Virginia's mid-ACC report card: Guards
Note: This accounts for performance only in the ACC season -- not the overall schedule.
Calvin Baker - D+ - Baker's grade is hurt by the two-game absence sandwiched into the first half of the ACC schedule. After frustration about playing time, Baker did travel with the team to a Jan. 23 loss at Wake Forest and remained on the bench for a Jan. 28 loss to Virginia Tech because of the same reason. To prove Coach Tony Bennett has a short memory, Baker has played consistent minutes the past three games -- although his performance still leaves much to be desired. Bennett appreciates Baker's ball-handling and leadership, both of which are evident on the court. But Baker remains an unsteady decision maker who can take bad shots (only 31.6 percent from the field, 25 percent from three-point range in the ACC) and has committed costly turnovers.
Jeff Jones - C - Jones' third ACC season mirrors his career to this point -- occasional flashes, but still much to be desired. Jones watched his minutes decrease in the last three ACC games as Baker took on a more prominent role. At his best, Jones is a reliable shooter who can stretch the defense. He's hit 45 percent of his three-pointers in the ACC and 75 percent of his free throws. But until Jones improves his ball handling and defense, he will continue to fight for steady minutes.
Mustapha Farrakhan - B - - Virginia fans remember Farrakhan's dunk against North Carolina State, but more important in that game were his 11 points. Farrakhan has established himself as a steady scorer off the bench, reaching double-digits in scoring in four of eight games. His three-point shooting has slipped, but Farrakhan is also an underrated defender whose athleticism helps the Cavaliers in transition. Although he plays in a combo guard role, Farrakhan is better viewed as the scorer off the bench because he only occasionally displays point-guard qualities.
Sammy Zeglinski - B - A consistent starter for Virginia, Zeglinski is a threat as a shooter and has proven adept with many of the small qualities that Virginia needs from guards in the system. He is a good rebounder from his position, plays intelligent defense and uses quick hands to lead the team in steals. His three-point shooting was stellar out of conference and has dipped since the ACC started, but opponents must respect Zeglinski's range. If he can keep the three-point shooting above 40 percent (Zeglinski is 42.5 percent on the season but just 33.3 percent in the ACC), it will aid Virginia's offense own the stretch.
Sylven Landesberg - A - - You can't ask for much more than what Landesberg has provided the Cavaliers in his second ACC season. Landesberg is a dominant scorer, averaging 20.4 points in the ACC despite significant defensive attention. He spreads the ball around and provided teammates open shots. He has asked for the ball in late-game situations and has been a reliable three-point shooter (38.9 percent) and free throw shooter (89.8 percent). Strides remain on the defensive end, but Landesberg has done everything he could to put Virginia in its current situation.
Jontel Evans - B - - Evans is playing more than many expected entering the season, which is a testament to his defensive ability. He is the best on-the-ball defender on the team and draws the assignments of tough guards. Evans also makes good decisions for a freshman and has not fallen victims to heavy turnovers. But he is not a threat to score, which has hurt Virginia's offense. Opponents are starting to play off Evans and challenging him to shoot. Even with open looks, he is shooting 27.6 percent from the field. Virginia needs more out of their starting point guard through the final eight games, although it's a credit to Evans that he's become an important player on the team so quickly.
February 11, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
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