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Not just another Guy: UVA freshman provides necessary scoring punch

 

It had been a long time since an away team entered Haas Pavilion and came away with a victory. On Wednesday night, however, Virginia snapped Cal’s 27-game home winning streak, thanks to another instant-offense performance from freshman Kyle Guy.

Guy returned to his Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson-like form and scored a game-high 17 points in 29 minutes of action (the most he’s ever played before), including 14 in the second half as the Cavaliers held on to defeat the Golden Bears 54-50.

Late in the second half, Cal ripped off a 10-0 run that resulted in a one-point lead for the home team. However, when Virginia needed a bucket, Guy went out and got it. The freshman scored on three straight possessions, capped off by a three-pointer he drilled after flaring off of a down-screen. That made the score 47-44; Virginia never trailed for the rest of the game, and the team improved to 10-1 on the season.

The Cavaliers rank No. 10 in the nation in offense — 116.3 points per 100 possession. UVA’s action on that side of the floor runs through senior point guard London Perrantes, but Guy has been the Cavaliers’ most efficient player. In fact, according to KenPom, Guy actually leads the nation in offensive rating.

He plays under 18 minutes per game and has yet to make a start, but Guy is second on Virginia’s roster in scoring (9.4 PPG). It may be time for Tony Bennett to find more minutes for Guy, who is shooting 60 percent on three-pointers. His true shooting rate of 72.5 percent is No. 1 in the ACC, and while he doesn’t see the floor that often (yet), Guy launches 10.3 three-pointers per 100 possessions.

The offense needs more of that.

Guy currently has a player efficiency rating (PER) over 30, which uncommonly good. He’s also accounting for an absurd .37 win shares per 40 minutes.

It’s not just the accuracy from long range that makes him such an efficient weapon, though. The freshman wing continues to do a good job valuing possessions — a core component of Virginia’s offense. Guy, in 193 minutes, has turned the ball over just three times; his turnover rate of 4.1 percent is the best among Virginia’s guards.

Conference play starts next week for UVA on the road at Louisville. When the competition intensifies, Bennett will need all the scoring he can get, which means Guy should be ready for a larger role.