Early on in ACC play the Virginia Cavaliers appeared to be not just one of the best teams in their conference, but also one of the best teams in the nation. Their defense appeared to be stifling, while their offense produced enough to have them coast to victories. Now, currently on a four game slide, Virginia seems to be lost in their inability to put the ball in the basket. They have gone ice cold. Following their win against the number four team in the nation, Louisville, all looked quite dandy for the Cavaliers. Yet, then came the opponents of Virginia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, and Miami. All four losses could be considered respectable losses, but it is how they lost. The greatest regular time point total out of those four games was 63 points. No matter how good your defense is, lack of scoring that significant will make games difficult to win. Those 63 points came in the 2OT loss to Virginia Tech in an 80-78 loss. Since then, in their last three games they have combined to score 144 points, or 48 per game. That is hard to fathom. A major conference team, no less a top 25 ranked team, averaging just 48 points per game in a three game stretch. The cherry on top was against Miami. Their inability to shoot the ball even inside their own gym was unbearable. They finished the game with a mere 31.4% FG percentage. They now rank 303rd in the country in overall points per game. Something, anything, needs to be done.
Tony Bennett is one of the best coaches in all of basketball and has captured success in the Cavalier’s program for years now. Maybe future success includes getting up extra shots in practice, or potentially speeding up their style of play a bit. It appears that they have great athletes for making defensive plays, yet besides London Perrantes, buckets seem hard to find. Before the ACC tournament begins, the Cavaliers need to get rolling, or at least stumbling, on the offensive end of the ball. If they do, they remain a title contender, due to their unbelievable defense. Yes, a team on a four game skid still has the potential to run the table in the NCAA Tournament.