Pros: The lone bright spot in an otherwise horrific showing from the Cats. Hassan brought the intensity, provided a top-10 dunk to pump up the team and take the crowd out for a couple of possessions, and even hit a 3 pointer at a time when it was needed. His shots were falling, and he seemed to be the only player that wasn't intimidated by the environment. Hassan also made some good defensive plays that led to some points on the other end. A much changed person from the first two games.
Cons: His intensity waned at times. He did not rebound as much as he was capable. I should also note his poor free throw shooting so far this season. Hassan is a player who will get to the line more often then most players.
Pros: Salim contributed slightly with a few outside shots in the second half. One of the better shooting performances on the team, but not good compared to what he can and needs to do. 3-for-10 from behind the arc is OKAY, but they need more from him.
Cons: Nonexistent in the first half. Shot selection could have been better—he felt like he needed to sink 3's to get his team back in the game. Committed six turnovers and looked confused offensively at times.
Pros: I was surprised to see 17 points and 11 boards when I looked at the box score. At least he posted some nice stats. His 7-13 from the field really surprised me as it seemed like he fared worse.
Cons: He had some serious butterfingers going on, and he was way too tentative. Plays like the one in the first half where the ball simply slipped out of his hands don't bother me that much, compared to those like the one with 15:15 to go in the second half, where there was a scrum, and he looked like a teenager afraid to enter a mosh pit at a rock concert. Frye needs to get tough, and get tough fast. He has the players behind him where he can afford a few fouls. Too many times I saw the UVA postmen practically ask him to get out of the way—and he did just that.
Pros: Had a lot of energy, and appeared to be putting forth lots of effort. Also seemed very frustrated, which is what you want to see when the team is getting it handed to them.
Cons: He got so frustrated, that he reached the point of panic. Countless times he brought the ball up the floor, and immediately tried to drive the lane on a couple of 240+ pound UVA players. He ran straight into them, lost the ball, fell down, then asked for a foul. Mustafa, you're not going to get that call on UVA's court. He needed to harness his energy (compliments of Happy Gilmore), and filter out the bad. He needed to look for the open man. His five turnovers were also a concern.
Pros: Mmm… not so much. Maybe his 3-pointer early in the game?
Cons: We saw the IRAD of last year. An intimidated immigrant who is homesick. I never really paid a single thought to him all game. Wherever the ball was, he wasn't. He pretty much had the best spectator seat in the arena.
Cons: Fox needed to be the player for the U of A who could respond to the physical style of UVA. This would have helped open up some space for Frye to work in. Unfortunately, Fox was not a factor. Hopefully he is still feeling the effects of the injuries.
Pros: No turnovers. Should have gotten more playing time, in place of the wreckless Shakur.
Cons: 1 for 5 shooting, but had he played more, I think he would have been more effective.
Things that must improve:
1. Shooting. Stoudamire, and everyone else, needs to shoot better on the road. This should develop throughout the season.
2. Defensive rebounding. UVA had 11 offensive rebounds, and almost all of them led to an easy lay up. Frye and Radenovic are the main players who must focus on this, but every player on the floor should be looking for an opportunity to attack the rebound.
3. Defending the transition. As strange as it may sound, I noticed that on many occasions, UVA beat us down the floor defensively. This was not just on turnovers, but on missed shots as well. We are definitely quick enough to beat them down the floor—it is a matter of hustle.
4. Sloppy passing/turnovers. The ‘Cats committed 21 turnovers. Many of these were careless passes picked off from Stoudamire and Shakur. The guards should utilize the pass fake, avoid projecting their passes, and make clean hard passes, EVERY TIME.
5. Finishing. The main culprit of these is Channing Frye. Too many times he will lay up a bunny shot, to have it roll around the rim and out. He, and all the other players, should 2 hand jam it whenever they can. It fires up the team, and is a much higher percentage shot.
If the ‘Cats had eliminated three of these problems in the game against UVA, it most likely would have put them over the top. They will need to fix four to all five of these problems if they have any hope to win the preseason NIT.