November 22, 2013

WahoozeCast - November, 11th

Hey there errybody. We're back to fill your brain with our delightful discussion of all things UVA sports. Enjoy our reflection on the start of the basketball team's season, football's upcoming game at Miami, and a few other things - like how awful NC State is.

Leave comments so we can discuss!





If you have issues with the stream cutting out or restarting, just right click the rotunda-looking thing, save the mp3 file, and listen to the download.

November 19, 2013

Strength of Schedule

Apologies to my friend Andy, who sent me the following e-mail 12 days ago, before our game against UNC.  I didn't put it on the blog immediately, but here it is now.  Take a look...



So as i sit here watching Ball State destroy CM i began to think about what we are as a team (UVA). while this is incomplete in thought, i thought it might be reasonable to see what our opponents have, and are doing, and does it show any signal of explanation...

as such here is what i see as a first step; records of our opponents:

1. BYU (6-2) ranked #28 in AP; losses to UVA and Utah (4-4)

2. Oregon (8-0); # 3 in the country

3. VMI (1-8); they are ignored for this research and not counted 

4. Ball State (9-1) ranked #34 in AP; loss to North Texas (6-3) which had losses to Ohio (6-3), Tulane (6-3) and Georgia (5-3) who had losses to Vandy, Clemson (8-1) (#7)and Mizzou (#8)

5. Pitt (4-4); losses to VT (6-3), Navy (4-4), GT (6-3), FSU (8-0); #2 in the country

6. MD (5-3); losses FSU (8-0);#2 in the country, Wake (4-5), Clemson (8-1); #7 in the country

7. Duke (6-2); losses GT (6-3) and Pitt (4-4)

8. GT (6-3); losses VT (6-3), Miami (7-1); #11 in the country, and BYU (6-2) #28 in AP

9. Clemson (8-1); loss to FSU (8-0); #2 in the country

Yet to Play

10. UNC (3-5); losses to South Carolina (7-2);#12 in the country, GT (6-3), ECU (6-2), VT (6-3), Miami (7-1); #11 in the country

11. Miami (7-1); loss to FSU (8-0); #2 in the country

12. VT (6-3); losses to Duke (6-2), BC (4-4) and Alabama (8-0); #1 in the country


So what have we learned? Combined record of our direct opponents (minus VMI) = 52-16. That is a 76.5% winning percentage. Also, we will play our first opponent this year with a losing record on Saturday (UNC).


Notes:

BC losses included USC, FSU, Clemson, UNC, Navy lost to #23 Notre Dame and Duke, South Carolina lost to Georgia


Who knows if this means anything, but by record, our quality of opponent is/has been pretty high.


It's a good point and a great e-mail.  Of course, things have changed a bit in the week and a half since this was written.  But take a look.

BYU -- 7-3
Oregon -- 9-1
Pitt -- 5-5
Ball State -- 9-2
Maryland -- 6-4
Duke -- 8-2
Georgia Tech -- 6-4
Clemson -- 9-1
North Carolina -- 5-5
Miami -- 7-3
Virginia Tech -- 7-4

That's an overall record of 78-34, a 70% win percentage.  If Pitt can beat one of Syracuse or Miami, and if UNC can beat one of ODU or Duke, then all eleven of these teams will be in bowl games at the end of the season.

I am not presenting this as any sort of excuse for our absolutely horrendous performance on the football field this season... I'm just suggesting that the deck was stacked against us a little bit this season.  You might say the ACC is garbage.  You might say that, and you might be wrong.  These are good teams.  And thus, that's a tough row to hoe if you do not have at least an equally good team or some sort of an edge in the coaching / gameplanning / luck arena.

We suck.  Our football team is terrible.  But 2-8 at this point in the season is not as bad as maybe it seems.



Meanwhile, brace yourselves.  I won't give away any information that is provided behind a pay wall, but I'll tell you that I now have it on very good authority that Mike London will be back for the 2014 season.  My guess is that the $11.6 million buyout is a boulder too large to roll out of the way.  That makes even more sense when you consider the tough sledding the administration experienced in trying to raise the $13 million for the Indoor Practice Facility.  Heck, the timing of the IPF is probably creating an atmosphere in which it's impossible to fire Mike London, just based on sheer finances.

Anyway, London is going to be back.  And we can kiss Pete Lembo, Mark Hudspeth, Tim DeRuyter, and maybe Dave Clawson goodbye.  But it gives Philip Montgomery and Scott Frost another season to mature into viable candidates.

In the meantime...  I'm not yet sure how we should approach the 2014 season.  Hopefully, maybe, I'll have a post on that soon.  (No promises, it's basketball season.)


November 16, 2013

UVA 70, Davidson 57

Solid win on the road (at a neutral site, but super close to the Davidson campus, in Charlotte) over a good mid-major program.  Not sure how good this year's Davidson TEAM is (34-point loss to Duke, 4-point loss at home against Milwaukee prior to this game), but it's a really good mid-major program.  I'm bullish that this was a good win for our team at this point in the season.

Quicknotes:

-- Mike Tobey and Malcolm Brogdon led the way, with Akil Mitchell and Justin Anderson stepping up in the second half to help the Hoos pull away.

-- London Perrantes didn't shoot well (1-for-5 from the field), but sank both of his free throws and submitted a noice 5:1 assist:turnover ratio.  He got the start today, with Justin coming off the bench.  I like that look.  Four year starter at point guard?  Sign me up.

-- Free throw shooting for the entire team was improved over the VCU game.  We hit on 16-of-21 from the line, 76%.

-- We absolutely PULVERIZED the Wildcats on the boards -- 44 rebounds for the Hoos vs. 24 for Davidson.  That's going to be our path to success in a lot of games this season.  Make free throws and clean the glass.

-- Putting an APB out for Joe Harris.  Oh-fer from the field (on just 4 shots), 1-for-2 from the line, 1 point in however many minutes.  I'm not worried about this... yet.  Obviously we need him to get going soon, but it's nice to see us post a 13-point win on the road over a non-cupcake opponent with Joey Buckets being a complete non-factor.

-- Akil Mitchell had a huge second half, after a sputtery, shitty (3 turnover, 0 points) first half.  In the second, Akil a Mockingbird notched 11 points and 7 rebounds.  He came through for us to help secure this win.  Love the guy.



-- I didn't highlight it above, but I want to hit on these two stat lines:

  • Mike Tobey -- 18 points, 73% from the field, 100% from the line, 7 rebounds (5 offensive), 2 blocks.  We better enjoy this season from Toblerone, because I'm not sure we're going to see another.
  • Brog -- 17 points, 70% from the field, 100% from the line, 1-for-1 from 3, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals.  Great game.
-- Our upcoming schedule: Navy (11/19), Liberty (11/23), Hampton (11/26).  Should be three blowout wins, and ample opportunity for Joe to find his way back from the wilderness.

-- SMU on November 29th is an interesting game.  Good chance to notch a win on neutral court that could kind of help our RPI and tournament profile.

-- And then it's Wisconsin on December 4th.  Huge game.


I like how things are settling in right now.  I'll admit, I was pretty nervous about this game today.  We screwed around with Davidson for a while -- really, they stuck around in the game by knocking down 11 threes.







Good lord, it's nice to not have to even think about the football team on a Saturday.  Ssssshew.

Packlines: Triplethreat (TM pending)



Thursday was the start of the early signing period for basketball, and Tony Bennett reeled in an interesting trio of recruits.

The press release:

Virginia men’s head basketball coach Tony Bennett has announced the signings of center Jack Salt (Auckland, New Zealand/Westlake Boys High School), guard B.J. Stith (Lawrenceville, Va./Oak Hill Academy) and forward Isaiah Wilkins (Lilburn, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian School) to National Letters of Intent with the Cavaliers.

“We are certainly pleased and excited about welcoming Jack, B.J. and Isaiah into the Virginia men’s basketball family,” Bennett said. “All three of these student-athletes will bring a lot of intensity, skill, athleticism and character to our program. They are well-rounded student-athletes, who understand the worth of a degree from the University of Virginia. We are looking forward to their arrival next fall.”

The 6-10, 240-pound Salt tallied 14 points and 16 rebounds as the Westlake Boys High School Premier Team recently defended its New Zealand School Boys AA title. Salt earned all-tournament honors and earned Westlake’s Loe Family Trophy as its Most Improved Senior player. Salt earned all-tournament honors as a member of the North Harbour U17 Team, which participated in the 2013 New Zealand U17 National Championships.


Jack Salt
The 6-5, 205-pound Stith helped lead Brunswick High School to three straight Virginia High School League Division 3 State titles prior to enrolling at Oak Hill Academy for the 2013-14 season. Stith was named all-state and all-region after averaging 16 points, six rebounds and six assists per game to lead the 2013 state champion Bulldogs. Stith is ranked No. 48 on Rivals.com’s 2014 Prospect Ranking list. Stith, who was also a state champion track athlete, is the son of former Virginia star and NBA player Bryant Stith.

B.J. Stith
The 6-8, 205-pound Wilkins averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game for Greater Atlanta Christian School in 2012-13. Wilkins led Greater Christian to the Georgia AA State championship and was named the AA State Player of the Year and Region 6-AA Player of the Year. He blocked 158 shots, including a single-game school record 15. Wilkins is ranked No. 107 on Rivals.com’s 2014 Prospect Ranking list.
Isaiah Wilkins


If you're hungry for reading more about the Triplethreat hoops recruiting class, here are some choice nugs:






I've never seen any of these kids play, but 've done a lot of reading about them and I followed their recruitments closely.  Here are my thoughts on what each will bring to the Hoos during the course of their UVA careers.

B.J. Stith
Okay, so let's get this out of the way.  Bryant Stith is my favorite Cavalier ever, from any sport.  I'm a total and unabashed fanboy when it comes to all things Stith.  So imagine my giddiness when I learned that B.J. (the more talented of Bryant's two sons) had decided to matriculate at the University of Virginia.


Stith has some point guard skills, but is more of a true shooting guard or wing.  I'd say his game sounds very similar to that of Malcolm Brogdon, with maybe a bit more lateral mobility (and thus, defensive potential earlier in his career), but a little less physicality.  Stith's perimeter shot is still developing, but his mid-range game is already there.  That hearkens back to the thing I liked best about K.T. Harrell before he turned yellow and ran away to Auburn -- mastery of the lost art of the mid-range jumper.

At UVA, B.J. will likely be a part of the rotation as a freshman, maybe spelling Brog at the 2 and helping to fill minutes at the 3 when Justin Anderson / Evan Nolte aren't on the floor.  I think Stith will play, and play quite a bit.  Brog's senior season is B.J.'s sophomore season, so I'm expecting Stith to start at the 2 as a junior and senior at UVA... and hopefully do all of the things that his dad did for the Hoos 25 years ago.


Isaiah Wilkins
It's important to note that Isaiah DOES NOT possess any DNA from The Human Highlight Film.  However, having 'Nique around to advise him and help him develop his skills can only have helped Isaiah get to this point, and to eventually realize his full potential.


And what is that potential?  Well, as a 6-8 pogo stick 4, the temptation is to make comparisons between Wilkins and Akil Mitchell.  I actually think the two are fairly different players.  It sounds to me that Isaiah has more of a an appetite for the "finesse" parts of the game -- passing from the high post, pick and pop skills, work as a point forward or a stretch-4.  With that 7-foot wingspan, he's a good rebounder and shot-blocker, but maybe those parts of his game could still use a bit of refinement.  It's hard to say what kind of a shooter Wilkins is at this point, but there's no doubt that he's willing, and there's no doubt that that's part of the package Bennett was intrigued with in this kid.

If Mike Tobey sticks around for his junior season, Wilkins will slot in as the 4th man in the frontcourt rotation as a true freshman, where he can get acclimated to the packline and the college game without a whole lot of pressure to perform.  If Tobey leaves, we're going to need some quality minutes out of Wilkins from jump street.  For his UVA career, I'd expect to see Isaiah Wilkins develop quickly (like Akil) and begin challenging for starter's minutes as a sophomore.


Jack Salt
“Rugged, tough player with good upside.”
“He’s raw. He’s a hard-playing competitive big guy.”

Jack Salt is a project big.  Those tend to pan out for Tony Bennett, and if he can do for Jack Salt what he did for Jerome Meyinsse, then we'll be in business.

But the healthy approach here is to expect nothing from Salt until we start seeing something.

"Salt will, funny enough, need some seasoning."  Good one, Whitey.

Salt probably won't play much his first couple of seasons at UVA.  After that, we'll see what we have.




November 14, 2013

Packlines: Confidence from the Line



Okay, so I haven't posted anything about the loss to VCU because in the dancing shadows cast by the dumpster fire that is our football program, I really fucking needed to see the basketball team win this game against a team and coach I have come to absolutely loathe.

Of course, it didn't happen.  Fuck it.  Misery is all you get to have when you're a UVA fan.

And you know, I think my VCU hatred might be misplaced.  Sure, Shaka Smart pissed me off with THESE comments... but, he wasn't really wrong.

Furthermore - and brace yourself, because it is going to hurt you as a Hoofan to read this - I'm just jealous of VCU basketball right now.  They've been to the Final Four recently, and they play a style of ball that I much prefer watching over the slow-it-down-at-all-costs Bennettball.  The Rams are hot, they're cool, there's a real buzz around that program.  That's all it is.  I want to see Virginia in the Final Four, and I want to see us pressing and creating havoc and running the floor and scoring and nailing clutch 3s and talking smoke and balling out and kicking ass.  That's all I want.  That's all I've ever wanted.  I want us to be a winning, relevant, buzz-worthy program.

But I'm okay with Bennettball.  I've learned to embrace it.  Hell, I've even learned to love it.  And deep down I know that it's the key to better and more sustained success, so I'm being smart about that, too.  It's just that patience is getting to be in short supply with me right now.  A win over VCU would have been manna from heaven for me.




Anyway...


We lost Tuesday night's game because of free throw shooting.  Specifically, because of breathtakingly SHITTY free throw shooting.

Every single one of the players on our team are good free throw shooters. There is no good reason for Tuesday night's performance from the line.

Joe Harris -- career 75% (though he has suffered through some truly horrific misses)

Akil Mitchell -- 69% last season (up from 51% as a freshman and soph)

Darion Atkins -- 59% (okay, so he's not that good from the line)

Anthony Gill -- 65% as a frosh at South Carolina (not great, but not terrible)

Brog -- 80%

Tobey -- 79%

Justin Anderson -- 76%

Teven Jones -- 81%

Nolte -- 79%

London Perrantes -- 88% in high school, 80% this season


Free throw shooting IS NOT a weakness of this team.  In fact, coming into the season, I thought it'd be a real strength of the team.  I also thought it'd be a reason we beat VCU.  And it would have been, if we hadn't fallen apart and shot 56% (including 43% in the second half).  Joe Harris missing both of his at the 3:58 mark when we were up by 4 is the reason we lost this game, in my humble opinion.  We need more clutch shooting from our senior captain, especially from the line.

Anyway.  It'll improve.  And we're going to be very, very good.  We just can't put the toothpaste back in the tube in the VCU game.  And letting that one slip away really hurts... because I really, really wanted us to beat those fucking shitmouths.


Three other quick basketball notes:

1) (Stole this one from my friend Joe.)  I wish Mike Tobey had gotten back in the game at the end on Tuesday night.  He's a real difference-maker.

2) London Perrantes (per-on-TEES) is legit.  He's legit, and he needs to start, and he needs to play big minutes.  The only potential rub is the displaced playing time for Brogdon, who would probably spell Joe/Justin and displace Evan Nolte's minutes.  Nolte is a guy I do not want to see us lose to transfer over a lack of playing time.  6-foot-8 guys who can shoot like him are really fucking hard to find.  And (see also: Will Sherrill) the true stretch-4 is a huge weapon in Bennett's offense.  Nolte as a junior and senior will be a key cog for this team.  Like, a 3-4 win difference-maker, I'd imagine.

3) Justin Anderson seems to be back to trying to do too much.  Calm down, man.  Calm down, and let it flow.  You'll be good.  You'll be GREAT!  Just calm the fuck down.


November 12, 2013

Hoos = Bungles

A couple of gems I produced on the 24/7 message board this week, and thought them worthy to share on Wahooze...



I am a die-hard Cincinnati Bengals fan. In the late 90s, when the losing was at its worst for the Bungles, the entire franchise was run like a country club. Players didn't care, it was all a laissez-faire attitude.

I'm not suggesting that's what it's like for UVA football right now... but the product on the field is eerily similar. And watching our guys with big smiles on their faces as they doled out daps to the Tarholes on Saturday after the game made me feel sick to my stomach.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


If you're losing a lot, you tend to default to the easiest coping mechanism: acceptance. And the players accepting losing is way worse that the spread of apathy among the fanbase. It's like rot in the foundation. It was the same thing with the Bengals from 1991 to 2002.

What Virginia needs is someone to roll in here and start putting a foot up some asses. Our roster has talent, but I'm not convinced it has heart. And for whatever reasons, our current coaching staff has been totally unable to install any grit or determination in this group. As a team, we play like a bunch of candyasses (see also: Oregon, Clemson, UNC), and even when we start games on the right foot, we get punched one time and our glass jaw shatters (see also: Ball State, Duke).

We saw a lot of that ever-important, fleeting, elusive grit and chutzpah in 2011... where the hell did it all go? Did Mike London lose his touch? Or was it just lucky coincidence during that one outlying season of success?

I wish I knew the answer. But it doesn't matter now, because now the only reasonable path back is to blow up the whole damn thing and start from scratch.

I believe in our players, and I believe in our recruits. We just need the right staff to help them all reach their potential as football players and as a team.



November 11, 2013

Silver Lining

This football season has been an unmitigated disaster. There are huge and evident holes in the roster, there has been a huge rash of injuries, and it seems that once we go down in a game, it is pretty much over with. And with 2 games remaining, that is unacceptable for us as fans to stand for. But that point has already been made and beaten to death on this blog and many other outlets. And that constant rhetoric is covering up what is, given the circumstances, an amazing performance this season by one of my personal favorite players.


Kevin Parks is having a great season. Through 10 games this season KP is second to only Andre Williams at BC (who is having an insane season) and Duke Johnson at Miami (who is out for the season) in rushing yards with 796. We stated before the season that it KP would most likely be the key to the offense and would challenge for a 1000 yard season. Well half of that looks like it could happen. Parks has two games remaining to add 204 yards. While that seems daunting facing Miami and Virginia Tech, KP has racked up 4 100 yard games this season. KP is also tied for second  in the ACC with 10 rushing TDs trailing only Andre Williams (remember that insane season?)


Williams is clearly the runaway winner for 1st team all ACC at running back. But if Parks can rack up two good games to end the season there is a very real chance he could end up as the second team all ACC back. Consider the sheer dysfunction of almost every aspect of the offense this season, from inconsistent playcalling and lack of identity, to constantly changing receivers, inconsistent QB play, and a makeshift offensive line that is constantly playing musical chairs, this is an incredible season. KP deserves a ton of praise for what he's been able to put together for this season, and while wins look unlikely given the performance we've seen in past games, rooting for KP to get to 1000 yards is the one thing that can keep all of us interested in what has been a completely lost season.


There is a chance Greyson Lambert steps in and starts the final two games of the season, and if that happens, expect a ton of work for KP. But that's a conversation for a different post.



November 7, 2013

WahoozeCast - November, 6th

Hello again, friends of Wahooze.

We're back this week to with our EXTENSIVE 2013-2014 BASKETBALL PREVIEW. Get excited, if you're a fan of long rambling discussion because this is easily our LONGEST episode EVER. We're going to break down the men's basketball roster with player previews for all the returning and new scholarship players. Have a look here if you want to following along with stats/bio from the roster.

Things get a little weird at one point. You'll enjoy it, I promise


As always, leave comments! And pardon our amateurish sound quality. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW. BASKETBALL STARTS TOMORROW.


November 3, 2013

Right?

59-10, right?  That's what it ended up being?  Didn't notice, I was too busy enjoying my Saturday.