Will’s Instant Reaction – If you’re a Virginia fan, you were not expecting much in the way of opposition. KenPom. com ranks Coppin State 349th overall out of 353 teams. Virginia came in to this game as a 39 point favorite, which gives you all you need to know about how people thought this would go.
Virginia imposed their will early, scoring the first seven points, before Coppin State came back and scored five of their own. But that’s as close as they would get.
If Tony Bennett would have allowed it, De’Andre Hunter could have outscored Coppin State by himself. The Eagles had no answer for him. He finished with 20 points, and barely played in the second half.
The final score could have been a lot worse. Fortunately, Tony Bennett played the end of the bench for the final seven minutes. The Cavaliers still almost hit the century mark. Virginia’s 97 points is a record for the team under Tony Bennett.
Will’s Instant Reaction
What you do hope, if you’re a Virginia fan, is that tonight lights a spark under Mamadi Diakite. After struggling the first two games, he scored a career high 18 points, on 7-9 shooting, including two threes.
The highlight of the night was team manager Grant Kersey hitting a three that sent the crowd into such a frenzy that the roof was nearly blown off the John Paul Jones Arena.
Next up for Virginia is a matchup with Middle Tennessee in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.
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Will Ojanen is a member of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. He and his wife Sami enjoy a good craft beer and blog about breweries in the Midwest at WillandSamisBeerBlog.com. Follow him on Twitter @WillsWorldMN.