Virginia Battles Arkansas
November 19, 1998
Virginia vs. Arkansas
November 20, 1998 – 6:15 p.m.
Virginia (1998-99 record: 1-0) plays Arkansas (1998-99 record: 2-0) in the first round of the Top of the World Classic this evening at 6:15 p.m. (AST). Tonights game will not be televised.
In the Second Round: The Cavaliers face either New Mexico State or Wisconsin in the second round tomorrow. The match-ups depend on todays action.
Radio: All UVa games are heard on the Virginia Sports Network originating at WINA/WQMZ in Charlottesville. Mac McDonald calls the play by play. Jim Hobgood provides the analysis.
The Series vs. Arkansas
Virginia holds a 4-2 lead in the series against Arkansas in a series that dates back to the 1983-84 season. The Cavaliers won that first meeting 53-51 in overtime in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UVa advanced to the Final Four that season.The Razorbacks prevented the Cavaliers from returning to the Final Four by downing UVa 68-61 in the Midwest Regional finals in 1995 in the most recent contest between the two schools. Three of the six games have been decided by seven points or less, including two two-point decisions. Virginia won both two-point games (53-51 in 1984, 54-52 in 1985). This is the third game in the series played on a neutral court. Each team has won one game on a neutral court.
Virginias Probable Starters
Pos. # Name Cl. 98-99 Pts. 98-99 Rebs. F 24 Willie Dersch Jr. 12.0 4.0 F 33 Chris Williams Fr. 20.0 10.0 C 44 Kris Hunter Jr. 5.0 5.0 G 10 Chezley Watson So. 13.0 5.0 G 13 Donald Hand So. 24.0 3.0
“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 got off to a flying start last Friday night as the Gillen era opened with an 86-70 win over Virginia Commonwealth.The Cavaliers hurt themselves by committing 14 turnovers in the first half and trailed at halftime 37-35. They regrouped during the break and put on a show in the final 20 minutes, outscoring the Rams 51-33 to win going away. UVa cut down on the turnovers (nine) and shot 64.3 percent from the field in the second half. The Cavalier defense stood fast throughout, forcing 18 turnovers and holding the Rams to 34.3 percent shooting for the game.
Dawn of a New Era
The Pete Gillen Era began last Friday for the University of Virginia as the Cavaliers defeated VCU 86-70 to mark a successful debut by Gillen. Gillen was named the Cavaliers head coach on March 28, 1998, replacing Jeff Jones, who resigned following last season. Gillen brings impressive coaching credentials to Charlottesville.His career record in 14 seasons as a collegiate head coach is now 275-128 (.682). Prior to coming to UVa, he coached at Providence College 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.Inheriting a program that made only two previous NCAA tournament appearances in the schools history and never won an NCAA postseason game, Gillen led the small Catholic institution to unprecedented national success. The Musketeers participated in the NCAA Tournament seven times during Gillens tenure, reaching the Midwest Regional semifinals in 1990. Gillen was named Coach of the Year in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference five times as Xavier won six regular season conference championships and five conference tournament championships under his guidance.Gillen is the ninth head coach in UVa basketball history.
Double Double in DebutFreshman Chris Williams became only the second freshman in Virginia history since the restoration of freshman eligibility in 1972-73 to record a “double double” in the first game of his career. He joins Scott Johnson as the only Cavalier rookie to accomplish this feat. Johnson scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 27 minutes in the 1995-96 season opener against Tennessee-Martin.Williams also became the second Cavalier since the restoration of freshman eligibility in 1972-73 to score at least 20 points in the first game of his career. Jeff Lamp scored 24 in his debut against James Madison in 1977-78.The performances of several notable Cavaliers in their college debuts are listed below.
Who? Opp./Yr. Pts. Rebs.Junior Burrough W&M 91-92 17 6Bryant Stith Dartmouth 88-89 12 6Olden Polynice Lafayette 83-84 8 5Ralph Sampson Johns Hopkins 79-80 17 8Jeff Lamp James Madison 77-78 24 3Marc Iavaroni W&L 74-75 14 9Wally Walker WFU 72-73 7 3
Ducharme Undergoes Surgery for Broken Ankle
Center Colin Ducharme underwent successful surgery today on his broken left ankle on Tuesday (Nov. 17). Noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank C. McCue III performed the surgery at the Virginia Ambulatory Surgical Center in Charlottesville.McCue inserted a plate and screws to stabilize the fracture and to immobilize the ankle joint which had been widened at the time of injury.Ducharmes ankle will remain in a cast for several weeks and may require further immobilization for up to six weeks, according to McCue.Ducharme broke his left ankle when he slipped on wet steps while walking in Charlottesville last Sunday (Nov. 15). The junior from Richmond, Va., will be out of action indefinitely.He scored six points and grabbed five rebounds in the Cavaliers 86-70 season opening win over Virginia Commonwealth University last Friday night (Nov. 13). “Losing Colin Ducharme indefinitely is a tremendous blow to our basketball team,” said UVa head coach Pete Gillen. “I feel very badly for Colin and his teammates that hes suffered this injury. I know hell do the best he can in rehabilitation and get back as quickly as possible.”
Off to the Last Frontier
This is the second time the Cavaliers have ventured to the “Last Frontier” to play in a tournament.They advanced to the championship game of the Great Alaska Shoot-out in Anchorage to open the 1990-91 season. Virginia defeated Siena 80-77 in the first round and South Carolina 65-59 in the semifinals. The Cavaliers lost to UCLA 89-74 in the finals.Curiously, Pete Gillen is the second UVa head coach to bring his team to Alaska early in his career. Former head coach Jeff Jones opened his head coaching career at the 1990 Great Alaska Shoot-out.This is Gillens second trip to Alaska for the Top of the World Classic. He brought his Providence team to Fairbanks two years ago, posting a 2-1 record. The Friars downed Alaska-Fairbanks 98-73 in the first round, but fell to Middle Tennessee 77-75 in the second round. They bounced back with an 82-58 win over Southern Illinois in the last game.
Four Reach Double Figures in Opener
Four Cavaliers scored in double figures in the season opener against VCU, an 86-70 Virginia win.Donald Hand led the way with a career-high 24 points, while Chris Williams poured in 20 points in his collegiate debut. Chezley Watson tossed in a career-high 13 points and Willie Dersch chipped in with 12 points.Led by Norman Nolan inside and Curtis Staples outside, Virginia was primarily a two-man offense last season. UVa had only four games (all wins) last season with four players in double figures (none with more than four). Virginia has won six consecutive games when at least four Cavaliers reach double digits.
Five Record Career High in Opener
With no proven scorer returning this season, it figures that anybody might lead the team in scoring in any given game this season. Five Cavaliers, including four starters, recorded career scoring highs in the season opener against VCU as UVa gained an 86-70 win.Sophomore point guard Donald Hand stepped in as the Cavaliers go-to guy in the opener against the Rams by pouring in a career-high 24 points. Not called on to score much last season (4.7 ppg), Hands previous career high was 14 points as he reached double figures only four times.Freshman swingman Chris Williams joined Hand in the 20-point parade by scoring 20 points in his collegiate debut. Like Hand, sophomore guard Chezley Watson didnt do a lot of scoring last season. A prolific scorer in high school who averaged 30 points as a senior, Watson scored only 22 points after January 1 last season. However, in the opener he showed flash by tossing in a career-high 13 points.Two newcomers also scored career highs-freshman Adam Hall scored four points, while sophomore walk-on Josh Hare scored two.Junior center Kris Hunter missed his career high by one point as he scored five points vs. the Rams.
Second Half Spurt Fuels Cavaliers
Virginia won just two games last season after trailing at halftime. Already the Cavaliers are halfway to that total following their 86-70 win over Virginia Commonwealth University last Friday in Richmond, Va.Virginia trailed at halftime 37-35 after falling behind by as many as seven points in the opening period. After a tepid half in which they shot just 37.5 percent from the field and turned the ball over 14 times, the Cavaliers came out on fire in the second half.They shot 64.3 percent from the field in the half and scored 51 points. UVa quickly erased the halftime deficit and built a double-digit lead midway through the period. Virginia used 8-0 and 11-0 runs to build its lead.
Against the Southeastern Conference
Virginia is 13-19 (.406) against the SEC all-time dating back to that leagues first season in 1932-33. Taking games played when a school was in the SEC only, the series look like this (records listed for UVa): vs. Alabama 1-4, Arkansas 0-1, Florida 1-0, Georgia Tech 0-1, Georgia 2-1, Kentucky 0-4, Louisiana State 1-0, Mississippi 1-0, Mississippi State 1-1, South Carolina 1-0, Tennessee 4-2 and Vanderbilt 1-5. Virginia has never played Auburn, Sewanee or Tulane while those schools were members of the SEC. (Please note that Virginia has played all of these schools, but not while they were members of the SEC.)In all games against the 12 current league members, Virginia is 49-51 (.490).
Cavaliers Open Exhibition Season with Win
Four Cavaliers scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Donald Hand with 23 points, as Virginia defeated the Aussie All-Stars 96-79 in its first exhibition contest on November 3.Freshman forward Adam Hall scored 21 points and freshman forward Chris Williams recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.Junior center Colin Ducharme added 15 points and three blocks. Hand also recorded nine assists. Hall and Williams combined for nine points in a Virginia 11-0 run to give the Cavaliers a 29-22 lead at the 7:33 mark of the first half. Virginia outscored the Aussie squad 15-4 over the final 4:40 of the first half to take a 50-31 lead at the break. The Cavaliers continued to build on their lead in the second half, leading by as much as 28 points with 5:19 remaining in the game. Virginia shot 52.2 percent from the field (36-69) and 79.2 percent from the free throw line (19-24) for the game. The Cavaliers out-rebounded the Aussie squad 36-31 and converted 22 Aussie turnovers into 28 points.
UVa Wins by 24 in Second Exhibition
Chris Williams scored a game-high 29 points and Colin Ducharme recorded a double-double as Virginia trounced the California All-Stars 101-77 in its second exhibition contest on November 7.Williams was on fire all night, hitting 12 of 16 shots from the field and four of six from three-point land. The freshman from Birmingham, Ala., also pulled down seven rebounds and dished out a pair of assists. Ducharme chipped in with 12 rebounds and was the only player in double-figures for rebounding with 10. Virginia and the All-Stars swapped the lead three times in the first half with neither team ever leading by more than six points. However, the Wahoos were in control of the scoreboard at the half with a slim 50-47 lead. In the second half, the All-Stars kept it within five points until the Cavaliers went on a 7-0 run a fourth of the way through the half. That offensive flurry gave UVa a 66-54 lead with 13:49 to play and the Cavs never looked back. With 12:38 to play, Josh Hare dunked to put the Wahoos up 68-58 and Virginia never led by less than 10 the rest of the way. UVa topped the century mark thanks to a jumper by Cade Lemcke with 39 seconds to play and that capped the scoring at 101-77. Nine Virginia players found their way into the scoring column. Willie Dersch and Donald Hand joined Williams and Ducharme in double-digits with 13 points and 18 points, respectively. Chezley Watson added eight points along with a game-high eight assists. Adam Hall came off the bench for seven points and six rebounds to go along with three assists and three steals. As a team, the Cavaliers hit 56.6 percent (43-of-76) of their shots from the field, including a blistering 61.1 percent (22-of-36) in the first half. Meanwhile, the ‘Hoos held the All-Stars to just 40 percent from the field on 26-of-65 shooting.
Rookie Williams Starts Opener
Freshman Chris Williams started at forward for Virginia in its two exhibition games, averaging 23.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in the two contests. He pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with 17 points in the first exhibition game against the Aussie All-Stars on November 3. He came back four days later to score a game-high 29 points and grab seven rebounds against the California All-Stars.His outstanding performances in the exhibition games insured that he would remain in the starting line-up for the season opener against VCU. He became the sixth freshman to start a season opener for Virginia in the 1990s.Current sophomore Donald Hand started at point guard in last seasons opener.Other freshmen starters this decade include: Ted Jeffries at center in 1989-90, guard Cory Alexander and forward Junior Burrough in 1991-92, and swingman Courtney Alexander in 1995-96.
Walk-on Tryouts Held
With a roster that features 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 join 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 is the most likely to play. He averaged 16.0 minutes in the two exhibition games and scored six points (all against the California All-Stars). Martin was the only other new walk-on to play in the exhibition season. He played two minutes (no points) against the California All-Stars.Hare played 17 minutes in last Fridays season opener against Virginia Commonwealth University. He scored two points, grabbed four rebounds, had three assists and one steal in the game.The five successful walk-on candidates are listed below.
# Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown5 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.
Cavaliers Welcome Two Scholarship Newcomers
The 1998-99 Virginia mens basketball team features two freshmen scholarship players-Adam Hall and Chris Williams.Hall, a 6-5 swingman from Katy, Texas, was a first-team All-State performer as a senior last season at Katy High School after averaging 20.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He was a four-year starter and played for the USA Basketball Mens Junior World Championship Qualifying Team that won a gold medal in the Dominican Republic in July.Williams, a 6-6 swingman from Birmingham, Ala., led Minor High School to the state 6A championship last season as a senior. He averaged 17.5 points and 10.0 rebounds and earned All-State honors his junior and senior seasons. He was also named the Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year in Alabama last season.
No Double Digit Scorers Return in 99
With a team that features no scholarship seniors, Virginia may feature one of the youngest teams in the country this season. Only three scholarship juniors return-Willie Dersch, Colin Ducharme and Kris Hunter.Dersch and Ducharme are the teams most experience players, but Ducharme is out of action indefinitely with a broken left ankle.Ducharme is the teams leading returning scorer (7.8 ppg) and rebounder (5.0 rpg), while Dersch is tied with sophomore Donald Hand as the leading returning assist man with 99. It might be somewhat of a surprise to learn that this isnt the first time in school history the team failed to return a double digit scorer.The 1968-69 squad featured four double digit scorers, but none returned the following season.In fact, this years squad returns a higher percentage of its points than the 1969-70 squad did. This seasons team returns 34.4 percent of its points, while the team 29 seasons ago returned just 18.4 percent of its points. (As a point of reference both the 1968-69 and 1969-70 teams posted 10-15 records.)
New Staff Joins GillenWhen new head coach Pete Gillen came to UVa from Providence after the 1997-98 season, he brought two assistant coaches and his director of basketball administration with him. Bobby Gonzalez and Tom Herrion, assistants under Gillen at Providence, traveled south with Gillen. In addition, Mike Malone, an assistant at Providence, has moved into the position of Director of Mens Basketball Administration at UVa.Gillen completed his staff with the addition of Walt Fuller, a former assistant at William & Mary.Gonzalez, considered one of the nations top recruiters, has been on Gillens staff at three different schools-one year at Xavier, four seasons at Providence, and now at UVa.Herrion began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, Merrimack College, shortly after graduation in 1989. He remained there until 1994 when he joined Gillens staff at Providence for the 1994-95 season. Herrions brother, Bill, is in his seventh season as head coach at Drexel.Fuller travels west on Interstate 64 to join Gillens staff from William & Mary. He spent the four previous seasons in Williamsburg, helping the Tribe post a 20-7 record last season. Prior to his stint at William & Mary, he was on the staff at Drexel, his alma mater, for six years.Malone is Director of Mens Basketball Administration at Virginia. He served in a similar capacity for one season and was an assistant coach for two seasons at Providence with Gillen. His father, Brendan, is in his 13th season of coaching in the NBA.