Inconsistent Offense Draws Criticism

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Dave Leitao’s team doesn’t rank as low offensively as you might think, but it does have a high percentage of bad offensive halves.

When Virginia’s Sylven Landesberg converted a tough lay-up with 1:34 to go in the first half against Florida State, the fans at the John Paul Jones Arena responded with a loud and somewhat sarcastic cheer Saturday. The reason? It was just the second field goal of the game for UVa, which finished the half with three made baskets and 16 points.

Yes, it was a bad half. A really, really bad half. Worst this decade bad (the fewest points in a first half by a Cavalier team since 1993). In other proverbial words, it was just one of those days. That’s how FSU coach Leonard Hamilton viewed the scoring half while praising his team’s defensive effort as a contributing factor.

“They had some good shots that normally go down for them that just didn’t fall. We were in that situation the other night at Miami where we had five good looks at the end of the first half, uncontested shots that didn’t go down,” said Hamilton, making reference to his team’s 12 field goals and 29 points against the Canes. “Sometimes you have a game where even though you have good looks they don’t fall. I thought they had good looks, they just didn’t fall for them.”

Yep, just one of those days. Or was it? If only it could be explained as a mere anomaly or fluke. In truth, it’s a bit of a trend for Dave Leitao and his University of Virginia program.

The Statistics

Everyone who saw any of the first half Saturday against Florida State agrees that it was bad. It’s pretty easy to spot a bad half when it features just 3 field goals and 16 points. To provide context, however, let’s find a starting point statistically for what makes a poor half.

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