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January 10, 1999

The Series vs. the Blue Devils
Duke leads the all-time series with the Cavaliers 91-45. The Blue Devils have dominated the series in the last 15 years, winning 27 of the last 35 meetings since Ralph Sampsons graduation from Virginia in 1983.

Playing in front of the “Cameron Crazies” has been difficult for UVa as the Wahoos are 8-38 against Duke at Cameron. All-time Virginia is 10-43 on Dukes various home courts through the years.

The Blue Devils won all three meetings last season-103-59 in Durham, 72-65 in Charlottesville and 63-41 in the ACC-Tournament. The Blue Devils were the top-ranked team in the nation in all three games last season as Virginia became the first team in NCAA-history to play the nations #1 team five times in one season (North Carolina was atop the polls in its two games vs. UVa).

Duke is currently ranked second in both The Associated Press and USA-Today/ESPN polls this week. Todays meeting is the fifth consecutive game in which the Blue Devils have been ranked in the top 10 when playing the Cavaliers dating back to the 1996-97 season.

Virginia has defeated the #3 team twice on the road, the highest ranked team the Cavaliers have ever beaten on the road, and both times Duke was the victim. The Cavaliers downed the #3 Blue Devils 90-84 on January 23, 1980, and 77-69 on January 17, 1993.

Overall, Virginia hasnt fared well against a nationally-ranked Duke squad. The Cavaliers are 12-44 against a ranked Duke team.

Virginia at Duke
January 10, 1999, 4:00 p.m.
Cameron Indoor Stadium
Durham, N.C.

ACCs Top-Four Scorers in Action Today
Todays game features a curious side-all of the ACCs four-leading scorers will hit the hardwood at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Virginia freshman Chris Williams is the leagues leading scorer, averaging 18.6 ppg. He holds a very slim lead over Dukes Trajan Langdon, who averages 18.5 ppg.

Not far behind Langdon is All-American center Elton Brand. The Blue Devil big man averages 17.2 ppg, third in the ACC.

Virginia point guard Donald Hand, the leading scorer among ACC-point guards, is fourth in the league with a 16.9-ppg average. Hands scoring is way up from last season when he averaged 4.7 ppg.

Overall, Virginia is averaging 79.7 points per game this season, an improvement of 14.2 points per game over last season.

Rookie Adam Hall is Virginias third-leading scorer, averaging 12.1 ppg, while Willie Dersch is UVas fourth double-digit scorer, averaging 10.1 ppg.

Virginia had just two players average more than eight points per game last season-Norman Nolan (21.0 ppg)-and Curtis Staples (18.1 ppg).

Both Virginia and Duke have been known recently for their outstanding play on the defensive end of the floor. As you might expect, the recent history of the Virginia/Duke series suggests that the team that shoots the ball best will win the game.

The two teams have met 18 times in the last eight years (basically this decade). In that span the team that has shot the ball best has won 14 times.

Duke out-shot the Cavaliers in two of three games last season in winning the season series as well as a match-up in the ACC-Tournament. In the only game in which Virginia out-shot Duke, the Blue Devils more than doubled UVas output at the free throw line and won by seven.

A look at the two teams field goal percentages over the last eight seasons is below. The winner is listed in bold.

Year/Site  UVa   Duke1990-91UVa        .485   .375Duke       .424   .500

1991-92 UVa .431 .436Duke .484 .517

1992-93 Duke .412 .368UVa .368 .359

1993-94UVa .373 .462Duke .288 .525ACC-Trn. .441 .362

1994-95Duke .492 .443UVa .373 .407

1995-96 UVa .510 .348Duke .417 .404

1996-97 Duke .385 .520UVa .436 .350

1997-98Duke .455 .506UVa .462 .451ACC-Trn. .340 .383

Last 8 years:Combined .420 .428UVa wins .439 .379UVa losses .408 .460

Cavaliers Face Second Ranked Team in a Row
Duke, ranked second nationally in both major polls, is the second top-10 opponent in a row Virginia has played. The Cavaliers fell to #5 Maryland 71-66 on Thursday night in Charlottesville.

Todays game marks the Cavaliers fourth game of the season against a ranked opponent. Unfortunately for the Wahoos, they have yet to defeat a ranked opponent this season.

In fact Virginia has lost its last 13 games against teams ranked in The Associated Press poll dating back to the 1996-97 season. UVas last win over a ranked team was an 81-74 win over #16 Maryland on March 2, 1997, in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers have lost their last 12 games against top-10 teams going back to a 67-49 home win over #10 Wake Forest on February 24, 1996. (Virginias 77-69 win over #3 Duke on Jan. 17, 1993, is its most recent road win over a top-10 team.)

Cavaliers Go Small at Times
With only one scholarship player taller than 6-6 available for action, its not unusual to see the Cavaliers go very small at times during a game.

When head coach Pete Gillen decides to go small, Virginia features an unusual quintet of Willie Dersch (6-6), Adam Hall (6-5), Donald Hand (5-11), Chezley Watson (6-2) and Chris Williams (6-6). This line-up features an average height of approximately 6-4.

When UVa plays this line-up, Hall or Williams is typically the player guarding the opposing center on the defensive end.

Even when the teams tallest player, 6-11 Kris Hunter, is on the floor, Virginia could still be considered a “small” team that doesnt feature a true power forward, but does feature a hybrid line-up of combination point guards/wing players/small forwards.

Roster Devoid of Scholarship Seniors
Not only does Virginia feature what certainly is one of the nations smallest line-ups, the Cavaliers have to rate as one of the countrys youngest teams as well. The roster doesnt list any scholarship seniors. Walk-on Raleigh Harbour is the teams lone senior and he joined the team in October following a student body tryout.

The oldest scholarship players-Willie Dersch, the injured Colin Ducharme, and Kris Hunter-are the only juniors listed on the roster.

With Ducharme currently sidelined, Virginia never puts a line-up with more than two juniors on the court at one time.

Among others who see significant court time are sophomores Donald Hand, Chezley Watson and walk-on Josh Hare (currently out with an injury) and freshmen Adam Hall and Chris Williams.

Rookie Williams Lining Up with the Best
Chris Williams collegiate career consists of just 15 games, but so far hes made quite an impression.

In his collegiate debut he did something only one other UVa freshman has ever done-record a double-double in his debut. Williams scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as Virginia defeated Virginia Commonwealth. (Scott Johnson in 1995-96 is the other UVa rookie to achieve a double-double in his debut.)

The player his teammates call “Big Smooth” added to his accomplishments by erasing Ralph Sampsons name from the record book in one area recently. Williams tossed in a career-high 34 points against Liberty, breaking the previous UVa rookie record of 32 points by Sampson.

Williams pulled down 15 rebounds vs. VMI, the most by a UVa freshman in more than 18 years (since the days of Sampson).

The Birmingham, Ala., native has led the Cavaliers in scoring in four of the last seven contests and in rebounding in six of the last eight.

He has been named ACC-Rookie of the Week twice so far this season and joins Wake Forests Darius Songaila as the only players to win the award more than once this season.

Williams leads the team in a variety of categories -scoring (18.6 ppg, tops in ACC), rebounding (7.7 rpg), steals (2.0 spg) and field goal shooting (54.2 percent). Additionally, he is second in both blocked shots (15) and assists (37).

He has scored at least 20 points six times and owns all three of UVas double-doubles.

His place among ACC and UVa rookies in various statistical categories is below.

98-99 All-Time

Category         Avg.   ACC-Rookies    UVa RookiesPoints           279        1             11PPG             18.6        1              1Rebounds         116        1             14RPG              7.7        1              3Scoring High      34        1              1Rebounding High   15        1             T8FG%             54.2        1              4Blocked shots     15        1             T8"Double-Doubles"   3       T1             T5Off. Rebs.        49        1              5OReb/G            3.3       1 (2 overall)  2FTA                92       1              9FTM                68       1              7FGM                96       1             17FGA               177       1             19Steals             30       2             T7Min./G           33.4       2              3Starts             13       4            T18Assists            37       3            T183FGM               19       6              6

Rebounding a Challenge for Small Line-Up
With only seven scholarship players on the roster, the Cavaliers suffer from a sheer lack of numbers. The roster includes seven walk-on players, including five selected in October following a tryout from among the student body.

The Cavaliers feature only two players taller than 6-8, but only Kris Hunter is available for action. (Colin Ducharme is out with a broken ankle.)

As a result, Virginia is last in the ACC in rebounding margin (-3.6 rpg).

In UVas six losses, the Cavaliers have been out-rebounded by 85 boards (14.2/g) and have been out-rebounded by at least 10 rebounds on three occasions.

St. Johns out-rebounded the Cavaliers by 31 (58-27). The Red Storm retrieved 31 of its own misses, four more rebounds than Virginia grabbed on both ends of the floor. The rebound difference of 31 is tied for the 10th-biggest rebound margin against the Cavaliers in school history.

Wake Forest used its superior inside size and strength to hold a 20-rebound advantage last weekend.

By comparison, UVa has out-rebounded the opposition by 31 (3.4 rpg) in its nine wins.

Lack of Depth Presents Problems
One area of concern for head coach Pete Gillen is the lack of depth of his Cavalier squad. The roster features just seven scholarship players (of whom only six are currently healthy) and seven walk-ons (of whom only six are currently healthy).

Virginia managed to build a double-digit lead in each of the first nine games of the season, but lost three games in the closing moments with fatigue caused by lack of depth a factor.

The problem was particularly evident at the Top of the World Classic in Alaska. In the first round game against Arkansas, Virginia built an early 10-point lead and maintained a lead until midway through the second half. The Razorbacks depth proved to be too much as the Cavaliers ultimately lost 85-83.

The following afternoon against Wisconsin, Virginia was really in a bind. Three starters became ill prior to the game (Willie Dersch, Kris Hunter, Chris Williams). Hunter missed the game entirely, while Dersch and Williams werent at full strength. Nonetheless, Virginia built a 10-point lead early in the second half before the Badgers superior size and depth prevailed down the stretch. The Cavaliers made only five field goals in the second half and lost 66-56.

The final game in Alaska against Washington State also proved to be a nailbiter. The Cavaliers held an 18-point lead seven minutes into the second half (50-32) before going scoreless for 11:02. Washington State used the UVa drought to go on a 15-point run to cut the lead to 50-47. Donald Hand canned a huge three-pointer with 2:26 left to cut the Cougars momentum as UVa held on to win 62-53.

Virginia held a 14-point lead with just over seven minutes remaining against Florida State in its ACC opener, but hing just happens. Its unfortunate for Josh. He helped us win some ball games and well miss him. Hopefully we can get him back.”

“Fun N Gun” Off and Running
New head coach Pete Gillens coaching philosophy is to employ an up-tempo style of play. He favors a running and pressing tempo that enables his teams to have fun and lets the players use their creative talents. Gillens philosophy is in contrast with the style of play of the last 25 years or so in Charlottesville.

Gillens “fun and gun” style is off to a flying start so far this season. The Cavaliers are averaging 79.7 points per game, while forcing 18.4 turnovers per game.

Virginia is also shooting 45.8 percent from the field and has gotten a lot of shots in transition (such as lay-ups and easy buckets underneath).

UVa topped the century mark with 116 points vs. Hampton and followed that with 106 points against Elon, marking the first time since the 1989 NCAA-Tournament that UVa has had back-to-back 100-point games.

The Cavaliers have topped 80 points in eight games this season, the most they have done that since doing so 13 times in 1994-95.

Character Builders
The last few months have certainly been character builders for head coach Pete Gillen, his staff and the Cavaliers. Perhaps thats what you can expect when you open the season on Friday the 13th.

First, Gillen had a roster that included just seven scholarship players for this season and two of the players were incoming freshmen. A tryout was held in October to add enough players to fill out the roster.

Then in mid-August, University Hall was closed for approximately two months for structural repairs. The repairs forced the team to begin its preseason practice at an on-Grounds recreation center.

Two days after the season opener, starting center Colin Ducharme slipped on some wet steps and broke his ankle. He has since had surgery and a definite date for his return has not been established.

The trip to Alaska for the Top of the World Classic presented additional bad news. Three Cavaliers, Willie Dersch, Kris Hunter and Chris Williams, became ill shortly after UVas first round loss to Arkansas and had to be hospitalized. Hunter missed the game against Wisconsin the next day, while Dersch and Williams played but were not at full strength. All told, Virginia played three games in 41 hours in Alaska.

The bad luck continued on December 1 against Florida State as Chezley Watson sprained his right ankle midway in the first half and missed the rest of the game, reducing UVas number of available scholarship players to five. Watson missed two games and returned to action against St. Johns.

It might be true what people say about things happening in threes. Key reserve Josh Hare became the third Cavalier to injure an ankle. He broke his left ankle against Delaware in late December and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Bomb Squad Finding the Mark
Due mainly to the presence of NCAA-three-point record-holder Curtis Staples, Virginia has been known recently as a team that shoots a lot of three-pointers. This season the Cavaliers are second in the ACC-in three-pointers, averaging 7.4 threes per game.

At their current rate, the Cavaliers would set a school record for most three-pointers per game. The 1994-95 squad holds the current record with 6.8 triples per game.

The UVa bomb squad tied the school record by making 15 threes in 29 attempts in the win over Hampton on Nov. 25. That tied the 15 three-pointers Virginia made in 32 attempts against North Carolina on Feb. 14, 1990.

Rookie Adam Hall was perfect from behind the line, hitting all five attempts. His performance tied two other players for the best perfect game in school history.

Willie Dersch made a run at Halls record against Elon. Dersch connected on his first six three-pointers, but missed his last three to finish six of nine against the Fightin Christians. The Cavaliers tossed in 13 three-pointers (in 27 attempts) in the game.

Virginia made 11 of 22 three-point attempts against New Hampshire, with Hall leading the way again. The rookie was true on all three of his attempts.

UVas long range shooters connected on 13 threes (26 attempts) against Loyola, marking the fifth time this season the Cavaliers made at least 10 threes in a game.

The five games with at least 10 three-pointers this season is a rather curious school record. Virginia had four games of 10+ threes in 1995, 96, and 97.

Hunter 12th in Nation in Blocks
Junior center Kris Hunter joins Donald Hand and Chezley Watson as Cavaliers who seem to have taken to Pete Gillens up-tempo style of play.

Hunter was used sparingly as a freshman, averaging 1.4 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in 15 appearances.

Last season the lanky Tallahassee, Fla., native improved to 2.0 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, while seeing his average minutes per game almost triple (to 12.3 per game).

With the Virginia roster featuring just seven scholarship players and only one other player (the currently injured Colin Ducharme) taller than 6-8, it figured that Hunter would be asked to play a bigger role this season.

So far he has shown flashes of excellence, particularly in blocking shots.

Hunter is 12th in the nation in blocked shots (and second in the ACC), averaging 3.1 per game with 44 blocks in 14 games. His 44 blocked shots is already seventh on Virginias list for blocked shots in a season.

He is tied with Ted Jeffries for sixth on UVas career list with 82 blocked shots.

Hunter has blocked five shots in five different games, including rejecting a career-high six shots vs. Hampton.

One of the fastest shot blockers in the ACC, Hunter has turned away 44 shots in just 352 minutes this season. Hunter is second on the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg) and averages 7.0 ppg.

Hand Sees Scoring Zoom
Sophomore point guard Donald Hand was not much of a scoring threat last season. With Norman Nolan and Curtis Staples leading the way last winter, Hand wasnt called on to score much and averaged just 4.7 ppg.

This season is a different story. With new head coach Pete Gillens up-tempo style, Hand is now asked to score and distribute the ball.

With the added responsibility, Hand has seen a dramatic rise in his scoring. He is second on the team in scoring, averaging 16.9 ppg.

So far Hands increased scoring (12.2 ppg) this season is the second-greatest scoring increase in school history.

A listing of the top improvements in UVa history are below. (This list doesnt include players who missed significant parts of a season due to injury, i.e. Cory Alexander.)

   Player          +PPG1. Bill Gerry      13.2   1968-69          4.5   1969-70         17.72. Donald Hand     12.2   1997-98          4.7   1998-99         16.93. John Gidding    10.6   1967-68          3.9   1968-69         14.54. Richard Morgan  10.3   1987-88         10.1   1988-89         20.4

Dawn of a New Era
The Pete Gillen Era is in its early stages at the University of Virginia. Gillen was named the ninth head coach in school history on March 28, 1998, replacing Jeff Jones, who resigned following last season. Gillen brings impressive coaching credentials to Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers are 9-5 this season and are playing an up-tempo brand of basketball, the likes of which have not been characteristic of Virginia hoops.

His career record in 14 seasons as a head coach is 283-134 (.679). Prior to coming to UVa, he coached at Providence where he guided the Big East Conference school to a four-year record of 72-53. Two years ago he led the Friars to the NCAAs “Elite Eight” where they lost in overtime to eventual national champion Arizona in the finals of the Southeast Regional. Under his direction, Providence competed in the NIT in 1995 and 1996.

Gillens success at Providence came on the heels of a remarkable nine-year stint as head coach at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. While there, he became the winningest coach in the schools history with an overall record of 202-75.

Gillen led the small Catholic institution to unprecedented national success. The Musketeers participated in the NCAA-Tournament seven times and reached the Midwest Regional semifinals in 1990. Gillen led Xavier to six regular season conference championships and five conference tournament championships.

Walk-on Tryouts Held
With a roster that featured just eight scholarship players (only seven can play) and two walk-ons, the Virginia coaching staff conducted tryouts among the-UVa student body to round out the roster for the upcoming season. Approximately 40 candidates showed up for the open tryouts on October 20.

Five members of the student body survived a round of drills and interviews to make the team.

The quintet chosen following the tryout joined sophomore Greg Lyons and freshman Cade Lemcke to give head coach Pete Gillen and his staff a total of seven walk-on players to use in game preparation.

Gillen readily concedes that playing time for these players may be limited. Josh Hare saw the most playing time, until he suffered a broken ankle on December 27 that is expected to keep him out of action for six to eight weeks. He had played in every game until his injury (started vs. Wisconsin and Elon). He averaged 21.0 minutes, 3.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game in the first 12 games of the season.

Raleigh Harbour, a fifth-year student, was pressed into action due to Kris Hunters illness and started against Wisconsin. He played 14 minutes, but did not score. He scored his first collegiate points against Liberty.

Jason Dowling (nine games) and Brandon Lloyd (five games) have each tossed in one field goal. Dowling scored a three-pointer vs. Wisconsin, while Lloyd put the Cavaliers over the century mark against Elon.

Local product Marcus Martin, a high school star at Western Albemarle, was slowed by an injury earlier this season, but got the first bucket of his college career against New Hampshire.

The five successful walk-on candidates are listed below.

 #  Name            Pos.  Ht.  Wt.  Yr.  Hometown 5  Brandon Lloyd   G/F  6-4  184   Fr.  Springfield, Va.21  Jason Dowling   G/F  6-2  191   Fr.  Brooklyn, N.Y.22  Josh Hare       G    6-2  197   So.  Vernon, Conn.25  Marcus Martin   F    6-5  218   Fr.  Charlottesville, Va.55  Raleigh Harbour F    6-8  217   Sr.  Hinsdale, Ill.
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