Cavaliers Open ACC Schedule Against Miami At Home On Saturday
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team opens the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of its 2011-12 schedule on Saturday (Jan. 7) when the Cavaliers host Miami at 6 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena.
UVa takes an 11-game winning streak and a record of 13-1 into the game with the Hurricanes. Miami, coached by former Virginia assistant coach Jim Larranaga, is 9-4 on the season and has won its last four games. In this week’s national rankings, the Cavaliers are No. 21 in The Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
Virginia’s 13-1 start to the 2011-12 season is its best since going 27-1 to open the 1981-82 season when Larranaga was an assistant on Terry Holland’s staff. The Cavaliers’ 11-game winning streak is their longest since the 1992-93 season.
UVa has won its last nine home games, including eight this season. It’s the second longest winning streak for the Cavaliers at JPJA.
Single-game tickets for Virginia’s game with Miami are available and can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com/tickets. Tickets may also be purchased on game day at the JPJA box office starting at 4:30 p.m.
An autograph session with Virginia players will be held for fans in attendance after the game.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. It will also be televised by ESPNU and carried on ESPN3.
Virginia is coming off a 57-52 win at LSU on Monday (Jan. 2). Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski, sophomore guard Joe Harris and senior forward Mike Scott combined for 43 points and 16 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Zeglinski scored 17 points to lead Virginia, while Harris had 14 points and five rebounds and Scott 12 points and nine rebounds. The victory concluded UVa’s non-conference regular-season play and was the Cavaliers first win at an SEC school.
Dating back to last season, Virginia has now won five consecutive true road games for the first time since winning five straight road games from the end of the 1991-92 season to the start of the 1992-93 season.
The Cavaliers have held 13 of their 14 opponents this season under 60 points and are ranked second in the nation in scoring defense at 50.4 points a game as of Jan. 5. UVa is ranked 23rd nationally in field goal percentage defense (38.2 percent).
In ACC rankings through Jan. 6, Virginia ranks first in scoring defense, rebounding defense (27.1), turnover margin (+2.1), and defensive rebounding percentage (.769), second in three-point field goal percentage defense (.268), third in free throw percentage (.732), rebounding margin (+6.9) and assist/turnover ratio (1.1), and tied for third in steals (7.1).
Scott is one of three UVa players averaging in double figures in scoring. He is averaging 16.0 points and 9.0 rebounds a game to lead the team in both departments. Scott is shooting 61.9 percent (78-126) from the field and 80.2 percent (65-81) from the free-throw line. He is ranked first among ACC players in field goal percentage, fourth in rebounding, fifth in scoring and seventh in free throw percentage.
Harris is averaging 13.0 points and 3.9 rebounds a game for the Cavaliers. He is shooting 84.0 percent (42-50) from the free-throw line. Harris ranks sixth among ACC players in free throw percentage and tied for 13th in scoring.
Zeglinski is now averaging 10.3 points a game and is shooting 43.3 percent (29-67) from three-point range. He has scored in double figures in six of the last eight games. Zeglinski is second among ACC players in three-point field goal percentage and steals (1.8 spg.), and third in three-point field goals made (2.4 pg.).
Three other Virginia players are averaging between 6.9 and 5.2 points a game, including freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon (6.9), junior guard Jontel Evans (6.0) and senior center Assane Sene (5.2).
Evans leads the team in assists with 48 and ranks seventh among ACC players in that department with an average of 3.4 a game. He ranks fifth among conference players in steals with an average of 1.7 steals a game.
Miami leads the series with Virginia 9-4 and the Hurricanes have won the last three games, including two overtime victories over the Cavaliers last season. The teams have split six games in Charlottesville and UVa has won two of the three games at John Paul Jones Arena.
The Hurricanes are led in scoring by guards Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott. Grant, a senior, is averaging 14.5 points a game, while Scott, a junior, is averaging 13.3 points a game and leads the team in assists with 46 (3.5 apg.).
Also averaging in double figures in scoring for Miami are junior center Reggie Johnson (10.8 ppg.) and sophomore forward/center Kenny Kadji (10.6 ppg.). Johnson, who is also averaging 6.5 rebounds a game, has played in only four games after returning from an injury. Kadji is averaging 5.3 rebounds a game.
Larranaga is in his first year as head coach at Miami after 14 years as the head coach at George Mason. His George Mason teams compiled an overall record of 273-164, competed in the NCAA Tournament five times and in the NIT three times. George Mason reached the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four in 2006. Larranaga was also the head coach at Bowling Green (11 years, three NIT appearances) and American International (two years). Now in his 28th year as a collegiate head coach, his teams have compiled an overall record of 479-338.
After the game with Miami, the Cavaliers return to action on Thursday (Jan. 12) at Duke. That game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.