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ACC Roundup - The Pack Falls At Virginia

Not exactly a surprise loss but Lavar Batts excelled.

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NCAA Basketball: North Carolina State at Virginia
Jan 14, 2018; Charlottesville, VA, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Lavar Batts Jr. (3) controls the ball defended by Virginia Cavalier Ty Jerome (11) in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena.
Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Although State got Markell Johnson back for the Virginia game, it didn’t make much difference. State had little idea of how to attack Virginia’s defense and fell behind quickly.

The Pack had some moments but Virginia was in control of the game from beginning to end.

It’s hard to do much against the Pack Line unless you attack it correctly. Tony Bennett’s defense tries to make you face three defenders at any time and force the ball as far from the basket as possible.

The two best ways to attack it are in transition, if you can manage it, and moving the ball crisply in the half-court. If not you’re going to end up in the quicksand.

In particular, Torin Dorn made the mistake of trying to go one-on-one which is just pointless. And after a monster game last time out, Omer Yurtseven was limited to just six points and six rebounds.

The two guys who maybe handled Virginia’s defense best were Braxton Beverly and Lavar Batts. Beverly didn’t shoot well but did move well and held his own in that sense. Batts was 5-8 and got to the basket a fair amount.

Virginia’s D gets a lot of deserved credit, but the offense deserves some praise too. UVA doesn’t score a lot but the offense is precise. State flailed a lot but not the Wahoos. State’s defense isn’t great but it’s not horrible. Virginia had no trouble getting easy shots. Bennett’s starters shot 21-34 (61.7%).

Beverly is likely to lose his position soon to the reinstated Johnson but we were intrigued by Batts. Oddly, he hasn’t shot well overall but picked Virginia to go 5-8. He was really solid.

Two games on Monday as Duke visits Miami (see our story on that) and Florida State visits BC.

There’s no question BC is an improved team, with 12 wins already and some big ones too, notably over Duke. FSU won’t be easy though. The Seminoles are big and deep and both will pose challenges for the Eagles.

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