In their second game in Italy and first in Florence, the Virginia Cavaliers took another blowout win, this time over Orange1 Basket Bassano to the tune of a 71-41 score. For context, the Arkansas Razorbacks beat the same team 75-54 so this looks like a solid result for the Wahoos.
As Tony Bennett is sitting three players per contest in order to maximize the minutes for active players and limit rotational headaches, Reece Beekman, Ben Vander Plas, and Isaac McKneely sat out this contest. That meant that Kihei Clark, Taine Murray, Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner, and Francisco Caffaro were the first five on the floor. Additionally, Bennett decided to give the head coaching reins to associate Jason Williford for the day.
Things started slowly for UVA with the score sitting at 15-11, Virginia after the first quarter of play. The starters struggled out of the gate but the ‘Hoos got going a bit when Williford swapped out those five for a fresh five off the bench.
The second quarter was when things truly start to click for the team in orange (well, not really) and blue. A 20-5 run put Virginia up 35-16 at halftime as the pack line defense clamped down and only allowed Orange1 to score five points in the second period. Isaac Traudt and Armaan Franklin came to the party for UVA as the freshman from Nebraska led the ‘Hoos with 12 points along with four rebounds and two assists at the half. The former Indiana transfer added seven tallies of his own.
The third quarter was much of the same as the Wahoos entered the fourth up 58-29. Traudt added another pair of baskets in the third as UVA pulled ahead by another ten points. Virginia then proceeded to close the game out 71-41 to take their second win of the trip and improve to 2-0.
Altogether, Traudt finished the contest with 19 points, six rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals. The 6’10” freshman exploded offensively while continuing to be a pest defensively after he had two steals against Stella Azzurra over the weekend. Such immediate offensive impact from him is a great sign heading into the fall. Of course, he’ll have to beat out some more experienced players for playing time — namely Ben Vander Plas who sat out today’s game — but the early signs are great for a player with incredible potential.
Kadin Shedrick was UVA’s second highest scorer in the game with 12 points, seven rebounds, and two steals. He followed up a 13 and seven performance in game one with a similarly solid outing today which is a positive considering that he’s lacked consistency throughout his career. Shedrick has looked the part of a player on the rise and the midrange jumper he hit could be a sign of an expanded offensive repertoire.
In his first action in Italy after sitting out game one, Francisco Caffaro scored 11, grabbed five boards, and also recorded two steals. These three performances speak to the depth UVA has in its front court especially with Jayden Gardner — who scored seven points against Orange1 — and Vander Plas as the two most experienced Wahoo big men. Another forward, Leon Bond III, had a glue guy type showing today with two points, eight rebounds, and three steals. Bond has surprised as a smoother prospect than previously thought while he’s been seemingly everywhere on the defensive boards despite his 6’5” height.
As for the guards, Armaan Franklin led the way with seven points including a nice pull up three pointer. While UVA previously reported that he’d had eight first quarter points, the final stats stated that Ryan Dunn finished with just two points, four rebounds, and two steals. While he wasn’t quite the scorer he was in game one, it’s still good to see the freshman making hustle plays.
Then, lastly, the two other guys who sat out in game one — Taine Murray and Kihei Clark — were the ones who manned the point for UVA the most in game two. Murray scored six and dished out four assists while the veteran Clark scored five, assisted another five baskets, and had four steals. Murray playing guard and particularly as the point is something to note considering he largely played as a small ball four in his first season. With a stacked front court, he’ll need to be better with the ball in his hands to get minutes in the backcourt.
If these stats are correct, UVA had 15 steals on the game which is quite something considering the ‘Hoos don’t generally play to cause turnovers defensively. Perhaps the 2022-2023 iteration of Virginia will be more aggressive.
Stay tuned to this story for additional stats, notes, highlights, and takeaways from this game as we get more information.