The Virginia Cavaliers, who were dropped from the Top 25 rankings yesterday, pulled out a victory against the Navy Midshipmen Tuesday night by the final score of 67-42.
But the score is not indicative of the offensive struggle the Cavaliers experienced in the first half. Only scoring 17 points in the first 12 minutes of the game, the Cavaliers only led 17-12, before pulling away.
Defensively, Virginia seems to be very solid. They rotate well, are strong on the boards, and ranked fifth in the NCAA in points allowed going into this game. Tonight, they had a size advantage in every position, and utilized that advantage to the fullest.
The team seems to be looking for its offensive identity, however. Through their first three games, redshirt sophomore guard Malcom Brogdon was leading the team in scoring with only 12.0 points per game. Freshman guard London Perrantes led the team in assists, with seven total. That’s an average of 2.3 per game. That number should never be leading a team. Tonight, the team had 13 total assists, which will not cut it against better opponents. This number is indicative of the lack of ball movement, and an obvious red flag.
Senior guard Joe Harris has to lead this team offensively. Averaging a career-high 16.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game last season, Harris got off to a very slow start, averaging only 8.0 points through the first three games. Tonight, he doubled his average and scored 16 points on a very efficient 7-of-8 shooting.
South Carolina transfer Anthony Gill came off the bench and was the best player on the court, scoring 18 points to go along with four rebounds. Gill went 8-of-9 shooting, and provided a boost that a team that was struggling so badly offensively.
With the win, Virginia moves to 3-1, with their next contest coming on Saturday against Liberty University at home in Charlottesville. Moving forward, Virginia could be a team to watch if, and only if, they figure out things on the offensive end.
Dan Karpuc is a college basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @dan_karpuc, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.