The Hoos did their part in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, defeating Wisconsin 49 to 37 at JPJ on Monday night. How did the Hoos do versus my Nine Things piece on the game? Let's take a look. But first, let me apologize for possibly jinxing the game. I linked the boxscore to the Badgers' 48 to 38 win in 2013 in my Nine Things piece. Perhaps it cast a pall over the game and caused the inverse of that game to take place Monday night. Hopefully it wasn't my fault, but I wanted to cover my bases, just in case.
A Quick Start On Offense
Despite how the game finished, the Hoos got off to a pretty respectable start. Kyle Guy's layup with 15:27 left in the first half made the score 9-2 in favor of UVa, a 72 point pace. At the ten minute mark of the first half, the Hoos held a 16-10 advantage, a 64 point pace. At that point, Devon Hall and Kyle Guy had scored all sixteen points for UVa. Devon Hall then picked up his second foul of the first half and left the game. The Hoos would go on to score another eight points in the half.
The start was good despite the conclusion. It's close in my estimation but I'm putting this one in the yes column.
Quick Start Counter
Quick Start: Austin Peay, VCU, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin
Not A Quick Start: UNCG, Monmouth, Rhode Island
Quick Starts: 4 for 7 or 57%
I didn't mean sixty five points combined by the two teams! Had that been the case, the Hoos and Badgers would have comfortably cleared the bar. The Hoos won, which is most important by far, but only scored 49 points in the win. Predictably, ESPN followed with a column the next day stating that the Hoos need to prioritize scoring in order to become a true national contender. It kind of felt like the column was written and just waiting for the perfect opportunity before publishing. Despite the maxim, not all press is good press. Hopefully the two conferences won't match these two teams in the challenge again any time soon.
Diakite had a respectable game finishing with four points, five rebounds, one block, and only one foul in twenty four minutes. He did commit an alarming four turnovers in that time, accounting for a third of the team's total. Diakite flashed a pretty jump hook from the lane that reminded Hoo fans of the potential he's yet to fully tap but seems to be on the way to realizing. But he still did not have the Darion Atkins style mini breakout I was looking for.
As predicted, the Hoos were not able to shut down Happ but he also did not dominate the game. Happ finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds in 31 minutes. Happ did account for just over 37% of the Badgers' point total but it never felt like his impact on the game was going to put the game's outcome in jeopardy.
Isaiah Wilkins was able to top Happ on the boards with ten and Jack Salt was able to tie him with eight. Salt finished the game with four fouls but logged 30 minutes of court time, tied with Ty Jerome for second most on the team behind Kyle Guy's 34.
Happ didn't find himself victim of the post trap often but when he did it was largely successful. There was one instance where Wilkins set the trap and the duo of he and Salt were able to force Happ into a double dribble violation.
Free Throw Shooting
The time spent on this section was largely wasted. Wisconsin shot 4 for 7 (57.1%) which was below their season to date percentage. The sample size just wasn't enough to impact the game. The Hoos didn't even attempt a free throw, the first time that has happened to the Hoos in a game since never.
I'll just leave this here.
If you want to go to the free throw line, you have to go to the rim. Floaters, pullups, spin-move-jumpers from the high post do not earn free throws.— Hoos Place (@HoosPlace) November 28, 2017
Guy's seventeen points were the high for the game, besting Devon Hall by one. Guy was only 1 for 6 from three. He supplemented his lack of outside shot with a collection of layups and mid-range jumpers. As predicted, Wisconsin had a pretty difficult time staying in front of Guy as he largely went where he wanted on the court with the ball. In isolation, it was fun watching Guy have his way with the Badgers.
Tony opted for the eight man rotation in the game leaving Marco Anthony and Jay Huff firmly attached to the bench. Diakite, De'Andre Hunter, and Nigel Johnson all played quality time off the bench, however. We'll look towards upcoming non-conference matchups against Lehigh, Savannah State, and Hampton for the bench rotation to expand.
The ACC went 2 and 0 Monday night with both the Hoos winning and Syracuse defeating Maryland. As of this posting, the ACC appears well on its way to winning back to back challenges for the first time since 2007 and 2008 as it holds a 6 to 1 edge over the Big Ten. Other ACC wins have come from Georgia Tech (Northwestern), Virginia Tech (Iowa), Wake Forest (Illinois), and Florida State (Rutgers). The Big Ten's lone win so far was Purdue defeating Louisville at home in West Lafayette.
Because this was the marquee non-conference home game on the schedule, I was hoping that the Hoos would have at least a few visitors at JPJ despite the late start time. Per UVa hoops recruiting fanatic Hooz Got Next, that was not the case.
Any visitors in attendance?— Karl Hess (@notkarlhess) November 28, 2017
nah— Hooz Got Next (@HoozGotNext) November 28, 2017
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