Virginia traveled to Tallahassee to take on the kind of Florida State that always gives us fits: fast, deep, and long and rangy on the wings. We’re starting to hear about NCAA seedings and the need for “quality” wins, which a victory over the #10 Seminoles would be. Alas, the standard woes that have plagued this team were on full display on Wednesday.
A moral victory. Bad teams need moral victories where they can find them, and this was a moral victory. Florida State is always a tough match-up for us and as per the usual script, we fell behind early, yet fought to regain the lead by the middle of the first half. As you might have guessed, Virginia again let a team score in the closing seconds of the first half, so the second half was again a slog. But we traded blows in the second half with one of the better teams in the ACC before falling short.
3 point shooting. I fully admit I didn’t see this game. If you listened to our podcast, I admitted that I feared this matchup like I haven’t feared a game in years. I had to work late, and to be honest, I can’t stomach the thought of catching this game on replay. But the numbers do not lie. Tomas Woldetensae went 3 – 4 from deep and the rest of the team hit zero three-pointers. Not one. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Kihei Clark had very quietly got his 3-point percentage to up over 40%, but he has gone 3 – 11 since. Woldetensae was successful this game, but he went 3 – 14 in the three games before this one. Kody Stattmann, after recording scoring highs in sequential games, has gone 0 for everything the past two games. As a public service, I am not going to post Kody's or Casey Morsell's shooting percentages because looking at them would make your eyeballs bleed.
I have a prescription to cure our shooting woes. We have a player on the bench who is reported to be every bit as good a shooter in practice as everyone not named Sam Hauser.
Free Austin Katstra!
It is incomprehensible how poorly we are shooting. For the record, there are now only 3 schools in Division I who suck worse than us. I do not know, really, if Katstra is going to be any better than our current gang of anti-snipers, but Lord, he can’t be any worse.
There’s an added benefit to playing Katstra. It could change the narrative on the season and get the JPJ fans juiced. If there is someone the hometown faithful will love more than Kihei, it would be cheering the walk-on. He drains a single three and the joint will be jumping. The fans need it. On the one hand, we’re all a little bit jaded: we just won the national title, for crying out loud. But on the other, it has been painful at times to watch this team’s struggle from beyond the arc. We need a distraction.
Hold Katstra out of Saturday’s game at Georgia Tech and bring him in when we face NC State next Monday.