first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 10, 2020 at 8:44 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 After two-straight Atlantic Coast Conference losses, Syracuse (8-7, 1-3 Atlantic Coast) travels to No. 18 Virginia (11-3, 3-1 ACC) on Saturday. The defending national champion Cavaliers most recently lost to Boston College, 60-53, on Tuesday. Here’s what to know about the Cavaliers before the 4 p.m. tip. All-time series: Virginia  leads, 8-5Last time they played: Well, if you don’t remember what happened last time, it might be best that way. In the 2019-20 season opener Syracuse shot 23.6% from the field in a 48-34 loss to Virginia in the Carrier Dome. The offensive output was Syracuse’s worst in the Jim Boeheim era. Syracuse struggled to maintain any offensive rhythm and lacked movement overall, several players said following the loss. When the Orange had semi-open looks, they didn’t shoot well. Elijah Hughes led SU in scoring with 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting while Buddy Boeheim scored seven points while shooting 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. After the game, Boeheim remarked that Virginia’s defense was the best the Orange would see all year until they met again. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Virginia report: Of course, the Cavaliers have a good defense. In fact, Tony Bennett’s pack-line defensive scheme currently has the Cavaliers ranked first in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom. On the other side of the ball, Virginia has struggled. It averages 55.7 points per game on offense. That places the Cavaliers 348th out of 350 teams in Division I. Up until most recently in Chestnut Hill, Virginia’s offensive woes hadn’t mattered that much. But an inability to score is a clear weak point for Virginia headed into this matchup. How Syracuse beats the Cavaliers: Syracuse needs to find ways to score and that’s easier said than done against Virginia. The Orange needs to shoot better than they did last time out against UVA and that starts with moving more on offense and penetrating. If Syracuse dribblers can at least threaten the idea of driving to the basket, then the Cavaliers’ defense will have to move. For SU, it’s all about playing in a scenario where Virginia doesn’t have time to settle in. Look for the Orange to push the ball in transition if possible to score before UVA’s defense is in proper position. Stat to know: 27.3 — The Cavaliers rank 344th in the country with a 27.3 3-point field goal percentage. KenPom odds: Syracuse has a 27% chance to win the game, with KenPom predicting a 60-53 UVA win. Player to watch: Kihei Clark, No. 0, GuardThe 5-foot-9 sophomore plays nearly 90% of the game for UVA. Through 14 games he’s scored 9.9 points per game while dishing out 5.7 assists. In all likelihood, he won’t lead UVA in scoring. That will probably be forward Mamadi Diakite. But Clark has the ability to spark offense — including a 13-assist performance against Navy — and if he creates like that on Saturday, Syracuse could be in trouble. Commentslast_img

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