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StLou's Previews: Hampton Pirates

Hampton Pirates

Virginia continues coasting into the holiday break welcoming it's second straight sub-200 program of the week, the Hampton Pirates, who last faced UVA in the 1-16 game of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Will this game go as comfortably as that 36 point win?

Game Details:

Date/Time: Friday, December 22nd, 7:00 PM EST
Location: John Paul Jonses Arena, Charlottesville, VA
TV: WatchESPN

What 'They' Say

Vegas: No Line Available
TAPE: TAPE: Ranks Hampton #227, predicts a 77-49 UVA win, 100% confidence
KenPom: KP: Ranks Hampton #270, predicts a 75-50 UVA win, 99% confidence

 

Depth Chart:

Starters

PG #2 Jermaine Marrow, 6-0 182, SO
32.4 mpg, 19 ppg, 6.5 apg, 33% 3P%
SG #1 Malique Trent, 6-2 190, SR 
26 mpg, 16.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 25% 3P% 
SF #25 Akim Mitchell, 6-5 200, JR 
27 mpg, 7.3 ppg, 1.3 apg, 18% 3P% 
PF #4 Greg Heckstall, 6-6 195, SO 
26.8 mpg, 9.5 ppg, 2.1 apg, 41% 3P 
C #22 Trevond Barnes, 6-9 210, JR 
18.5 mpg, 6.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 56% FG% 

Key Reserves

G

#23 Kalin Fisher, 6-2 180, JR
25.6 mpg, 12.4 ppg, 1.6 apg, 35% 3P%
SG #33 Lysander Bracey, 6-4 156, SO 
13.9 mpg, 5.3 ppg, 0.8 apg, 35% 3P% 
PF  #24 Austin Colbert, 6-8 202, JR 
16.8 mpg, 4.6 ppg, 3 rpg, 40% FG% 
F/C #31 Charles Wilson-Fisher, 6-9 205, SR 
16.7 mpg, 5.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 42% FG% 

 

The ABC's of HU:

A) This is actually one of the MEAC's better teams. Yes, the MEAC is arguably the nation's worst conference (in competition with the SWAC), and we typically roll MEAC squads, including the better ones. But at least Hampton is in the conversation for the conference title. Coach Joyner has taken the Pirates to the Big Dance 3 times in his 8 years there, and KenPom projects them to win the league again this year. While they've only scored two D-1 wins on the year, they've hung tough against some other respectable mid-major competition, including @W&M (by 7), @GW (by 8), and Coastal Carolina (by 4).

B) There's going to be a familiar looking face starting at the 3, Akim Mitchell. Yes, the little brother of Hoo alum Akil Mitchell. And when I say familiar face, I mean near-identical. Akim, in his junior year, is a major contributor for the Pirates, playing 26 minutes a game, chipping in 7.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and making 56% of his 2PA. His weakness is from distance as he's only 18% on the year from 3. Shame what Hall and Hunter are going to do to him on his brother's home court.

C) The wild card for Hampton is Malique Trent. The 2-guard just recently became eligible for Hampton after transferring from TCU in the middle of last season. He scored 11.6 ppg for the Horned Frog as a freshman, but didn't click with new coach Jamie Dixon. The RS sophomore has started hot for the Pirates, averaging 16.5 points, 5.5 reb, and 2.5 assists in two games against Gardner-Webb and Appy State. He, like most of his teammates, is focused on getting into the lane so staying in front of him is key. We're projecting he gets his first start in this game.

Their season to date:

Hampton is 5-8 on the season, with three of those wins against D-2 teams Bluefield College, St Leo, and Mid-Atlantic Christian. Most recently they scored an impressive 86-53 win at home over Appalachian State. 

Keys to getting the win:

1) Shut down PG Jermaine Marrow. He is the unquestioned engine of Hampton's offense. He's their dominant scorer, 19 points a game on crazy volume (he takes almost 17 shots a night), but also serves as an effective facilitator too, 6.5 assists a game. He is turnover prone, however, 4.5 TOs per game, and only a 33% three-point shooter, so it's very conceivable our defense can harass him into a very inefficient game.

2) Keep them out of the lane. Hampton is neither good at taking three pointers (only 32% as a team), nor do they really like taking them in the first place (only 27% of their shots are from 3, bottom 10% nationally). They want to dribble drive as often as possible. While the pack line is ideally designed to chase three point shooters off the perimeter and into a congested lane, it will benefit our defense to ensure we're not biting on 3PA pump fakes, and while closing out with a hand up, still maintaining a base to cut off their drive attempts. Make them shoot jumpers, the last thing they want to do.

3) Exploit the three point line. Hampton is one of the worst teams in the country defending the perimeter. They give up almost 40% from long range. Given the capable 3 point shooters in our rotation, this should be a great game for them to get in a rhythm and bomb away. Bonus points if this can be the game Hunter finds his three point stroke; he should be able to easily shoot over any Hampton defender he draws. This goes triple for Jay Huff.

 

Predictions:

Hampton, with Trent in the fold, is trending upwards, as evidenced by their dismantling of an Appalachian State team that scored a 16 point win over Davidson. But Hampton is unfortunately in for a rude awakening with our defensive discipline. Xavier held them to 0.78 points per possession earlier this year, and our result should be similar. Expect plenty of second unit run being the only thing that prevents this from being a total runaway.

Hoos Win: 72-52