Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Gift For Wahoos, Cavs Win Big Time

It may have been Loyola, it also may have been a Christmas miracle.

Virginia has shown promise, but the complaints are still around by critics across Grounds. However, this Thursday, critics were silenced and fans had something to smile about. Let's prove it.

COMPLAINT 1: Virginia found a defense but they lost any form of offense.
Virginia scored 60 points in the first half against Loyola. That's a six and a zero, and maybe Loyola won't be winning a national championship but their first three opponents didn't score more than 67 the entire game. Virginia's 98 points was the most points scored by any team against the Greyhounds. Even more shocking than the 60 points was the fact that Sean Singletary, the same man who put up 35 against Gonzaga had ZERO in the first half. None at all. Virginia scored 60 points without their star in one half. The last time Virginia played without Singletary they scored 60 points the entire GAME (and that was against 1-5 Fordham). If that's not reassuring, nothing is.

COMPLAINT 2: Virginia can't hit threes.
Au contraire mon frere. It may be streaky, but Virginia made a deal with the three-point Gods and junior swingman SG J.R. Reynolds and sophomore SF Adrian Joseph were simply incredible behind the arc. Joseph matched his career the first half. Reynolds found his stroke and nailed 5-7 three pointers, bettering his overall FG percentage. Joseph chipped in going 5-8 and overall the team was 13-21 from three point land. If Virginia could get this hot against an ACC team, with their new defense, it could be (in the words of Dickie V) Upset City Ba-by!

COMPLAINT 3: Leitao is being too hard on the players.
Whatever Coach Leitao is doing, it is working. He does yell, scream and scare, but he also has created a defensive-oriented team and an attitude 900 times more positive than last year's debacle. Fans need look no farther than Jason Cain to see that Leitao has really started to have an impact on the players. Cain has gone from school joke to a player actually meriting all this hype. Also, for anyone who truly feels that Leitao's drill sergeant approach is too much, imagine if Elton Brown was still on the team.

COMPLAINT 4: Virginia can't take care of weaker competition.
While UVA has given many teams in the past a chance to stay in, Loyola was done away with relatively early in the game, and never had a chance for a comeback. Virginia's offensive array was matched by a tenacious defense, and kept Loyola's star guard Andre Collins in foul trouble throughout the game. He registered 16 points, 8 points below his average and kept transfer Hassan Fofana from breaking out. The easy victory. It may not be a common occurrence, but it is a welcome one.

Virginia takes its team on the road to Richmond to appease alumni and other fans in the capital city when the Cavaliers take on the UMBC Terriers of the American East conference. It may not be as pretty as this game, but Leitao and crew hope for the exact same result, a win.


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