Virginia Basketball Double Bonus: Florida State

Virginia Cavaliers
Ben Vander Plas and Isaac McKneely have added more 3-point shooting for Virginia. ~ Photo by Kris Wright/TheSabre.com

The Virginia basketball team claimed a 67-58 win at Florida State last weekend in a game that really wasn’t as close as that final margin indicates. The Hoos led for the final 36:55 and held a multi-possession lead throughout the second half. The victory completed the season sweep of the Seminoles.

One storyline in the game centered on UVA’s strong 3-point shooting. The Cavaliers drilled 11 of 22 3-pointers (50%) and built their early lead from shots beyond the arc. All told, three different Hoos had multiple 3’s and five different added to the total.

The Double Bonus returns for a look at the shooting trend and more.

Virginia 3-Point Shooting

Struggles with 3-point shooting were a key factor last season, but the opposite has been true through 16 games this season. The Wahoos currently own a 38.5% shooting percentage from 3-point range, which ranks 18th in the country, 1st in the ACC, and 3rd among Power 5 conference teams. Compare that to last season’s 32.3% and 247th national ranking and it’s easy to see how that is playing a big role in this year’s 13-3 start.

There are some interesting trends in the improvement. First, let’s look at some individuals.

UVA’s Armaan Franklin is shooting 40.2% with 33 makes on 82 attempts, both of which lead the team. That’s up from 30.0% last season when he made 53 of 179 attempts. As noted in this Sabre article earlier in the week, he’s made multiple 3-pointers in 11 of the 16 games. Virginia guard Reece Beekman has also improved his numbers. He has nailed 48.6% of his 3’s with 18 makes on 37 attempts. That’s up from 34.0% last season when he made 22 of 65 attempts. Finally, fellow starter Kihei Clark has made 38.3% of his 3’s with 18 makes on 47 attempts. That too is up from a year ago when he shot 35.0% with 54 makes on 156 3-point shots. Notably, Franklin and Beekman are in the same territory last season in terms of individual volume, while Clark has taken fewer long-range attempts.

While Clark’s 3-point attempt rate is down, the opposite is true for Virginia overall. The Hoos attempted a 3-pointer on just 29.9% of their overall shots last season, but that’s up to 38.1% this season. These next two individuals have a lot to do with that because they make up the rotational pieces around the returning players from a year ago and, simply put, they shoot more 3’s than the players they replaced.

Cavalier freshman Isaac McKneely has connected on 40.6% of his 3-pointers so far with 26 makes on 64 attempts. That’s good enough for 40.6% at this point in the season. Last season’s top guard subs took fewer attempts than that over the entire 35-game schedule. Kody Stattmann made 34% with 20 makes on 59 attempts, while Malachi Poindexter made 38.0% on 3-8 shooting. In the frontcourt, you see something similar with Ben Vander Plas. The Ohio transfer has made 32.8% of his 3-pointers with 21 makes on 64 attempts. Again, that’s way more volume than anyone in the front court took a year ago with Jayden Gardner (3 of 14), Igor Milicic Jr. (8 of 22), and Taine Murray (8 of 23) being the frequent subs at the power forward slot along with Stattmann.

Ultimately, that means five individual spots in the rotation are shooting a higher percentage from 3 than a year ago. That includes the three main perimeter starters and two bench subs, though Vander Plas has gotten some starts lately and has gotten minutes as a stretch center as well.

What About Kadin Shedrick?

Virginia center Kadin Shedrick logged just 5 minutes against the Seminoles. So it may seem odd to bring him up in this

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