x

With the conclusion of this game, the Virginia v America East Challenge has come to an end, with UVa sporting a 3 – 0 record. Like Vermont, the Stony Brook Seawolves acquitted themselves well, keeping the score very close until the 6-minute mark of the second half. So what are the takeaways from the game?

 

Stony Brook44
Virginia56

 

 

Positive

A win is a win is a win. Count this as another gutted-out win for the Cavaliers. Count it also as a game that only a Virginia fan could love because the offensive woes for the team continue to haunt the players. On numerous occasions, open Hoos were hesitant to pull the trigger, and it wasn’t like better shots were forthcoming. Despite our usual stellar defense, the rebounding battle was largely a draw, the Seawolves had more blocks than our guys, and once again, the Cavs struggled against the zone.  Which brings me to….

Negative

Zone defenses. There is zero tactical reason for not lining up against the Hoos in a zone. We are simply not shooting well enough for opponents to worry about defending the perimeter. Kihei Clark continues to get into the lane whenever he wants, but bigs have learned to stay planted, arms outstretched, and defend the pass. Mamadi Diakite did a better job in the second half flashing to the top of the key, trying to fulfill the DeAndre Hunter zone-busting role, but he’s going to have to play better against better competition.

Positive

Braxton Key.  He played. Only for seven minutes, but it’s still great to see him back on the court. He was clearly not match fit as he was abused on defense at least once, and he missed his one shot and both his free throws. Doesn't matter. Seeing him back in the game was a great sign.

Negative

Three-point shooting.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, we didn’t suffer through another abysmal 4 – 24 night, but we did shoot just 5 – 16. That’s 31.3% and for those who listened to our latest Hoos Cast, historically 30% from 3 is bad, really bad. Typically, maybe less than a dozen teams in Division I shoot worse than 30%.  This year, perhaps as a result of the extended 3-point line, 20% of Division I teams are below the 30% threshold. This was a relatively good night for us.  And yet we were still really poor.

Positive

Tomas Woldetensae. After the UNC game, Woldetensae said that he was finally free from the aftereffects of last winter’s broken wrist. He’s now 5 – 7 from distance over the past two games and he’s showing a certain craftiness about getting into the lane. And then once there, he’s adding a sneaky-good ability to feed Jay Huff and Diakite.

Negative

Defensive stops at the end of the first half. Yet again, the Cavaliers let an opponent make a shot at the buzzer and what ought to have been a 10 – 14 point margin becomes a 6 – 9 point margin. The other team heads into the locker room on a high and our guys have to come out and gut out another a tough win.  Shutting other teams down quickly last year allowed us to the have the Grant Kersey Experience, and I miss it this year.

Positive

Kody Stattmann’s potential break-out. 

Only it’s going to come next year. StLou Hoo’s final thoughts on Stattmann were that Kody was going to be a project and that we should not expect him to contribute until next year. And I fully agree, except we are forced to play him major minutes right now, and he’s not performing well enough for those minutes. But…. He’s playing good defense and when he goes for a block, he does change the shot. He’s got a good basketball IQ and he’s athletic enough. His slam on our one fast break finally got the JPJ rocking.

Negative

The eye test. This is a bridge year, so there will highs, but there will be plenty of lows. It seemed like we were dominating the first half, yet given Stony Brook’s last-second three, we were only up by 6 at the half. As announcer Jordan Cornette pointed out, the game was “interesting.” Stony Brook is NOT a power mid-major and we let them hang around for far too long.

Negative

3-point shooting. Again. It still sucks, Clark’s 2 – 4 and Woldetensae’s 2 – 3 notwithstanding. On the Hoos Cast I broke down the ball movement from the Purdue and UNC games and today we had far fewer no-movement spot-up shots: 12 of our 16 3-point attempts were off better movement, whether it was inside-out or the classic drive-and-kick. We should have shot better, but we still ended the night 5 – 16. Huff is not shooting at all well (5 – 18 on the year) and Morsell added another 0-fer to his 3-point tally.

Positive

I thought the game started at 6:00pm, so I got settled a half hour early and had time to kill. This is a very enjoyable way to spend 30 minutes:

This article contains the tags:

Stony Brook (Basketball(M), December 18, 2019)