Virginia Basketball: Odds and Ends

Friday, October 31 2008 by Ben

We've got a few bits and pieces to deal with today.  However, none of it appears to be related, so let's take it in bulleted form:

  • Tuesday night marked the opening of the NBA (Hooray - only 8 more months until it gets interesting!).  Why do you care?  You care because the Spurs played the Suns on Wednesday.  Not only did it feature Gregg Popovich showing double thumbs up when he called for a foul on Shaq four seconds into the game, but also two UVa grads (Roger Mason Jr. and Sean Singletary) squared off against one another.  It's been more than seven years since the last time two Wahoo alumni "played" each other.  I say "played" only because SS received the "DNP-CD."

    The last time it happened was on April 4, 2001, when Bryant Stith and the Boston Celtics took on Cory Alexander and the Orlando Magic. Neither Wahoo had a great night.  Stith finished with four points and Alexander didn't do much of note. But I'm noting it anyway.
  • So, maybe I was jumping to conclusions about Calvin Baker?  According to everyone's favorite paper, the Daily Progress, Baker is practicing with the team.  I think it's great for the team's psyche if Baker can play at full speed.  But if he's injured, having him "practice with limitations" (as Leitao put it) just seems, well, half-baked.

    The full extent of the injury must not have been released. What benefit would be gained by delaying surgery and having him practice for a week or two in October?  Leitao must believe that it's an injury Baker can play through during the season. 

    Let's hope so.  Otherwise, I am completely confused as to why Baker, Leitao, & Co. would do this.
  • The ACC media picked Virginia to finish 12th this year.  There's a  couple of reasons why you might think the ACC media is wrong.  The first being: THE MEDIA IS WRONG OFTEN!  Case in point, last year: Virginia was picked to finish fifth in the ACC. 

    They finished significantly lower than fifth. 
  • I've researched and created the graph below to show how each of the teams did relative to their predictions for the past three years.    I mean, just look at how often they're wrong.


    I think it really shows that the media tends pick the  teams at the bottom more incorrectly, with the exception of the three seed, which the media has missed on both Wake Forest and NC State.  Last year, the 12th best team picked by the ACC was Miami.  Miami went on to have a very successful year.  So, don't get your hopes down simply because the media is down on UVa.

Furthermore, Virginia was picked last in 2006 and they're one of the teams to rebound from that position, finishing fifth.  I think there's just more pluckiness to this group than the media is given them credit for.

The media always appears to get one team (sometimes two) wrong in the 3-5 range.  Wake Forest, NC State, Florida State, and Virginia have all fallen victim to that - this leaves room for the Wahoos to pick up the slack if/when a certain team falters.


  • Finally, the outstanding Tiki and myself will be previewing the team in the upcoming week or so.  Tiki will be looking at the probable starters while I'm going to work on those important bench players.  Stay tuned.

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