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Virginia vs Duke Basketball Preview
Josh Burton

Virginia vs Duke Basketball Preview

UVA Spring Sports Roundup 2/29
Category_Virginia Men's Lacrosse

UVA Spring Sports Roundup 2/29

UVA Clings to a 10 Seed In Latest Bubble Report
Bracketology

UVA Clings to a 10 Seed In Latest Bubble Report

Virginia vs Duke Basketball Preview Josh Burton

Virginia vs Duke Basketball Preview

By Josh Burton

By Josh Burton


Coming off a big 72-68 win at Boston College, the University of Virginia Men’s Basketball team now sits at 21-8 (12-6 in ACC play) as they head into their penultimate game of the regular season. The Cavaliers are headed to Durham to take on #10 Duke this Saturday (3/2). This game is scheduled to tip at 6 pm EST and will air on ESPN.

About Duke

The Duke Blue Devils are led by Jon Scheyer, in his second season. This year, Duke is 22-6 (13-4 in ACC play). The Blue Devils are coming off an 84-59 victory over Louisville on Wednesday. 

Duke is a very talented team but doesn’t play with the full depth it is capable of.  Seven players average double-digit minutes,  however six of those players are over 25 minutes and five are over 28.5 minutes. This year's team is old relative to Duke teams of the last decade, as only two freshmen are entrenched within the rotation. They generally start out as follows:

G - Jeremy Roach (6’2” Senior) Averages 14.4 points and 3 assists per game while hitting 48% from three.

G - Jared McCain (6’3” Freshman) Averages 13.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while hitting 41.8% from three.

G - Tyrese Proctor (6’5” Sophomore) Averages 10.2 points and 3.7 assists per game.

F - Mark Mitchell (6’9” Sophomore) Averages 12.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

C - Kyle Filipowski (7’ Sophomore) Averages 16.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

As mentioned earlier, Duke has an entire roster of very talented players at their disposal and relies on the offensive abilities of their players to carry them.  The Blue Devils rank as a top 10 offense and a top 10 three-point shooting percentage team while also being a very good rebounding team which helps their defensive metrics. 

Matching Up

Duke offers one of the toughest matchups in the country because of the ability to score at all five positions. Roach is the unquestioned leader of this team and is having a very good senior season, I would expect Reece Beekman to start off matched with him but able to move around to blanket the other guards as necessary. McCain has also shown glimpses of an elite level scorer, particularly with his ability to shoot from outside. Expect Isaac McKneely to first draw the assignment here. 

After that, things begin to get very interesting based on which lineup the Wahoos choose to go with. Should the Hoos choose to go with their “big” lineup as they did on Wednesday, I would expect Ryan Dunn to begin by guarding Proctor, the biggest of their guards who is also a very capable playmaker.

From there in the frontcourt I would expect Jake Groves to begin on Mitchell while Jordan Minor gets the first crack at guarding the extremely versatile Filipowski. Last season, however, Dunn had success for stretches on him so I would not be surprised to see this matchup drawn as the Hoos sub to a smaller look. I would expect a multitude of different looks to be thrown at him though, as the preseason All-American will be a very tough cover.

Offensive Challenges

On the other end of the court, much of the season has been determined by whether the Cavaliers have been able to hit shots. The Wahoos have had more success when they’ve taken and knocked down three’s at a high clip. On Wednesday, both Isaac and Jake were able to connect on 3-6 attempts each from outside, with the team hitting at a crisp 38%. As the two premier shooters on this year's team, getting their looks and being able to convert them will be crucial.

This team is also doing a much better job of getting to the free throw line (and converting) in the past week, having converted 10+ attempts in each game. Being able to get to the line and convert can really help cover up the shooting woes that have plagued this squad at times this season so I believe they need to continue to make a conscious effort to attack whenever possible.

Next Up

After the primetime clash in Cameron, the Wahoos will have their midweek bye as they prepare for the final game of the season. A Senior Day matchup with Georgia Tech next Saturday (3/9). This one is set to air on the ACC Network and will tip at 8 pm. As always, Locker Room Access will have full coverage!

(Featured Image Credit: Getty) 

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UVA Spring Sports Roundup 2/29 Category_Virginia Men's Lacrosse

UVA Spring Sports Roundup 2/29

By Josh Burton

By Josh Burton


This week brought more success for UVA’s spring programs while also being huge for the Women’s Basketball team. Let's take a look.

Baseball

#13 UVA Baseball (8-0) went to Jacksonville for their early season tournament and came away the victors, defeating Wichita State, #18 Iowa (who has since fallen from the polls) and a tough Auburn team along the way. The starters were:

Friday - Evan Blanco

Saturday - Jack O’Connor

Sunday - Owen Coady (Penn Grad-transfer)

Jay Woolfolk provided solid relief work on Saturday, while at this point it would appear as though Aidan Teel (younger brother of Kyle Teel) will be the team's closer. The team is still working to figure out where each arm slots in best, but there is certainly plenty of talent throughout the pitching lineup. The biggest issue looks to be finding the starters, as 5 of the 7 wins on the season have come from behind. 

 

 

They’ve gotten solid offensive contributions from new players and guys deeper in the lineup, as Bobby Whalen (Indiana transfer), Henry Godbout, and Henry Ford are leading the team in hitting, all batting over .440. Ford was clutch all weekend, delivering the walk off hit on Friday and then busting the lead open on Saturday.

This week's midweek game had to be pushed around, with the Hoos finally getting to host VMI on Wednesday with a first pitch at 6:30. Cullen McKay got the start in this one, with the Hoos picking up the 16-4 victory.

This weekend, the Hoos will be back at the Dish for a 3 game series with UMass.

Women’s Basketball

Though not a spring sport, I feel as though the Women’s Basketball team has earned their flowers and attention should be brought to what they are doing. They’ve now won four of their last five contests, including beating both Miami and winning at #20 Louisville last week. This was the program's first-ever win at Louisville and the first time an unranked ACC team had won at Louisville since they joined the ACC in 2014.

Camryn Taylor was a major contributor, averaging 20 points and 8 rebounds over last week's contests. Meanwhile, first-year Kymora Johnson earned her second ACC Rookie of the Week honors.

 

 

The women will be back in action at Duke on Thursday (2/29) before hosting Virginia Tech for senior day on Sunday (3/3). Not only is senior day slated to be a “white out” but it was also posted that it will be the most attended women’s game in the state of Virginia in at least the last 15 years. Tickets are still available. If you can make it out, wear white and cheer on the women!

Roundup

Softball now sits at 11-4 after winning the Rawlings Classic over the weekend (4-0) and then picking up a win over Radford in Roanoke on Tuesday. They’ll be back in action this weekend as they host Boston College for their first ACC series of the season.

Men’s Lacrosse beat another Big Ten opponent over weekend, this time a 14-8 home victory over #20 Ohio State. Now ranked #2, the Hoos will host #7 Johns Hopkins this Saturday (3/2) at 1 pm EST. Also of note, Connor Shellenberger has now signed an NIL deal with Rhoback, making him the second UVA athlete to be officially sponsored by them this season!

Women’s Lacrosse lost a tough 10-9 game against #8 North Carolina on Friday before picking up a 20-11 win at Cornell. Now ranked #14, they will face another tough matchup this week as they head to #18 Clemson on Saturday (3/2). This one will start at 1 pm EST.

#8 Men’s Tennis will be back in action this weekend as they host #3 Wake Forest on Friday (3/1, 3pm) followed by hosting #17 NC State on Sunday (3/3, 1pm).

#5 Women’s Tennis has been in the midst of a road stretch, having won at #21 Notre Dame last Friday, followed by winning at Louisville on Sunday. This week they will be at Georgia Tech on Friday (3/1, 4pm) and then at Clemson on Sunday (3/3, 11am)

Lastly I’d like to shout out UVA Women’s Swimming and Diving, as they picked up their fifth straight ACC championship last weekend. Gretchen Walsh was named Most Valuable Swimmer, while Alex Walsh now holds the most gold medals in ACC swimming history with 26. The women’s NCAA championships begin on Wednesday, March 20th, as one of the most dominant teams of all time looks to pick up yet another National Championship.

(Featured Image Credit: Emily Faith Morgan/UVA Athletics) 

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UVA Clings to a 10 Seed In Latest Bubble Report Bracketology

UVA Clings to a 10 Seed In Latest Bubble Report

By Raleigh Hoo

By Raleigh_Hoo

With just three regular season games remaining, the Virginia Cavaliers are fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. 

About the Author 

As some of you know, I have been doing bracketology for several years.  I have been posting to the bracketmatrix for 4 years now. My entry is called RWX.  I finished tied for 4th in the bracketmatrix last year, my personal best.

What Is Important to The Selection Process 

So, what does the committee value?  The NET is not the end all be all, but those who say it doesn’t matter are not correct. It has only been around for 3 tournament selection processes, but no team has made the field since the NET came into being outside the top 77 on Selection Sunday. Unless you have an incredibly unique resume, you're in trouble if outside the top 75. Consequently, the lowest NET for an at-large to not make it was North Texas at 38 last year. Thus, if you are in the top 35-40 you are in pretty good shape as well again unless your resume is particularly lacking.

We all know the quads are important, but one thing that I think is overlooked is Q1 winning percentage and also Q1/Q2/Q3 winning percentage. Teams that are below 0.500 in the Q1/Q2/Q3 winning percentage often don’t get in. It happens, Providence last year was 10-11 and got in, but not often. You also have to have at least 1 Q1 win history says. 

Efficiency metrics matter as they are baked into the NET pie, but they also matter on their own. The KPI/SOR combo (performance metrics) are more important than BPI/KenPom (predictive metrics). The reason is that the committee, when it comes to placing teams in the field, care more about what you have done (performance) vs what you could do (predictive). The predictive metrics matter more in seeding than getting into the field unless it is a very close battle between a couple teams and then it could be a tie breaker.

At the end of the day though, this is a subjective art. We do have data/numbers to objectify it to a degree, but it is still humans interpreting data their own way with their own built-in biases. I just try to guess what the committee values based on the past. But different people make up the committee year to year and they value different things.

One thing that seems to change every year is the importance of conference tournament performance. It seems to have less importance most years than you think. I think the committee likes to choose their field based on the regular season and then mostly leave it alone. If you are one of the last teams in or one of the first teams out then it does matter some, but outside of that probably not much. See Texas A&M two years ago. They absolutely deserved to be in based on what they did in the SEC tournament that year and what it added to their resume, but they weren’t selected because they weren’t one of the first few teams out headed into the conference tournaments. So, you have to err on the side of caution in making big changes to the field based on conference tournament performance. But I do think a bad loss in the ACC tournament two years ago did knock Wake Forest out. So it does matter to a degree.

UVA Sits Near The Edge

One thing UVA and other bubble teams will be pulling for is for Dayton to win the A-10 tournament and Florida Atlantic to win the AAC tournament. Right now, Richmond and South Florida are taking up two spots in the field since they are in 1st in their conferences. But both would likely not get an at-large bid. So those could be two spots that open up.

Right now, I have UVA as a 10 seed, 6 teams deep in the field. With 3 games left, that is a precarious position. For UVA to make it, I think they need to win 2 of their final 3 and avoid a bad loss in the ACC tournament (a team outside the NET top 100). Also, they need to avoid a blowout at Duke. Of course this is always dependent on what other teams do, but I think that is the recipe. If they lose the next two and beat Georgia Tech, my guess is they would be right at the cut line heading into the ACC Tournament. Which means they would likely need at least 1 quality win to have a shot and maybe 2. I think they have it in them, but we shall see!

Today’s (2/26/24) S Curve:

 

Seed

Power

Team

1

1

Purdue 

1

2

Houston

1

3

UConn

1

4

Arizona

2

5

North Carolina

2

6

Tennessee

2

7

Marquette

2

8

Kansas

3

9

Iowa St.

3

10

Duke

3

11

Alabama

3

12

Baylor

4

13

San Diego St.

4

14

Auburn

4

15

Creighton

4

16

Illinois

5

17

Wisconsin

5

18

Clemson

5

19

Kentucky

5

20

Dayton

6

21

Utah St.

6

22

Saint Mary's (CA)

6

23

Texas Tech

6

24

Washington St.

7

25

South Carolina

7

26

Florida

7

27

BYU

7

28

Colorado St.

8

29

Oklahoma

8

30

Northwestern

8

31

TCU

8

32

Nebraska

9

33

Mississippi St.

9

34

Michigan St.

9

35

Boise St.

9

36

Fla. Atlantic

10

37

Nevada

10

38

New Mexico

10

39

Virginia

10

40

Texas

11a

41

Providence

11b

42

Wake Forest

11c

43

Seton Hall

11d

44

Utah

11

45

Indiana St.

11

46

Princeton

12

47

Grand Canyon

12

48

Richmond

12

49

South Fla.

12

50

McNeese

13

51

App State

13

52

Samford

13

53

Akron

13

54

Louisiana Tech

14

55

UC Irvine

14

56

Vermont

14

57

Col. of Charleston

14

58

Oakland

15

59

High Point

15

60

Eastern Washington

15

61

Morehead St.

15

62

Colgate

16

63

Fairfield

16

64

South Dakota St.

16a

65

Eastern Kentucky

16a

66

Norfolk St.

16b

67

Merrimack

16b

68

Grambling St.

 

*Teams in red are projected automatic qualifiers.  

Last Four In: Utah, Seton Hall, Wake Forest, Providence

First Four Out: Gonzaga, Colorado, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh

Next Four Out: St. Johns, Kansas St., Butler, Villanova

(Featured Image Credit: Getty)  

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