Cavaliers Tip Off Against Wisconsin
November 21, 1998
Virginia (1-1) vs. Wisconsin (2-1)
Top of the World Classic
November 21, 1998
2:45 p.m. (AST)
Carlson Center–Fairbanks, Alaska
The Series vs. Wisconsin: This is only the second meeting between theCavaliers and Badgers. Virginia pulled out an 86-78 win over Wisconsin in theMilwaukee Classic (hosted by Marquette) on December 27, 1974. The win raised theCavaliers’ record to 4-1 that season, the first for new head coach Terry Hollandat Virginia. Holland is now UVa’s athletic director. Junior Wally Walker, now thepresident and general manager of the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics, poured in acareer-high 36 points to pace Virginia.
Virginia is 12-11 all-time against the 11 current Big Ten schools. UVa is 5-2vs. Penn State, 3-0 vs. Minnesota, 1-0 vs. Wisconsin, 1-1 vs. Indiana, 1-2 vs.Michigan, 1-3 vs. Ohio State, 0-1 vs. Iowa and 0-2 vs. Michigan State. TheCavaliers have never faced Illinois, Northwestern or Purdue. Their last gameagainst a Big Ten school was a 73-60 loss to Iowa in the first round of the 1997NCAA Tournament.
Virginia head coach Pete Gillen is 2-0 vs. Wisconsin in his coaching career.While at Providence he pulled out two tight decisions over the Badgers–58-57 in1995-96 and 59-57 in 1996-97.
Watson Paces Cavaliers: Sophomore guard Chezley Watson came toVirginia last season with impressive high school scoring credentials afteraveraging 30 points per game as a senior. With NCAA record holder Curtis Staples,Watson didn’t have much of a chance to strut his stuff last season and averagedjust 2.2 ppg. This season, however, Watson clearly seems to be benefitting fromcoach Pete Gillen’s up-tempo style. He tossed in 13 points in the opener vs.Virginia Commonwealth, which was a career high at the time.
Last night against #19 Arkansas, he topped that by pouring in 21 points tolead Virginia. He hit eight of 11 shots from the field, but more impressively,connected on five of six shots from three-point range. His percentage (.833) istied for the third-best three-point percentage in school history.
His five three-pointers are also two more than he had all of last season,while his 34 points (in just two games) are more than halfway to last year’stotal of 58.
Hunter Replaces Ducharme in the Middle: Junior center Kris Hunterreplaced the injured Colin Ducharme in the starting line-up for last night’s gamevs. #19 Arkansas and responded with a career-high 12 points. Hunter also pulleddown eight rebounds (five offensive), one shy of his career high, against theRazorbacks. (Ducharme underwent surgery for a broken ankle on Tuesday and isexpected to be out indefinitely.) Hunter started two games late last season(Clemson, Maryland), scoring just two points and grabbing six rebounds total inthe two starts.
Balanced Scoring: Virginia had just two players average in double figureslast season–Norman Nolan (21.0 ppg) and Curtis Staples (18.1 ppg). ColinDucharme, currently out with an ankle injury, is Virginia’s leading returningscorer (7.8 ppg), while Willie Dersch is the second-leading returning scorer (6.5ppg).
Led by Donald Hand (20.5 ppg), there are four Cavaliers averaging in doublefigures this season, including two rookies. Sophomore Chezley Watson is averaging17.0 ppg, while freshmen Chris Williams and Adam Hall are averaging 15.0 ppg and11.5 ppg, respectively.
Four Cavaliers reached double figures in the season opener vs. VCU, whilefive scored at least 10 points last night vs. Arkansas. There were only fourgames all of last season in which at least four Cavaliers reached double figures.