Basketball Scouting Report: Virginia
Navy gets its biggest test of the season when it travels to Virginia to take on a Cavalier team that should be dancing come March.
While one player gets a lot of attention for Virginia, don't mistake UVA for a one-man show. Navy will be going up against a well-rounded team that has already pushed a ranked VCU squad to the wire this season. Navy will have to bring its A-game just to hang around, even though Virginia has fallen short of expectations in recent seasons.
Guard – Joe Harris – Senior, 6-6, 225 2013-14: 8 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists per game
Harris is the household name on the Virginia roster, the one that is circled on every opposing team's scouting report. Don't be fooled by the numbers. Harris is one of the better players in America, and Navy has to find someone to check him or he could – and probably will – explode.
Forward – Akil Mitchell – Senior, 6-8, 235; 2013-14: 9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.7 apg
Despite his size Mitchell is only fifth on the team in rebounds per game. He doesn't look for his shot much, but he does shoot effectively when he decides to look for an opportunity. In a game like this, Navy has to be able to compete with a grinder such as Mitchell on even terms, at the very least. If Mitchell outworks Navy in the paint, it becomes harder to imagine a scenario in which the Mids can stay close.
Forward – Anthony Gill – Sophomore, 6-8, 230; 2013-14: 6 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Gill is a guy who was used only sparingly in the Cavaliers' big game versus VCU. He plays only 18 minutes per game, which is not in line with a starter's level of minutes. He brings energy to the table, but he isn't a major weapon for UVA.
Guard – Justin Anderson – Sophomore, 6-6, 227; 2013-14: 6.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1 apg
Anderson has struggled with his shot early in the season. He tries to make an impact in other ways for the Cavs. He can be sneaky on the defensive end if the opposing offense gets lazy. If Navy wants to avoid giving up cheap baskets, being vigilant on offense in the presence of Anderson will be a priority.
Guard – Malcom Brogdon – Sophomore, 6-5, 217; 2013-14: 12 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.7 apg
Brogdon is a player who has started the year strong, and he figures to be the guy who will take pressure off Harris. Even at 28 minutes per game, he's considered the most efficient player on the team.
Keys to the Game
1) Limit turnovers. Both teams prefer to play in the halfcourt. Navy is averaging almost 20 turnovers per game, though, and that won't cut it against a team such as Virginia.
2) Get guys free for good looks. While it sounds obvious, UVA is holding teams to 34 percent shooting from the floor this season. Navy has to find a way to break down the Cavaliers' defense for high-quality shots.
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