Special From CollegeHoopsWatch.com @CollHoopsWatch –
Virginia coach Tony Bennett should just don dentist’s scrubs when he goes to the sidelines and invites the new patient into the dental chair that is the Cavaliers’ hardwood office.
Sunday afternoon, high octane Arizona State, who plays a beautiful brand of basketball with the transition game and up-tempo approach, found out what a trip to the dentist was like. The Sun Devils were pushed into Bennett’s dentist chair and had two hours of root canal thanks to Virginia’s vaunted Pack-Line defense and an offensive attack that still hasn’t figured out if it has any offensive options.
The Cavaliers eventually took a 48-45 decision that by all accounts had as much action and excitement as a Sunday afternoon NFL game that is a field goal battle, a Georgia football game where Kirby Smart forgets he has an offense, or the numbing pain and drilling that takes place in the dentist’s office when a root canal, crown, or an eventual pulled tooth is in order.
Virginia Coach Tony Bennett
The defending national champions had an offensive attack last season that made watching their style bearable. Of course, DeAndre Hunter is now playing big minutes for the Atlanta Hawks while Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy are in the NBA G-League and will eventually make an NBA roster and contribute.
While the Cavaliers are No. 1 in the nation in defensive efficiency, they still are so offensively challenged that they are last in the nation, per Kenpom, in adjusted tempo (No. 353) and they are No. 351 in average possession length at 21.4 minutes per game. Their 3-point game is abysmal as well as they are 340th in the nation in 3-point percentage while at No. 284 in effective field goal percentage.
Speeding this team up is a challenge and Arizona State showed in the first seven minutes of the second half what can happen if you pressure UVa and force them into turnovers and get run-outs.