January 10, 2014

UVa confident in offensive tweaks

It was quite clear early on in UVa's game at Tennessee on December 30 that head coach Tony Bennett and his team had a lot of work to do. The Cavaliers, overwhelmed from the start, found themselves in a 22-point hole heading into halftime. After wrapping up that deflating 87-52 loss in Knoxville, it was obvious that something had to change if the team was going to get back to playing good basketball. But just because the loss to the Vols signified what was probably the low point of the season for UVa doesn't mean that it was where the team's issues, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, began.

That 35-point drubbing to Tennessee was the fourth time this season that the Wahoos had been held under 60 points. Except for games against much weaker opponents, UVa's offense struggled through much of the non-conference slate, looking awkward and out of sorts. It seemed that Bennett's team had talent and depth, but the group on offense always seemed to be less than the total sum of its parts. The motion concepts seemed find but spacing was off. Players were unsure of where the ball should go. Very rarely did anyone get great looks in the half-court and most of what they tried to do seemed forced and disjointed.

If the last two games are close to what this team might do the rest of the way, you might look back at that awful night in Knoxville fondly because the offense seems to be in a totally different place.

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