Cavaliers Return to Action at Georgia Tech Thursday Night
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to action on Thursday (Jan. 19) when the Cavaliers play Georgia Tech at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga. UVa has not played since losing to Duke 61-58 in Durham, N.C., on Jan. 12.
Virginia enters the game with an overall record of 14-2 and a 1-1 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavaliers are ranked 15th in this week’s Associated Press poll and 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. UVa’s 14-2 start through 16 games is the best for the Cavaliers since the 2001-02 season.
Georgia Tech is 8-9 overall on the season and 1-2 in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 61-50 loss at Maryland on Sunday (Jan. 15).
Thursday’s game is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. The game will be televised by the ACC Network and carried on ESPN3. In areas where the ACC Network telecast is being carried ESPN3 may be blacked out.
UVa senior forward Mike Scott was named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list on Tuesday (Jan. 18) and continues to lead Virginia in scoring and rebounding. He had game-high totals of 23 points and nine rebounds in the loss at Duke. His 23 points tied his career high in an ACC game.
Scott is averaging 16.9 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. He is shooting 58.8 percent (97-165) from the field and 79.1 percent (72-91) from the free-throw line. Scott leads ACC players in field goal percentage, is fourth in scoring, fifth in rebounding and ninth in free throw percentage.
Sophomore guard Joe Harris is averaging 12.4 points and 3.8 rebounds a game and is shooting 81.8 percent (45-55) from the free-throw line. He ranks sixth among ACC players in free throw percentage and 19th in scoring.
Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski is averaging 9.2 points a game and is shooting 39.2 percent (31-79) from three-point range. He ranks fourth in three-point percentage and three-point field goals made (2.2 pg.), fifth in steals (1.7 spg.) and 10th in assists (2.9 apg.) among ACC players.
Virginia has three players averaging between 6.7 and 5.1 points a game, including freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon (6.7), junior guard Jontel Evans (5.6) and senior center Assane Sene (5.1).
Evans leads the Cavaliers in assists (58) and steals (27). He ranks fifth among ACC players in assists (3.6 apg.), sixth in steals (1.7 spg.) and eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.7).
As a team Virginia leads the nation in fewest assists allowed per game (7.0), ranks second in scoring defense (51.1 ppg.), third in points allowed per possession (0.84) and opponents’ assist-to-turnover ratio (0.51), fifth in defensive rebounding percentage (75.8 percent) and 29th in field goal percentage defense (38.9 percent). The Cavaliers have allowed points on just 42.7 percent of their opponents’ possessions this season and rank fourth nationally in that department.
In ACC team rankings, Virginia ranks first in scoring defense, rebounding defense (27.9), turnover margin (+2.3) and defensive rebound percentage, and third in free throw percentage (72.9 percent, 242-332), three-point field goal percentage defense (26.8 percent) and assist/turnover ratio (1.1).
Georgia Tech leads the series with Virginia 38-33 and is 22-10 against the Cavaliers in Atlanta, but UVa has won the last four games in the series and five of the last six. The Cavaliers have also won the last three games between the teams in Atlanta. This is the first time the teams have played at Philips Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks.
Junior guard/forward Glen Rice, Jr., is Georgia Tech’s leading scorer and is tied for the team lead in rebounding. Rice is averaging 13.8 points and 6.6 rebounds a game.
Junior guard Mfon Udofia is also averaging in double figures in scoring for the Yellow Jackets with an average of 10.8 points a game and he leads the team in assists with an average of 2.5 a game.
Among Georgia Tech’s other top scorers are sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey (9.1 ppg.), sophomore guard/forward Jason Morris (8.9 ppg.) and sophomore center Daniel Miller (8.3 ppg.). Miller is also averaging 6.6 rebounds a game.
Brian Gregory is in his first season as head coach at Georgia Tech. Gregory was the head coach at Dayton for eight years before becoming head coach of the Yellow Jackets. His Dayton teams compiled an overall record of 172-94, participated in the NCAA Tournament twice and in the NIT three times. Dayton won the NIT under his direction in 2010.
After the game with Georgia Tech the Cavaliers return home to play Virginia Tech on Sunday, Jan. 22. That game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.