Saturday, April 20, 2024

Some Takeaways After Virginia’s Made A Statement In Win Over Miami On Monday Night

Miami Hurricanes vs Virginia Cavaliers game placed on 6 day hold - State of  The U

In one of the more anticipated home games of the season, Virginia dominated Miami from start to finish, taking a 12-point lead into halftime and doubling it in the second half, eventually winning 60-38.

Once again, Reece Beekman led the way, scoring a game-high 16 points. Jake Groves added 12 points, and Isaac McKneely had another nine. As a team, Virginia shot 48.1% overall and 45.5% from three, while assisting on 20 of 26 made baskets.

The win extended an ACC-leading win streak to seven games and the nation’s longest home winning streak to 23 games.

Here are five takeaways from the win:

That was as dominant as it gets.

Considering the quality of the opponent, such a display was not exactly expected, but in every aspect of the game, Virginia outplayed Miami.

The Hurricanes were voted to finish second in the ACC in the conference’s preseason media poll. Each of their five prior conference losses this season have come by single digits meaning the Canes have competed night in and night out.

On Monday night against Virginia, Miami was not competitive for very long at all, going down by double digits with over four minutes to play in the first half and never cutting that deficit to single digits again.

Miami’s 38 points are the second-fewest Virginia has allowed this season, ahead of only Texas Southern’s 33 points, and the fewest the Hurricanes have scored since a 37-35 win over Princeton in 1948.

The Hurricanes shot just 28.6% from the field and 10% from three. They turned the ball over 10 times, including seven steals by UVA, and Virginia blocked eight shots.

Great defense is the best offense.

Virginia’s offense didn’t come out firing on all cylinders on Monday night, but on the defensive end, the Cavaliers limited Miami’s scoring enough that the slow start didn’t matter all that much. After going down 7-2, the Cavaliers unleashed a 12-0 run on the Hurricanes.

Miami cut its deficit to four only for the Hoos to go on an 11-0 run that was largely due to some impressive defensive efforts. Ryan Dunn helped off his man and swatted a shot before making a beeline for the opposing basket. Taine Murray kicked the ball ahead to Dunn and he finished on the fastbreak around a flying defender.

Then Isaac McKneely came up with a steal off a bad pass from Matthew Cleveland that led to a Reece Beekman layup. On the next possession, the Cavaliers got a third consecutive stop as Blake Buchanan walled up against Norchad Omier and swatted his shot. That led to a wide-open corner three for Murray, an explosion of cheers from the home crowd, and a timeout from Miami.

In roughly four minutes, the Hoos went from up four points to up 14, and their defense was the reason for it.

A quintessential Reece Beekman performance

In front of more than a dozen NBA scouts, Beekman put up another classic performance on Monday night, recording a game-high 16 points for his thirteenth double-figure output in the past 14 games. He shot 6-of-11 from the floor, 1-of-1 from three, and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.

He finished numerous times through traffic and drilled his only three-point attempt of the night. Add in seven assists to just one turnover and Beekman’s performance was exactly what Virginia fans have come to expect out of the senior guard. Doing so with an expected 19 NBA scouts in attendance is just the cherry on top.

It’s time to dispel any notions that this is not an NCAA Tournament-caliber team.

Certainly, Virginia fans aren’t likely to think this should still be in question. However, going into this past weekend the Cavaliers were on the outside looking in according to the latest projection from ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. They were the fifth team outside the field of 64 as of Lunardi’s

A road win over Clemson and a dominant home performance against Miami should just about do the trick in getting the Cavaliers into the field in the updated projections later this week. The Hoos can’t let off the gas pedal in the final weeks of the season, but the way this team has played to put together this seven-game winning streak is more than enough to prove they belong in the Big Dance, at least regarding the eye test.

Jake Groves is as confident as anyone from three right now.

It isn’t a tangible thing or even one that is easy to describe beyond simply saying that he is supremely confident, but every time Groves catches the ball, he is looking to shoot it. And every time he gets an open look, it is almost hard to imagine it not going in.

Earlier in the season, he sometimes exhibited some hesitation offensively when he wasn’t completely wide open. In recent weeks, Groves looks to pull the trigger every time he catches the ball with even an inch of space. He isn’t launching in every one of those instances, but he’s keeping the defense honest, telling them that if they don’t get a hand up, he will put a three-pointer up.

Against the Hurricanes, he put in some good work inside the arc as well. Altogether, he finished with 12 points on 5-of-9 from the floor and 2-of-4 from three.

Related Posts

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.