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Catching Up With The Cavaliers

Virginia has undergone several lineup changes since it lost to Maryland on Jan. 20. In fact, only one starter remains, and he's been struggling of late. The Cavaliers are 9-17 and have won just twice in 11 games since falling to the Terps. There were whispers that Coach Dave Leitao's job might be in jeopardy, but the chatter seems to have been quashed.

It's safe to say not much has gone right for the Cavaliers this season, a notion that was supported Tuesday night in a 75-57 loss at Clemson. Virginia started well, but then had a nightmare of a second half. The Cavaliers shot 28.6 percent from the field in the second half after connecting on half of its shots before the intermission. In the first eight minutes,16 seconds of the second half, Virginia tallied one field goal and was outscored 18-4.

Matters only got worse, as Virginia was whistled for two of its three technical fouls in the second half. To say that the night unraveled quickly might be a bit of an understatement.

One bright spot was the play of junior guard Calvin Baker (6-foot-2, 186 lbs.), who has moved into a starting role. He tallied 18 points on 7 of 14 shooting Tuesday night.

Other Cavaliers new to the starting lineup since the last time Maryland and Virginia met are junior swingman Solomon Tat (6-foot-5, 223 lbs.), sophomore guard Jeff Jones (6-foot-4, 200 lbs.) and senior center Tunji Soroye (6-foot-11, 252 lbs.).

Freshman guard Sylven Landesberg (6-foot-6, 205 lbs.) has led Virginia's offensive attack for most of the season, but he's been in a bit of a rut of late. Landesberg, who entered Tuesday's game averaging 17.4 points per game, missed all six shots he attempted and finished with three points.

In ACC play, the Cavaliers have possessed the worst scoring offense (67.0 ppg), the worst field goal percentage (40.9 percent) and the second-worst scoring margin (-8.1) in the league.

Virginia, which has lost four straight games, will attempt to avoid becoming the first Cavaliers squad since 1967-68 to record just nine wins Saturday against the Terps.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 6, 2009; 7:26 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Maryland Women Open ACC Tournament Play


This is a statement game for the Terps. No letting UVA hang around and winning by 5. Smash them. They are a mentally fragile team led by a mentally fragile coach. Their students are on spring break. Many Terp fans will be in attendence. Get on them early be up by ten at half time and win by 20. Have that dance ticket punched by 5:30pm sharp Saturday afternoon. This must be the mission.

Posted by: Lee26 | March 6, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Going to be a good game. Go Hoos! Since we aren't very good, all we can hope for is popping the terps bubble like last year.

Posted by: fullertom | March 6, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Terps don't travel Lee.

Posted by: BKMD | March 6, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I have no guess on what's happening in this game...but I do find it funny that someone called UVA's coach "mentally fragile"...I guess Gary's neverending tantrums and antics make him "mentally stable"?

Posted by: VamosUnited | March 6, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Gary's winning close games while outcoaching Roy Williams and Mike Kriusydfouiyauoewiyr with lesser talent over the years makes him mentally strong. Go watch the last 5 minutes and OT of the UNC game. You'll see who the better gameday coach williams is right there.

Posted by: Lee26 | March 6, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

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