UVa Basketball Cheat Sheet 2012-2013

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Joe Harris has raised his averages for points and assists this season.

The Virginia men’s basketball sailed into the exam break on a seven-game winning streak with an 8-2 record. What’s that? You’ve been holiday shopping and haven’t seen many games? Your mind is tied up with football coaching issues? Never fear Cavalier fan, I’ve got a quick cheat sheet to get you up to speed so you can cheer on the hardwood Hoos after they knock out their exams.

Here’s what you need to know about Tony Bennett’s 2012-2013 squad …

Joe Harris is “the man” this year. After running as Robin to Mike Scott’s Batman last season, junior Joe Harris has stepped up to a starring role this year. The Cavaliers run many of their offensive sets around the wing skills of Harris, who has delivered at a clip of 14.8 points per game. That’s up from 11.3 points per game last season. He has also dished out 2.5 assists per game, up from 1.7 helpers as season ago. With 115 shot attempts, Harris has taken at least 23 more shots than anyone else on the club this year too. That comes out to 11.5 shots per game, another increase from 2011-2012 when he attempted 8.6 shots per outing.

All of that shows that Harris is in the go-to role this season. That came through loud and clear in Virginia’s 60-54 win at Wisconsin. During a critical stretch midway through the second half, UVa went through four possessions with Harris as the focal point or decision-maker and all four possessions ended with a basket. First, UVa opted for two different types of sets for Harris. The first came when the Hoos ran Harris through a double screen to get him open on the wing for a 3-point attempt against a defensive switch; he made that trey. The next was a high on-ball screen set with Harris dribbling off the pick set by Evan Nolte . The freshman forward separated from the screen behind the 3-point line and since Harris pulled