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.
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.