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Sylven Landesberg's lack of free throws

When opposing coaches talk about what makes Sylven Landesberg so difficult, one of the first attributes they point to is Landesberg's ability to draw fouls and hit free throws.

The sophomore guard has hit 82.2 percent of his free throws this season. But in Virginia's last four loss, Landesberg has reached the free-throw line only five times -- including no trips in the past two games.

"Certainly, he's not been given room to get there," Coach Tony Bennett said. "The defenses, even if he beats you, the defenses are sitting in there on him, so it's getting harder for him. They're putting their best guy, and really tagging or guarding him hard with help built in, so there's not near as many alleys to get to the basket in the half-court offense. And when teams are making the percentage shots they're making against us, you're not getting as many opportunities to get out and get down the floor and maybe get a transition basket, or just get the defense spread out a little bit as far as pushing the ball."

The explanation makes sense. Landesberg's struggles in the past two weeks have come with defensive attention that few in college basketball can handle. In the past three games, Landesberg has averaged 9.67 points. That's directly related to Virginia scoring only 55 points in those three games.

By Zach Berman  |  February 22, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
 
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