Virginia travelled to Chestnut Hill to take on a depleted Boston College missing veteran big man Nik Popovic and leading scorer Derryck Thornton (a game-time scratch.) Coach Tony Bennett has owned BC, going 7 – 1 against the Eagles over the last 7 years. No reason to expect anything different this time around.
Losing to a mediocre Boston College. Mamadi Diakite scored on the opening possession but then he picked up two fouls in the next 26 seconds and he was on the bench for at least the next 10 minutes. He only got back in the first half when Jay Huff picked up his second foul just 7 minutes into the game. This is a team with a razor-thin margin of error and team was out of sorts all night, at one time allowing the BC lead to balloon to 12 points.
Kody Stattmann. Kody keyed a 12 – 0 Cavalier run that brought the team back into contention with a pair of slashing drives to the hoop and a fine interior feed to Jay Huff.
Stattmann, along with Braxton Key, were the only two players attacking the rim with any confidence, or any success for that matter, because as per usual….
3 point shooting.
Maine. Coppin State. Kennesaw State. UMES. Mississippi Valley State. Jackson State. Texas A&M. These are the only 7 schools in the country that shoot the 3 worse than UVa. Combined record: 22 – 82. ** Note to self: Maybe instead of bemoaning our shooting woes, I should be really impressed that we are winning games when we so completely suck at a skill so integral to success in the modern game.
Free-throw shooting. The team went 16 – 20 from the line, lead by Kihei Clark’s 6 – 6 night and Key going 6 – 7. But this grade might be more of an incomplete as down the stretch, when we’d made it a game, but Huff and Mamadi both went 1-2 at the line, thereby deflating the small cushion we’d established.
Casey Morsell’s confidence. It can no longer be said that this young man’s confidence is in the toilet. It’s gotta be worse than that: it’s in the cess pool. Morsell did not let fire from deep tonight, but when the team was down by a single point late in the first half, Morsell got the ball, drove and popped up for a short jumper – the kind of shot that many of us have thought should be his bread and butter – and missed. BC scored the next five points and the Cavaliers were again chasing the game. I don’t think Morsell played a single minute of the second half.
5’8” We all love Kihei’s spirit. And after a 2 – 2 night from beyond the arc, Clark is now shooting 40% from 3. But let’s be honest, his stature is killing him. BC freshman Jay Heath, filling in at point guard for the aforementioned Derryck Thornton, had a career night scoring 17 points on 6 – 8 shooting overall and 3 – 5 from deep. He was literally throwing shit up against the wall because he knew that Clark couldn’t stop the shot. The announcers repeatedly called Heath’s shots “contested” but they were not. Clark was in Heath’s chest, all right, but he was completely helpless to stop a single shot.
On offense, Clark got into the lane at will but was completely ineffective. Late in the game, Clark got to the rim, but had been so contorted to get the shot off, that the layup was practically an airball. He had a shot blocked just because he’s 5’8”. And then he had an open layup that he whiffed when he must have heard footsteps because he made a simple layup difficult.
The bench. Huff scored 5 points. That was the sum total we got from the bench. Chase Coleman played hard, but he’s got the same size limitations as Clark. Justin McKoy logged a season-high 11 minutes but he lacked the energy he’s brought the fray in previous games. Tomas Woldetensae looked lost. And Huff has regressed to the point that he’s drawing Mike Tobey comparisons. And that is not a compliment.