How would you fix UVA's NCAA tourney issues?

Discussion in 'College Basketball Board' started by jhmossy, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. jhmossy

    jhmossy Well-Known Member
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    What's the solution? Clearly, there's something that works well in the regular season and is failing to work in the NCAA tournament. Is the regular season success a fluke? Or is the NCAA failure a fluke? Both? Neither? Is it all style of play? Is the solution just to play faster? I'm clueless on how we could go 31-2 before the NCAA tourney and then lose by 20 points to a 16-seed.
     
  2. Big ol arms

    Big ol arms Well-Known Member
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    Copy Bob Huggins press Virginia and take the name over by doing it even better. Can't deny its hard to prepare for if you haven't seen it.
     
  3. anon_0astpxev9h4gk

    anon_0astpxev9h4gk Well-Known Member
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    A cage fight between Padgett and Bennett should remedy your tourney woes. Hopefully ours too.
     
  4. JimboBBN

    JimboBBN Well-Known Member
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    I honestly think its the offensive system. It really puts pressure on the Cavs to score the ball when they're down, and the added pressure of the tournament probably doesn't help. Hell, its not like UMBC scored 100 points. 74 isn't a big number unless you hold the ball for 25+ seconds every possession.
     
    4 JimboBBN, Mar 19, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  5. dukiejay

    dukiejay Well-Known Member
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    I still don't think it's a system issue. I really don't.

    For one, winning in the NCAAT is really hard to do. Two, you were playing without your most important player. Three, you guys just ran into a buzzsaw and your players looked scared as shit and panicked. I recognized that look, unfortunately, from both 2012 and 2014. It sucks.

    But mostly what it is, IMO, is talent. And don't take that the wrong way....UVA has talent. They don't become the program they are without it. But I think you guys lack 'elite' level talent. Bennett gets more out of his kids, or as much, as any coach in the country....so much so that I think most players reach their ceiling. It's just not always enough.

    I still think Bennett is consistent enough that eventually you break through to a Final Four. It took a lot of really great coaches a lot longer to make that deep of a run....and some of those guys were at powerhouse programs, too. I know today, the last three days and the future will suck because of the embarrassment and nothing I tell you with change that now, but I think you need to continue trusting the process....as hard as it may seem right now.
     
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  6. jhmossy

    jhmossy Well-Known Member
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    How do you fix the offensive system though? Just take shots earlier in the shot clock?
     
  7. JimboBBN

    JimboBBN Well-Known Member
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    I don't know much about y'alls offense other than it takes up a lot of clock. Is there a certain number of passes that need to happen? Does a certain player need to touch the ball a number of times? Are there just plays that take a long time to run? I'm really not sure. But the eye test tells me Virginia more often than not has the talent to be better on offense than they are.
     
  8. Rhavicc

    Rhavicc Well-Known Member
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    UVA needs more talented offensive players. You have a couple of guys that are really solid offensively, but no dominant offensive talent. When Kentucky needs a bucket, we go to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Kevin Knox. When Duke needs a bucket, they go to Grayson Allen or Marvin Bagley. When Villanova needs to score, they go to Jalen Brunson or Mikal Bridges. Kansas needs a bucket, they go to Devonte Graham or Svi.

    The tournament involves a shit ton of luck for anybody who wants to win it. Nature of the beast and all. Hard to put on 6 straight consistent games without finding at least one team that can't exploit your weakness. There are gonna be games where your game isn't going to be working, and you're gonna have to have the dudes who can step up, take and make big shots, and win really hard games.

    Kyle Guy is a very solid offensive player, but he doesn't come off as the type who can go out and do everything you need him to do to pull out a tough W like SGA, Brunson, Graham, and so on. Also wouldn't hurt if UVA had a real, dominating post-presence. Kentucky can go to Washington, Vanderbilt, Gabriel, and SKJ at this point and get consistent, reliable production. Duke is able to go to Carter and Bagley, and get consistent, reliable production. Kansas can go to Azubuike and get consistent, reliable production. Gotta have dudes that can play well in all three phases of the game down low, and Virginia's combined 12.2 points and 9 rebounds per game from its 3 main big men just doesn't do it for ya.

    Calipari always says if you don't have a legit post-presence, then your team is a fraud, and I tend to agree with him. Look at the best teams over the years, majority of them had legit big men.
     
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  9. jhmossy

    jhmossy Well-Known Member
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    I mean we're not getting a better coach than Bennett. But I do think there need to be tweaks to the offensive system. I just don't know exactly what those would be and how we could achieve them.
     
  10. Rhavicc

    Rhavicc Well-Known Member
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    They get pretty good ball movement in general. I think in the tournament, they just put themselves in stressful positions by consistently running the clock, and that's a recipe for needing a guy to step up and make tough baskets when your offensive plan isn't working. Virginia doesn't really have a guy that you look at and say "Oh shit, that dude could score all night"
     
  11. dukiejay

    dukiejay Well-Known Member
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    I would agree with tweaks, but I think the system is successful. Like I said, more talent is the easy answer....and please don't take that the wrong way.
     
  12. BigBlueCatNation

    BigBlueCatNation Well-Known Member
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    I think you guys have a system, but once you get punched in the mouth your system cannot overcome it.

    I think you need to be adaptable during the postseason.
     
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  13. jhmossy

    jhmossy Well-Known Member
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    I do agree with the post presence. Our best offensive teams were when we had Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey. Not dominant but much better than the current guys. We thought Austin Nichols was gonna be that guy but he was dismissed from the program. Diakite and Huff have potential but I'm not sure they're going to be those type of bigs.
     
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  14. jhmossy

    jhmossy Well-Known Member
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    I think Hunter could be that guy. Unfortunate timing with the injury but I think he has that potential going forward. I do agree that our system is predicated too much on making jump shots and, often times, they are at the end of the shot clock. But they're usually good looks too. But the pressure may be too much.
     
  15. jhmossy

    jhmossy Well-Known Member
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    We did overcome a few double digit deficits in the regular season but we do look panicked and confused when it happens in the postseason.
     
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  16. jhmossy

    jhmossy Well-Known Member
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    I know we need more talent. I guess I don't know how we actually attract more talent.
     
  17. tw3301

    tw3301 Well-Known Member
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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. HRTheCard

    HRTheCard Well-Known Member
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    You have to scratch the "we'll just keep doing what we're doing mentality."

    There was absolutely no panic when UVA got down 15 with like 10 minutes left. You all kept running the same offense that wasn't working. The players bought into that and even though it didn't work, there wasn't a sense of urgency until it was too late. That destroyed their confidence on defense. They got out hustled and out played.

    To me, UVA has to go away from playing slow ball in the tourney. It seems like teams in the tourney get hot against UVA and then UVA crumbles because even though they are very efficient on offense, a couple missed shots or turnovers that turn into 2-3's for the other team start to stack up. At that point, you have to go away from playing slow ball and speed the pace of the game up with urgency to score and get back in it...
     
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  19. 829305

    829305 Well-Known Member
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    Nailed it. You leave little room for error when you race to 50. I'm not sure why it works so well in the season, but not the tournament though.
     
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  20. mebeblue2

    mebeblue2 Well-Known Member
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    hire a great offensive minded assistant coach
    playing faster would help

    when UK was struggling to score Cal told the players they had to score more because most teams in the NCAAT can score
     
  21. jhmossy

    jhmossy Well-Known Member
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    Well, one of our assistants just took the job at UNC Charlotte so hopefully Tony finds himself an offensive coordinator
     
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  22. Rhavicc

    Rhavicc Well-Known Member
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    Shouldn't be taken the wrong way. A good college player is great, teams need those players because they're most likely to consistently provide for your team. An NBA talent makes a world of difference though. Players with NBA talent will win most match-ups with good college players. Better athleticism, more diverse skill-set, better size.


    They don't have to be an Anthony Davis or Kevin Durant. Those guys were unnatural.

    For Virginia, it doesn't have to be at that level to win the tournament, especially not this tournament (speaking in retrospect, obviously). They needed a guy that could make the tough plays in all the other facets of the game though. Up until today, there were still plenty of UK fans skeptical that we could win it all (despite now being the Vegas favorites to win it all), but then Cal got on Twitter earlier and hinted at Vanderbilt being back, and now plenty of fans are euphoric, because he's one of those dudes that will do the hard shit, make the plays you need to make to win. Not a lot of guys can average 8 rebounds per game in 17 minutes per game, and not a lot of dudes can come in and be a 6'9 center who is your best overall defender, passer, and fast break player. That's what Vanderbilt is to this UK team, and Virginia needs a guy that can provide a similar impact. For Duke, it's Bagley and his innate ability to score down low and use his quickness to get tough rebounds. For Nova, it's Brunson's old man game and pure fundamentals that never get his team into a hole that they can't get out of. Virginia needs that kind of player.

    You all have a great coach, but it's his responsibility to do what he's gotta do to give his team a perfect balance, and Virginia is disproportionate in terms of its personnel.

    Good news for you all, I think Hunter can become that guy in the next couple of years, assuming he doesn't bolt for the NBA.
     
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  23. mebeblue2

    mebeblue2 Well-Known Member
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    i will use UF and Donovan as an example
    he had great offensive teams that could not guard a rock
    he hired a great defensive coach and it changed everything
     
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  24. wrbchWolfPack81

    wrbchWolfPack81 Well-Known Member
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    I think ACC officials tend to let Virginia play their brand during the season. It's old school basketball and the refs tend to let them get away with playing good physical ball. I feel like when UVA gets out of conference and playing against the mainstream(run and gun) the refs don't let them get away with as much. Just my opinion.
     
  25. xWVU2010x

    xWVU2010x Well-Known Member
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    You don't. UVA is what it is by playing the way they do. You start trying to run and gun like UNC and UNC will body bag UVA more often than not (the performance against A&M notwithstanding). UVA just needs to get past some very beatable teams in the first weekend and when they are not dealing with the anxiety of being upset I suspect they will have a much better chance at the Final Four and NC. Right now they're a program on the cusp but cant get over the hump. The hump right now is getting to March and choking, the players are definitely nervous at this point about playing in the tournament, Bennett should be preaching "well it happened, we lost to a friggin 16, and when it was over nobody died, the sun rose the next day, and life moved on. We now know the pinnacle of embarrassment, so next year relax, loosen up, and play your game because at the end of the day if we lose again we know that nothing can be worse than what we felt already, we cannot hit a further rock bottom".
     
  26. jwardelt

    jwardelt Well-Known Member
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    Get better offensive players. If Dick can make a final four, Tony can too. It’s not pace as slow teams can make it. But you have to have bucket getters on offense. The blocker/mover offense needs to go. Assuming that’s what tony is running. Defense is fine, pace is fine. Versatility on offense is key. Can you win games in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s?
     
  27. jhmossy

    jhmossy Well-Known Member
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    So ACC officials are actually hurting UVA for the postseason then
     
  28. dukedevilz

    dukedevilz Well-Known Member
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    I don't want to make too many excuses, but injuries certainly haven't helped UVA out in recent years. I thought UVA was a top 3-4 team in 2015 before Justin Anderson got injured. He wasn't the same player when he came back late in March.... certainly losing DeAndre Hunter didn't help the offensive/defensive cohesiveness against UMBC. You wouldn't think one player would make that much of a difference against a mid-major, but UVA didn't look like the same team. They looked slow and unorganized in the second half.

    In 2014, UVA got a raw deal with having a super-hot, uber-talented Michigan State team in the top half of their bracket. MSU was arguably the most talented team in the country. And as it was, the game was tied with 2 minutes left. In 2016, it looked like UVA was heading to the FF. Just a crazy last 10-minute stretch for Syracuse. I don't see it as a broken system, I just see it as bad luck. But you know what isn't luck? Going 31-2 and earning three #1 seeds in a five year span.

    A lot of crazy things can happen in a single-elimination tournament. I'd like to think UVA would have 1-2 Final Fours if the Tournament was played out like NBA Playoffs. From 1998-2006, Duke was a #1 seed 8 out of 9 years. Only cut the nets down once during those 9 years.... Duke was the #1 team before the tournament started 5 of those 9 years. If the tournament was replayed again, odds are they would have won more than once. From 1986-1994, Duke made the FF 7 times in 9 years. They were only a 1 seed twice during that stretch.. Sometimes you have good luck (Laettner had 2 buzzer beaters; Greg Anthony fouled out) and sometimes you have bad luck. UVA has just been mired down in bad luck.
     
  29. ChiTownSean

    ChiTownSean Well-Known Member
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    Have you tried fouling more?
     
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  30. CDZERA

    CDZERA Well-Known Member
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    I do think there’s some bad luck. But to me the best solution is running more offensively for several reasons.

    Virginia had the best adjusted efficiency margin in the country. That being the case, I think you want more offensive possessions - not less. Being such a slow place team creates variance which you want as a less efficient team, not a more efficient team.

    I would by no means scrap the pack line, but teams end up having to shoot over that which, if those are threes, creates more variance too. I don’t know why it’s such an issue in the tournament, I’d guess luck is part of it, but that’s partially by design. Think starting with more pace is a better solution.

    On top of that, playing a little faster may allow for more easy shots in transition which takes a little pressure off guys offensively and might help get into a better rhythm. And there’s always the chance that it would help attract some better athletes/more talented players which might help with some of the shot creation issues talked about about by other posters above (and could make the pack line pretty scary too). Guys don’t want to play at a glacial pace on the offensive end and it can tighten them up too, especially in a single elimination tournament.

    Virginia now, despite some stylistic differences, kind of reminds me of some of the issues Villanova’s had from 2014-now. And Wright likes the team to get deep into the shot clock on the defensive end but is having guys run more - not always, but more this year. Pace ends up in the middle but they’re going a lot more offensively than they had been. Think that’s where I’d start for UVA.
     
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  31. Quavarius

    Quavarius Well-Known Member
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    Get you some lottery picks Tony!
     
  32. doogie503

    doogie503 Well-Known Member
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    2014-2018 UVA = 2004-2011 Pitt

    Tony Bennett = Jamie Dixon

    Play so slow that it lets less talented teams stay in the game.

    Coach tries to control the game too much from the bench, instead of trusting guys to make plays.

    Much like those Pitt teams, UVA players play like robots. Hard to play like that in win or go home games where there is already added pressure. Why amplify the pressure by limiting possessions?
     
  33. jwardelt

    jwardelt Well-Known Member
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    That’s really what it’s about. When we finally got a couple first rounders, boom, back to back final fours. You have to have high level talent that can make plays when needed. It’s not always that cut and dry, but 60% of the time it works every time.
     
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  34. Quavarius

    Quavarius Well-Known Member
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    One thing Bennett may want to change is allowing his players to play based on their instincts. That's one of the things I like about K. He doesn't want his players thinking a lot, but basically playing based on their instincts.

    With as much roster continuity UVA has, he should be able to trust his players to make the right decisions based on their instincts.

    Like Tyson said, "everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth." Sometimes you have to improvise and adapt to the flow of the game, but still doing what makes your team successful.
     
  35. I am stupid

    I am stupid Well-Known Member
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    Send out a memo letting the coaches and players know they still have to play the game even if it's 1 v 16.

    That should do the trick.
     
  36. ThePhog08

    ThePhog08 Well-Known Member
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    Hacking every player constantly certainly helps West Virginia.
     
  37. blue_in_chicago

    blue_in_chicago Well-Known Member
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    Beilein hired a defensive coordinator. Admitted the defense is better cuz he stopped coaching it. That takes a rare, very self-secure coach to do that tho. The idea of Beilein having the KenPom #3 defense is preposterous and yet It happened. I agree with the others. Loosen the reins on the offense a little bit and get more possessions while recruiting a little more skilled offensive talent. And part of the woes is now mental. Gotta get players to play relaxed in March. I have no answers to that one.
     
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  38. blue_in_chicago

    blue_in_chicago Well-Known Member
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    Good point. The best coaches prepare their guys well but still just let them play in crucial situations. It's a fine line for sure.
     
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  39. UNC71-00

    UNC71-00 Well-Known Member
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    Leave it up to the Wolpfacker to blame refs. Don't pay him any attention.

    I don't think Bennett should change anything, unless he is tight during practices immediately before tournament games. He's been a bit unlucky a few times and lost to superior talent a few times, but ultimately, his system will get you to the 2nd weekend consistently and the occasional final 4.

    As to why he is so successful in the regular season, it is because the system wears down opponents when the opponents are in the grind of the regular season. But once the tourney starts, teams are more focused. It reminds me of the Atlanta Braves of the 90s-2000s. They would wear a hitter out by getting him to swing at pitches just off the plate and by throwing first pitch strikes before the batter was mentally engaged. But once the playoffs rolled around, the hitter's demeanor changed and Maddux and Glavine were no longer as effective.
     
  40. dukiejay

    dukiejay Well-Known Member
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    Pretty good post. Hadn’t thought of it that way.
     

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