Game 12: #4 Houston @ #2 Virginia - December 17th, 2022 (W 69-61)

https://twitter.com/UHCougarMBK/status/1602859416470310912?s=20

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This game suddenly got more important since UH got the “necktie blues” and blew a big lead against Alabama. I would like to see Houston win the AAC and get a decent seed in the dance.

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I love reading Haslametrics. They say we are favored by a little over 6 over Virginia.

Reminder to myself: Haslametrics had UH favored by a little over 11 over Alabama.

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I hope that the prediction is correct.

We need this as a national “credibility” win.

Without it, the rest of the country will all be able to say “you haven’t beaten a really good team,” and sound convincing, regardless of whether or not it is true.

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But we were up by 15 in the 2nd half, then played uncharacteristically

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We missed a lot of shots. Hit those and we probably win comfortably.

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should i make a tl:dr preview or no? not sure anyone here cares anymore lol

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Yes

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I very much care about your previews and greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into them.

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The Virginia preview

Starters

  • 5’10 Kihei Clark - elite defensive pg, who can pass. traditionally a bad shooter but shooting great this year (national defensive player of the year finalist 2 years ago)

  • 6’3 Reece Beekman - elite defensive pg, who can pass. traditionally a bad shooter but shooting great this year (national defensive player of the year finalist last year) -long wing span

  • 6’4 Armaan Franklin - shooter in the lineup, but extremely streaky (shooting good this year)

  • 6’6 Jayden gardener - dominant low post scorer - not athletic

  • 6’11 Kadin Shedrick - 230lbs Can do a little of everything, block shots, rebound, low post scorer, has some shooting touch. really improved from last year

bench-
6’8 Ben Vander Plas - sharp shooting big man that can pass (1st team all-mac transfer)
6’4 Isaac McKneely - top 60 4star freshmen whos main skillset is shooting
6’6 Ryan dunn - 4star freshman -good handles, good length for offense and defense
7’1 Francisco Caffaro 250lbs - used as rest for sedrick

*note: Reece beekman might not play, had a hamstring injury in their last game that is day to day… but betting money is that he plays

Improvements from last:
it is the exact same starters as last year but they are drastically improved. they could defend last year but the offense was terrible and reliant on gardener to score… this year all the guards are shooting vastly better. shedrick is a real offensive threat, and the bench (which was had nothing last year) has 3 new players that are real offensive threats

our D vs their O: honest opinion is that we can shut down their starters, there is nothing they do that we cant defend, their guards have improved shooting but haven’t played anyone close to our defense to show they can sustain that against us. we can double the post without much issues with the starters… the 1 potential cog they have is their 6th man ben vander plaas… he is a PF that will shoot nba 3s, and is also a great passer. he might give us major issues not just in his ability to shoot but their ability to space the floor and get shedrick 1 on1 vs jwan
https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1373426939306729474
but outside of handling the vander plas dynamic i have no clue how they score on use beyond crazy contested shots, or double team post ups

this game is unique is that it will probably have the best collection of perimeter defenders in the nation the whole year between ours and theirs

Our O vs their D: we scored on them last year, but when we played them last year reece hadnt established himself as a dominant defender yet, so sasser was defended by kihei who sasser could shoot over… im almost certain reece will be on Sasser all game this year. note virginia defense tries to double the post when it can (not as much as us though). everyone but sasser will likely get looks from the 3pt line in an attempt to take away post points. so how we shoot will play a big role. we have physical advantage at the 4 with jarace but i dont think jarace is at the level to take Advantage of that yet (neither gardner or plas are notable defenders)… there are question marks if we can score on them
at full strength it could be a 1st to 45 wins type of game if we arent hitting 3s…note reece beekman might not play, HUGE advantage for us if he doesnt, not only does that put kihei on sasser, it likely means a freshmen on mark or shead

rebounding Virginia isnt a notable rebounding team but we’ve been out rebounded by anyone with size so i doubt we have any notable edge there

free throw points, with a likely low scoring game who is getting the whistle and who is making fts will have a huge edge

they will have home court advantage

huge game with tourney implications… realistic shot at a 1 seed will be defined by this game. will be our last game with a title contender till the actual tournament.

game prediction: ill do a homer prediction, shead and jarace hit some crucial 3s, sasser gets some turnover points, we score enough to win in a low scoring affair

should be a fun one!

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Thx for the preview, Pesik. Sampson usually limits minutes for younger inexperienced players when we play against high profile teams. I’m hoping Francis and Sharp get more minutes this game, particularly Francis. He looked fantastic on both ends of the court against NC A&T.

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I’m thinking Emmanuel will get the opportunity to be a contributor

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My fear that keeps growing with each game is opposing defenders are doing a great job of shutting down Sasser. And they’re not even doing it with double teams, which is particularly concerning. The only game this year where Sasser looked unstoppable was against North Florida where he only played 8 minutes due to the eye injury. He has seriously struggled to get many open looks against anyone else. We have to have some other shooters step up to take some pressure off Sasser.

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I am actually hoping Francis starts with Walker. I think the balance of their skill sets meshes better.

Guessing Mark will be back in the starting lineup but hoping there is a place for Sharp

Beekman is reportedly “day-by-day” with a hamstring injury ahead of UVA’s game against Houston on Saturday

https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1603240193468911616?t=zpJGgu91lmPNmzLeyPH3Iw&s=19

Virginia is really good and they have the revenge factor. This is going to be very hard

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I do think this is a better matchup for the team overall. Bama has ridiculous length and size all over the roster. Virginia has size in the front court but not as much on the wings. Miller and Clowney are tough matchups for an undersized team.

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Virginia has to make me a believer even at home. I think Alabama is more talented, athletic & longer. But Virginia has a system similar to the Coogs where they make the game gritty & ugly!!! Worst case scenerio UH loses by 3. This UH team doesn’t quit or CKS won’t really allow it.

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