Double Bonus: Maryland

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The Virginia men’s basketball team won for the sixth time in seven games when it took down Maryland on Sunday, 80-69. UVa drained 11 3-pointers in the win, but there were some other details from the showdown in College Park worth analyzing. The “Double Bonus” breaks down some of the strategies and storylines from the Hoos’ victory against the Terps.

Fullcourt Pressure

Somewhat surprisingly, not many teams try to speed up the game and create turnovers against UVa with fullcourt pressure. Maryland attempted a pressing strategy against the Hoos on Sunday, though. The Terps utilized a 1-2-1-1 zone press from both a fullcourt and three-quarter court alignment. The press varied its use of immediate traps with some delayed traps. Overall, it appeared to be a rhythm-breaker set with selective traps. The Terrapins did dive into throwing lanes to steal any sloppy or floating passes.

The success rate of the press varied.

The Terps showed the press for the first time at the 9:30 mark of the first half after Virginia had called a timeout following a turnover and break-away jam for the hosts. This first use of the 1-2-1-1 was the fullcourt version and it led to a deflection, but not a turnover for Maryland. On the play, Jontel Evans did not meet the pass to the middle and it allowed the back defender to shoot into the gap and knock away the ball. On the next out-of-bounds opportunity, the Terrapins ran it again and UVa broke it easily with a ball reversal and over-the-top throw to Anderson, who attacked the paint for a seven-foot jumper that missed. Those were the only two press possessions of the first half.

After intermission, the hosts did not apply the press until just before the 14:00 mark with Virginia leading 47-37. The first use created a deflected pass and a loose ball situation that led to a jump ball; the possession arrow belonged to the Terps. On the play, Virginia reversed the ball twice before Evans tried to thread the needle with a pass to Paul Jesperson in the middle; I personally thought the correct pass should have gone up the sideline to Anderson. The next chance to press came with 12:20 remaining and UVa moved into its pressbreak look too slowly and during the possession, its set alignment got jumbled after an initial pass to the middle didn’t break down the defense. The Cavs eventually committed a turnover when Evan Nolte