Reece/Harris Problematic?

I read a short article this morning that posited Reece returning along with Harris would be a “disaster” for us; some of you may have read it. I will summarize it: given that Tony likes to play two point guards our starting lineup would presumably be Reece, Harris, IMac, Dunn, and Minor. With this lineup we would be significantly undersized at every position. Since Dunn and Minor primarily finish at the rim, and IMac would pretty much be the only shooter on the floor, the opposing team’s defense need only bother IMac and clog the paint, leaving us with little offense. I am interested in what people have to say about this theory. Would TB have to play one PG? Of course, all of this only matters if Reece returns. Sorry so long!


I reject this premise. Starting lineup would be Reece-Isaac-Andrew (gotta start throwing in his first name some now that he’s a Hoo) and Dante would be first guard off the bench.


And then we have the bonus of bringing Elijah along as the season progresses


Agreed with @Hoos9412, I like those comparisons a lot in terms of the role of each player. The big thing is that Rohde can handle the ball, allowing TB to have multiple capable ball handlers on the floor and still have some size.


I know that’s a small lineup, but it’s arguably bigger and more athletic than last year’s at every spot but the 2 and 3 (I’m imagining BVP as the typical 5 last year). Shooting would be an issue though, so I’d bet that we see Reece-Imac-Andrew-Dunn-Minor as the starting 5.

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I cannot for see any issue with our top player returning from last year. It would be the reverse in my opinion that it would only make the team better and TB will have more options/lineups to use. So, I respect the opinion that the author of the article expresses but couldn’t disagree more.

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I do agree the premise is flawed (writer not mine); I can only surmise that the author was putting together a lineup with 1. true point guards and 2. Dante getting more minutes than he will coming off the bench. I agree Andrew should start as it would provide much more of a shooting punch. I do hope Dunn develops a little more of an offensive game over the summer because it would spread the defense a bit more.


I’ve seen arguments that Rohde’s 3P% is suppressed in part because he took contested shots out of necessity last year at St Thomas. Couldn’t the same argument be afforded to Harris at Georgetown? I really don’t know if his low% means he is a bad shooter or that he’s taking bad shots.


Not sure what kind of shots he was taking for 3s, but he connected on roughly 41% of his 2-point attempts, so that appears to be his game.

If we were generic college hoops fans looking at the Harris situation, we’d probably be 50-50 on whether he started. On one hand, he’s got two years power 6 starting PG experience, a half a year in our system of playing “getting to know you”, and a wacky but still counts Big East tourney MOP. On the other, he was at one of the worst power 6 teams and shoot fairly poorly and scored inefficiently, and then was probably losing his starting job on a team that was still not very good.

I think it’s this odd UVa fan quirk that “Tony likes to play 2 PGs together, even if they don’t shoot well or score efficiently” that is really a tell on the hoops we watched these last 3 years. Was that an odd quirk of Tony’s? Or was it our best option? (Or somewhere in between)

My guess is the generic college hoops fan probably has a better beat on this (sometimes you’re smarter with less information, tbh). But this all obviously depends on all sorts of stuff we don’t know yet (Reece back? Rohde/iMac’s ability to run point? Did Cain commit here?).


I don’t know enough about Harris’ style to project how it will work at UVA. But generally, we know that Bennett’s tolerance of risk in the risk/reward profile is at the lower end. And I think in his mind the best way to manage risk is to have a ball handler that he trusts to minimize mistakes. And lately it’s been ‘why just have one trusted ball handler when I can have two?’ And so unless Bennett has a change in thinking, caused by a major reboot of player personnel, I suspect the lineups and PT are going to be predicated on who Bennett thinks provides the most controlled and safest ball handling.

Think that’s always been his thinking. We just haven’t had reliable secondary ball handlers the last 3 years


Your post wasn’t that long, it was perfectly fine.

That lineup isn’t undersized at every position. Beekman is taller than average for a 1 and Dunn is average for a 4. So, yes, it’d be shorter than average at the other three spots, but its still significantly (0.8" per spot) taller than last year’s lineup when Shedrick was at the 5 (so it’d be a LOT taller than when we had BVP at the 5).

However, I think the spacing issues are valid if a bit overblown. Beekman and, probably, Harris aren’t likely to be volume 3 point shooters (if Beekman returns), but they’ll put up enough to be respected as threats. Beekman attempted around two and a half 3s per game last year, and Harris has averaged closer to 3 over his career. If they combine for 6/game as starters, iMac averages around 6 (which is his volume/minute last year give Franklin-like minutes), and Rohde (who’d probably be the 6th man and put up BVP-like utilization numbers) probably averages around 3, plus a combined 2-3/game from Dunn, Taine and Bond, the team is average 17-18 3s/game. Maybe 550-600 over a 33 game season. That’s a bit on the light side and less than the 617 the team attempted last season, but should still be enough volume to keep defenses honest.

The problem, unfortunately, could be what plagued the '19-20 squad. That team actually attempted more 3s (as a % of overall shots) than last year’s team but their accuracy was so bad other teams didn’t have to respect it. A few guys individually shot 35+% from 3 but (other than Woldo), they did it on a low volume of attempts so you know they were only doing it if they were completely open and even then they were only hitting 35%. And when you have multiple guys shooting under 27% from 3 on decent volume (Stattman 26.9%, Key 18.5% and Morsell 17.6%) the other team is probably doing the opposite of guarding them.

Beekman can probably hit 35+% like he did last year and needs to be respected and iMac should be a high-volume sniper the other team has to glue someone to. But the others are less certain. Rohde is unproven as an outside shooter at the ACC level and Harris’s track record is… lets go with “spotty”. If things go well for those two, then UVA’s offensive balance should be good enough to keep defenses honest. But if they aren’t, and that’s a very valid concern, then… the balance probably won’t be there.



Agree that having two ball handlers is preferred but it’s more that our recent options have been offensively challenged in other ways than guys like Perrantes and Brogdon, Jerome. Hopefully we’ll now see ball handlers who can shoot and score effectively when needed.


Re: liking to play 2 PGs together

The last 3 seasons are interesting. This season, Kihei and Reece certainly played a bunch together, but they also both turned in really solid, effective seasons so why wouldn’t you? (on a per-possession basis their numbers were startlingly similar. .351/.352 3FG%, .428/.429 2FG%, Kihei drew more fouls and was a little higher utilization while Reece was a little better at rebounding, steals, etc) but CTB also managed to play iMac 20+ mpg so they didn’t vacuum up ALL the minutes.

Last season, Reece and Kihei played ~88.5% of available backcourt minutes (solidly higher than this last season) and Kihei’s offensive numbers weren’t very pretty, and I think that’s where this legend comes from. But the reality is CTB’s other options weren’t great. Maybe Taine could have gotten more minutes at the 3, moving Franklin to the 2, but I don’t think anyone today is seriously arguing Taine should have been getting 15+ mpg. Looking at the body of work of those guys after this last season, its hard to see anyone playing well enough for CTB not to give all the minutes to Reece and Kihei.

And then in '21, Reece and Kihei combined for ~79% of backcourt minutes. Unlike last season, had a good other option in Woldo, and he should have gotten more playing time. The only explanation I have is that Woldo’s biggest strength was outside shooting, and that team already had outside shooting in spades. What it needed was someone, anyone, who was comfortable playing in the post and weirdly that turned out to be Kihei. McKoy could have been that guy and also deserved more minutes. And then Beekman was a defensive buzzsaw with oodles of potential so CTB liked having him in. Ugh. That team really should have been better than it was. If this last season was one of CTB’s best coaching jobs ever, '21 might have been one of his worst. A ton of interesting, useful pieces that he never quite put together perfectly.

Anyway, the point is, yes, its some of both but I think lack of bench options drives it more than just wanting 2 PGs on the court at a time.


This goes somewhat against the topic of the thread, but how does your analysis change regarding starting lineup/minutes assuming no Reece, but Cain (hopefully) and Elijah?

True- we’ve only had Kihei and Beeks. However now atleast have:

Harris, Rodhe, Gertrude and potentially: IMAC, Bond

I think the other major issues were we didn’t have size nor shooting at those guard spots, so hopefully we have adjusted even though Harris is a bit slight.

I’m conflicted- I still want Blue though, BUT I don’t want to blow up the team…however our next Big man needs to be able to shoot so that we can have atleast 3 proven shooters on our team, otherwise we are depending on unproven Bond, Gertrude, and Dunn. Although all 3 of those guys are *talented and have a high floor so hopefully at some point talent will take over.

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In the context of their 3 seasons? Yes. In the context of our guard play since the natty? Yes. In the context of what you need from your backcourt to be a top 10-ish type team with legit final 4 aspirations (i.e., basically what we had from 2014-19)? Not really in the ballpark. Compare their numbers to what we had in those seasons. Their numbers were fine, but basically put way too much pressure on the 3 (who contributed a good not great season himself) and probably put too much pressure on our frontcourt to provide scoring which in turn caused us to do what we did from UNC (JPJ) onward with the frontcourt.

I mean, maybe (maybe maybe maybe) if you combined last year Reece and last year Kihei with the scoring/shooting of the 20-21 frontcourt, then you’re getting in the neighborhood of what you’d need from your backcourt to get to the 14-19 level.


Harris will likely play 20+ minutes per game, even with Reece back. And there will probably be 10+ minutes of overlap.

But Harris has more quicks and ups — and finishing ability at the rim — than his predecessor.

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For me it’s this: Even if you assume Tony is biased toward two PGs because he just likes it … if Rohde is a secondary ball handler a la Devon Hall, then we’ll probably just see a lot of combinations of the two of Rohde/Reece/Harris. How much of each combo will depend on all the other Bennett stuff (who is playing well, who has the defense down, match-ups, etc.)

So, once we got Rohde I stopped caring almost entirely about this.