#39 Virginia Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Virginia Cavaliers

Overall Rank: #39
Conference Rank: #8 ACC
#39 Virginia Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
Virginia Team Page


The Virginia Cavaliers return a talented and deeper team this season for veteran head coach Joanne Boyle. The Cavaliers had a roller coaster season in 2012-13 that resulted in just 16 wins and they missed the postseason altogether. Virginia should be a team on a mission to get back to the postseason as long as they can stay healthier in 2013-14 and take advantage of having a very experienced team coming back to take on the rigorous Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.

2012-13 Record: 16-14, 8-10
2012-13 Post Season: None
Coach: Joanne Boyle
Coach Record: 41-25 at Virginia, 270-129 Overall

The overall experience coming back for Virginia is very important heading into an even more challenging ACC conference with the addition of Notre Dame to the mix.  Ataira Franklin is the top all-around returning player for the Cavaliers, averaging just over 14 points a game last season. Franklin also will provide much needed stability in the backcourt.  She did an excellent job of taking care of the ball and provided key shooting from the perimeter as she hit right around 35 percent of her three point shots in the 2012-13 season. The healthy return of Kelsey Wolfe from an ACL injury will also be very important.  Wolfe is that steady force at both ends of the court that you need to be an NCAA tournament team. The ability to contain teams on the boards is another  strength of Virginia heading into this season. Telia McCall and Simone Egwu will provide veteran leadership down low and will be counted on heavily to keep teams from getting second chance shots on a regular basis.

The inability to consistently hit from the perimeter is a definite issue that needs to be addressed for Virginia early on this season.  The Cavaliers only shot just over 28 percent from behind the three-point arc in 2012-13. That needs to improve to keep opposing defenses honest and not just pack it in and dare Virginia to take shots from the perimeter. Another point of emphasis to address is taking care of the basketball. The Cavaliers averaged just over 17 turnovers a game and in the ultra tough ACC Conference, that gives teams too many extra possessions over the course of 40 minutes. If Virginia can address these two key things then they will be a lot more consistent in the long haul.

Final Projection:
Virginia’s non-conference schedule is tough as usual. The Cavaliers have two good regional road tests early with road games at Liberty and West Virginia in November.  These games should provide a good gauge where Virginia is health wise and experience wise in handling tough road environments. Tennessee, on a neutral court in the Bahamas on Thanksgiving, is the other signature non-conference game.  The Cavaliers have held their own against the Volunteers of late so this should be a highly competitive matchup. The conference slate for Virginia is balanced with many of the tougher games at John Paul Jones arena. The biggest road test will be at Duke on January 16th, but other than that, Virginia gets teams like Notre Dame and North Carolina at home. If the Cavaliers can stay healthy and find a way to be more consistent at both ends of the floor, this veteran team should bounce back and find its way into the postseason in 2013-14.

Projected Postseason Tournament:  NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Kelsey Wolfe, Senior, Guard, 10.6 points per game
Ataira Franklin, Senior, Guard, 14.3 points per game
Telia McCall, Senior, Forward, 8.3 points per game
Sarah Imbovioh, Junior, Forward, 8.5 points per game
Simone Egwu, Senior, Center, 6.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense:  61.9 (168th in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense:  60.0 (129, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 39.7 (122, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.2 (148, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 3.9 (260, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 28.1 (NR, NR)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.1 (43, 1)
Rebound Margin: 3.6 (78, 5)
Assists Per Game: 12.5 (179, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 17.8 (221, 6)


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