The impenetrable late-clock defense of UVA basketball, plus more thoughts on the ACC in the AP Top 25

After a 1-1 week, Miami falls just outside of the top 25 in this week’s AP Poll. This means there are only four ACC teams in the top 25 now — with three of those squads landing in the top 10; it’s clear that the national perception of the ACC is that it’s top heavy.

  • No. 2 Virginia
  • No. 4 Duke
  • No. 10 North Carolina
  • No. 18 Clemson

Things should get very interesting this week, though, when No. 4 Duke hosts No. 2 Virginia Saturday afternoon in Durham. Both teams have one tune-up game before then; Duke travels to Wake Forest Tuesday night, while Virginia hosts No. 18 Clemson.

This is obviously a big week for the Cavaliers. Hey, speaking of the Cavs…


Quick Thoughts

  • The ACC accounts for 30 percent of the top 10 teams in this week’s poll — more than any other league. The Big Ten — Purdue, Michigan State — and the Big 12 — Kansas, West Virginia — each of two teams in the top 10.
  • Opponents have trouble scoring against Virginia, regardless of game-time situation. However, UVA’s late-clock defense, led by Isaiah Wilkins, is astounding. According to Synergy Sports, teams are shooting just 18.8 percent and scoring 0.47 points per possession on possessions with four or fewer seconds on the shot clock — No. 11 in the nation, No. 1 in the ACC.
  • Nearly seven percent of the possessions Virginia has defensed this season have come with four or fewer seconds on the shot clock.
  • There are 12 players in the ACC with at least 40 put-back attempts after an offensive rebound this season, per Synergy. Duke’s Marvin Bagley and Wendell Carter rank first and second, respectively in terms of efficiency on those attempts — and wow, is it close. Bagley: 1.397 points per possession, Carter: 1.395 points per possession
  • Over 19 percent of Cameron Johnson’s possessions this season have come in transition. On those plays, Johnson is shooting 78.6 percent, 107.1 percent effective field goal rate — No. 2 in the nation, per Synergy.
  • With Donte Grantham unfortunately out for the rest of the season, Clemson will have to rely more on Marcquise Reed — one of the top pick-and-roll players in the conference. Reed has scored 0.91 points per possession in the pick-and-roll this season, per Synergy; that ranks fifth in the ACC amongst players with at least 50 possessions.


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Duke’s Marvin Bagley does his best Blake Griffin impression