Virginia Tech is currently 20-5 on the season, and on Monday night the No. 20 Hokies host the No. 3 Cavaliers (22-2). Virginia is favored by 6.5 points. By the (Advanced) Numbers takes a look at what to expect when the two face off.
Overall statistics are provided by the KenPom rating system and provide a breakdown for total team efficiency as well as offensive- and defensive-specific numbers.
Virginia is currently the No. 2 rated team, and well-balanced on offense and defense. The Hokies might expect to match them on offense, but are expected to be overmatched on defense.
Offensive personality ratings are defined as follows:
- Pace: The number of possessions the team has averaged per 40 minutes of clock time.
- Total Rebound %: The percentage of possible rebounds — offensive and defensive — that the team gained.
- Assist %: The percentage of made shots that were assisted.
These teams have a somewhat similar offensive style. Both tend to play a slow, plodding form of basketball; Virginia is the second slowest squad nationally. The Cavaliers are one of the better teams nationally at rebounding, and the Hokies are among the teams with the most frequently assisted shots.
Shooting offense is compared using these statistics:
- eFG %: Effective field goal percentage is a regular field goal percentage statistic but adjusted for the number of points the shot is worth.
- 3 Pt %: Rather than the percentage of 3-pt shots made, this statistic is the percentage of shots taken that are 3-pt shots.
- FTA per FGA: A reflection of a tendency to get fouled while shooting, this is the number of free throw attempts gained per field goal attempt taken.
While both teams have similarities, the Hokies are exceptional in terms of effective field goal percentage and utilize a high percentage of shots take from beyond the arc.
The defensive personality statistics are defined as:
- Steal %: The percentage of opponent possessions that end with a steal.
- Block %: The percentage of opponent possessions that end with a block.
- Opponent Offensive Rebound %: The percentage of possible offensive rebounds gained by the opponent (so 100% - defensive rebound %).
While Virginia Tech forces more turnovers on steals, UVA is more apt at blocks.
The shooting defense metrics are the same as the shooting offense metrics, but based on opponents' performance.
Here the two teams diverge considerably. Aside from slow pace of play, the Cavaliers hold opponents to an exceptionally low effective field goal percentage and then simultaneously don't allow them many offensive rebounds. The Hokies are middle of the pack in those stats, but are very effectively at blocking the lane and forcing a high percentage of opponent shots to be three-pointers.
Well the most obvious prognostication is that this game will be slow and low scoring. Virginia manhandled Virginia Tech earlier this season, but recent history has shown that the Hokies are very capable of an upset, and this contest would be less of an upset than any time in recent memory. Missing Justin Robinson really hurts the Hokies, but the slower pace of play they have employed since his injury fits right in with what the Cavaliers will try to force anyway. BTAN isn't in the business of predicting Hokies losses.
Virginia Tech 60, Virginia 56