STS: I think I have to start by asking about the Wake Forest game. Wake was looking like one of the worst teams in ACC history. How did UVA lose to them?
I think the overwhelming majority of fans would agree with you, despite what we just talked about regarding Wake. I give Bennett a B+. I think Bennett has done a very good job preparing this team against our opponents, and has shown us that, in the ACC, it really is "any team, any night." He's also done a great job getting folks excited for games, despite...questionable performance and a talent level that I think i just a little sub-par compared to the rest of the conference. He's also done a great job recruiting from both coasts. I think what is keeping Bennett from reaching an A-level status is that I haven't seen him make crucial half-time adjustments in games, which oftentimes leads to a second-half breakdown. I would also like to be a more physical team, but it's hard to tell whether the absence of that is a product of coaching or just available personnel.
Honestly, I'm not entirely convinced Scott's presence is missed. There hasn't been any real noticeable drop in performance (he was, after all, a part of the losing effort against Seattle). Other fellas -- most noticeably Assane Sene -- have stepped it up in the meantime. Schools can't apply for a medical hardship waiver until the end of the season, so we'll know more then. My understanding, though, is that the NCAA generally grants a medical redshirt so long as the conditions are satisfied (that it's a medical injury and that the player did not play over the allotted number of games, which he hasn't).
I wish I knew. The general trend has been, when Mustapha Farrakhan is on his game, Virginia tends to win. When his shots aren't dropping, though, the rest of the team tends to struggle. I'd like to see Joe Harris get -- and keep -- his confidence. The guy has quite the stroke, and if he would just pull the trigger when he has the shot, the Virginia offense would be functional, at the very least. Finally, Bub Evans at the point needs to work on his game as well. He's a true point guard rather than a shooting guard, but he nonetheless, it's rare that he creates his own shot, and at what seems to be 5'7", it's not likely that he'll be able to make contested shots often.
How is your three-point shooting? With the second worst 3P defense in the ACC, Virginia is going to lose to any opponent who can put a couple of shooters on the floor. Part of this is by design, with the pack-line defense, but another part is just that our guys can be a little sluggish on defense, and can forget to return to where a player needs to be after helping out another guy. Also, Sene is not particularly productive at setting high screens, so if you can draw him out on every defensive possession, Clemson stands a good chance.
The only way Virginia wins this is if Clemson is still riding a high on FSU and has written us off. Virginia wants this win - badly. As much as I want to play the homer card, I think I'm going have to predict a final score of Clemson 64, Virginia 54.