The No. 8 Virginia Cavaliers improved to 7-0 in ACC play on Monday night with a decisive 81-58 win over the Syracuse Orange. Virginia is currently in the driver’s seat in the conference, leading 5-1 Florida State by 1.5 games in the standings. The Hoos have a tough road test at No. 20 Virginia Tech on Saturday, followed by a game against NC State on Wednesday.
Before we get to those, let’s take a quick look at some of the numbers that stood out against the Orange.
7 - Sam Hauser connected on 7-of-13 attempts from three against Syracuse, matching a career high for made threes in a game. He did it twice at Marquette in the 2018 season, and he is now shooting 43% from three for the season. Over the last three games — Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Syracuse — Hauser is 18-for-23 (65%) from downtown. In ACC play, the redshirt senior is hitting 47% of his attempts from outside, good for 7th in the conference.
21 - It felt like Jay Huff would be stuck on 18 points as a career-high as he hit the mark three times this season after setting it against Kent State on December 4. Against Syracuse, however, Huff scored 21 points and added 12 rebounds (which matched a career-high he set in the season-opener against Syracuse in 2019). His shooting versatility was on full display against the Orange, going up for alley-oops and hitting jumpers. Huff is now shooting 71% from two and 46% from three for the season.
79% - How do you beat the zone? Moving the ball and making threes. Virginia did both really well on Monday night, but were especially good at making the extra pass. The Cavaliers assisted 23 of 29 made baskets, an assist rate of 79%. Kihei Clark finished with nine assists and just two turnovers, with first year Reece Beekman dishing five assists with two turnovers. Hauser added three assists to go with all the made threes, and Huff, Trey Murphy, and Tomas Woldetensae each had two in the win. More dishes than a potluck dinner.
371 - So. Many. Alley-oops. Ok, so there weren’t 371 of them, but it certainly felt that way at times. As mentioned above, Clark finished with nine assists, several of which came on lobs to either Huff or Murphy. You absolutely love to see the high-percentage shots happening so frequently.
80 - Virginia has scored 80 points in three ACC games this season, a threshold they did not hit in any game last season (conference play or not). In the 2018-19 season, Virginia scored 80+ in four conference games. Before that? You have to go all the way back to a double-overtime win at Miami in the 2014-15 season to find an ACC game where the Hoos scored 80 points or more. Virginia is up to No. 9 in offensive efficiency on KenPom, a dramatic improvement over the 234th they finished in 2019-20.