Virginia has had an up-and-down start to the season, as the Cavaliers come into this game with a 2-2 record, including two performances in losses to Navy and Houston that left much to be desired. We will learn a lot about the Hoos this week as they face major conference competition in back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday at the Roman Legends Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. On Monday night, Virginia plays Georgia for the first time since Christmas Eve in 1987. Then, UVA will play either Northwestern or Providence on Tuesday.
Virginia will look to win its seventh non-conference tournament in the last eight seasons at the Roman Legends Classic.
Who: Virginia Cavaliers (2-2) vs. Georgia Bulldogs (2-2)
When: Monday, November 22nd at 7:00pm
Where: Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
How to watch: ESPNU
All-time series: Georgia leads 4-3
Last meeting: Virginia defeated Georgia 87-54 in Honolulu, Hawaii on December 24th, 1987
|Virginia||By the Numbers||Georgia|
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Opponent Outlook: Georgia
Georgia began the season with a closer-than-it-should-have-been 58-51 win over Florida International. The Bulldogs then came up just short of knocking off a good Cincinnati team on the road, losing to the Bearcats 73-68. Georgia beat South Carolina State 76-60 before losing to Georgia Tech 88-78, snapping a five-game winning streak over the in-state rival Yellow Jackets.
Georgia has three players averaging in double figures scoring through four games this season. Aaron Cook, a guard who transferred from Gonzaga after last season, leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 15.0 points per game and has made 9/15 three point attempts so far (60%) this season. Braelen Bridges is right behind Cook with 14.3 points per game and Jailyn Ingram is averaging 10.3 points per game. Cook, Bridges, and Ingram all transferred to Georgia from other schools this past offseason.
What to Watch For:
How does Virginia fare in a neutral-court setting
Virginia did not perform so well in the one game the Cavaliers have played away from the friendly confines of John Paul Jones Arena this season, losing at Houston 67-47. The Cougars are a very good basketball team and it was UVA’s first time playing in a true road game with a packed hostile crowd in attendance in over a year and a half. It will be interesting to see how this Virginia roster, with its many new faces, performs on a neutral court at the Prudential Center. Additionally, will Tony Bennett continue to give playing time to more players on the bench against Georgia knowing that the Hoos have to turn around and play another game less than 24 hours later?
Virginia’s perimeter shooting
In four games this season, Virginia has shot above 30% from beyond-the-arc just one time. The Cavaliers are averaging 30.6% from three. UVA must improve its perimeter shooting in non-conference play, and specifically find consistent open looks for Armaan Franklin, between now and the beginning of the ACC schedule.
Jabri Abdur-Rahim vs. Virginia
Virginia’s game against Georgia is the first of three games this season in which the Cavaliers will face a player who transferred out of the UVA basketball program after last season. Jabri Abdur-Rahim played only eight games in his first and only season at Virginia, logging a total of 35 minutes played and scoring seven total points. Abdur-Rahim, who was the 38th ranked player in the country in the class of 2020, transferred from Virginia to Georgia after the end of the season. So far this year, he is averaging 4.5 points per game in almost 19 minutes played per game, including one start for Georgia. It will be quite the intriguing additional storyline to see how he fares against his former team.