Throwback Thursday – UVA wins the Elite Eight!

Everybody knows that Virginia Basketball won the 2019 National Championship. But I bet you don’t know how they got there! One important moment was when they played against Purdue in the Elite Eight. Virginia’s regular season record was 29-3 and Purdue’s was 23-9.

 

In the game, Purdue’s Carson Edwards dropped 42 points, 10 three-pointers, 9 swishes and 1 bank. Virginia’s Kyle Guy got a Double-Double with twenty-five points and ten rebounds. Virginia’s free throw percentage was 85.0% while Purdue’s was 70.0%. Also, Purdue’s three-point percentage was a fantastic 43.8% basically all because of Carson Edwards. Virginia’s 3 point percentage was a decent 33.3% but still not as good as Purdue’s 43.8%. Another stat is Virginia had seventeen offensive rebounds and Purdue had eight. Also Virginia had six steals while Purdue only had one.

 

The game was in Louisville, Kentucky in my favorite named arena, the KFC Yum Center! At the end of the first half the score was 30-29 Purdue. The game continued to be close, with Carson Edwards hitting every 3 point shot he took. Virginia would always respond back with Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome hitting 3 point shots, and Mamadi Diakite, and De’Andre Hunter driving to the hoop.

 

When Ty Jerome was at the line with 5.9 seconds left, Virginia was losing 68-70. Jerome short armed the shot, and hit the front of the rim. Mamadi Diakite saved the day, by tipping the ball back into the backcourt. After Mamadi tipped the ball, he was feeling sad, and was gonna grab his head because he thought he tipped it too far. When he put his head up he saw Kihei Clark chasing after the ball, and got ready. Guy was to the left, and Jerome was to the right. He looked off both of them, and looked straight in the paint where Mamadi Diakite was. Clark made a bullet pass with one hand, right into Mamadi’s shooting motion. Mamadi made the shot to force the game into overtime! In overtime Virginia won! 85- 80!

 

 

As you see I was very happy even after crying on the floor for almost the whole game when I thought they were going to lose.  A fun fact is the day after UVA won the Elite Eight, Coach Tony Bennett celebrated his 10 year anniversary of being Virginia Basketball’s head coach.

 

Here is a video of The Shot!

 

 

 

The Tournaments That Never Happend

Everybody knows about COVID-19 and how it has affected basketball. But what you don’t know is my personal coronavirus basketball story. My 10th birthday was March 7th and my gift was tickets to all games of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, starting on Thursday March 12.  I was so excited to see my two favorite teams, Virginia and Duke.  Everything changed on Wednesday March 11. We were flying home from Spring Break in Turks and Caicos on the plane when my dad got an alert on his phone.  No fans could go to the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament because of COVID-19. Me and my dad were really bummed. But at least we could watch the ACC Tournament from home.

When I woke up the next morning in my own bed, I was pumped to watch the games with my dad. I got dressed in my Jay Huff UVA jersey and my Duke basketball shorts to get ready to watch the games. Then 8 minutes before the first game, my mom and dad told me that the ACC Tournament was cancelled, the NCAA Tournament was cancelled and the NBA season was suspended. It was because Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus. He had just made fun of the coronavirus the day before and touched all the microphones in a press conference.  After he was tested positive, he said he should have taken this more seriously. That same day Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell was tested positive too. And that is why the NBA suspended the NBA season. The NCAA and the ACC did the same thing with their tournaments. 2 days later, Christopher Wood on the Detroit Pistons also tested positive.  Just yesterday, the Brooklyn Nets said 4 players have the virus, including Kevin Durant, one of the best players in the world.

 

The coronavirus has hurt basketball season but it doesn’t have to hurt you. What really helps is washing your hands, don’t touch your face, and having personal space to prevent the coronavirus. 

Lakers vs. Nets

Everybody knows that the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the best teams in the NBA. Their record is 41-12 and their winning percentage is 78.2%. LeBron James, star of the Lakers, is my favorite player in the NBA. I wished I would see him before he retires in a couple years. On Christmas day, I got that wish. My parents got me tickets to see the Lakers vs. Nets in Brooklyn, New York.

 

When it was finally the morning of January 23, 2020, my dad and I flew to New York, New York.  My dad planned a fun day for me. We took a 3 hour walking tour of Central Park. I learned that if you look at Central Park from space, you can actually see Central Park because it is basically the only grassy space in New York City.  After our tour, we grabbed a quick bite in Little Italy. Then it was GAME TIME!

When we got to Barclays Center, my dad and I were nervous because we thought two of the stars of the Nets and Lakers, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis, might not play because of injuries. Kyrie Irving had a shoulder injury that made him miss 26 games.  Then Kyrie returned but got a hamstring injury in the days leading up to the Lakers game. Anthony Davis had a bruised tailbone and was out for 2 weeks. Then we noticed them both warming up, which meant they were playing. We were so excited. Then something funny happened during warmups. Normally LeBron has a pregame routine where he tosses chalk into the air to get hyped up. But when LeBron was about to do this pregame routine, he realized that the Nets did not have chalk for him so LeBron was very annoyed.

When it was the end of the first half, I was pumped because I wanted it to be a close game,. The Lakers were winning 75-72. When the second half started, both teams were hot on three’s with Danny Green being 4-7, and Wilson Chandler being 4-6. At the end of the game, the final score was 128 Lakers – 113 Nets. LeBron ended the game with a triple double with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. Kyrie got 20 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. I was really happy that the Lakers won.  I will always remember seeing LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Anthony Davis in person. Plus, I even got to see our former president Bill Clinton in person. He was at the game too.  It was really cool.

And now, everybody knows that LeBron James is the best player in the NBA.  And my favorite player of all time.

 

 

Jayson Tatum’s Career

Everybody knows that Jayson Tatum should be an All – Star this year. Why should he? Because he is averaging 21.5 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game, 2.9 assists per game and 1.4 steals per game. Now let’s begin where his basketball career started, at Duke University.

 

Jayson Tatum was rated as a 5 star recruit and one of the best prospects in Duke’s 2016 recruiting class. When Tatum came to Duke, he was fantastic averaging 16.8 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, and 1.3 steals per game. He was named to the ACC All-Freshman team and a third team All-Acc selection. Tatum really enjoyed playing the game alongside Grayson Allen, Harry Giles and Luke Kenard.

 

 

Then when the 2017 NBA Draft came along Tatum was ready, wearing a black tuxedo with a black bow tie. Jayson Tatum was drafted the number 3 overall pick to the Boston Celtics, and that’s when his NBA career started. In Tatum’s NBA debut he recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, with a loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-99.

 

 

In his first season, Tatum was amazing for a rookie! Playing alongside Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, and Jaylen Brown, he averaged 13.9 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game, 1.6 assists per game, and 1.0 steals per game. In Tatum’s second season, expectations were high but it did not turn out the way we hoped. Tatum had an inconsistent season, only averaging 15.7 points per game. That’s only gaining 1.8 points per game. His second season was not what people expected. In Tatum’s third season, Tatum has been fantastic! With the leader of the Celtics, Kyrie Irving going to the Brooklyn Nets, the new leader of the team is now Jayson Tatum. In one of his best games yet, on MLK Day this year, he scored 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. He was 62.5 percent on three pointers that game. Now you know why Jayson Tatum should be an All-Star this year.

 

And he is.

 

 

Catching Up With National Champions

Everybody knows that this is a rebuilding year for Virginia Basketball. After winning the National Championship, they lost their three most valuable players to the NBA Draft, De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy. Fortunately they still have Kihei Clark, Mamadi Diakite and Braxton Key, who are leading this year’s team in scoring, assists and rebounds. But it has been a rough month for the Hoos. Let’s check in with our National Champions, otherwise known as the team I will join when I play college basketball in 2028.

 

Virginia has had a couple of bad games. First, they got destroyed by Purdue, with 16 turnovers and 12 turnovers being steals. Then, they lost at home against un-ranked South Carolina.  The Gamecock’s star Jair Bolden got 22 points and 2 rebounds. The final score was 70 South Carolina, 59 Virginia. After that, Virginia played their last home game of 2019 on December 29th against the Navy Midshipmen.  Virginia won by 9 points. Virginia had 4 players in double digits, including Kihei Clark getting 13 assists. The final score was 65 – 56, and I was even there!

 

Then the year became 2020 and Virginia started off strong, with a win against Virginia Tech. Virginia’s defense was amazing, only let the Hokies score 39 points, 17 points in the first half, and 22 points in the second half. Also Kihei Clark, Braxton Key and Kody Stattmann combined for 46 points.The final score was Virginia 65, Virginia Tech 39.

3 days later, Virginia played Boston College in Boston. Virginia suffered their first loss against Boston College since 2013. Also their first loss in conference play. The Cavaliers just lost by 7 points, the final score was 60 Boston College, 53 Virginia. The reason Virginia lost is because they couldn’t shoot! Their field goal percentage was a terrible 32.7%, and their 3 point percentage was a very bad 18.8%.

Virginia’s record is now 11-3 and they are 3-1 in conference play. And everybody knows that Virginia will probably not win the National Championship this year. But I’m still their number 1 fan!

 

What Is Happening To The ACC

Everybody knows how the ACC is the best conference in College basketball. But in the past few weeks it has not been. They have lost game after game after game. But they weren’t just one point games, they were blow outs. The hits just kept coming for the ACC.

On November 26, 2019, the number 1 ranked Duke got “lumberjacked” by Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. It was a very unlucky overtime play for Duke. Tre Jones passed the ball inside the paint to Mathew Hurt. Then the ball came loose and then Nathan Bain, from the Lumberjacks, took it to the hoop for a buzzer beater. The Lumberjacks broke Duke’s 150 game home winning streak against non conference opponents. The score unfortunately, was 85 Stephen F. Austin, 83 Duke.

On November 28, 2019, The North Carolina Tar Heels suffered their first loss of the season against the Michigan Wolverines. It was a close game in the first half, but Michigan took over in the second half. The star player for the Wolverines was Eli Brooks. He had 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 0 assists. Also the Tar Heels lost because their field goal percentage was 42.6%, and Michigan’s field goal percentage was 50.0%. And Michigan’s 3 point percentage was an amazing 42.3%, and UNC’s 3-point percentage was a terrible 15.4%. The final score was unfortunately, 73 Michigan, 64 North Carolina.

On December 4, 2019, the Virginia Cavaliers, defending National Champions, got destroyed by Purdue. Purdue wanted their revenge from the Elite 8 last year, when the Cavaliers beat them in overtime. This time around, the Cavaliers just had a bad game, not good offense and not good defense. The star player for Purdue was Sasha Stefanovic. He had 20 points, 3 rebounds and 1 assist. Also Virginia lost because their field goal percentage was 37.2% and Purdue’s field goal percentage was 45.3% and Purdue’s 3 point percentage was an incredible 52.0% percent and Virginia’s was a terrible 16.7%. The final score unfortunately, was 69 Purdue, 40 Virginia.

 

On December 10, 2019, the number 1 team in the country Louisville got stomped by Texas Tech in Madison Square Gardens. The Cardinals had their worst game of the season. Louisville just wasn’t playing like a number 1 team in the country, and that’s why the Texas Tech Raiders took over. The Raiders star player was Davide Moretti, he had 18 points, 3 assists and 0 rebounds. The final score unfortunately, was 70 Texas Tech, 57 Louisville.

 

On December 15, 2019, the number 17 team in the country UNC barely lost to the Wofford Terriers in Carmichael arena, where the UNC girls basketball team plays. UNC did not play at the Dean Dome because there was a special event there. North Carolina’s star, Cole Anthony did not play that game because he had a torn meniscus on his right meniscus,  just like Zion Williamson. Cole Anthony will be out for about 4-6 weeks. But there is also another reason why Carolina lost, their field goal percentage was a terrible 36.5% and Wofford’s was also terrible. Their field goal percentage was 37.9%. Also Wofford’s 3 point percentage was a good 35.0%, and UNC’s 3-point percentage was a decent 31.6%. Unfortunately, the final score was 68 Wofford, 64 North Carolina

 

 

Now you know how bad the ACC has been in the month of November, and December.

 

From First To Worst

Everybody knows how the Golden State Warriors won back to back NBA Finals. But this year for the Warriors, it has been a disaster. They have gone from first to worst. When they were a superteam, they had Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Demarcus Cousins and Andre Igodala. The Warriors record that season was 57 wins and 25 losses and they were first in the Western Conference. The whole team played extremely well together. Then, it all fell apart.

It started when the Warriors lost Kevin Durant on May 8, 2019. The Golden State Warriors were playing the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. Kevin Durant took a shot, and then began limping, and was down in Oracle Arena. Durant suffered a mild Achilles strain on his right Achilley. He was out for Game 6 and Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals, and was out Game 1, Game 2, Game 3 and Game 4 in the NBA Finals. On June 10, 2019, Durant returned to play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but disaster struck again. He re injured his Achilles tendon and has not played a game since.

 

 

Then something big happened in the next game of the NBA Finals. On June 13, 2019, Klay Thompson went up for the dunk and then tore his ACL. That gave the Toronto Raptors their first NBA Title. Klay probably won’t be back until at least the All-Star break.

 

It kept getting worse for the Warriors. July was a bad month. On July 6, 2019, Demarcus Cousins decided to go to the Los Angeles Lakers. On July 7, 2019, Andre Igudala signed to the Memphis Grizzlies. On July 7, 2019, Kevin Durant decided to go to the Brooklyn Nets.

 

The next season Stephen Curry got broke his left hand on October 30, 2019. He was driving to the hoop and then Arron Baynes landed on his left hand. It was very scary to watch. Curry got Metacarpal surgery, Steph plans to come back in early spring missing half of the NBA season.

 

Now the Warriors record is 4-19 and they are ranked 15 in the western conference. Their percent of winning is 17.4 percent. Now their only good players are Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein and some other unknown rookies. The team is not playing well together.

The Warriors have gone from first to worst.

How The New Orleans Pelicans Cannot Win A Game Without Zion Williamson

Everybody knows Zion Williamson the 5 star player that played for the Duke Blue Devils in the 2018 – 2019 season. He was drafted the number 1 overall pick to the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2019 NBA Draft.

 

But before that when Zion played for Duke for 1 year something big happened. On February 20, 2019, Duke was playing UNC, the biggest rivalry in sports history. At Cameron Indoor Stadium and 33 seconds into the game Zion was posting up on Luke Maye and next thing you know Zion busted his shoe and was down on Coach K Court.

 

 

Zion had a Grade 1 (mild) right knee sprain, and Zion was out but he recovered and when he was out Duke could not win a game. When he was on the New Orleans Pelicans in the preseason he had another issue with his right knee. On October 18, 2019 the Pelicans played against Zion’s former teammate R.J. Barrett and the New York Knicks, Zion went out of the game for right knee soreness.

 

Zion was out until the regular season started. But because his right knee bothered him so much, on October 21, 2019, one day before the regular season started, Zion Williamson decided to get meniscus surgery. Zion will be out for 6 – 8 weeks. Now because Zion is out, the New Orleans Pelicans cannot win a game. Their record is 6-15 and ranked 14 in the western conference, and their percent of winning is 28.6 percent.

 

Now you know how good Zion Williamson is.