Cavaliers Play At Duke Thursday Night
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team plays its first Atlantic Coast Conference road game of the 2011-12 season on Thursday (Jan. 12) when the Cavaliers travel to Durham, N.C., to meet Duke.
UVa enters the game with an overall record of 14-1 and a 1-0 record in the ACC after opening conference play with a 52-51 victory over Miami at John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday (Jan. 7). The Cavaliers, who have won 12 consecutive games, are ranked 16th in this week’s Associated Press poll and 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
Duke is 13-2 on the season and 1-0 in the ACC after an 81-74 win at Georgia Tech on Saturday (Jan. 7). The Blue Devils are ranked eighth in The Associated Press poll and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
Thursday’s game is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. The game will also be televised by ESPN and carried on ESPN3.
Virginia’s 12-game winning streak is it’s longest since a 15-game winning streak in 1981-82. The Cavaliers’ 14-1 record is their best start to a season since going 27-1 to open the 1981-82 season.
Dating back to last season, UVa has won five consecutive true road games. It’s the Cavaliers longest road-winning streak since winning five straight road games from the end of 1991-92 to the start of 1992-93.
UVa senior forward Mike Scott was named the ACC Player of the Week for the third time this season after scoring 23 points and grabbing eight rebounds to lead the Cavaliers to their victory over Miami. He is just the fifth Virginia player to earn ACC Player of the Week honors three times in one season.
The victory over Miami marked the fourth consecutive season Virginia has won its conference opener.
Scott is averaging 16.5 points and 8.9 rebounds a game to lead Virginia in both departments. He is shooting 59.6 percent (87-146) from the field and 79.5 percent (70-88) from the free-throw line. Scott leads ACC players in field goal percentage, is fifth in rebounding and scoring, and 10th in free throw percentage through games of Jan. 10.
Sophomore guard Joe Harris is averaging 12.3 points and 3.7 rebounds a game and is shooting 82.4 percent (42-51) from the free-throw line. He ranks seventh among ACC players in free throw percentage and 20th in scoring.
Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski is averaging 9.9 points a game and is shooting 41.9 percent (31-74) from three-point range. He ranks third in three-point field goal percentage, tied for third in three-point field goals made and sixth in steals among ACC players.
Virginia has three players averaging between 6.8 and 5.1 points a game, including freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon (6.8), junior guard Jontel Evans (6.0) and senior center Assane Sene (5.1).
Evans leads the Cavaliers in assists (52) and steals (26). He ranks tied for second among ACC players in steals (1.7 spg.), tied for fifth in assists (3.5 apg.) and ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.5).
As a team Virginia is ranked second in the nation in scoring defense (50.5 ppg.) and points allowed per possession (0.82), and 18th in field goal percentage defense (.380) in games through Jan. 10. UVa leads the nation in fewest assists allowed per game (6.7) and ranks second nationally in opponents’ assist-to-turnover ratio (0.48). The Cavaliers rank fourth nationally in defensive rebounding percentage (.759) and they have allowed points on just 42.0 percent of their opponents’ possessions to rank third nationally in that department.
In ACC team rankings, Virginia ranks first in scoring defense, rebounding defense (27.7), turnover margin (+2.3) and defensive rebound percentage, second in field goal percentage defense and third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.270), free throw percentage (.728) and assist/turnover ratio (1.1).
Duke leads the series with Virginia 114-48 and the Blue Devils have won the last seven games in the series. The Cavaliers have lost their last 14 games at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. Virginia’s last win in Durham was a 91-88 double overtime victory on Jan. 14, 1995.
Thursday’s game will be the first between the teams since the 2001-02 season with both teams ranked.
Four Duke players are averaging in double figures in scoring led by freshman guard Austin Rivers. Rivers is averaging 14.7 points a game. Also averaging in double figures in scoring for the Blue Devils are junior guard Seth Curry (12.9 ppg.), junior forward Ryan Kelly (12.6 ppg.) and junior forward Mason Plumlee (11.7 ppg.). Mason Plumlee leads Duke in rebounds with an average of 9.8 a game and Curry is averaging 2.9 assists a game to lead the Blue Devils in that department.
Duke is averaging 82.1 points a game. The Blue Devils are shooting 49.8 percent (409-821) from the field, including 41.7 percent (121-290) from three-point range.
Mike Krzyzewski is in his 32nd year as Duke’s head coach. His Duke teams have compiled an overall record of 840-227 and won four NCAA Championships. Krzyzewski was also the head coach at Army for five years and his overall record as a head coach is 913-286. He is the winningest coach in Division I men’s basketball history and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
After the game at Duke, Virginia returns to action on January 19 when the Cavaliers play at Georgia Tech. That game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and will be televised by the ACC Network.