With a lot of message board discussion focusing on Virginia’s shooting woes and offensive slump in February, I went back and charted the Miami game to determine if UVa is getting “good shots” and missing or failing to produce quality opportunities at all. In the following few paragraphs, you’ll see what I noted from the film. It’s all subjective and based on what I would consider a quality shot for the Cavaliers considering what the system is trying to produce.
For the note-taking purposes, a Y means that “yes, the shot was made” and N means “no, it didn’t go in.” FTs, as you probably could guess, means free throws were earned on the shot. I defined four categories for the breakdown. “Open shots” were scored as uncontested looks at the rim with no defender to bother the shot. “Good shots” were scored as looks at the rim within the offense where the shot was either mildly or lately contested. “Bad shots” were scored when the shot was contested heavily or a shot was taken based on a bad decision for the offense (for example, early in the shot clock with no rhythm). Finally, “acceptable shots” were moments that I considered the move to be a good decision within the offense even if the shot was contested.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I’ll always be a football girl, living for Saturdays in the fall, but there’s just something about the spring sports season that makes me so giddy. Is it because I can sense the arrival of spring weather after all the Charlottesville snow? The Foxfield Races are on the horizon …
The more I thought about it, two key points became clear: 1) My Wahoos are good at spring sports. 2) The various teams aren’t being overshadowed by big-time revenue sports like football and basketball. I can’t help but feel sorry for the men’s soccer team, who’s national title came in the midst of a football tragedy. It’s a different story during the spring. Instead of hearing about a three-win football season, or a basketball team that is floundering down the stretch (eep!), I get to read about the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams and their respective runs toward ACC and national titles. I get to watch the Cavalier baseball team win games and try to repeat last year’s run to Omaha.
This past weekend, the spring season kicked into high gear while basketball continued to struggle and men’s tennis continued to dominate. Virginia’s baseball team and both lacrosse teams are poised to make an impact on the national stage. Sadly, I only saw one game in person; my college student’s schedule and budget both prevented travel this weekend. However stationary I may have been, I was still able to read recaps, look at stats, and catch some highlights. It’s only been one game, or one three-game series for the baseball team, but I’ve got some observations to share. (more…)
After putting together an all-decade team for the 2000′s, hoosfootball.com has shifted the focus to the 90′s and the best UVa players from that decade. Some picks were obvious. Shawn Moore and Chris Slade, for instance, easily made the cut. But what about running back? Pick two: Terry Kirby, Thomas Jones or Tiki Barber? Who makes it? Take a look at the all-decade picks and then share your thoughts on The Sabre message boards!
Last week, some of you posted questions for coach Dom Starsia and the men’s lacrosse team. After several re-schedules, cancellations, and one trek through the snow, I finally have your answers. (more…)
Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson has added another ACC coach to his staff. After hiring former UVa coach Al Groh to be the defensive coordinator, Johnson now has brought in N.C. State linebackers coach Andy McCollum to be the recruiting coordinator. Read about it on ACC Now, the blog of the Raleigh News & Observer.
Brendan over at the “From Old Virginia” blog really does a remarkable job with his work. He really puts a lot of thought and effort into some very interesting pieces. The latest is a look at basketball and Virginia’s defense under first-year coach Tony Bennett that is a must read! Check it out.
The pace of play analysis that he tackles is a key factor in the Hoos’ improvement this season. There’s also the fact that the Hoos’ transition defense is light years better than it was a season ago. All of the chatter, however, is a complex way of explaining the ultimate measurement for me: the eyeball test. When you watch Virginia play this season, the defense looks better more consistently. There is a long ways to go without a doubt. But the effort, the communication, the movement (and so on) are all better than they were in recent seasons. I think that’s a sign of things to come when the stats catch up to what we’re seeing.
The men’s basketball message board is filled with talk of Mustapha Farrakhan’s dunk on N.C. State’s Javier Gonzalez. Some posters wanted to see more of the moment so here’s the sequence of photos of the one-handed jam.
Early this morning, legendary UVa football player Bill Dudley passed away at the age of 88. Boardhost added his No. 35 to The Sabre background as a tribute to “Bullet” Bill. The following video is from a Virginia documentary (read more below) and is a tribute to one of the Hoos’ greatest all-time players.
The video was created by the producers of the upcoming documentary Wahoowa: The History of Virginia Cavalier Football. This feature was presented at the annual Bill Dudley Scholarship Foundation auction this past October in honor of Bill Dudley and the scholarship bearing his name. It features scenes from the documentary focusing on how Bill Dudley found his way to the University of Virginia through luck, pluck, and the help of an unlikely benefactor. For more information on the documentary please visit www.UVaFootballHistory.com.