'Hoos pretty good on offense end as well

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Through 14 games, this year's Virginia men's basketball team is on pace to be the highest-scoring of Tony Bennett's 10-year tenure.

Wednesday's 83-56 win at Boston College boosted unbeaten UVA's season scoring average to 74.6 points per game. Bennett has only had one team at Virginia that averaged 70-plus points for an entire seasons -- in 2015-16, when the Wahoos reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and scored 71.0 points per game. That 2015-16 team is also the only one of Bennett's tenure to shoot better from the field (49.1 percent) for a season than this year's team has shot this season (48.0 percent).

Bennett was asked about what this year's team is capable offensively following the win at Boston College. He was quick to evoke some of the best players of his tenure.

"I think when you had Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris and Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey, that was a pretty good team. We could go inside a lot with those guys," Bennett said of a foursome that played together for one season, UVA's Sweet 16 team in 2013-14.

"I think there's a little more balance, versatility. A little more interior scoring, maybe not as much as some of those other teams," Bennett said of this year's group. "But I like their smarts and their skill."

UVA has three players averaging at least 13 points this season -- Kyle Guy (15.4 ppg), De'Andre Hunter (14.1) and Ty Jerome (13.5). In the five games since UVA returned from exams, Braxton Key (7.4 ppg for the season) is averaging 10 points per game, while Mamadi Diakate (7.3 ppg for the season) is averaging 9.8.

Four players scored in double figures at Boston College, led by Hunter and Diakite, who put up 18 apiece. Wednesday's 83-point performance marked the fifth time in Bennett's 10 seasons that UVA broke 80 against an ACC opponent, and the highest output in regulation against a conference foe under Bennett. In January 2015, UVA put up 89 points in a win at Miami, but that game wound up in double overtime.

In a game where Bennett believed the Eagles exposed some issues for the Wahoos at the defensive end, the coach credited UVA's offense for leading the way to victory.

"They just happened to miss some shots. They got a lot of open looks, they got down the floor on us and there are areas there that need to be tightened up," Bennett said. "The balance and the versatility as in last game and then this game really helped, and I thought our offense is what won it for us."

The comments sections of CBS19News.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. CBS19News.com tracks IP addresses. Repeat violators may be banned from posting comments.
View Comment Guidelines
powered by Disqus