After a big weekend in Las Vegas that saw the Cavaliers pull off two impressive victories over Baylor and Illinois to capture the Continental Tire Main Event Championship, Virginia returns to Charlottesville and is now ranked 5th in the country. Before UVA hits the streets again next week for a marquee matchup in Michigan, the Cavaliers get a tune-up game back at JPJ vs. Maryland Eastern Shore.
Read on for a full Virginia vs. Maryland Eastern Shore preview, including match details, an opponent’s scouting report, match notes and a score prediction.
Who: Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (2-3) at Virginia Cavaliers (4-0)
When: Friday, November 25 at 6 p.m. ET
Where: John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia
How to see: ACC network
How to stream: fuboTV (Start your free trial)
How to listen: SiriusXM 99 or 133, SXM app 955 | Virginia Sports Radio Network – click here for affiliates
all-time streak: Virginia leads 2-0
Last meeting: Virginia defeated Maryland Eastern Shore on December 27, 2011 in Charlottesville 69-42. Mike Scott led UVA with 17 points.
Opponent’s scouting report: Maryland Eastern Shore
2021–2022: 11/16, 05/11
Wins: vs Bryn Athyn 90-43, vs Marist 70-59
Losses: Old Dominion 65-84, Charlotte 47-80, George Washington 64-69
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Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) is still searching for its first NCAA tournament appearance in program history. The Hawks’ last run didn’t get off to the best start. So far they are 2-3, with their two wins at home and all three losses away. We don’t have a good chance of seeing how they would fare against top competition as this is the first of just two games the Hawks will play against a major conference opponent this season. UMES will also play at Duke on December 10th.
The Hawks lost at Old Dominion by 19 points and suffered a 33-point loss to former UVA assistant Ron Sanchez’s Charlotte 49ers in a game where Virginia transfer Igor Milicic Jr. had 13 points. However, UMES has played better in the last two games, losing a close 69-64 fight at George Washington last Friday and then beating Marist 70-59 on Tuesday.
The Hawks are aggressive on the defensive end, averaging 10.4 steals per game and averaging 16.8 points from turnovers. Perimeter defense is definitely a Hawks forte, given their steal numbers and the fact that their opponents have shot just 26.7% of three so far this season. We’ll see if that holds up against the hot-shooting hoos, who are currently shooting 46.9% from the bow. Maryland Eastern Shore’s shot counts don’t jump off the side — 34.5% from three and 40.1% from the ground — but there are a number of talented shooters on the UMES roster, which is filled with experienced guards.
UMES mostly scores through committee at the offensive end with five players averaging between 7 and 13 points per game. 6’3″ graduate guard Zion Styles leads by averaging 12.8 points per game and a staggering three-point percentage of 57.1%. He should make another solid test for Reece Beekman in his campaign as the nation’s top defender .
Another veteran guard, 6’5″ senior Phillip Da’Shawn, averages 11.0 points per game and shoots 45.0% from three on 4.0 attempts per game. He has hit double digits in three straight games and will likely draw Armaan Franklin on defense.
6’5″ forward Nathaniel Pollard is the team’s top rebounder, averaging 7.6 rebounds per game and 9.8 points per game. UMES doesn’t have a single player on their roster taller than 6’8″, so keep looking Look for Kadin Shedrick, who may have an opportunity to dominate on the interior and on the glass. With UMES likely going small for most of the game, expect Virginia to use a lot of the Kihei Clark-Reece Beekman-Armaan Franklin-Jayden Gardner-Ben Vander Plas lineup that helped deliver Sunday’s win over Illinois to seal.
- Virginia is 2-0 all-time against Maryland Eastern Shore, including a 104-63 win in 2006 and a 69-42 win in 2011
- This is the second Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opponent Virginia faces this season – UVA opened the season against NC Central
- UVA is 20-0 all-time against teams that are currently members of the MEAC, including a 14-0 record under Tony Bennett
- Virginia last weekend notched up consecutive ranked wins (against Baylor and Illinois) for the first time since 2020.
- Now ranked 5th in the AP poll, UVA is 4th in the top 5 for the first time since the start of the 2020-2021 season
- Virginia’s 4-0 start to the season is the program’s best since the 2019-2020 season began 7-0
- The Cavaliers rank #1 in all of college basketball for free throws attempted per game (30.5) and free throws taken (22.5).
- UVA is fifth nationally in three-point shooting with a 46.9% share
This matchup against Maryland Eastern Shore could be considered trap play, with notable games against Michigan, Florida State, JMU and Houston on Virginia’s schedule. But I don’t see Tony Bennett letting his Cavaliers underestimate any team, let alone a small Maryland basketball program. Virginia is taking care of business to go 5-0 in the season.
Score Prediction: Maryland Eastern Shore 55, Virginia 75
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