Story Links

Nov. 29, 1999

Virginia (4-1) vs. Minnesota (3-0)
November 30, 1999

9:30 p.m. (Eastern)

ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Williams Arena
Minneapolis, Minn.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia (1998-99 record: 14-16/4-12 ACC) stands at 4-1 in the 1999-2000season. The Cavaliers finished fifth in the Puerto Rico Shootout bydefeating Arizona State 80-74 on Saturday. Minnesota (1998-99 record:17-11/8-8 Big Ten) is 3-0 this year and is coming off an 86-67 win overMorehead State on Saturday.

Television: Tonight’s game will be televised by ESPN2.

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.

The Series vs. Minnesota
The Cavaliers meet Minnesota for the fourth time ever in tonight’sACC/Big Ten Challenge. UVa leads the all-time series 3-0 with all threegames decided by seven points or less. In the last meeting in the 1993-94season, Virginia defeated the Golden Gophers 62-57 at University Hall. Inthe only contest of the series at Minnesota, UVa posted a 79-72 win in the1990-91 campaign. The initial meeting of the series took place in MadisonSquare Garden in the 1980 National Invitation Tournament Championship gamewith the Cavaliers prevailing 58-55.

Virginia vs. the Big Ten
Virginia is 12-12 all-time against the 11 current Big Ten schools. UVa is5-2 vs. Penn State, 3-0 vs. Minnesota, 1-1 vs. Wisconsin and Indiana, 1-2vs. Michigan, 1-3 vs. Ohio State, 0-1 vs. Iowa and 0-2 vs. Michigan State.The Cavaliers have never faced Illinois, Northwestern or Purdue. In theirlast game against a Big Ten school, the Cavaliers fell to Wisconsin 66-56in the second round of the Top of the World Classic.

Looking for Best Start
With a win in tonight’s game, Virginia would improve to 5-1 on the season,marking its best start since the 1992-93 squad posted 11-consecutivevictories to start the season. In addition to starting 4-1 this season,the Cavaliers also won four of their first five games in 1997-98 and1996-97.

Change the Starting Lineup
Head coach Pete Gillen has used four different starting lineups andhas had a total of eight different players start in the first five games ofthe 1999-2000 season. Only two players, sophomores Chris Williams and AdamHall have started all five games. In addition, each time Gillen haschanged his starting lineup it has resulted in a win. The only time Gillenused the same starting five a second time, Virginia suffered its only lossof the season.

The Cavaliers opened the season with junior Stephane Dondon andWilliams at forward and junior Colin Ducharme at center. Junior DonaldHand and Hall started in the backcourt. The combination resulted in a97-66 win over Elon. In the second game, a 98-57 triumph over VMI, Gillenstarted freshman Travis Watson at center instead of Ducharme. With thesame starting lineup (Dondon, Williams, T. Watson, Hand and Hall) in thethird game of the season against South Carolina, the Cavaliers suffered a73-71 setback. Gillen changed his starting lineup for the third timeagainst Providence and it resulted in an 80-64 victory. Hall, Williams andWatson remained in the starting lineup, but junior guard Keith Friel andfreshman guard Majestic Mapp started in place of Hand and Dondon. TheCavaliers used their fourth different starting combination against ArizonaState (Hall, Williams, Watson, Mapp and Hand) and came away with an 80-74victory.

Head Coach Pete Gillen
Pete Gillen is in his 15th season as a collegiate head coach andsports a 292-145 record. Gillen is in his second year as head coach atVirginia. He has led his teams to postseason play 11 times in 14 seasons(eight NCAA, three NIT). Gillen has been selected as the conference Coachof the Year five times – all while coaching Xavier (Midwestern CollegiateConference).

He successfully began his coaching career at Virginia with an 86-70win over Virginia Commonwealth on November 13, 1998.

Previous ACC Challenge
Virginia was the only ACC school to win all three games in theACC/Big East Challenge. In the ACC/Big East Challenge, UVa defeatedVillanova (73-65 in 1989-90), Pittsburgh (84-80 in 1990-91) and Georgetown(76-66 in overtime in 1991-92).

Nine Different Double Figure Scorers
In just five games in the 1999-2000 season, the Cavaliers have hadnine different players score in double figures. Virginia had only sevenplayers reach double figures in scoring last season. Senior guard/forwardWillie Dersch became the ninth Cavalier to score in double figures in the1999-2000 season when he tallied 10 points against Arizona State in thePuerto Rico Shootout on November 27. The other double figure scorers thisseason are: (only first double digit performance is listed) sophomoreguard Adam Hall (12 vs. VMI), junior guard Donald Hand (18 vs. Elon),freshman guard Majestic Mapp (10 vs. Elon), freshman guard Roger Mason (10vs. Elon), freshman forward/center Travis Watson (15 vs. Elon), sophomoreforward Chris Williams (16 vs. Elon), junior guard Keith Friel (14 vs.South Carolina), and junior center Colin Ducharme (10 vs. South Carolina).

Cavaliers Finish Fifth in Puerto Rico Shootout
After dropping its first round game in the Puerto Rico Shootout toSouth Carolina 73-71 on November 25, UVa won its next two games to finishfifth in the tournament. The Cavaliers defeated Providence 80-64 onNovember 26, and then posted an 80-74 victory over Arizona State in thefifth place game on November 27.

Junior guard Donald Hand was named to the All-Tournament team afteraveraging 19.3 points in the three contests. He was 20 of 28 (71.4 percent)from the free throw line, including a 14 of 17 effort against Providence.Hand scored a season high 26 points in the win over the Friars.

No Three-Pointers
Virginia held Arizona State without a three-point field goal onSaturday, marking the sixth time since the inception of the three-pointfield goal in the 1986-87 season that UVa has accomplished the feat.Interestingly, two of the five previous games that Virginia held opponent’swithout a three-pointer came last season in a span of eight days (Loyola0-7 on 12/30/98 and Maryland 0-7 on 1/7/99).

Travis Watson Continues to Shine
Freshman forward/center Travis Watson has gotten his collegiatecareer off to a solid start. He leads the Cavaliers in rebounding(9.8/game) and blocked shots (7). Watson is also second on the team inscoring at 12.2 points per game. He is shooting an outstanding 60.0percent (24-40) from the field. Watson is fourth on the team in stealswith eight as well. He has a pair of “double doubles” to his credit aswell (vs. Elon and Providence).

Watson’s six-for-six effort from the field against South Carolinatied for Virginia’s fifth best perfect shooting game from the field of alltime. It is the 11th time that a player has made all six attempts from thefield. Prior to Watson, the last UVa player to make every attempt (minimumof five) from the floor was Kenny Turner, who tied the school record with anine-for-nine effort against Samford on 11/28/89. Jeff Jones (vs.Alabama-Birmingham 3/18/82) also shares the school record with Turner.

Only Two in Double Figure Scoring
The Cavaliers had only two players score in double figures againstProvidence, marking the first time this season that Virginia has not had atleast three players score in double figures in a game. Last season,Virginia failed to have at least three players score in double figures fourtimes, but only won one of those contests (a 65-58 win over Clemson onJanuary 17, 1999).

Back-to-Back 90 Point Games
The Cavaliers scored over 90 points in back-to-back games to openthe year for the first time since the 1975-76 season. Virginia began the1999-2000 season with a 97-66 win over Elon, then defeated VMI 98-57. Thelast time the Cavaliers scored that many points in the first two games of aseason was in 1975-76 when they posted 113-65 and 101-57 victories overHampden-Sydney and Washington & Lee, respectively.

The combined margin of victory over Elon and VMI (72 points) is thelargest in the first two games of a season since 1975-76 when UVa won by 92points.

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.

Double Double in Debut
Freshman forward Travis Watson became only the third freshman in Virginiahistory since the restoration of freshman eligibility in 1972-73 to recorda “double double” in the first game of his career. Oddly enough, it isalso the second straight year that it has happened.

Watson totaled 15 points and 14 rebounds in only 19 minutes in the seasonopener against Elon on Friday night. He earned his first career startagainst VMI on Sunday and totaled 16 points (7 of 9 FGs, 2-2 FTs), sevenrebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and two steals in 25 minutes ofaction.

Current sophomore Chris Williams opened his UVa career with a 20-point,10-rebound “double double” against Virginia Commonwealth last season.The first player to record a double double in his first game was ScottJohnson, who scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in 27 minutes in the1995-96 season opener against Tennessee-Martin.

The performances of several notable Cavaliers in their college debuts arelisted below.

Who? Opp./Yr. Pts. Rebs.
Junior Burrough W&M 91-92 17 6
Bryant Stith Dartmouth 88-89 12 6
Olden Polynice Lafayette 83-84 8 5
Ralph Sampson Johns Hopkins 79-80 17 8
Jeff Lamp James Madison 77-78 24 3
Marc Iavaroni W&L 74-75 14 9
Wally Walker WFU 72-73 7 3

Ducharme Eighth on Blocked Shot List
Junior center Colin Ducharme is currently eighth on Virginia’sall-time blocked shot list with 78. He needs five more blocks to move pastTed 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.

Spreading the Minutes Around
True to his word, head coach Pete Gillen is going deep into hisbench in 1999-2000. After the first five games of the season, Virginia has10 players averaging double figures in minutes. Sophomore forward ChrisWilliams is the only player averaging more than 30 minutes per game (30.4).

Only three other players, junior guard Donald Hand (28.4),sophomore guard Adam Hall (24.6) and freshman forward/center Travis Watson(24.4), are averaging more than 20 minutes per contest. The other playersaveraging double figure minutes are: freshman guard Majestic Mapp (17.6),freshman guard Roger Mason (16.8), senior forward Willie Dersch (12.8),junior guard Keith Friel (14.0), junior forward Stephane Dondon (11.2), andjunior center Colin Ducharme (10.0).

Not so “Free” Throws
After leading the ACC in free throw percentage (.734) for the firsttime since 1979 last season, the Cavaliers have struggled from the freethrow in the early portion of the 1999-2000 campaign.

Through the first five games of the season, UVa has shot 64.3percent (110-171) from the free throw line. The only time this season theCavaliers shot better than 65 percent from the free throw line was againstProvidence on November 26 (26-32 for 81.3 percent).

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Print Friendly Version