Cavaliers Return Home to Play Virginia Tech on Sunday
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team returns to John Paul Jones Arena on Sunday (Jan. 22) for an Atlantic Coast Conference game with Virginia Tech that is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The game is sold out.
Virginia enters the game with an overall record of 15-2 and a 2-1 record in the ACC. The Cavaliers have played their last two games on the road, losing 61-58 at Duke (Jan. 12) and winning 70-38 at Georgia Tech on Thursday (Jan. 19). Virginia has won 13 of its last 14 games.
In this week’s national rankings, UVa is ranked 15th in The Associated Press poll and 17th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
Virginia Tech enters the game with an overall record of 11-7 and the Hokies are 0-4 in the ACC.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. It will also be televised by ESPNU and carried on WatchESPN.
Virginia’s victory at Georgia Tech on Thursday was the Cavaliers’ largest margin of victory in an ACC game since a 104-72 win over NC State on Jan. 29, 1991 at University Hall. It was also UVa’s largest margin of victory in an ACC road game since a 33-point win (107-74) at Wake Forest on March 2, 1983.
Senior forward Mike Scott scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and sophomore guard Joe Harris had 16 points and five rebounds for Virginia in the win over the Yellow Jackets. Senior guard Sammy Zeglinski added 10 points for the Cavaliers.
UVa senior center Assane Sene suffered an injury to his right ankle late in the first half of the game at Georgia Tech and is expected to be out approximately six weeks. Sene started each of Virginia’s first 17 games and averaged 4.9 points and 3.7 rebounds a game.
“Assane is a senior and an integral part of our team,” said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett. “In all my years of coaching, he is one of the most team-first players I’ve been around. I know he’ll do whatever he can from a rehabilitation standpoint to try and return to action before the end of the season.”
Scott continues to lead Virginia in scoring and rebounding. He is averaging 16.9 points and 8.8 rebounds a game to lead the Cavaliers in both departments. He is shooting 58.4 percent (104-178) from the field and 80.0 percent (76-95) from the free-throw line. Scott ranks first among ACC players through games of Jan. 20 in field goal percentage, is fifth in scoring, sixth in rebounding and ninth in free throw percentage.
Harris is averaging 12.6 points and 3.9 rebounds a game for UVa and is shooting 80.7 percent (46-57) from the free-throw line. He ranks seventh among ACC players in free throw percentage and 18th in scoring.
Zeglinski is averaging 9.3 points a game and is shooting 38.8 percent (33-85) from three-point range. He ranks fourth in three-point percentage, fifth in three-point field goals made (2.2 pg.), seventh in steals (1.6 spg.) and 10th in assists (2.7 apg.) among ACC players.
Freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon is averaging 6.5 points a game for the Cavaliers and junior guard Jontel Evans is averaging 5.6 points a game.
Evans leads the Cavaliers in assists (63) and steals (29). He ranks fifth among ACC players in assists (3.7 apg.) and steals (1.7 spg.) and seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.8).
As a team Virginia leads the nation in fewest assists allowed per game (6.8) and in points allowed per possession (0.82). The Cavaliers rank second in scoring defense (50.4 ppg.), third in opponents’ assist-to-turnover ratio (0.51) and defensive rebounding percentage (76.6 percent), and 17th in field goal percentage defense (38.3 percent). The Cavaliers have allowed points on just 42.4 percent of their opponents’ possessions this season and rank second nationally in that department.
In ACC team rankings, Virginia ranks first in scoring defense, three-point field goal percentage defense (25.7 percent), rebounding defense (27.5), turnover margin (+2.1) and defensive rebound percentage (76.6 percent). The Cavaliers are second in field goal percentage defense, and third in rebounding margin (+7.1) and assist/turnover ratio (1.2).
Virginia leads the series with Virginia Tech 81-52 and leads 33-11 in games played in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers have won three of the five games played at JPJA. UVa won both games between the teams last season, 57-54 in Blacksburg and 61-54 in Charlottesville. Seven of the last eight games in the series have been decided by seven points or less, including three overtime games.
Junior guard Erick Green and senior guard Dorenzo Hudson lead Virginia Tech in scoring. Green is averaging 16.1 points a game and also leads the team in assists with an average of 3.3 a game. Hudson is averaging 11.7 points a game.
Sophomore guard/forward Jarrell Eddie is averaging 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds a game for Virginia Tech. Freshman forward Dorian Finney-Smith is the Hokies’ leading rebounder with an average of 7.8 rebounds a game and he is averaging 6.5 points a game.
Seth Greenberg is in his ninth season as Virginia Tech’s head coach. His Virginia Tech teams have compiled an overall record of 165-113 and have participated in the NCAA Tournament once and the NIT five times. Now in his 22nd season as a collegiate head coach, his teams have a combined record of 378-283 with three NCAA appearances and eight NIT appearances. Greenberg has also been the head coach at Long Beach and South Florida.
After the game with Virginia Tech, the Cavaliers return to action on Thursday (Jan. 26) when they host Boston College at John Paul Jones Arena. That game is scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.