like Virginia Cavaliers Get a victory on the highway vs Syracuse orange With a last rating of 67-62, UVA superior to 17-3 on the season and 9-2 in ACC play. With the win, we’ve got 5 takeaways.
Jayden Gardner wins the sport for UVA within the final minute
Whereas his play all through the sport was stellar, Jaden Gardner’s two landing performs within the final minute primarily gained this sport for the Wahoos. First, dealing with Jesse Edwards on the publish with only a minute left, Gardner guarded Edwards head-on, unconcerned with a five-inch top distinction, and successfully shuffled his ft to match Edwards’ drive to his left, drawing the cost as large Syracuse started. name man. With this defensive stance and even offense, Gardner erred by taking Edwards out of rivalry and gave the Cavaliers a fantastic alternative to place the sport on the ice with a 64-62 lead with 1:00 left.
Then, on possession, with the shot clock winding down and nobody with the ability to create area inside Syracuse’s territory, Gardner jumped to the center of the protection, picked up the ball, bumped Munir Hema into the 6’11” field, stride extensive, and hit a lackluster mid-range soar shot to set Virginia 4 factors and possession with 33 seconds remaining.
As talked about, Gardner’s stellar efficiency surpassed solely these two performs. His 17 factors, eight rebounds (5 of which have been offensive), two steals, 6-11 capturing from the ground, and a 5-7 efficiency on the free throw line led UVA’s approach. Offensively, he was a strong shooter within the tender spots of Syracuse territory whereas enjoying on the glass and ending solidly on the edge. Defensively, he was significantly nice within the second half each on the ball when he needed to shield Edwards and off the ball as he performed passing lanes properly, was good at time for the double, and was good on his runs.
With the outing, Gardner collected a season-best two video games previously three days after tallying 18 factors towards Boston Faculty on Saturday. The veteran was on the skin taking a look at instances throughout this successful streak, nevertheless it’s clear he stayed prepared and stepped up robust when the group wanted him. That is equanimity, that is expertise, and that is sheer willpower.
Kadin Shedrick’s play is problematic
Forward of this season, Kadin Shedrick regarded prepared for a breakout season. Not solely is it a redshirt junior season when Virginia’s prime males actually show themselves and discover consistency, however after final season he appeared very near ending his sport and turning into a dominant senior participant for UVA. His potential as a participant was at all times excessive as a result of he might be defensively blocking pictures, blowing up ball screens and making life straightforward on his teammates whereas his offensive sport was increasing. It regarded like he may be an enormous participant for the Cavaliers within the paint.
Sadly, regardless of his flashes early within the season as an efficient finisher and playmaking defensive middle, his persistent issues with foul troubles (Chedrick is 92 of 92 eligible ACC gamers in fouls each 40 minutes), basic inconsistency, and unhealthy luck. Luck and foolish errors left the group with no actual middle to depend on when wanted.
That lacking piece was evident towards Syracuse because the Orange ran their offense largely by quarterback Jesse Edwards – who completed with 14 factors, seven rebounds (4 offensive tackles), and three assists. Whereas Shedrick performed 11 minutes, he fouled 3 times in that interval as a result of he was enjoying protection a lot together with his palms as an alternative of his ft. With out Shedrick as a dependable particular person defender from Edwards, UVA was left scrambling as Vander Plas and Gardner often struggled towards the peak and size of Syracuse’s middle.
Fortunately, these two managed to mix to get sufficient pit stops to get the win. However Shedrick’s play currently is legally worrisome when the Hoos are up towards large guys like Duke’s Kyle Filipowski, North Carolina’s Armando Bacot, or Clemson’s PJ Corridor. The groups have clearly recognized defending the place as certainly one of Virginia’s weaknesses and it is solely a matter of time earlier than one pays them for it.
Virginia’s freshmen proceed to show their value within the large moments
With Virginia’s Justin Taylor and Malik Brown (and the Charlottesville space) collectively to play 71 minutes on this sport, there was a transparent problem involving UVA’s Isaac McNeely and Ryan Dunn as Tony Bennett primarily picked these two guys over homegrown merchandise. Whereas Dunn and McNeely play for a group that’s deeper and extra skilled than Taylor and Brown, they every had their moments within the second that proved essential for the ‘Hoos down the stretch.
McNeely’s pair of triples within the first half helped hold the offense from falling into lulls as Syracuse stifled the Wahoo offense whereas his often faultless offensive sport stored the Orange upright all through the sport. He additionally added 4 highly effective defensive rebounds in 18 minutes.
In simply eight minutes of labor, Dan was (as common) calm till he wasn’t anymore. His one-handed dunking of an alley cross from Kihei Clark was in typical Dunn type whereas offering a good change on the defensive finish when Virginia was struggling to discover a approach to cease Jesse Edwards.
That Dan and McNeely proceed to realize late sport expertise will probably be helpful within the brief and long run as their improvement continues to push UVA’s bar increased this season and into the long run.
The UVA expertise is totally revealed
Whereas the children had their moments, this was a sport the place the worth of getting outdated and staying outdated was proven for Virginia. Within the fifth yr Gardner performed extremely properly, as did fellow seniors Kehey Clark and Ben VanderPlass. Clark hit a double-double, scored 12 factors and had 10 assists with 5 of his factors coming within the last 3:04 of regulation as a three-pointer clutch and a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions prolonged Wahoo’s lead from 59-58 to 64-58.
BVP was additionally significantly necessary enjoying in Syracuse territory as his passing capacity and knack for creating area and discovering teammates open had him six assists – he additionally completed with seven factors and 7 rebounds.
Granted, Clark has 5 turnovers whereas Vander Blass has three. However that will merely occur towards a tall, well-trained zone protection like Syracuse when tight passing is important to creating an open look. Total, having such an abundance of expertise continues to win UVA video games. These guys have had these moments again and again and are comfy enjoying the clutch.
The subsequent three video games may mark UVA’s finish within the ACC
With that seven-win streak now, the Cavaliers are nonetheless in charge of their ACC future as first-place Clemson involves Charlottesville on February 28 in a sport that might very properly decide who wins the common season convention title. Nevertheless, issues can and possibly will change dramatically earlier than this sport is even performed.
Virginia’s subsequent three video games signify UVA’s hardest group of opponents this season. play Virginia Tech In Blacksburg subsequent Saturday, then host North Carolina State on tuesday, and capped off a tricky week by saying howdy to Duke Blue Devils To city within the eleventh, the Hoos could make or break their common season right here.
By successful all three, UVA would fantastically set up themselves for successful the ACC title with video games towards Louisville (actually unhealthy), Notre Dame (comparatively unhealthy), and Boston Faculty (unhealthy) spilled the subsequent week of motion earlier than heading to Chapel Hill, then dealing with Clemson, and shutting the common season at house towards Louisville (once more, actually unhealthy). Assuming these 4 video games go down as a win, a 4-1 lead or higher within the remaining 5 needs to be sufficient for the ‘Hoos’ to get the one seed in Greensboro.
Course 10-1 Clemson Tigers Ought to the UVA group be involved about their problem in that spot. However with the way in which the Tigers have performed on the highway this season and contemplating how fortunate they have been with some shut wins (taking a look at you, Florida), it appears cheap for them to drop at the least two extra video games on their schedule (together with house towards Miami, on the highway towards North Carolina, house towards Syracuse, at NC State, and Virginia).
All of which is to say that this seven win streak has been enormous for Tony Bennett and firm. In the event that they hold at it, issues ought to begin to fall into place.