Men's Basketball Opens Season Friday
Nov. 18, 1999
Virginia vs. Elon
November 19, 1999
The 1998-99 Season
Virginia: 14-16 Overall / 4-12 ACC
Elon: 11-16 Overall
*Elon became an official member of the Big SouthConference in September of 1999. In April of 1997 the Big South Conferenceexpanded its membership to include Elon College and High Point University.
Television: Tonight’s game will not be televised.
Radio: All UVa games are heard on the Virginia Sports Network originatingat WINA/WQMZ in Charlottesville. Mac McDonald calls the play by play. JimHobgood provides the analysis.
Cavaliers Open Season Tonight
Virginia begins the 1999-2000 season, its 95th overall and secondunder head coach Pete Gillen, on Friday, November 19, when the Cavaliershost Elon College at 7:30 p.m. in University Hall.
UVa is 74-20 (.787) all-time in season openers. TheCavaliers have won 10 of their last 12 season openers dating back to1987-88. Virginia’s last loss in a season opener was in 1997-98 when itdropped an 83-79 double overtime decision at Richmond.
The Series vs. Elon College
Virginia leads the all-time series 4-0 against Elon, including a106-71 victory last season on November 28. All four games have been playedin Charlottesville. Last year’s meeting was the first time in 77 yearsthat the two schools met, the longest gap in a series in Virginia schoolhistory. The previous meeting was in 1921-22 with the Cavaliers winning42-16. UVa also won in the 1920-21 (60-10) and 1917-18 (47-15) seasons.
Head Coach Pete Gillen
Pete Gillen is beginning his 15th season as a collegiate head coachand sports a 288-144 record. He has led his teams to postseason seasonplay 11 times in 14 seasons (eight NCAA, three NIT). Gillen has beenselected as the conference Coach of the Year five times – all whilecoaching Xavier (Midwestern Collegiate Conference).
Gillen has compiled a 12-2 record in season openers in his careeras a collegiate head coach, winning his last nine. In 1998-99, hesuccessfully began his coaching career at Virginia with an 86-70 win overVirginia Commonwealth on November 13. He was 7-2 at Xavier (1986-94) and4-0 at Providence (1995-98) in season openers.
Two Exhibition Wins
Virginia won both of its 1999-2000 exhibition games. The Cavaliersdefeated the Down Under Bandits 97-67 on November 4 at University Hall.UVa closed the exhibition season with a 94-70 victory over the NantucketNectars Naturals on November 10, also at University Hall. See pages twoand three of the notes for details of the games.
Dersch and Hand Elected Captains
Senior forward/guard Willie Dersch and junior guard Donald Handhave been elected captains of the 1999-2000 Virginia basketball team bytheir teammates. Both players served as captains of the basketball teamlast season.
In 1998-99, Dersch started 26 of the 30 games in which he playedand received the team’s Michael McCann Leadership Award. He averaged 10.2points and 2.8 rebounds a game last season. The three-year letterwinner isthe only senior on the 1999-2000 UVa team.
Hand started all 30 games last season and was the co-recipient ofthe Bill Gibson Cavalier of the Year Award as the team’s most valuableplayer. Hand led the Cavaliers in scoring (17.1 ppg), assists (123, 4.1ppg.), steals (57) free throw shooting (86.2 percent, 162-188) andthree-point field goals (50). He was the top free throw shooter in theAtlantic Coast Conference last season. His 41 points in Virginia’s 82-79overtime victory over North Carolina State last February are a UVasophomore record and the most points scored by a Virginia player sinceBarry Parkhill established a school record with 51 points againstBaldwin-Wallace during the 1971-72 season.
Virginia vs. the Big South Conference
Against the eight current members of the Big South Conference, theCavaliers are 14-1 all-time. Virginia is 4-0 vs. Radford, 4-0 vs. Elon, 4-1vs. Liberty, and 2-0 vs. Winthrop. UVa defeated a pair of Big South schoolslast season. On November 28, the Cavaliers posted a 106-71 win over Elonand then defeated Liberty 95-70 10 days later on December 8.Of the Big South’s current membership, Virginia has never faced CharlestonSouthern, Coastal Carolina, High Point or North Carolina-Asheville.There have been seven other schools that have been members of the Big SouthConference at one time or another since 1986. Virginia is 14-1 againstschools in the Big South at game time.
Non-Conference Teams at University Hall
Virginia is 174-27 (.866) all-time in U-Hall against non-conferenceopponents since the building opened for the 1965-66 season.The Cavaliers have won 56 of their last 64 home games againstnon-conference opponents dating back to the 1989-90 season (basically thisdecade).
Leaders in Exhibition Games
Sophomore guard Adam Hall led the Cavaliers in scoring in the twoexhibition games by averaging 15 points. Junior guard Donald Hand averaged11 points, including a team-high 16 points against the Down Under Bandits.Junior center Colin Ducharme averaged 13 rebounds per game and added sixblocked shots. His return after missing most of the 1998-99 season with abroken ankle gives the Cavaliers a much needed boost in the reboundingdepartment. Freshman forward Travis Watson added 17 points and 13 reboundsin the two wins.
Same Starting Lineup
The Cavaliers started the same five players in both of theirexhibition games. Junior transfer Stephane Dondon and sophomore ChrisWilliams started at forward, while junior Colin Ducharme started at center.Junior Donald Hand and sophomore Adam Hall earned the starting berths inthe backcourt for Virginia.
Spreading the Minutes Around
In the two exhibition games, UVa had 10 players average doublefigures in minutes and an 11th player averaged 9.5 minutes a game. Againstthe Down Under Bandits, 11 players logged 10 minutes or more, while nineplayers saw double-digit action against the Nantucket Nectars Naturals.Sophomore forward Chris Williams’ 25 minutes against the Bandits were themost played by any UVa team member in the preseason.
Cavaliers Shake off Slow Start to Defeat Nantucket
Junior center Colin Ducharme recorded a double-double with 10points and 12 rebounds to lead Virginia to a 94-70 exhibition win over theNantucket Nectars Naturals before a crowd of 2,313 on November 10 atUniversity Hall.
In 22 minutes of action, Ducharme connected on three of five fieldgoal attempts and converted four of five free throws en route to his 10points. Sophomore guard Adam Hall led the Cavaliers in scoring with 15points on six of nine shooting from the field. A pair of freshmen, forwardTravis Watson and point guard Majestic Mapp, contributed 12 points each offthe bench for UVa. Watson made five of six attempts from the floor and alsopulled down nine rebounds. Mapp scored his 12 points on four of sevenshooting from the field and made three of five free throws as well. As ateam, Virginia shot a respectable 48.6 percent from the field as itconnected on 36 of 74 shots. The Cavaliers also held a 51-38 reboundingadvantage.
Guard Brian Gilgeous led the Nantucket Nectars Naturals with agame-high 17 points, while forward Kenny Wood contributed 16 points andeight rebounds.
The Nantucket Nectars Naturals held a five-point lead, 15-10, with12:02 to play in the first half. Virginia overcame the early deficit byclosing out the first half on a 32-16 run to take a 42-31 lead intointermission. The Cavaliers took control of the game during a four-minutestretch of the first half in which they outscored the Naturals 14-2. SixUVa players scored during the spurt that started at the 6:37 mark withVirginia holding a 26-24 lead.
UVa Opens Exhibition Season with Impressive Win
Virginia won its 1999-2000 exhibition opener 97-67 over the DownUnder Bandits on November 4 at University Hall.
Junior guard Donald Hand and sophomore guard Adam Hall combined for31 points on 11 of 17 shooting from the field to lead the Cavaliers to thevictory. Hand led the Cavaliers with 16 points on six of 11 shooting fromthe field, while Hall scored 12 of his 15 points in the decisive firsthalf. On the night, Hall made five of six attempts from the floor andgrabbed eight rebounds, including five offensive boards. Sophomore forwardChris Williams and junior guard Keith Friel both added 11 points to roundout the Cavaliers’ double figure scorers. Junior center Colin Ducharme ledall players with 14 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Forward Ryan Stolberg scored 22 points to lead the Down UnderBandits. Forward Scott Mitchell added 18 points and eight rebounds.
The Down Under Bandits took an early 8-3 lead on a Stolberg jumperwith 16:18 left in the first half. With the Bandits leading 20-15 on aMitchell jumper with 9:38 to go, the Cavaliers went on a 34-6 run to endthe first half and take the lead for good. Hand ignited the run with athree-pointer with 9:25 left to bring UVa within 20-18. A Williams stealled to a Willie Dersch layup that tied the game at 20-20 with 9:03remaining in the opening half. A Hand layup off another Williams stealgave Virginia the lead for good, 22-20, at the 8:50 mark. UVa went on totake a 49-26 advantage at halftime.
Virginia shot 47.9 percent from the floor in the contest,connecting on 35 of 73 attempts. The Cavaliers forced 23 turnovers,including 17 in the first half, and held the Down Under Bandits to 33.3percent shooting in the game (21-63).
1999-2000 ACC Pre-Season Media Prediction
(Indicates first place votes)
Team Points 1. North Carolina (74) 792 2. Duke (16) 712 3. Wake Forest 577 4. Maryland 481 5. NC State 442 6. Georgia Tech 396 7. Virginia 358 8. Florida State 179 9. Clemson 113
Five Players Mentioned for ACC Pre-Season Honors
Virginia had five players receive votes for various 1999-2000Pre-Season Atlantic Coast Conference teams as selected by the mediaattending the conference’s 38th annual Operation Basketball held on October24 in Greensboro.
Headlining the UVa list is sophomore forward Chris Williams who wasselected to the pre-season All-ACC second team. Williams also receivedconsideration as the pre-season ACC Player of the Year. Last season,Williams was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and also garnered third teamaccolades. He was Virginia’s second leading scorer at 16.8 points per gameand also led the squad with 7.5 rebounds per outing.
Junior guard Donald Hand was a 1999-2000 honorable mentionpre-season All-ACC selection, having received the 13th-most votes. Handled the Cavaliers in scoring in 1998-99 with 17.1 points per game and wasan honorable mention All-ACC pick at the conclusion of the season.
Three members of Virginia’s heralded freshman class receivedconsideration as the 1999-2000 pre-season ACC Rookie of the Year. Pointguard Majestic Mapp, guard Roger Mason and forward Travis Watson were amongseven league players to receive votes for Rookie of the Year.
Two New Staff Members
Head Coach Pete Gillen welcomes two new members to his staff, ScottShepherd and Alexis Sherard.
Shepherd and Sherard replace Bobby Gonzalez, who became the headcoach at Manhattan College, and Michael Malone, who is now an assistantcoach at Manhattan.
Shepherd joins the Virginia coaching staff after spending the lastfive years as the head post-graduate basketball coach at Hargrave MilitaryAcademy.
Sherard is the director of men’s basketball administration. Hecomes to Virginia after spending last year as an assistant coach atBinghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. No stranger to head coach PeteGillen, Sherard worked for Gillen for two years (1996-98) as theadministrative assistant in the men’s basketball office at ProvidenceCollege.
Friel Ready to Play
After sitting out the 1998-99 season due to NCAA transfer rules,junior guard Keith Friel is expected to be a major contributor in the1999-2000 campaign. The 6-4 shooting guard averaged 8.9 points and 2.0rebounds as a sophomore at Notre Dame during the 1997-98 season. He ledthe Irish in three-point field goals (45) and three-point field goalpercentage (46.4 percent – 45 of 97) that season and provides the Cavalierswith a long range shooting threat. Friel has two years of eligibility atVirginia.
Cavaliers Welcome Five Newcomers
The 1999-2000 Virginia men’s basketball team features five newfaces, not including junior Keith Friel. Joining nine returning lettermen,including four returning starters, are Stephane Dondon, Majestic Mapp,Roger Mason, Jason Rogers and Travis Watson.
Dondon, a 6-8 forward from Toulouse, France, is a junior transferfrom Collin County Community College. He earned All-North Texas JuniorCollege Athletic Conference honors both seasons at Collin County CommunityCollege. He is the school’s all-time leading rebounder (550) and ranksfifth in scoring (859 points). He averaged 14.2 points and 8.5 reboundsper game in 1998-99 and led the team to a 22-12 record. In 1997-98, Dondonaveraged 12.1 points and 8.5 rebounds as the team finished the year with a20-11 record. Dondon was Collin County Community College’s Two-YearStudent-Athlete of the Year Award recipient.
Mapp is a 6-2 point guard from St. Raymond’s High School in NewYork City. A highly-rated prospect, Mapp was a four-year starter and twiceearned All-New York City and All-State accolades. He was a McDonald’sAll-America selection and also earned third-team Parade All-America honors.
Mason, a 6-5 guard from Silver Spring, Md., is another freshmanguard who is expected to make an impact in 1999-2000. A three-year starterat Good Counsel High School (he started at Sidwell Friends High School as afreshman before transferring to Good Counsel), Mason averaged 18.7 points,5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game as a senior. He was Powerade “Mr.Basketball,” as the best player in the Washington, D.C. area, as a senior.
Rogers is a 6-10 center/forward from Staunton, Va. He averaged18.3 points, 11.9 rebounds and 5.9 blocked shots per game as a senior atRobert E. Lee High School. Rogers was a unanimous first-team All-Stateselection by The Associated Press and was also named the Gatorade Player ofthe Year in Virginia.
Watson, a 6-7 forward from Brookneal, Va., was one of 16 finalistsfor the USA Basketball Men’s Junior World Championship Team. He withdrewfor personal reasons before the final 12-man roster was selected. He willcontend for a starting spot on the front line. Watson helped lead Oak HillAcademy to a perfect 31-0 record and a number one ranking in the nation onthe USA Today Super 25 list last season. As a senior, he averaged 16points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 1.3 assists and 1.2 blocked shots agame.
Williams and Hall Win Silver
Sophomores Chris Williams and Adam Hall played on the USABasketball Men’s Junior World Championship Team that earned a silver medalat the 16-team 1999 FIBA Men’s Junior World Championships in Portugal inJuly. Williams, the 1998-99 ACC Rookie of the Year and All-ACC third-teampick, set a tournament record for the USA with 12 blocked shots during thecompetition. He averaged 10.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Cavaliers to Play in Puerto Rico
Virginia will travel to Puerto Rico to play in the Puerto RicoShootout during the Thanksgiving Holiday. UVa will play South Carolina onNovember 25, with its opponents on November 26 and 27 to be determined.
The trip to Puerto Rico marks the second time that Virginia willtravel outside the United States to play. The first time was in the1982-83 season when the Terry Holland-coached Cavaliers travelled to Tokyo,Japan, to play Houston (a 72-63 win) and Utah (an 80-57 win) in the SuntoryBall Classic. With the two wins Virginia won the Suntory Ball Classictitle.
Ducharme Living on The Lawn
Redshirt junior Colin Ducharme was selected to live in one ofVirginia’s prestigious Lawn rooms during the 1999-2000 academic year. Heis the 15th men’s basketball player to be chosen to live on The Lawn andthe first since Matt Blundin, who played both basketball and football atVirginia, lived on The Lawn in 1992.
Ricky Stokes (1984), Ralph Sampson (1983) and Terry Gates (1980)are the other most recent basketball players to live on The Lawn.
Four Starters Return for 1999-2000
The Cavaliers return four starters from last season-Donald Hand,Chris Williams, Willie Dersch and Chezley Watson. In addition, UVa alsoreturns Adam Hall, who started 17 games, and Colin Ducharme, a two-yearstarter, who was injured after last year’s season-opener. A total of ninelettermen are back to take the hardwood in 1999-2000.
With the return of the nine letterwinners, it’s not surprising thatVirginia returns from last season:
95.3 percent (245 of 257) of the steals
92.9 percent (382 of 411) of the assists
91.0 percent (1986 of 2183) of the points
85.6 percent (5,176 of 6,050) of the minutes
82.1 percent (814 of 992) of the rebounds
Blocked shots is the only category where the Cavaliers lost ahigher percentage than they return. Virginia returns players thataccounted for 41 percent (64 of 156 blocks) of its blocked shots. The goodnews on the blocked shot front is Colin Ducharme, who swatted 75 shots inhis first two seasons, returns.
Ducharme Eighth on Blocked Shot List
Junior center Colin Ducharme is currently eighth on Virginia’sall-time blocked shot list with 75. He needs eight more blocks to movepast Ted Jefferies (1990-93) into seventh place.
Ducharme is tied with current teammate Chris Williams for theninth-best single season block total with 41. Ducharme notched his 41blocks while leading the team in that category in 1996-97. Williams’ 41blocks came last year. In addition to leading the team in blocks in1996-97, Ducharme also held that honor in 1997-98 with 34.