3. Virginia’s offense doesn’t have a go-to option
The old adage says March is all about guard play and the Cavaliers have a backcourt duo that rivals some of the best. Sophomores Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy orchestrate Virginia’s offense like they’ve been on campus for four seasons, but can we really trust them to get a key bucket when the going gets tough?
Guy’s struggled to score in one-on-one situations this season. He’s averaging a meager 0.368 points per possession (fourth percentile) on isolations. He lacks the individual burst to beat his man to the basket and struggles to finish once he gets to the cup. Guy ranks in the seventh percentile nationally as a finisher at the rim.
Jerome’s a much better option. He ranks in the 95th percentile as a scorer in isolation this season, but a dive into the why raises some questions. Jerome’s made 7-of-11 no dribble jump shots in isolation, for example. It’s hard to imagine NCAA Tournament quality defenses giving him the space to pull those off in March. So, if he has to get to the basket? Things get dicier. Like Guy, Jerome struggles to finish at the rim and his pull up jumper game is only average.
In the slow, grinding halfcourt games Virginia plays, having a go-to scorer can matter a ton. It’s not clear these Cavaliers have that option. As such, things could get difficult down the stretch in close matchups. That’s not ideal for the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed.
All statistics source via Synergy unless otherwise noted.