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Series So Far

Game 2, 78-76 Win vs. Getafe

This was the most exciting game of the trip because it was the only one in doubt in the final minute, and it was our first look at Diakite, Huff, and Jerome. For this game, I took the most detailed stats I took all trip. It was the only where I recorded assists, steals, rebounds, or blocks.

Salt, Wilkins, and Perrantes sat.

Nichols, Diakite, Guy, Hunter, and Thompson started. Jerome hit a game winning three pointer with 12 seconds left, and Hall, Thompson, Shayok, Jerome, and Diakite forced a wild missed three at the buzzer to seal the win.

Pregame Pics

I know The Sabre loves to compare people’s heights in photos, so I tried to go shoulder to shoulder with a few players. In future games, I got Huff and Guy. Here’s me with LP. I’m 6’4″ without the hair. His forehead is probably 1.5″ inches below mine, so he’s 6’2.5″ without the hair by my estimate.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.02.01 PM The NBA player is under 6′, I think.Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.02.19 PM Salt is tall enough to block me without going straight up.
Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.03.00 PMThe team did its standard pregame warmups under the direction of Mike Curtis before each game.

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This was my best attempt at keeping stats during the game. I’m sure I missed a thing or two, but this should be close to accurate.

The numbers below FTM, 2PFGM, and 3PFGM are our team shooting percentages for the game.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 5.56.04 PMThose decimals should be colons in the minutes category. For instance, Nichols played 23:03.
Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 5.44.00 PMThe stats that jump out at me are the usage stats–Nichols, Shayok, and Jerome were the most assertive on offense–and the plus/minus. This was one of several games that saw mainly five-for-five substitutions, and the starters did much better than the second team.

Individual Players

Point Guard

What is the point guard in our system? Is it the guy who brings the ball up court? Usually there’s no pressure on the ball there, so that job isn’t too important.

Does he have some special roll in the half court? Because I see all three little guys doing the same thing on most plays.

In any case, Thompson and Jerome primarily brought the ball up court, but Shayok and Hall did too. Throughout the trip, I believe all seven little guys brought the ball up court.


Jay started the game with a goaltend, which isn’t quite as impressive as a block, but still shows he can get up and will get plenty of blocks for us. He also got his first points via a dunk and got two offensive rebounds. On the second offensive rebound, he came down with the ball and went straight back up for his second dunk and-1.

My favorite play of his was a juke from the three point line that allowed him to drive past his defender, although he didn’t get all the way to the rim before taking a bump that wasn’t called a foul (should have been) and awkwardly missing his shot.

On defense, he blocked a shot as the shot clock expired, but got called for a BS foul call. As he waited for the free throw shooter to shoot, I said, “As the official fan scorer, I’m recording that as a block,” and he smiled at me. That’s some of the fun of having courtside seats in a quiet gym.

My main takeaway from this game for him was “Wait, I thought he was a stretch four. He looked like a traditional post all game.” In future games, he did show some range, but I think he’ll be more like a Wilkins than a Nolte (in terms of how he plays offense, not skill level.)


In transition, Mamadi went straight to the rim and got a perfect pass from a guard for what would have been a spectacular alley oop. Unfortunately he bobbled the ball and that caused his dunk to clank off the rim. His hands were a theme throughout the trip. He also missed a lay up early.

My main takeaway from this game for him was “The hype machine is out of control for Diakite. He is an athletic beast and can be active on defense and on the glass, but his offensive game is not there right now.”


Shayok took the technical free throws for the B team when a Getafe player was T’ed up. Smart move since he went 8-8 from the line for the game. He also went 4-8 from the floor. In the battle of Junior wings, he was by far the most assertive offensively in Spain. We need that, so I think he will be the one who gets the most minutes.


Jerome played badly on offense for about 38 minutes. He missed his first three three-point attempts and made a truly awful decision to throw an alley oop pass to a blanketed Jay Huff that led to a turnover.

This was counteracted by making three steals on defense.

But then, like all good shooters he forgot about the slow start. He hit a three with 1:45 left to give us a 75-73 lead. On the next possession, he took another three and missed. Reuter fouled the rebounder who made both free throws in the bonus to tie the game at 75.

After another free throw on another Retuer foul gave them a 76-75 lead with 34 seconds left, we got the ball back and Jerome hit another three to give us a 78-76 lead, with 12 seconds left.

Nichols and Thompson and Guy

Nichols slammed home an alley oop, assisted by Thompson, who later jammed an alley oop from Guy.

Game 3, 78-76 Win vs. Getafe

The third game was August 13th in Albacete, Spain, which is a small city about halfway from Madrid to Valencia on the high speed train. I woke up early Saturday morning in Madrid and got to the gym about an hour before the noon tip. I had an afternoon train to Valencia, but ended up catching a ride in sfb123’s rental car.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.04.56 PM

This opponent was several players from Albacete’s third division (LEB Plata) team plus guys from similar teams. They had last to Arkansas by 28 and Purdue by 18 before playing us.

Hall, Reuter, and Nichols sat.

Diakite, Salt, Perrantes, Hunter, and Shayok started. Substitutions were mostly 5-for-five early, but we started crushing them, and Coach started giving the freshman more minutes including playing all five at once. (See the video below.)

This game had the most insane travel calls, probably 7-10 phantom calls that happened any time a UVA player caught the ball on the run.


I’m sure I missed a thing or two, but this should be close to accurate. These stats only cover the first 35:18 of the game. I quit taking them when walk ons came in.

Those decimals should be colons in the minutes category. For instance, Diakite played 18:08.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 4.49.17 PM

We torched them. Huff really torched them. Shayok and Guy each jacked 11 shots.

A lot of the turnovers were phantom travel calls. If we hadn’t played the walkons and didn’t get called for those travels, we would have won by about 60.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.05.04 PM
Sanchez getting an explanation of the travel calls.

Individual Players


Shayok had a great take for an and-1 early. Later in the first quarter he was tackled on a fast break as part of every Spanish team’s strategy of fouling us before we could get to the rim in transition. I don’t think the opponent meant to foul him quite so hard, but they got tangled up and it looked bad. Coach Bennett was not happy and said something to the ref about keeping us safe.

Later Shayok converted an alley oop lay up from Perrantes.

We didn’t see a ton of efficiency from Shayok this game (4-11 FG), but I think we can, and I love that he is trying to score. We need it this season.


He had a great dime to Wilkins, but a terrible alley oop pass attempt to Thompson. He had some puzzling turnovers in Spain, and needs to work on decision making if he will have the ball in his hands a lot, especially if he is the starting PG next season.


By international rules he went 4-8 on twos and 0-3 on threes, but the NCAA three point line was on the court, and six of his twos were from behind it. He went 3-6. So by college rules, he would have been 1-2 on twos and 3-9 on threes.


He got an offensive rebound on a missed free throw and blocked two shots on one possession. There are flashes of brilliance.


With the game in hand, we saw some longer shots. He hit two 15 footers, but missed a three pointer when the walk ons were in.

After the game, local kids crowded the UVA locker room exit to high five their new heroes and chant Vir-gin-ia.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.05.52 PM

I made the local news in Albacete.

Regularlights (Not Highlights, just four minutes of game action)