Men's Basketball Faces Washington State in Alaska
November 21, 1998
Virginia (1-2) vs. Washington State (1-2)
Top of the World Classic
Game 9November 22, 199810:30 a.m. (AST)Carlson Center–Fairbanks, Alaska
The Series vs. Washington State: This is only the second meeting between the Cavaliers and Cougars. Virginia gained a 54-49 win over Washington State in the second round of the West Regional in the 1983 NCAA Tournament. Player of the Year Ralph Sampson led the way for Virginia with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Othell Wilson added 14 points.Virginia is 4-5 all-time against the current Pac 10 schools. UVa is 1-0 vs. Southern California, Washington and Washington State, 1-3 vs. Stanford, and 0-1 vs. Arizona and UCLA. The Cavaliers have never faced Arizona State, California, Oregon or Oregon State. Their last game against a Pac 10 school was a 64-60 loss to Stanford in 1994-95. Curiously, this is the second time the Cavaliers have faced a Pac 10 school in Alaska. UVa lost to UCLA 89-74 in the championship game of the 1990 Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage.
Virginia head coach Pete Gillen, whose resume includes stops at Xavier and Providence, has never coached against Washington State.
Hall Leads Virginia: Freshman swingman Adam Hall became the third Cavalier in as many games to lead Virginia in scoring during this young season. Hall, who scored 19 points in the first round against Arkansas, was pressed into the starting line-up yesterday in Chris Williams’ place following Williams’ illness. The rookie from Katy, Texas, responded with 21 points, hitting six of 12 shots from the field. He is second on the team in scoring with a 14.7 ppg average. He is shooting 60.9 percent from the field, tops on the team.
Small Line-up Gets Outrebounded: 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 last month following a tryout from among the student body. The Cavaliers feature only two players taller than 6-8 and both have been out of action lately forcing Pete Gillen to go to a small line-up. Starting center Colin Ducharme (6-9) is out indefinitely with a broken ankle, while his replacement Kris Hunter (6-11) missed the Wisconsin game due to illness.
Hunter’s absence forced Gillen to start walk-on Raleigh Harbour (6-8) at center against the Badgers. It was the first game of Harbour’s career. Frequently operating with a small line-up, the Cavaliers have been out-rebounded in the last two games (both losses) by 21 rebounds.
Everybody Chips In: With a roster that features just seven scholarship players (only six are healthy right now), it stands to reason that the Cavaliers need everybody to contribute. So far that’s the case as Virginia has had a different player lead the team in scoring in every game. Donald Hand poured in a career-high 24 points in the opener against Virginia Commonwealth, while Chezley Watson’s career-high 21 points led UVa vs. Arkansas on Friday. Freshman Adam Hall added his name to the list by scoring 21 points yesterday against Wisconsin.
Hand is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 17.3 ppg. He also leads the team with nine assists. Hall is averaging 14.7 ppg, while shooting 60.9 percent from the field. Chris Williams is averaging 13.0 ppg, while Watson averages 12.7 ppg.
Watson Paces Cavaliers: Sophomore guard Chezley Watson came to Virginia last season with impressive high school scoring credentials after averaging 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 averaged just 2.2 ppg. This season, however, Watson clearly seems to be benefitting from coach 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.
Against #19 Arkansas on Friday, he topped that by pouring in 21 points to lead 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) is tied for the third-best three-point percentage in school history.His five three-pointers in that game are also two more than he had all of last season, while his 38 points (in just three games) are more than halfway to last year’s total of 58.