Robert Morris-Virginia Preview (Dec 17, 2016)
Coming off of an 11-day hiatus since their last game because of exams, No. 13 Virginia looks to close out their non-conference home schedule with a win when they host Robert Morris on Saturday afternoon.
The contest marks the Cavaliers' final breather before they play road games at California and No. 11 Louisville, and kick off their ACC season against No. 23 Florida State on Dec. 31.
"I think we just have to keep improving in all areas," Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "If we ever lose our hunger, we'll be in trouble, so we just have to be real hungry and improve during this time."
Virginia lost its only game of the season to West Virginia on Dec. 3 before bouncing back and knocking off East Carolina on Dec. 6. The Cavaliers take on a Robert Morris squad that has sputtered this season and is off to a 3-8 start.
The Colonials lost their first five games of the season and three of their last four after winning two straight. Robert Morris, which averages 61 points, will be challenged by Virginia's No. 1 scoring defense (47.6 points per game).
Guard Isaiah Still leads the Colonials in scoring at 15 points per game but shoots 38.7 percent from the field. Guard Kavon Stewart is the only other Colonial averaging in double figures at 11 per contest.
Virginia once again relies on Bennett's packline defense to suck the life out of their opponents. The Cavaliers should have no problem forcing missed shots and turnovers against a Robert Morris team who has struggled on offense all season.
On the offensive side of the ball for the Cavaliers, freshman guard Kyle Guy is earning his minutes on both ends of the floor with his shooting, plus the ability to force turnovers.
Guy comes off the bench to average 8.1 points and shoots 61.9 percent from 3-point range. After Virginia's win over East Carolina, Guy talked about his recent increase in minutes.
"I just talked to my assistant coaches and I was like 'what can I do to earn more minutes'. I know I can help this team," he said.
Guy is one of 10 Cavaliers averaging at least five points per game as Virginia boasts one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the country. Only senior guard London Perrantes (10.2) is averaging double figures.
"I really challenged the guys to play real hard and have a real hunger about them," Bennett said of his team. "We're a blue-collar program, and if we are, it'll show up in our effort on the offensive and defensive end."