Virginia Men's Basketball Weekly Release
Feb. 6, 2001
#6 / #9 Virginia (16-4, 5-4 ACC)
N.C. State (10-10, 2-6 ACC)
February 7, 2001 – 7:00 p.m.
Entertainment and Sports Arena
The Series vs. N.C. State
N.C. State leads the overall series with Virginia 69-49, but the Cavaliers have won 15 of 20 contests in the last 10 seasons. Since 1980, the Cavaliers are 32-15 in all games against the Wolfpack.
The Cavaliers won the initial meeting of the 2000-2001 season 88-81 (Jan. 6) in Charlottesville. The two teams have split the regular season series the last three seasons. The last time UVa swept the season series was in the 1996-97 season. N.C. State hasn’t swept the season series in more than a decade – since winning both match-ups (by a combined seven points) in 1988. Virginia has swept the season series six times since then.
The Cavaliers have not found their trips to N.C. State very hospitable over the years, as they have won only 16 of 51 games all-time against the Wolfpack in Raleigh. UVa lost its initial meeting at the Entertainment and Sports Arena last year 65-62 (Jan. 12). Virginia was only 15-30 all-time in Reynolds Coliseum (including games in the ACC Tournament) against the Wolfpack.
The first 13 ACC Tournaments (1954-66) were held at Reynolds Coliseum and UVa was 2-13 in those games, including an 0-3 mark against State.
The Cavaliers have had better luck against the Wolfpack in recent years, particularly in the last 21 years. Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Cavaliers are 32-15 in all games against the Wolfpack. In games in Raleigh since 1979-80, UVa is 11-9, which includes five wins in the last nine contests.
Cavaliers and Wolfpack Battle to the Wire
The history of the series between these two schools since the late 1970s has been one marked by many closely contested games. Since 1978, 37 of the 52 games have been decided by less than 10 points. UVa is 26-11 (.703) in those games.
Virginia’s last eight wins (going back six seasons) over the Wolfpack have been by a combined 40 points (5.0/g).
Since 1978, four games have been decided by one point, five by two points, six by three points, three by four points and three by five points.
It’s curious to note in the long history of the series going back to the first meeting 88 years ago that only three games have gone to overtime. Virginia has been victorious in all three overtime contests. UVa won the first overtime game 81-73 in 1977-78 and won 84-82 in double overtime in 1995-96. In the most recent overtime affair, the Cavaliers won 82-79 in 1998-99. During one stretch (1985-1988) nine consecutive games were decided by nine points or less.
In a bit of an aberration, four of the last five N.C. State wins in the series have been by double digits – 67-54 in 1994, 74-55 in 1998, 82-72 in 1999 and 76-65 in 2000. The exception was a 65-62 Wolfpack win last season (Jan. 12, 2000).
Earlier This Season vs. N.C. State
In the first meeting of the season against N.C. State, Virginia erased an 11-point second half deficit and overcame 61.2 percent field goal shooting by the Wolfpack to post an 88-81 victory (Jan. 6) at University Hall.
Sophomore guard Roger Mason, Jr., led the Cavaliers with a game-high 26 points, while junior forward Chris Williams overcame significant foul trouble and scored all 17 of his points in the second half. He also pulled down seven rebounds in the contest. Sophomore forward/center Travis Watson notched his fifth double-double of the season with 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. He also added two blocked shots and two steals. Junior forward/guard Adam Hall contributed 12 points, five rebounds and three assists.
The Cavaliers trailed by 11 points, 55-44, with 15:54 to play, but eventually came back to knot the contest at 73-73 with 3:34 left on a Mason three-point field goal. Mason’s three-pointer was part of an 18-2 UVa run that gave the Cavaliers their biggest lead of the game, 85-75.
N.C. State shot 61.2 percent (30-49) from the field in the game, but was only 15-24 from the free throw line. Virginia made the most of its opportunities from the foul line as it connected on 31 of 35 attempts (88.6 percent). UVa held a 31-24 edge in rebounds, including a 14-5 advantage on the offensive glass. Anthony Grundy led the Wolfpack with 17 points.
Head Coach Pete Gillen
Pete Gillen is in his 16th season as a collegiate head coach and sports a 323-160 record for a .669 winning percentage. Gillen is in his third season at Virginia and has posted a 49-32 record (.605 winning percentage). Gillen won the 300th game of his career when Virginia defeated then 21st-ranked North Carolina 87-85 on January 18, 2000 at University Hall.
Gillen has led his teams to postseason play 12 times in 15 seasons (eight NCAA, four NIT). He has been selected as the conference Coach of the Year five times – all while coaching Xavier (Midwestern Collegiate Conference).
Undefeated in Non-Conference Action
The Cavaliers won all 11 of their non-conference games this season, marking the first time since the 1981-82 season Virginia has gone undefeated in non-conference regular season play. In the 1981-82 season, UVa won all 15 of its regular season non-conference games and was 30-4 overall (12-2 in the ACC).
Virginia began the 2000-2001 season with 10 consecutive wins before falling to Wake Forest (Jan. 2), marking its best start since the 1992-93 campaign. The 1992-93 team started the season with an 11-0 record. The 10 straight wins to start this season marked the eighth time in the 96-year history of the men’s basketball program UVa won 10 games to start a season.
The Cavaliers now stand at 16-4 on the season.
The 1999-2000 Season
Virginia finished the 1999-2000 season with a 19-12 overall record and a 9-7 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavs advanced to postseason play for the first time since receiving a bid to the 1997 NCAA Tournament, but fell to Georgetown in the first round of the 2000 National Invitation Tournament 115-111 in triple overtime.
A Top Five Win
The Cavaliers’ 107-89 win over fourth-ranked Tennessee (Dec. 19) at the Jimmy V Classic marked the first time since the 1995 season that Virginia defeated a top-five ranked team. UVa’s last win against a top five team prior to the Tennessee victory was a 67-58 win over Kansas in the Sweet 16 of the 1995 NCAA Tournament on March 24 in Kansas City, Mo. The Jayhawks were ranked fourth in the AP poll and fifth in the USAToday/ESPN poll at the time.
The 1994-95 season was also the last time Virginia defeated two top five teams in the same season. The Cavaliers’ first top five win of the 1994-95 season was against second-ranked North Carolina (73-71) on February 19 in Charlottesville. UVa beat Kansas in the NCAA Tournament for its second top five win of the year.
The last time Virginia defeated a top five team on the road was on January 17, 1993 when UVa defeated third-ranked Duke 77-69 in Durham, N.C.
Three Consecutive ACC Victories
The Cavaliers have posted three consecutive ACC wins (Clemson – Jan. 27, Maryland – Jan. 31 and Wake Forest – Feb. 3), which is one victory shy of matching UVa’s longest conference winning streak from last season. In 1999-00, UVa posted consecutive ACC wins over Clemson (Jan. 15), North Carolina (Jan. 18), Florida State (Jan. 26) and Wake Forest (Jan. 30).
The last time Virginia won at least five consecutive ACC games was in the 1994-95 season when they posted six straight conference wins. That season, the Cavaliers defeated Florida State, N.C. State, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina and Georgia Tech for their six straight ACC wins.
It Won’t Get Any Easier
The Cavaliers have already played four top 16 teams in conference play (and are 2-3), but still have three more ACC games against top 13 competition of which two are against top three teams. The good news, if there is any, is that Virginia played three of its top 16 conference matchups on the road and two of the three top 13 games that remain will be played at University Hall where the Cavaliers are 11-1 this season.
A Rare Feat
Senior guard Donald Hand has recorded 1,384 points, 363 rebounds, 485 assists and 166 steals in his career. Hand is just the third UVa player with at least 1,000 points, 300 rebounds, 400 assists and 150 steals in a career. The other two UVa players to accomplish the feat are Othell Wilson (1981-84) – 1,469 points, 375 rebounds, 493 assists and 222 steals, and Harold Deane (1994-97) – 1,763 points, 440 rebounds, 468 assists and 179 steals.
Scoring Lots of Points
The Cavaliers are having an excellent season offensively. Through the first 20 games of the season, UVa is averaging 88.8 points per game which is second among all Atlantic Coast Conference schools and fourth in the nation (as of Jan. 29). The school record for the highest scoring average is 89.8 points per game in the 1954-55 season.
UVa is also shooting 46.6 percent (604-1296) from the floor this season. The last time Virginia shot better than 46.6 percent from the field in a season was in the 1986-87 season when it shot 49.6 percent (888-1789) from the floor. The last time UVa shot 50 percent from the field in a season was in the 1985-86 season when the Cavaliers connected on 50.1 percent (838-1672) from the floor.
Thirteen of the Cavaliers 16 wins this season have been by 16 points or more. Ten of the 16 wins have been by 19 or more points. UVa’s seven-point win (88-81) over N.C. State (Jan. 6) is its smallest margin of victory this season. Virginia is outscoring its opponents in its wins by 24.1 points per game (93.4 to 69.3). Overall, UVa is outscoring its opponents by 15.4 points per game (88.8 to 73.4).
One of the reasons for Virginia’s success is its ability to build big leads. In 11 of Virginia’s wins this season, it built leads of 20 or more points. In two Cavalier victories (VMI – Dec. 4 and UMBC – Dec. 23), they led by at least 18 points. In its wins over Missouri (Jan. 20) and Wake Forest (Feb. 3), Virginia led by as many as 15 points. UVa’s smallest lead in a win was 10 points (N.C. State – Jan. 6).
The exact opposite is true in UVa’s four losses this season. The Cavaliers’ biggest lead in a loss is five points (Georgia Tech – Jan. 9 and North Carolina – Jan. 24). In its loss to Wake Forest (Jan. 2), Virginia’s largest lead was two points. UVa never led in its loss to Duke (Jan. 13).
Virginia turned in three of its best long range shooting performances of the season recently. Against Florida State (Jan. 16), the Cavaliers converted 11 of 23 three-point attempts (47.8 percent) with the 11 threes setting a season high at the time. Against Clemson (Jan. 27), UVa made a season-best 12 three-point field goals on 24 attempts (50 percent). In their win over Maryland (Jan. 31), the Cavaliers made 10 of 20 three-point attempts (50 percent).Being Outshot
Virginia got off to a great start shooting the basketball this season, but has managed to shoot 50 percent only three times in its last 10 games. UVa’s opponents have reached 50 percent shooting six times this year and five times in the last 10 games. On the season, UVa is outshooting it opponents 46.6 percent to 45.5 percent in all games, but the Cavaliers are being outshot 50.3 percent to 44.1 percent in ACC contests.
Getting Better on Defense
The Cavaliers got off to a slow start in ACC play as they won only one of their first four and two of six conference contests. Virginia has won its last three ACC games and much of the Cavaliers recent success can be attributed to better defense. In the first six ACC games, UVa’s opponents shot 55.1 percent from the field with five of the six teams shooting better than 50 percent. (N.C. State shot 61.2 percent – 30-49, but lost 88-81 – Jan. 6, while Georgia Tech defeated Virginia 73-68 – Jan. 9, but shot only 42.4 percent – 25-59.) In the last three ACC games (all UVa victories), the Cavaliers have not allowed their opponent to surpass the 50 percent mark. UVa’s opponent’s are shooting 41.8 percent (81-194) from the field in those three contests.
On the season, UVa’s ACC opponents are shooting 50.3 percent (270-537) from the field, down from the 55.1 percent the Cavaliers first six conference opponents shot this season.
Overcoming a Deficit
In addition to being able to build big leads, Virginia showed its ability to overcome a deficit in its 88-81 victory over N.C. State (Jan. 6). The Cavaliers trailed by 11 points (55-44) with 15:54 to go in the game, but outscored the Wolfpack 44-26 the rest of the way to earn an 88-81 victory.
50 Point Halves
Virginia has put together 14 50-plus point halves this season in 20 games (40 halves) – that translates to 35.0 percent of the halves in which UVa has reached 50 points. Last season, the Cavaliers only had seven 50-plus point halves in 31 games (62 halves) – or 11.3 percent.
Finally 50 Percent
After shooting 26.8 percent (19-71) from the field against Duke (Jan. 13), the Cavaliers more than doubled their shooting percentage against Florida State (Jan. 16). In the win over the Seminoles, UVa shot an impressive 55.7 percent (34-61) from the field – that’s an increase of 28.9 percent. UVa’s 55.7 percent performance also snapped a streak of four consecutive games Virginia shot under 50 percent. During that span, UVa was 88-246 (35.8 percent) from the field.
Against Clemson (Jan. 27), the Cavaliers shot 57.4 percent (39-68), marking the first time since February 14, 1998, UVa has shot better than 50 percent in an ACC contest on the road. In that game, UVa shot 52.2 percent (36-69) but lost to Georgia Tech 105-86 in Atlanta, Ga.
50 Percent in Back-to-Back ACC Games
In addition to shooting 57.4 percent (39-68) against Clemson (Jan. 27), the Cavaliers shot 52.9 percent (36-68) against Maryland (Jan. 31). It marked the first time in 11 years (almost to the day) that Virginia shot 50 percent or better in back-to-back ACC games. In the 1990-91 season, UVa shot 56.6 percent (43-76) in a 104-72 win over N.C. State (Jan. 29), and then shot exactly 50 percent (33-66) in an 83-80 win over Wake Forest (Feb. 2). Both games were played in Charlottesville.
The Cavaliers defeated both Clemson and Maryland by more than 20 points (UVa won at Clemson 104-76 – Jan. 27, and defeated Maryland 99-78 at University Hall – Jan. 31). The last time Virginia posted back-to-back 20-plus point ACC wins was in the 1993-94 season. In the 1993-94 season, the Cavaliers defeated Florida State 84-64 (Jan. 6, 1994) and then beat N.C. State 79-58 (Jan. 9, 1994). Both games were played in Charlottesville.
Second Half Shooting Surge
The Cavaliers are 5-1 in their last six games and a lot of that has to do with UVa’s shooting in the second half. In the last six games, Virginia shot 57.5 percent (107-186) in the second half and averaged 51 points. In three of the six games, UVa has shot better than 60 percent in the second half – Florida State (Jan. 16) – 64.5 percent (20-31), Clemson (Jan. 27) – 66.7 percent (22-33), and Maryland (Jan. 31) – 64.5 percent (20-31).
Conversely, in the first half of the last six games, UVa shot 39.9 percent (77-193) and averaged 39 points.
100 Points on the Road
Virginia scored 104 points in its victory over Clemson (Jan. 27) and it marked the first time since the 1982-83 season the Cavaliers reached the century mark in an ACC road game. The last time Virginia scored 100 points in an ACC away game was on March 2, 1983 when the Cavaliers defeated Wake Forest 107-74 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. (Greensboro Coliseum and Memorial Coliseum both served as home courts for the Deacs).
Virginia is 12 games over .500 through 20 games this season. It marks the first time since the 1994-95 season UVa has been 12 games over .500. In 1994-95, Virginia was 18-6 after 24 games.
Virginia has held three of its opponents to 50 points or less this season. UVa limited Virginia Tech to 48 points in its 64-48 victory (Nov. 24) for its season low. Virginia held Bucknell to 49 points in a 99-49 victory (Dec. 28) and Long Island University to 50 points in a 96-50 triumph (Nov. 17).
When UVa limited Virginia Tech to 48 points, it marked the fewest points the Cavaliers have allowed in a game under head coach Pete Gillen. The previous record for fewest points allowed in a game under Gillen was 50 by Dartmouth last season (Jan. 2, 2000) and Long Island University earlier this season (Nov. 17).
Prior to holding Virginia Tech to 48 points, UVa’s opponents were averaging 75.8 points per game during Gillen’s tenure. Virginia held the Hokies nearly 28 points below that average.
This season, UVa has held its first 20 opponents to an average of 73.4 points per game. Last year, the Cavaliers gave up 75.4 points per game.
Virginia’s offense was rolling in its victory over Coastal Carolina (Nov. 20). The Cavaliers lit up the scoreboard in the 117-78 victory with the 117 points tying for the fourth highest single game output in school history. UVa also scored 117 points against Baldwin-Wallace (117-83) in the 1972 season. The school record for points in a game is 128 vs. George Mason (128-98) in 1995. The second highest output is 124 points against Johns Hopkins (124-60) in the 1983 season, while the third highest point total is 118 vs. BYU-Hawaii (118-84) in the 1982 season.
The Cavaliers’ 117 points are the most the team has scored since a 115-111 triple overtime loss to Georgetown in last season’s NIT.
Virginia scored 70 points in the second half of its 117-78 victory over Coastal Carolina (Nov. 20), which is believed to be a school record for points in a half. The previous known high for points in a half was 69 in the second half of UVa’s 128-98 victory over George Mason on January 28, 1995. Virginia scored 67 points in the second half of a 124-60 win against Johns Hopkins on November 26, 1982.
Only One Steal
The Cavaliers had just one steal in their 96-73 loss at Wake Forest (Jan. 2). The last time UVa had only one steal in a game was against Duke on March 5, 1998. It wasn’t the fewest steals ever in a game against the Deacs, as UVa went without a steal against Wake Forest on January 4, 1998.
Junior forward Chris Williams has quietly been UVa’s most consistent player this season. Williams has reached double figures in scoring in the last 17 games and in 18 of 20 this season (the two games he failed to reach double figures in scoring, he had nine points). In addition to his scoring, Williams has also been a consistent rebounder. He has pulled down six or more rebounds in 15 of 20 contests. Williams registered double-doubles in consecutive contests (Missouri – Jan. 20 and North Carolina – Jan. 24).
On the season, Williams is leading the team in scoring with an average of 15.5 points per game (ninth in the ACC) and 16.7 points per game in ACC contests (eighth in the ACC). He is second on the team in rebounds with 6.4 per game. Williams leads the team in field goal percentage (minimum of five made field goals per game) at 53.7 percent (108-201) and is second in steals (29). Williams is also fifth in free throw percentage (78.7 percent, 70-89) and has made 58 of his last 71 free throws (81.7 percent).
The Shooting Touch
Junior forward Chris Williams is on a torrid shooting streak over the last four games. In his last four outings, Williams is shooting 64.7 percent (22-34) from the field, including an outstanding 69.2 percent (9-13) mark from beyond the three-point arc. Williams has also made 16 of 20 free throws for 80 percent. He is averaging 17.3 points per game during the four-game span.
Williams has been an excellent shooter throughout his career. He is shooting 51.6 percent (469-909) from the floor in his three years and is shooting a career-best 53.7 percent (108-201) this season.
Hand Equals Career High in Assists
Senior guard Donald Hand dished out 11 assists in the Cavaliers’ 117-78 win over Coastal Carolina (Nov. 20) to tie his career high. He also recorded 11 assists last season against Hampton (Dec. 10, 1999).
Getting Better With Age
Each year senior guard Donald Hand has increased his single season high in assists from 99 as a freshman in 1997-98 to 133 as a junior in 1999-2000. After only 20 games this season, Hand has already dished out 130 assists and is just four assists shy of setting a personal single season best. With 14 more assists, Hand will move into UVa’s top 10 for single season assists.
Hall Sets Rebounding Mark
Junior forward/guard Adam Hall grabbed 17 rebounds against Wake Forest (Feb. 3), including 11 in the second half. Hall’s 17 rebounds is not only a career best, but the most by a UVa player since Junior Burrough pulled down 19 rebounds against Florida State on February 4, 1995.
Hall’s previous career best was 12 rebounds against Clemson (Jan. 27) earlier this season. His 17 rebounds also ties for the second most by an ACC player this season. Over the last three games, Hall has pulled down 35 rebounds for an average of 11.7 per game.
Mathis Named ACC Rookie of the Week
Freshman forward J.C. Mathis has been selected as the ACC Co-Rookie of the Week for his play in UVa’s wins over ninth-ranked Maryland (99-78 – Jan. 31) and 16th-ranked Wake Forest (82-71 – Feb. 3). He shares the award with N.C. State’s Trey Guidry. Mathis, who played a career-high 22 minutes, played a crucial role in UVa’s win over Wake Forest (Feb. 3). He filled in very well for an injured Travis Watson, who missed the final six minutes of the first half and the first three minutes of the second half before returning to the game. Mathis scored a career-high eight points on three of four shooting from the field and two for two from the free throw line against Wake. His previous career high was seven points versus VMI (Dec. 4). Mathis also equalled his career high with four rebounds.
Overcoming Great Shooting
The Cavaliers defeated N.C. State (Jan. 6) 88-81 despite the Wolfpack shooting 61.2 percent (30-49) in the game. Virginia opponents shot better than 60 percent in a game 46 times through the years and UVa has won nine of those contests. The previous time Virginia defeated an opponent that shot 60 percent or better in a game was Missouri (64-62) on February 9, 1986. The Tigers shot exactly 60 percent (30-50) from the field in the game. The previous ACC opponent UVa defeated that shot 60 percent or better in a game was Clemson (77-70) on February 21, 1984. Clemson shot 67.5 percent (27-40) in the game.
Six Different Leading Scorers
Virginia has had six different players lead the team in scoring in games this season.
No Turnovers Times Two
In Virginia’s 88-81 loss to North Carolina (Jan. 24), senior guard Donald Hand did not commit a turnover while dishing out nine assists. It marks the second time this season Hand did not commit a turnover in a game and the fourth time in his career. In UVa’s 98-79 win over Purdue (Nov. 29), Hand handed out eight assists and did not commit a turnover. The other no turnover games came last season against Clemson (Jan. 15) – 5 assists, 0 turnovers, and Florida State (Jan. 26) – 3 assists, 0 turnovers.
Truly a Charity Stripe
Sophomore guard Roger Mason, Jr., has made the most of his free throw attempts this season. Mason made 45 consecutive free throw attempts before missing his third attempt against N.C. State (Jan. 6). Mason was just three free throws shy of equalling Jeff Lamp’s 1979-80 school record of 48 consecutive made free throws. On the season, Mason has made 89-101 (88.1 percent) free throw attempts, which is second in the ACC.
Against UMBC (Dec. 23), Mason made all 14 of his free throw attempts and his perfect effort tied the second best free throw performance by a UVa player in a game. Bryant Stith made all 14 of his free throws against Georgia Tech on January 21, 1990. Buzzy Wilkinson holds the school record with a perfect 17 for 17 effort against Washington & Lee on January 14, 1955. Mason’s 14-14 effort against UMBC ties for the fifth best performance in NCAA Division I this season.
With his 88.1 percent (89-101) accuracy from the free throw line this season, Mason is ahead of Jeff Lamp’s school record for free throw percentage in a single season. Lamp made 154-178 free throws for 86.5 percent in the 1980-81 season. Mason has made 152-178 free throws in his career for a mark of 85.4 percent, which surpasses Lamp’s UVa career free throw percentage of 84.9 percent (635-748).
Mason’s streak of 45 consecutive free throws made began against Purdue (Nov. 29) when he made his last four free throws (he was five for six in the game). Mason was two for two against VMI (Dec. 4), four for four versus Ohio (Dec. 6), and nine for nine against Tennessee (Dec. 19). He was 14-14 against UMBC (Dec. 23), before going three for three against Bucknell (Dec. 28). Against Dartmouth (Dec. 30), Mason was four for four from the line and he made three free throws versus Wake Forest (Jan. 2). He made his first two free throws against N.C. State (Jan. 6) before seeing his streak end at 45.
Mason Sets Career Highs
Sophomore guard Roger Mason, Jr., set career highs for points and assists in a game in UVa’s 117-78 win over Coastal Carolina (Nov. 20). Mason tallied 28 points on 10 of 14 shooting from the field.