ACC/Big 10 Challenge!!!
Last resume opportunity in the noncon. Need to grab it.
At JMU has a tiny bit of value because it’s a true road game, but it’s still Q3 right now. So yeah, this one is pretty big for the resume!
JMU is out of the tourney, right? (CAA ban…) So that will be their super bowl…
TIL: Iowa has two 6’8" Murrays.
Lock up 2 wins against power 5 conference teams. That’ll be good. Honestly seeing how the team played the last 2 games and how the ACC looks overall. I’m less worried about the team than I was 2 weeks ago.
Yeah, I’m less worried about our team in the next few months and more worried about the ACC in general. I hope we get 5 into the tournament, but we are hot trash as a conference. Putting up a half decent showing against the BIG would be helpful these next few days.
This Iowa team is very good — there’s a reason they’re road favorites against us.
Keegan Murray is their #1 guy, and he’s a legit three-level scorer who shoots the three pretty well but wants to get into the paint and around the rim. He’s super crafty and good with shot fakes, etc. around the rim to get clean looks off. So far this year, Murray is shooting 42/58 at the rim (72.4%) off mostly self-created looks, which is pretty crazy— for comparison, Giannis is shooting 73.3% at the rim this year, and he’s the best finisher in the world. Murray is also at 36% from three on the season, and he’s a credible threat to knock a few down.
Him vs. Kadin’s rim protection in the paint will be an interesting matchup — the help defense is going to have to be very good today because if not Murray is going to carve us up, because there’s probably nobody who can take him 1v1 on this team. He’s too quick for Jayden and can post up Armaan (or any of the smaller guards, for that matter). It might be worth trying Reece on him if he gives us trouble early, just to bother his handle, which is one of the weaker parts of his game.
Jordan Bohannon has been around Iowa forever. He’s not really a threat to drive and attack the basket at all (Iowa has very few of those guys outside of Keegan Murray, with the exception of maybe Tony Perkins) but he can and will shoot the 3 ball. He’s taking 15.6 threes per 100 possessions while shooting 39.5% on high volume. If this game gets away from UVA, it’ll probably be because Bohannon heats up from 3 early and they have to key in on him, which lets Keegan Murray have some space to operate.
I don’t know that much in-depth about any of their guys outside of Bohannon and Keegan Murray. Payton Sandfort is a freshman with some size who is really willing to let it fly but should have some trouble if they run him off the 3PT line. Connor & Patrick McCaffery are brothers (Fran’s kids) who both seem like pretty decent wings. Their center, Filip Rebraca, barely gets any use on offense and is kind of slow defensively — for sure a downgrade from Luka Garza. They’ve gone small a few times this year with Kris Murray at the 5, but not in meaningful situations.
UVA should be able to score in the paint against Iowa, and defensively their guards aren’t all that good either. Our other advantage vs. Iowa is that they haven’t played any real competition this season yet, they haven’t played a team in the KenPom top 200 yet (to their credit, they’ve destroyed the six teams they have played so far). That will change when they play Purdue this Friday, a game I’ll probably DVR and watch because UVA-Pitt is that night but Purdue is basically must-watch basketball this year with Zach Edey and Jaden Ivey killing it.
I agree w/ what people have already said about the ACC needing to put up a good showing in the ACC-BIG challenge, because right now this conference looks like Duke + a bunch of bubble teams. The second tier — FSU, UNC, us — needs to start racking up some quality wins. It would also help if the bottom half of the ACC could figure it out at all. Feels like yet another down year for the conference, which is definitely a concern going forward.
ML for the UVA-Iowa game is Iowa -1.5 right now, o/u 132.5. I’ll take UVA to win outright — though Iowa is more talented IMO, we could catch them by surprise b/c they haven’t played anyone yet, and I think this UVA team is trending in the right direction. I’ll take the under, too, because both teams are happy to play slow and UVA’s best path to victory is probably to muck it up and prevent Keegan Murray et. al. from rolling and transition. UVA 64 - Iowa 60 (though I’m admittedly picking with my heart, not my head, a little bit here)
My super lazy analysis…
In the four games since Houston, opponents are 14-76 (18%) on 3PA against the Hoos.
I suspect we’ll see some regression back to the mean which is probably the difference in tonight’s game.
Probably right there. If i recall Houston and Navy shot like 50%from deep which was exceptionally hot and Prov Uga etc shooting 18% is likely too extreme a low. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Luckily the Hoos shooting is coming around slowly. Hopefully guys are building the confidence to pull the trigger quicker doesnt matter if it falls just need to show a threat
Yessir. as most always how many 3s Iowa makes is the key for me. Kihei has been impressive at making teams offense be hard to start as he has given ball handlers trouble. And of course Reece!! always disruptive with getting hands on passes etc
Edit: apparently in this young season Reece!! is number 6 in steals per game nationally (2.9) while that great defensive guard from Richmond is 1 with 3.9, Jacob Gilyard.
This reminds me of another negative thought (though to be fair, everything reminds me of a negative thought. I’m a pessimist.) One reason I can’t buy in to the defense first strategy for this team is we don’t have a guy who can shut or slow down Murray. So what’s the point of a defense first strategy if you have to “sweat” a tourney bubble team’s players (I know Murray is a special case). Our best defenses had a shutdown or shutdown-adjacent guy who could guard those SG-PF NBA wing types: Akil, Malc, Dre, Brax. Who is it on this team? Reece? Eh, I don’t know.
So why have we chosen a strategy that has us maxing out at “sweating a game vs a bubblicious team with one NBA talent”? (I know, I know … I should go back and read my “culture” post again).
Good analysis of the match-up. The only quibble I have is comfort at various paces. UVA is obviously always happy to play slow, and while Iowa is playing pretty slowly overall so far this year that hides a big split.
Iowa plays extremely slowly on D (I mean, lets not go crazy, they aren’t as slow as UVA but compared to most other teams they’re really slow) but they play extremely fast on O. #3 in the country in average O possession length. And they aren’t forcing a lot of TOs (which makes sense from their slow D possession length) so either they’re doing it with a lot of manufactured/non-TO based transition offense or they don’t beat around the bush about getting it to Murray and having him go to work.
They’re the best in the country at non-Steal TO%, so they’re extremely sure-handed with the ball. They also have that super-short O possession length so I suspect they actually don’t do a lot of passing during their possessions, reducing the risk of a TO. On the… third hand, I guess, their Assist% on made shots is super high so they’re not not passing. They just march down the court, make just a couple quick passes to find a “sufficiently open” guy and then go for it. Its worked fabulously so far for them so far. Which means “against bad teams” though its not like UVA’s offense ran all that differently against Providence vs Coppin State. Though I have a feeling that slowing down the tempo of their offense (which UVA is almost certain to do) will cause them some issues.
Well, I guess the one question in response to that is - do we have the personnel to go offense-first? Are you just saying you want like Igor in the starting 5 (I love Igor, but personally doubt he’s read for that yet)? From what we’ve seen from McCorkle and Taine so far, I don’t know that there’s a ton of offensive fire power laying around in our closet somewhere.
And I agree with you that we lack the pieces to be an elite defense like we have been. Have been bummed about missing the swiss army wing defender since before the season.
A lot is being made over how good the Iowa offense is, and while they are good, they’re schedule has been very very weak. They’ve played the 2nd easiest schedule out of all power conference teams. Haven’t played a true road game yet.
They could certainly smoke us, but we’re easily gonna be the best team they’ve seen
From what I’ve seen, they like trying to get the ball ahead fast, create quick mismatches (especially for Keegan Murray), and then take advantage of those mismatches before the defense can respond. That matches up with your analysis, which I definitely agree with — they’re a team that knows what they want to do & is going to do it, hence the low amount of non-steal TOs aka generally unforced errors. I imagine that’ll be a bit more difficult against a more disciplined defense like UVA’s.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, get the ball back quick hopefully before the D gets set to take advantage of mismatches with Murray (which, to be fair, is almost anyone trying to guard him). Since UVA is all about getting back quickly on D to deny the other team transition opportunities, hopefully that’ll snarl up Iowa’s offense. Hopefully.
X factor, hope the crowd, especially students, bring it tonight. Don’t feel like I’ve heard it (admiringly on TV) at that traditional JPJ level once yet. This is the most high profile opponent to date so hope that helps.
It’s a very fair question and the obvious answer is I don’t know. Tony hasn’t shown us enough of Taine, Carson, Igor or Kihei/Reece alone lineups for me to form any sort of opinion on what (if anything) would be better. Heck, we are only starting to see a few wrinkles off the base offense with our starters. I only know enough to form a prelim view that going defense first seems to be a bit limited. However, if we limit Iowa’s offense and beat them, that will make me feel a little better about the strategy. It won’t necessarily make me enjoy it, but I will at least be optimistic about keeping the tourney streak going.
Hopeful this can be Bond in a year or two, but that’s mostly based on profile. Haven’t seen much either way. Hopeful we add an athlete and/or bouncy big and/or whatever kind of big we call DaRon Holmes in the portal.
UVA is now -2? What’s going on here?