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Nov. 15, 2001

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Virginia concluded the exhibition portion of its schedule with a 98-69 victory over the Los Angeles Stars November 11 at University Hall. UVa finished the 2000-2001 season with a 20-9 overall record and a 9-7 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Pete Gillen’s third year as Virginia’s head coach. The Wagner College Seahawks finished the 2000-2001 season with a 16-13 overall record and an 11-9 mark in the Northeast Conference.

Cavaliers Open Season Tonight
Virginia begins the 2001-2002 season, its 97th overall and fourth under head coach Pete Gillen, on Friday, November 16, when the Cavaliers host Wagner College at 7:30 p.m. in University Hall.

UVa is 76-20 (.792) all-time in season openers. The Cavaliers have won three consecutive and 12 of their last 14 season openers dating back to 1987-88. Virginia’s last loss in a season opener was in 1997-98 when it dropped an 83-79 double overtime decision at Richmond.

The Cavaliers have won their last four season openers at University Hall. Last season, UVa defeated Long Island 96-50 in the opener at U-Hall. Virginia also posted a 97-66 win over Elon in its home opener in 1999-2000. In 1995-96, the Cavaliers posted an 84-65 victory over Tennessee-Martin and in 1994-95, Virginia registered an 83-80 win over Old Dominion. UVa’s last loss in a home opener was a 77-36 setback to Connecticut in the 1993-94 season.

The Series vs. Wagner College
Tonight’s game is just Virginia’s third meeting against Wagner. UVa won the first two meetings of the series. In the initial meeting on February 5, 1981, the Cavaliers defeated Wagner 76-69 at Madison Square Garden. On January 14, 1982, UVa posted a 99-67 victory over Wagner at University Hall.

Virginia vs. the Northeast Conference
Virginia is 5-0 all-time against teams that were members of the Northeast Conference (formerly the ECAC Metro from 1982-88) when they played the Cavaliers. All five wins have come at home in University Hall. UVa is 2-0 against Long Island University, and 1-0 against Fairleigh Dickinson, Loyola (Md.) and Wagner (the Seahawks were not a member of the Northeast Conference when they played UVa for the first time in 1981).

Non-Conference Teams at University Hall
Virginia is 186-28 (.869) all-time in U-Hall against non-conference opponents since the building opened for the 1965-66 season. The Cavaliers have won 68 of their last 77 home games against non-conference opponents dating back to the 1989-90 season.

Head Coach Pete Gillen
Pete Gillen is in his 17th season as a collegiate head coach and sports a 327-165 record for a .665 winning percentage. Gillen is entering his fourth season at Virginia and has posted a 53-37 record (.589 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 13 times in 16 seasons (nine NCAA, four NIT). He has been selected as the conference Coach of the Year five times – all while coaching Xavier (Midwestern Collegiate Conference).

Gillen has compiled a 14-2 record in season openers in his career as a collegiate head coach, winning his last 11 openers. Gillen is 3-0 in season-openers at UVa. He successfully began his coaching career at Virginia with an 86-70 win over VCU on November 13 to start the 1998-99 campaign and coached the team to a 97-66 victory over Elon College to open the 1999-00 season. Last season, Gillen’s Cavaliers registered a 96-50 victory over Long Island. He was 7-2 at Xavier (1986-94) and 4-0 at Providence (1995-98) in season openers.

Cavalier Captains
Seniors Adam Hall and Chris Williams, and junior Roger Mason, Jr., have been elected captains of the 2001-02 Virginia basketball team by their teammates. Williams was one of the team’s tri-captains last season.

Virginia Returns to Postseason Play
The University of Virginia men’s basketball team received an invitation to the NCAA Tournament following the 2000-01 regular season. UVa lost to Gonzaga 86-85 in the first round of the 2001 NCAA South Region Tournament. The game marked the Cavaliers first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1997. It was also UVa’s second consecutive postseason appearance as the Cavaliers received a bid to the 2000 National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Virginia lost to Georgetown 115-111 in triple overtime in the first round of the NIT.

Pre-Season Prognostications
The Virginia men’s basketball team is ranked among the top teams in the nation in several preseason rankings.

UVa is ranked 11th in the USAToday/ESPN and Associated Press polls, as well as by both The Sporting News and Street and Smith’s. The Cavaliers are ranked 13th by Basketball News, Dick Vitale and Sports Illustrated. UVa is also ranked 16th by Slam magazine and

AP Ranking
Virginia’s ranking of 11th in the preseason Associated Press poll is its highest preseason AP ranking since the 1982-83 season when the Cavaliers were ranked number one in the nation. It is just the seventh time since the 1982-83 season UVa has been ranked in the AP’s preseason poll. Prior to the 1995-96 season, the Cavaliers were ranked 19th and were 14th in 1994-95. Virginia was 16th in the 1993-94 season, 18th in 1990-91, and 24th prior to last season.

Here’s a look at Virginia’s ranking in the AP and ESPN/USAToday polls:

Date           AP      USAToday/ESPNPreseason     11th        11thNov. 12	     No Poll      11th

Cavaliers Welcome Seven Newcomers
Look for several new faces around the Cavaliers this season as the team welcomes five first-years and two transfer students to the program. Joining the nine returning lettermen from last season are first-years Elton Brown, Jason Clark, Bret Gladstone, Jermaine Harper, and Keith Jenifer. Also coming to the program are transfer students Todd Billet and Nick Vander Laan, who will not play in games this season.

Brown is a 6-9 forward from Warwick High School in Newport News, Va. A three-time team MVP and runner-up for the McDonald’s All-American team, Brown set a school record at Warwick with a total of 1,850 career points.

Clark is a 6-8 forward out of Hargrave Military Academy. He is originally from Virginia Beach, Va. In his final year at Hargrave he averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks a game in leading the team to a 27-1 record.

Gladstone is a 6-1 guard from Greenwich, Conn. He earned five varsity letters at the Brunswick School. Gladstone graduated as the school’s all-time leading scorer and the third-leading scorer in state history with 2,468 points.

Harper, who is from Gardena, Calif., is a 6-3 guard who played at the Blue Ridge School the last three years. He was named the 2001 Central Virginia Player-of-the-Year by the Charlottesville Daily Progress after averaging 21.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals a game his senior season.

Jenifer is a 6-3 guard who played at Hargrave Military Academy last season. He is from Baltimore, Md., and played four years at Towson Catholic High School in Baltimore before attending Hargrave last year. At Towson Catholic he was named first-team All-State and garnered several other awards following his senior season.

Billet is a 6-0 guard from Middletown, N.J. He started all 58 games for Rutgers the last two seasons and averaged 14.6 points per game. He is a three-point specialist who established the Rutgers’ school record for three-pointers in a season with 82 and tied the single-game record when he made eight three-pointers against Lafayette during the 2000-01 season.

Vander Laan is a 6-10 center from Sacramento, Calif. He transferred to Virginia from California-Berkeley where he averaged 7.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in two seasons. He was voted honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman following the 1999-2000 season.

Four Starters Return for 2001-2002
Four the second consecutive season, the Cavaliers return four starters –Roger Mason, Jr., Chris Williams, Adam Hall, and Travis Watson. Those four players are the only players on the team that have started a game at UVa. Last season, Mason, Williams, Hall and Watson combined for:
64.0 percent (724 of 1131) of the team’s rebounds
63.3 percent (140 of 221) of the team’s steals
61.9 percent (1526 of 2464) of the team’s points
58.8 percent (3373 of 5800) of the team’s minutes
45.2 percent (190 of 420) of the team’s assists

At Home in University Hall
Virginia went 14-1 overall at home during the 2000-01 season and has gone 25-4 at University Hall over the past two seasons. UVa had the best home winning percentage (.933) in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season. The Cavaliers won seven of eight games at home against conference opponents, joining North Carolina as the only other team in the ACC to lose just one conference game at home last season. Over the past two seasons Virginia has gone 13-3 at home against ACC opponents, which ties the Cavaliers with Duke over that span.

Success Outside of Conference
Virginia went a perfect 11-0 against non-conference opponents during the 2000-01 regular season. This mark included wins against Purdue, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri and Virginia Tech. The last time Virginia went undefeated in non-conference regular season play was in 1981-82 when the Cavaliers won all 15 of their regular season non-conference games and finished 30-4 overall.

This season UVa plays 12 games against non-conference foes, including games against Auburn, Georgetown, Michigan State, Missouri, Rutgers and Virginia Tech.

UVa Completes Exhibition Season with 98-69 Victory
The Cavaliers concluded the exhibition portion of the 2001-02 season with a 98-69 victory over the L.A. Stars November 11 at University Hall.

Senior forward Chris Williams led all players with 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Junior guard Roger Mason, Jr., went a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line, as he added 20 points for the Cavaliers. Other Virginia players to score in double figures included junior forward/center Travis Watson, and freshmen Jermaine Harper and Elton Brown. Watson scored 14 points on 6-9 (.666) shooting from the field and pulled down seven rebounds. Harper started the game for Virginia and scored 10 points, while making both of his three-point attempts. Brown came off the bench to contribute 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Three players scored in double figures for L.A., led by Jelani Janisee and Byron Wilson, who scored 11 points apiece. Derrick Anderson scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds for the Stars. Janisee also had eight rebounds and six assists in the losing effort.

Virginia never trailed in the contest as Mason opened the game with a three-pointer. Mason’s two free throws with five seconds remaining in the first half gave the Cavaliers a 26-point lead (50-24) at the break. Late in the second half UVa took its largest lead of the contest as Harper a hit three-pointer to give Virginia a 34-point lead (93-59) with 2:37 remaining in the game. The Cavaliers outrebounded the Stars 58-37 and forced 17 turnovers. UVa outshot L.A. 43.4 percent (36-83) to 33.3 percent (23-69).

Cavaliers Open Exhibition Season with 82-70 Win
Virginia began the exhibition portion of its 2001-02 season with an 82-70 victory over the Nantucket Nectars November 2 at University Hall.

Junior forward/center Travis Watson led all scorers with 24 points on 12-15 shooting from the field. Watson also pulled down 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers and added three blocked shots. Senior forward Chris Williams also recorded a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Williams also led all players with six assists. Joining Watson and Williams in double figures were junior guard Roger Mason, Jr., and sophomore forward J.C. Mathis. Mason scored 14 points and added four assists, while Mathis registered 10 points and six rebounds.

Tim Fudd led the Nectars with 23 points and eight rebounds. Nii Nelson Richards contributed 14 points. The Cavaliers shot 50 percent from the field (36-72) while holding the Nectars to 38.5 percent (25-65). The Nectars shot 44 percent from behind the arc (11-25). Virginia also outrebounded the Nectars by a 48-30 margin. UVa only trailed once in the game, after Fudd scored the first basket of the contest to give the Nectars a 2-0 lead 14 seconds into the game. The Cavaliers took the lead for good on a field goal by freshman forward Elton Brown with 14:16 remaining in the first half that gave UVa a 16-14 lead. Virginia stretched its lead to as many as 14 points (41-27) in the first half before taking a 43-31 halftime advantage.

Half of Games against Tournament Teams
Of Virginia’s 28 regular-season games before the 2002 ACC Tournament, 14 are against nine teams that participated in either the 2001 NCAA Tournament or the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Five of the games are against three of last year’s Final Four teams, with two games against Duke, two against Maryland, and one game against Michigan State. In addition to those games, Virginia plays Georgetown, a team that made it to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen, and three games against teams that advanced to the tournament’s second round (North Carolina twice and Missouri). UVa’s other games against 2001 NCAA Tournament participants are versus Georgia Tech (twice) and Wake Forest (twice). Virginia also takes on Auburn, a team that advanced to the second round of last season’s NIT.

Mapp Out
Sophomore guard Majestic Mapp will miss the 2001-02 season because of another operation on his injured right knee. Mapp also missed the 2000-01 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee and undergoing surgery in late August 2000. He injured the knee while playing basketball at St. Raymond’s High School, his alma mater, on August 2, 2000.

Mapp was second on the team in assists in 1999-2000 (2.2 apg) and ranked fourth among all Atlantic Coast Conference freshmen in that category. He averaged 5.3 points a game and was named to the ACC Honor Roll for his academic work and athletic participation.

Mason Competes at World University Games
Junior Roger Mason, Jr., looks to bring his experiences from a busy off-season to the court for Virginia during the 2001-02 season. The 6-5 guard competed on the 2001 USA Basketball World University Games Team and helped lead the team to a bronze medal. Mason scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds in the bronze medal game against Germany. He started all eight games for the U.S. squad and averaged 13.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Mason is also among the Top 50 Preseason Candidates for the 2001-02 Wooden Award All-America Basketball Team. The Top 50 candidates were selected in a national poll conducted of The John R. Wooden Award Preseason Committee.

His selections to the USA Basketball World University Games Team and the Top 50 Preseason Candidates for the 2001-02 Wooden Award All-America Basketball Team follow a superb sophomore season for Mason. During the 2000-01 season he led the Cavaliers and was sixth in the ACC in scoring with an average of 15.7 points per game. He also established a UVa record and led the ACC last season by making 88.4 percent (122-138) of his free throw attempts. Mason earned third-team All-ACC honors and was co-recipient of UVa’s Bill Gibson Cavalier of the Year Award.

Watson Rebounds
Junior forward/center Travis Watson has put up some impressive rebounding numbers the last two seasons. During the 2000-01 season he joined Ralph Sampson as the only players in Virginia basketball history to collect 500 or more rebounds in their first two varsity seasons.

Watson is the ACC’s top returning rebounder after ranking second in the conference (9.1 rpg) last season. He also ranks second in the conference in career double-doubles (21) among active players.

Watson earned second-team All-ACC recognition and was co-recipient of UVa’s Bill Gibson Cavalier of the Year Award last season.

Schedule Change
There is one date change on Virginia’s 2001-02 men’s basketball schedule. UVa’s game with Florida State in Charlottesville, previously scheduled for January 19, will be played on January 20 at 4:00 p.m.

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