Joe Harris

New Year’s Resolutions: Virginia Cavaliers

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Over the course of the holiday week, we at College Basketball Talk will be detailing what we believe will be the New Year’s Resolutions of some of the nation’s most talented, most disappointing, and thoroughly enigmatic teams. What can we say, we’re in a giving mood.

Who else made Resolutions? Click here to find out.

WHAT DOES VIRGINIA PROMISE TO DO MORE OF?: Get Joe Harris some more looks

  • Why it will happen: In the preseason, Joe Harris was in the ACC Player of the Year conversation, though , through a dozen games this season his points per game is down five points. Harris has also seen a significant dip in his free throw shooting – the team is down from the line as well, at 65 percent – and so far, Harris is attempting less than eight shots per game. Harris is one of the best scoring options in the ACC. The Cavaliers can defend, and can slow down the game, but they’ll need Harris to put up some more points in the New Year.
  • Why it won’t happen: Like mentioned in the last sentence, Virginia plays at slow pace. With the limited number of possessions, and as the Cavaliers have a current turnover percentage of 20.6 percent, according to, there are less opportunities to get Harris more looks.

WHAT DOES VIRGINIA SWEAR THEY WILL DO LESS OF?: Trying to figure out its lineup/rotation

  • Why it will happen: Virginia entered the year with high expectations after winning 23 games a season ago. The Cavaliers have dropped games to VCU, Wisconsin – both at home – while being upset by Green Bay three days after losing to the Badgers. Tony Bennett, even after a two-week layoff, is still tinkering with his roster. He’s talked about shortening it, he’s talked about going 10, 11 guys and in Monday’s win over Norfolk State, Bennett had Akil Mitchell come off the bench. Virginia has a talented and deep roster. It’s only a matter of time before Bennett finds a lineup that works with this team.
  • Why it won’t happen: Virginia has other issues to deal with besides the team’s chemistry. How can the Cavaliers fix those problems when they can’t even have a consistent starting five, or rotation? With conference play looming, UVA is still looking for a marquee win after dropping its best non-conference games to VCU and Wisconsin. They may be talented and deep, but they will to match that with chemistry if they want to contend in the ACC.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.