The Downside - Virginia | Syracusefan.com

The Downside - Virginia

SWC75

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- I had my first ever root canal yesterday. I had my second one today, watching this game. It seemed like a continuation of all the games we’ve played against Virginia, especially down there. Even Jim Boeheim, when the score came in during his commentary on the UNC-FSU game said, “We lost by a score like that every time I played there.” Actually, it hasn’t mattered where we’ve played Tony Bennett’s teams. We are 1-6 in the John Paul Jones Arena and have been outscored by an average of 62-73. We are 1-6 against them in the Dome and have been outscored 54-65. (It must be the background that makes shooting harder.) That’s 11 points, either way. New coach. New players. New defense. It doesn’t matter. Wash, rinse, repeat.

- That was the LSU game, except we were LSU. That game was 19-21 with 6:24 left and wound up 80-57. This one was 18-19 with 5:03 left and wound up 62-84.

- Actually, it was worse than that. A 24-56 run had given the Cavs a 33 point lead at 42-75 with 7:02 left. Then we put the press on and scored 10 points in a row. In the game Jim Boeheim was doing, Florida State had led by as many as 14 and were up 56-48 with 9:19 to go when the Heels put their press on and scored 22 unanswered points and went on to win 78-70. We have 9 athletic players plus a couple more similar guys who are injured and a couple of big men who maybe aren’t ready but could help us in a pinch. Why can’t we make the press a regular part of our defense and our offense, to bring out the energy in our team and get teams like Virginia going too fast for their comfort?

- It seems so simple. “You see #11 – go out and guard him, every time.” But apparently, it’s hard. We gave Isaac McNeeley opens shot after open shot and he made 6 of 8 threes to break the game open and scored 22 points,

- Chris Bell, Justin Taylor and maybe Benny Williams are our best hopes for a consistent outside game. No outside shooter is on all the time but we need at least one of these guys to find the range in every game, preferably two of them. They were 2 for 12 in this game while Isaac McNeeley was going 6 for 8 for the Wahoos. Overall we were 5 for 20 from outside and they were 12 for 21. That was the ball game. We made one less two point shot and one more free throw.

- Jim Boeheim’s formula was to break even on the boards and we’ll get more turnovers. We were -6 on the boards and had 4 more turnovers. That’s ten extra possessions for UVA. They could have beaten us without them. With them, the game wasn’t close.

- Judah Mintz was totally stymied, usually having two guys on him, one of them Reece Beekman, one of the best defenders in the country. The “pack line” defense doesn’t allow successful drives to the basket anyway and the refs weren’t calling the fouls Judah looks for. The NBA has a lot of guys like Reece Beekman, Judah.

- Benny Williams hustles when he gets in there but he’s a junior and was a top recruit when he came here. He needs to be dominating. To do that, he’s got to put the ball in the basket and he was 1 for and missed his only three. He’s also got to play more than 17 minutes.

- Naheem McLeod doesn’t accumulate much in the way of negative stats so he doesn’t usually look bad in the box score. But he has a lot of shots he didn’t contest and rebounds he never got to. In this game he seemed hobbled a bit but it’s been a problem in other games, too.
 
Beekman didn’t stop Judah by himself he had help, 10 eyes on the ball. But the nba doesn’t play a pack line defense. There is much more spacing. Judah will thrive in the nba plus he’ll have guys to dump it down to and who can make open shots.
 
Yep-
Lost to a good team, but was an ugly loss that hopefully isn't a preview of the rest of the season.
Losing is one thing -but this blowout left nothing to be encouraged about.
Hard to watch -and now a loss to Cornell not out of the question, unfortunately.
Need big W vs Cornell to regain hope that this team goes anywhere this season.
 
Beekman didn’t stop Judah by himself he had help, 10 eyes on the ball. But the nba doesn’t play a pack line defense. There is much more spacing. Judah will thrive in the nba plus he’ll have guys to dump it down to and who can make open shots.
Would love to see him make those passes now and give his teammates the opportunity to make those shots. If he doesn’t show this skill soon, he’s not getting the NBA call.
 
Our starting center is too slow to play in the ACC. I’m calling him McPlod from now on.
 
The one time SU did win in that arena was memorable to me. That was during the height of the Orange empire lazy "Cuse doesn't leave home until January" nonsense. The Gotlieb's of the world tried to discount that December road win because IIRC UVA's best player was sick.
 
Beekman didn’t stop Judah by himself he had help, 10 eyes on the ball. But the nba doesn’t play a pack line defense. There is much more spacing. Judah will thrive in the nba plus he’ll have guys to dump it down to and who can make open shots.
Gotta make the NBA first. Don’t see that happening for Mintz, when his game is a poor man’s Norman Powell. He’s going to have to show he can play real defense and stop gambling for steals every possession. He’s going to have to show a consistent outside shot. He’s going to have to figure out ways to get involved when he’s not putting up points. I hope there weren’t too many scouts at the game yesterday.
 
Our starting center is too slow to play in the ACC. I’m calling him McPlod from now on.

He did seem to be hobbled by some sort of "owie" early in the game.
 

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