UVA vs Gonzaga Preview/Live Thread

Big game time whoop whoop.

This’ll also be our live thread for tomorrow.

Also, stay tuned to that link, the LRA Facebook page, or this thread for our pregame show where we’ll have Reece Beekman and Jalen Suggs’ former AAU coach Steve Smith on to talk about the both of them. We’ll also have the traditional panel of Mark, Doug, Hav, Phony, maybe Grant, and yours truly on to discuss this game.


Feel pretty good about this matchup. I’ve been wanting to see how this team plays when they have a reason to be up for a game. I think ball security will be crucial, Gonzaga has jumped a lot of passing lanes in the games I’ve seen this year.


Really need Murphy and Hauser (in particular) to take another step up in their defensive game. I think Huff will do his part against Timme, and our guards will stay in front of their counterparts, but may get taken advantage of height-wise. Slow Gonzaga down, get good production inside, rebound well, and hit a decent % of our threes and we will be in this game to the end. A lot has to go better than it has so far this early season, though, for the Hoos. Still I feel strangely calm about this game and really looking forward to watching.

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I think staying out of transition as much as possible is going to be important. We want this game to be at or under 60 possessions, and basically require them to beat us in the half-court. So it’s both getting back and then limiting live-ball turnovers as mentioned above. Making shots helps too. Hopefully the years of reps against UNC’s high pace approach carry over here.

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Really hope we can get off to a quick start. Gonzaga has been able to play with the lead in all of their games I’ve watched. Let’s see if they get less comfortable when they have to play catch up.



I was bored so I dug into SportsReference game logs.

  1. Gonzaga has had one game under 65 possessions going back to last season. UVA has had only had one game over 65 during that time.

  2. UVA is 16-0 in 65+ possession games over the last 5 seasons. Asterisk* here is both Duke losses in '18-19 are listed at 64.7/64.8 possessions, so there probably were 65.

Bottom line is UVA has controlled pace against everyone. Duh. Most of the higher possession games were blowout wins, probably more about the opponent’s bad defense.


The game I had in mind in terms of a controlled-tempo masterpiece was home against UNC during London’s senior year: Advanced Stat Box Score - Customizable College Basketball Tempo Free Stats - T-Rank

Significant underdogs in that game, and we just pulled them down into the muck for the entire game, as it was a game with 17 less possessions than what they averaged that season. I don’t know if this year’s team has that mode in them, but I think it’s gonna have to look a little like that today.


From his (private) tweet.


Biggest smiles I’ve ever seen from Reese, lol

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When’s the last time we really got sped up? I can recall a game in the Dean Dome during the Joe Harris days (2013, 91-83 Loss), but that’s really the only one that comes to mind.

Second half of the Syracuse elite eight game in 2016


I refuse to remember that game


Yep 70 possessions. Last 8 years they’ve had six 70+ possession games. Only loss was the especially ugly 59-56 game vs VCU in '13-14. Others were all 30+ point wins against inferior non-cons. .

Faster pace was a definite symptom of trouble for the '15-16 Elite Eight team. They were 5-4 in 65+ poss games, most of them coming during the bad stretch early in the season leading up to and including the Wake miracle. Got them again against Cuse. Take out that year and UVA is 26-2 the last 8 yrs.


I’m just wondering who are we gonna match up against Suggs?


Think the best bet is to switch it up so he never gets comfortable. Start with Kihei to get under him, Casey and Reece as better size matchups, and then some Murphy to throw some length at Suggs. In a final shot situation my hope is it will be Casey.

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Based on Data and oddsmakers score prediction says 73-65 - Gonzaga. Sports is fun because it’s unscripted … let’s see what happens. Thoughts welcomed???


UVA always puts me on the seat and this time if it happens I’ll be very happy because that means we have the game close.