The Virginia Cavaliers opened up the 2015-2016 with a 86-48 victory over a hapless Morgan State team.
Senior center Mike Tobey lead the scoring for Virginia with 15 points, shooting 7-8 from the field and pulling down 8 rebounds. Devon Hall shot 5-8 from the field, including 1-3 from beyond the arc. Darius Thompson, harnessing the power of an orange streak in his hair, and Anthony Gill also put up 12 points.
The Virginia defense caused 12 turnovers, including four steals.
We'll have more in-depth coverage tomorrow, but here are three things we learned from the season opener:
1. Virginia's showing an expanded offensive arsenal. On several fast break possessions, Virginia pushed the tempo and tried to take advantage of 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 situations. The Hoos weren't always successful, and this is clearly something they'll need to continue to work on as the season progresses, but this is a slightly different look from the Virginia teams we've seen over the past couple years.
2. Slow starts still problematic for the Hoos. Last year's storyline appears to have carried into the new season, as Morgan State kept the game tight during the first 12 minutes of the first half, down only two points with 8:21 to play in the half. Virginia ultimately blew open a double digit lead, using a 6:46 Morgan State scoring drought across two halves to take control of the game, but if Virginia needs 12 minutes to get the gears going, that's going to cause some headache when higher level opponents are on the court.
3. The new guys came to play. Darius Thompson, who started at the 3, went 4-6 shooting and grabbed six rebounds. Jarred Reuter, who came in late, went 4-7 with six rebounds. . Jack Salt, who came in even later, went 2-3 with three rebounds. At least against this Morgan State team, it looks like all three of these guys have the potential to contribute real minutes, either as a starter or otherwise.
Many more random notes and insights coming in the next couple days. Until then, enjoy the return of basketball season, Virginia fans!
Because the Hoos held their opponent to under 50, this is a #PackLinePledge game! Get your donations in now.