Tale of the Tape: Virginia faces William & Mary

Virginia welcomes in-state opponent William & Mary Saturday afternoon, the first of three straight home games for the Cavaliers to close out 2018 and ring in the new year. Saturday’s game tips off at 2 p.m., and if you can’t make it out to John Paul Jones Arena, the game can be streamed on ACC Network Extra, via the ESPN app. As always, you can also listen on the Virginia Sports Radio Network.

The Wahoos are 10-0 after prevailing on the road Wednesday night at South Carolina behind a season-best 25 points from Ty Jerome. Entering Friday, UVA comes in at 2nd overall according to KenPom (5th in AdjD, 10th in AdjO) and 2nd overall in the newest NET rankings.

The ‘Hoos, who’ve appeared in the national Associated Press rankings for 23 straight polls, are currently No. 5 in the AP Top 25 and No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

William & Mary (4-7) is rated 186th overall by KenPom (310th AdjD, 70th AdjO) and 201st in the NET. The Tribe have won two in a row — against Hampton and Division-III William Peace — after losing seven of the previous eight. The only truly impressive victory was a two-point home triumph over Saint Joseph’s out of the Atlantic 10 last month, with losses to Duquesne, Illinois-Chicago, Notre Dame, Radford, Marshall (UVA’s next opponent), George Mason and Old Dominion.

The Tribe’s defensive stats suggest that the Cavaliers could put up some big numbers if they’re shooting the ball even somewhat effectively. W&M hasn’t won a game in Charlottesville since 1977; Nathan Knight and Justin Pierce will do all they can to lead the Tribe to an upset.

Knight, a 6-foot-10, 245-pound junior, leads the Tribe with close to 20 points a game, while Pierce is a 6-7 junior wing who averages a double-double with 17.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per outing.

The duo averages a combined 24 shot attempts a night, so Tony Bennett’s defense will likely want to apply a ton of on-ball pressure whenever either touches the rock. However, Knight (team-high 34 assists) and Pierce (32 assists) have proven that they can find a teammate for an open shot.

Matt Milon, a 6-5 guard and Boston College transfer, provides experience and a dozen points a game for Coach Tony Shaver. Freshman guard L.J. Owens also scores close to 10 points a contest.

For Virginia, junior guard Kyle Guy has been lighting it up, scoring in double figures in four straight games and six of the last seven. He’s nailed 14 of his team-leading 27 triples over that four-game span, averaging 16.5 points in the process.

Sophomore De’Andre Hunter, on the other hand, has struggled with his shot as of late. Hunter posted double figures in each of the Cavaliers’ first eight games, but has scored 9 and a season-low 5 in the last two games, respectively, shooting just 3 for 16 from the field (19 percent) and 0 for 3 from long range. Perhaps a matchup against the Tribe’s subpar defense will be just the thing to lift Hunter out of his offensive slump.

Kihei Clark surprised us with his 20-plus minutes off the bench Wednesday night after recently undergoing an operation on his wrist. It will be interesting to see how much Bennett decides to use the freshman guard in these last two non-ACC matchups, particularly in the event of having a lopsided margin on the scoreboard.

As mentioned above, the ‘Hoos will wrap up the calendar year and the non-conference schedule on New Year’s Eve against the Thundering Herd at 1 p.m. at JPJ.











  Saturday, December 22, 2018 Charlottesville, VA 2 p.m. | ACC Network Extra  
  VIRGINIA VS WILLIAM & MARY  
  Leads all-time series,
54-26
JOHN PAUL
JONES ARENA
Lost last meeting, 67-52,
in 2015
 
  10-0 OVERALL W-L 4-7  
  0-0 CONFERENCE W-L 0-0  
  W 57-49 vs VCU LAST GAME W 106-89 vs
William Peace
 
  72.4 233rd POINTS PER GAME 77.3 114th  
  51.3 1st PTS ALLOWED PER
GAME
81.3 330th  
  21.1 SCORING MARGIN -4.0  
  252-538 (47%) 99th FGM-FGA (%) 303-636 (48%) 72nd  
  83-216 (38%) 43rd 3PM-3PA (%) 93-280 (33%) 218th  
  137-181 (76%) 31st FTM-FTA (%) 151-220 (69%) 211th  
  193-503 (38%) 25th OPP FGM-FGA (%) 324-673 (48%) 333rd  
  46-177 (26%) 6th OPP 3PM-3PA (%) 99-244 (41%) 349th  
  81-129 (63%) 19th OPP FTM-FTA (%) 147-196 (75%) 329th  
  32.8 REBS PER GAME 34.2  
  15.1 ASSISTS PER GAME 17.1  
  8.0 TURNOVERS PER
GAME
13.5  
  7.0 STEALS PER GAME 4.5  
  2.8 BLOCKS PER GAME 4.0  
    INDIVIDUAL
LEADERS
   
  #11 Ty Jerome, 14.8 ppg SCORING #13 Nathan Knight, 19.1 ppg  
  #12 De’Andre Hunter, 14.5 ppg   #23 Justin Pierce, 17.6 ppg  
  #5 Kyle Guy, 13.9 ppg   #2 Matt Milon, 12.0  
  Mamadi Diakite, 59% FG % Nathan Knight,
59%
 
  Kyle Guy, 27 3PM Matt Milon, 26  
  Ty Jerome, 42% 3PT % L.J. Owens, 42%  
  Two with 1.000 FT % L.J. Owens, 78%  
  Braxton Key, 5.3 rpg REBOUNDS Justin Pierce,
10.2 rpg
 
  Ty Jerome, 43 ASSISTS Nathan Knight,
34
 
  Ty Jerome, 20 STEALS Chase Audige, 12  
  Mamadi Diakite, 7 BLOCKS Nathan Knight,
15
 
         






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