VBHoo has a great guru post* that explains on the Edge board:
What I saw… [last night] was a team that does not fit together at all, in early-December form trying to compete against a better team with experienced players inside and shooters hitting their shots at the start of both halves, and playing at a February level.
He goes into detail (see the extended entry), but I’m going to post his great plea for fan support here:
This team needs and deserves fan support now more than any UVa squad in a long time…. [It's] difficult to see seemingly good, loyal, adult fans singing the blues over something we have little control of events over, and none if fans desert the basketball program at its time of need. I really don’t like the public displays of discontent aimed at our players in the face of the realities that our program has faced (and will face for 2 more seasons) with the fadeout of the Gillen era.
I played on a baseball team at UVa in 1966, where we finished 6-19, winning our last game to avoid a 20-loss season. It was so bad on the manpower attrition (Pincavage, Carrington, Wilcox (our captain/catcher), and Yates Hall could but did not play) that I hit cleanup!!!! We actually no-hit NCSU at Raleigh in one of our 5 other wins. My view is that fans need to get back on track and support the team with all its unfortunately consistent flaws and look for the good rather than emphasizing the obviously bad.
It’s hard to be optimistic in a season like this (as my recent posts show), but he is right that this year’s season-killing issues (injuries and inexperience) don’t look to be endemic problems. Some times, a team just gets hit upside the head with the unlucky stick. No need for us fans to pile on if there doesn’t appear to be anything actually wrong with the program itself.
The rest of the “what’s wrong” analysis:
I don’t know what our fans should expect from this bunch. 1/2 the squad has missed significant time to injuries, so it has been pretty difficult to build any team chemistry. Repeated changing of the players in the games reveal more players that are making bad basketball plays at critical times in games, mostly because they can’t count on each other to integrate their play. We traded an experienced, finished product in JR, who gapped a lot of our shortfalls with his basketball IQ, for what looks like a rookie, baseline-scoring guard in JJ. We traded a gap-filling, experienced finished product, such as it was, in Cain for Scott who was out from the spring to November with an injury. The 2 centers we expected to play the position are eligible for medical hardships with little likelihood to return nor to be any better than November-effective against players at a March-development level.
My sense is that the Coaching staff and the kids are very game and are sticking together much better than our expectant fans, even though no grouping is playing well together. Dave seems to have exhausted his patience looking for a Causey or a Milbourne, or a VT Stephenson, but after finding absolutely none in 19 games, we are just left to flounder and hope that we can steal a win or 2 as SS plays the string out, hopefully not in streetclothes for his final game at the JPJ.
*message board post that will expire