UVa Wastes Effort On McClinton

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Calvin Baker’s defense helped slow down Jack McClinton.

For 39 minutes Thursday night, Virginia had Miami’s Jack McClinton on lockdown. But when the visitors needed it most, McClinton had a clutch shot still in his bag. The Hurricanes’ star guard came up with a critical 3-pointer in the final minute to turn a nip-and-tuck game into a two-possession affair and the visitors escaped with 62-55 victory.

McClinton and Miami coach Frank Haith said afterward that the put-it-away 3-pointer was a set play with an adjusted screen read.

“It was a set play we ran and we ran it good,” McClinton said. “Jimmy [Graham] set a good screen and I got a good look.”

“Jimmy just read Jack and made the play,” Haith said. “When teams do that. We had been coming off the double screen and we actually call that a bump play and Jack was coming back. Jimmy readjusted his screen and obviously Jack made his adjustment and got clean.”

Virginia’s Calvin Baker, who had the task of following the star guard for most of the night, agreed that McClinton made a great read and then executed the shot.

“I didn’t know which way he was going. He’s smart enough to fade the screen. He read the screen properly and his teammates found him and he knocked the shot down,” Baker said. “I was mixing it up. The coaches told me to get their any way you can. Sometimes I would trail him, sometimes I would cheat it [over the top] – as long as I got there that was the main point. That time I couldn’t get there in time and he made the shot.”

Cav coach Dave Leitao commended Baker for his effort in leading the team’s defensive game plan.

“I thought Calvin did a wonderful job all night long in taking a personal challenge on one of best scorers in the league. He did a great job, but he escaped a couple of times at the end,” Leitao said. “Even with that, I thought we could have withstood that.”

Up until the shot in the final minute, the Cavalier guard had blanketed the ACC’s 4th leading scorer. Even with the 5 points –