Kyle Guy is Great…but is he?

By Mychal Hunter

Virginia fans are some of my favorite fans. I think they typically enjoy me because I openly and frequently state that I love to watch Virginia play basketball. I think it is a beautiful thing. However, when I say something factual or even opinion based that may not align with the love they have for their program. Look out.

For instance, in the preseason, I ranked the top 25 returning players in the conference. Kyle Guy was ranked #12, one spot behind fellow Virginia guard Ty Jerome and two spots behind North Carolina wing Cameron Johnson. That was met with some unhappy responses. I feel vindicated as of this posting.

Now, a couple of weeks ago, while watching the North Carolina State game, I tweeted the following:

Let’s just say, that went over like a lead balloon.

Now, those pulls were a little on the fly and I was doing everything on my phone. The number was actually 23 games. As of last night’s game vs the Duke Blue Devils, it’s 24.

So, what I decided to do was go through Kyle’s career vs Top 25 competition. What I found was, well, I found that I was wrong. Kyle Guy is not terrible against top 25 competition. However, he is pretty mediocre. Granted, Virginia’s style prevents him from putting up huge numbers anyway, which is illustrated by his career average of 11.7 points per game. He is still considered to be one of the best offensive players in the ACC though. His career shooting percentages are: 43% (FG%), 42.9% (3pt%) and 80% from the line

In 24 career games against top 25 teams Kyle Guy averages 9.5 points per game. If you remove his freshman campaign, when he played somewhat sporadically, that number jumps to 15.7 points per game.

The points are not always the issue though. It is often the efficiency, or lack thereof that grabs my attention. Guy’s field goal percentage in those 24 games is 38.3% overall and 36.5% on his two point attempts. Of course, because nothing is consistent, he is shooting 40.2% from deep.

So what happens when my wild unfounded claims are proven to be somewhat incorrect? I double down of course.  So what about games against the cream of the league, Duke and UNC?

 

VS Duke and UNC Opponent Rank Points
2/15/2017 12 Duke 3
2/18/2017 10 UNC 0
2/27/2017 5 UNC 17
1/6/2018 12 UNC 7
1/27/2018 4 Duke 17
3/10/2018 12 UNC 16
1/19/2019 1 Duke 14
2/9/2019 2 Duke 16
Totals 11.25

In those 8 games, Guy is shooting 38%/34%/72%. Virginia is also only 4-4 in those games. Though that is certainly still better than most other programs in the ACC can claim. So his career averages hold true while his efficiency goes down.

What about against top ten competition?

VS Top Ten Opponent Rank Points
12/28/2016 6 Louisville 9
1/29/2017 1 Villanova 0
2/6/2017 4 Louisville 2
2/18/2017 10 UNC 0
2/27/2017 5 UNC 27
1/27/2018 4 Duke 17
1/5/2019 9 Florida State 21
1/15/2019 9 VPI 15
1/19/2019 1 Duke 14
2/9/2019 2 Duke 16
12.1

Foiled again. In those 10 games he actually outperforms his career per game average. His efficiency numbers also show a rebound and approach the norm with 44%/42.5%/78.9%.

Road and Neutral games was the last wrinkle I wanted to take a look at.

Road & Neutral Opponent Rank Points
12/28/2016 6 Louisville 9
1/24/2017 14 Notre Dame 5
1/29/2017 1 Villnova 0
2/18/2017 10 UNC 0
3/9/2017 22 Notre Dame 0
3/18/2017 20 Florida 0
12/5/2017 18 West Virginia 18
1/27/2018 4 Duke 17
11/28/2018 24 Maryland 18
3/9/2018 19 Clemson 15
3/10/2018 12 UNC 16
11/23/2018 25 Wisconsin 9
1/19/2019 1 Duke 14
1/29/2019 23 NC State 10
Games 14 9.357142857

This shows a little something. In those 14 games his efficiency numbers are 34.3%/33%/76.4% while he averages 9.4 points per game. Of course, 6 of those 14 games came during his freshman season as well, which obviously skews the numbers.

At the end of the day, I feel somewhat vindicated even if the numbers weren’t as bad as I originally thought. While Guy is certainly capable of putting up big numbers, he simply isn’t efficient while doing it and turns into somewhat of a volume shooter.

So why did I write this up? Because I did the work, I might as well share it even if it shows that things weren’t quite as dire as I may have intimated. Would Virginia be better if Guy was a little more efficient against top competition? Sure, but the Hoos are still 10-3 in the last two seasons against top 25 teams.

Can we just call it a tie UVA fans?

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