And how in the world did the Virginia Cavaliers knock off Arizona?.
They used Head Coach Pete Gillen's [Official Photo right] uptempo style that pushes the ball and runs at any occasion that presents itself - [according to the Charlottesville Daily Progress.]
The #25 Cavs beat Arizona by 18 points, 78-60, the second game in a 4 game winning streak. This is Gillen's 20th year coaching, and 7th at Virginia. He's got a 104-78 game record and has had UVA in the post season tournaments 5 times in his 7 years, but the NCAA's just once.
Virginia likes to style itself as another high academic school, one writer compared their academics to ours..a starting point for a discussion, but our job is to play roundball tonight, not talk relative strengths of academics.
The Cavs are led by #43 6-9 Senior Forward/Center Elton Brown. He's averaging 16 points and 10.3 rebounds a game. He's had 3 double-doubles, and has 1,000 points already. He even looks imposing...
But the best shooting average is held by #34 6-8 Senior Forward Jason Clark - he's 14 of 22 for a .636 shooting percentage.
They can also hurt you outside the arc - the top 3 point shooter is the small forward 6-5 Senior Devin Smith - [right] he hits for just over 42% 11-26] of his 3's and 53.7% [22 of 41] of his field goals.
Right now, the Cavs average 82 points a game and have allowed only 58.2 - their rebounding average is also way up there - but look who they've played. Along with Arizona, they've whupped up on Robert Morris 88-55, Apalachia State 77-60 and Richmond, 85-58. This game with NU is probably their second big test this season.
The Cavs start 3 seniors. They shouldn't be rattled by the NU matchup zone, or any other defense we throw at them. They have one guard, Soph J.R. Reynolds, [6-2.5] who gets rebounds, and steals the ball, and a frosh guard, Sean Singletary [6-0/left] who's already been named ACC Rookie of the Week for his play against Arizona [15 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals].
These guys play in the ACC where they're picked to finish 8th! Sounds like Northwestern?
But here's the scary stat - Virginia's Defense averages 58.2 points a game - NU has been averaging 57.8. We keep the games close, but this one has the potential of being a blowout if the Cats don't find their stroke and the freshman guard, Singletary, gets going again.
Coach Roy's Purple Reign Categories:
|The Big Gun
||#43 Elton Brown
||#34 Jason Clark
||#33 Devin Smith
from the arc
|Off the Boards||#43 Elton Brown
||#2 J.R. Reynolds
||6-6 - 1.000
|Pickpocket||#44 Sean Singletary
||#23 Gary Forbes
off the bench
||#44 Sean Singletary
||#33 Devin Smith [6-5]
#34 Jason Clark [6-8]
||#43 Elton Brown [6-9]
||#2 J.R. Reynolds [6-2.5]
#44 Sean Singletary [6-0]
They sure get a lot of points and rebounds from their starters who average 28 1/2 minutes per game!
[Played in most games, or Avging 9+ mins]:
||#23 Gary Forbes [6-6]
#30 Adrian Joseph [6-7]
||#55 Donte Minter [6-8]
||#15 T..J. Bannister [5-10.5]
The Cavs are averaging 82.9 points a game - they get 60 of them, almost 75%, from their starters.
Challenges for the Wildcats
- Make the most of our size advantage up front - our guys match up at least two inches taller at forward and center.
- Try to keep the ball out of Smith's hands - and don't let Singletary get going
- Make some offensive rebounds
- Penetrate - these guys do average 10 steals, but only 2.5 blocked shots.
- Try not to foul - the Cavs have a 72% shooting percentage from the charity stripe.
- Come out playing defense - don't let these guys get up on us!
The big question is will the Wildcats continue their domination of other teams at home this year and will one of the Cats step up and become the on and off court leader of this team that Head coach Bill Carmody has said is "searching for its chemistry."
A big win, heck, a win over UVa would go a long way to answering both those questions.
The game will be on ESPN2 with Bob Carpenter and Tim McCormick
Radio: WGN with Dave [Mr. Wildcat] Eanet and Shon [the Big Cat] Morris
Coach Roy may be late, but
Beat 'em All!
|Talk about it on the Purple Boards