Breaking Down The WFU Loss

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Coach Tony Bennett’s team stayed in the game with Wake, but the Deacons won too many indvidual battles.

Following a run of two straight wins over North Carolina schools, Virginia took the court with a chance to get revenge on a third. Wake Forest had dealt UVa its first ACC loss earlier in the season in Winston-Salem where the Demon Deacons got the Cavaliers in early foul trouble and coasted to victory. The second contest mirrored the first in terms of strategy but not result.

Virginia played an excellent game and adapted well to the same attack that caused the Cavaliers so much trouble in the first half. In a game that was decided in large part by individual match-ups, UVa narrowly fell short against a very talented Wake Forest team.

Revisiting The Keys

The Virginia game plan focused on several key match-ups and attempted to adapt to what happened in the first meeting between these two teams. As I detailed in the first Wake Forest breakdown, the Demon Deacons had an excellent plan of attack for Tony Bennett’s Pack-Line defense. The game plan reflected some of the tactics teams used with success earlier in the year against the Cavaliers as well as some tweaks to maximize Wake Forest’s advantages. In watching Virginia play this season the game plan Wake Forest rolled out seemed like an inevitable progression for teams trying to attack the Pack-Line.

While they weren’t the focus of the game plan, I think it’s worthwhile to address the three keys laid out in the first Wake Forest scouting report because they are things that have to be kept in mind while playing the Demon Deacons and must be considered in any plan to oppose them. In the first game, UVa lost 2 of 3 of these categories; in this game, Hoos probably lost two as well, though the overall plan of attack was a much stronger one.

Here were the three keys:

  • Tempo. If I could get away with putting this as numbers 1-3, I would’ve done it. UVa can’t keep up with Wake in a running game, Wake Forest can’t beat UVa slowing down and playing things out in the half-court, so something will have to give. It’s important