- UVA's lack of ability to defend the 3-ball- Opponents are shooting 37.7% against UVA this year from behind the arc. With a renewed confidence from our game last week against Duke, as well as the determination to finally get that first ACC win, the Deacs will come out all cylinders firing to not only get off to a good start, but shoot red-hot from the field. Gary Clark will get a few early looks as Tony Bennett packs in his defense to help Sene down low, and limit Travis McKie. If Clark can hit these early shots it will open up the inside, as well as the driving lanes for Harris and Chennault to get to the basket, or kick out for more 3's.
- We have to win a game in the ACC- We cannot possibly go 0-16, I mean ZERO AND SIXTEEN?!?!? A win tomorrow would be absolutely huge for our teams morale and momentum. It would reinforce what the guys are learning in these "legendary practices", and give an unquantifiable confidence surge for the guys as they start looking towards the second half of the season. I want to see these guys succeed so badly, particularly because everybody is calling them out and questioning them right now, not just in the North Carolina media, but the national media as well. Get it done boys and shut the critics up.