Nov. 18, 1997

Virginia Hosts William & Mary

November 19, 1997 - 7:30 p.m.
University Hall
Charlottesville, Va.

The Series vs. William & Mary

Virginia leads the all-time series against William & Mary 50-26. The rivalry with the Tribe dates all the way back to the Cavaliers' first season of play in 1905-06.

Virginia has won 11 of 12 games against William & Mary in University Hall and has a 33-9 all-time record vs. the Tribe in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers have won the last six meetings, by an average of 19.5 points. Overall, the Cavaliers have won 21 of the last 23 meetings between the two schools dating back to the 1966-67 season.

Virginia beat William & Mary 75-64 in Williamsburg last season in the most recent meeting between the two schools. Norman Nolan paced four Cavaliers in double digits with 22 points, while grabbing five rebounds. Courtney Alexander finished with 14 points, Curtis Staples 13 and Jamal Robinson 10. Robinson led the way for Virginia on the boards with nine rebounds in the see-saw contest.

The Tribe built a 10-point lead in the first half, but the Cavaliers whittled at the deficit and took the lead for good (33-31) on Staples' three-point bucket with two seconds left in the first half.

Virginia used a 28-8 run to begin the second half and push the lead to 22 points. From there the Cavaliers never relinquished the lead en route to the win that boosted their record to 4-1.

Virginia turned the ball over just seven times and held William & Mary to 37.5 percent field goal shooting. Interestingly, the Tribe made more three-point field goals (11) than two pointers (10).

Virginia vs. In-State Teams

This is the Cavaliers' second consecutive game against an in-state opponent as they open the season by facing three state schools.

Virginia lost to Richmond on Sunday night 83-79 in double overtime and hosts George Mason on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., in addition to tonight's game.

The Cavaliers' loss to Richmond on Sunday snapped their eight-game winning streak over state schools since a loss to Virginia Tech early in the 1995-96 season. Virginia won all six games against state opponents last year.

UVa hasn't lost consecutive games to state schools in 10 years. The Cavaliers fell to Old Dominion 74-72 and Virginia Commonwealth 75-66 in the 1987 Richmond Times-Dispatch Invitational.

The 1987-88 season was also the last season the Cavaliers lost more than one game to state schools--they were 1-3 vs. state foes that season.

Since Jeff Jones arrived on the Grounds of the University as a first-yearman in 1978-79, the Cavaliers are 78-13 (.857) at all sites against in-state opponents. His record as head coach against state schools is 25-5 (.833).

Virginia at University Hall Tonight

Virginia faces William & Mary at University Hall tonight and the Cavaliers have been very successful through the years in home openers, posting a 75-17 (.815) record.

Virginia lost to Clemson in its home opener last season, but has never lost two consecutive home openers since moving to University Hall for the 1965-66 season.

Non-Conference Teams at University Hall

Virginia is 118-10 (.922) at home against non-conference opponents since Jeff Jones came to UVa as a freshman in 1978-79. The Cavaliers were 6-0 at home against non-conference opponents last season and have won nine consecutive non-conference home games. The last home court loss to a non-conference team was a 61-48 loss to Vanderbilt on December 5, 1995.

Under Jeff Jones' direction the Cavaliers are 41-5 (.891) at U-Hall against non-conference teams.

The Cavaliers have won 41 of their last 45 home games against non-conference opponents dating back to Jones' first year as head coach in 1990-91.

Virginia is 164-24 (.872) all-time in University Hall against non-conference opponents since the building opened for the 1965-66 season.

In-State Teams at University Hall

University Hall has gained a well-deserved reputation as a tough place to play, particularly for in-state schools.

William & Mary has won once in 12 trips to University Hall all-time. (With two wins apiece, Old Dominion and Richmond are the only state schools with more than one win at University Hall.)

Since University Hall opened on November 25, 1965, the Cavaliers have compiled a 62-6 (.912) record against state schools on the hardwood at U-Hall.

Virginia has won 39 consecutive home games against in-state teams. The Cavaliers' last loss to a state team at University Hall was a 65-61 loss to Old Dominion on December 2, 1978.

Hand Starts Season Opener

When Donald Hand started at point guard for Virginia in the season opener against Richmond on Sunday, he became the first freshman to start a season opener for head coach Jeff Jones in two seasons. Courtney Alexander started the season opener two years ago against Tennessee-Martin.

Cory Alexander and Junior Burrough are the only other freshmen to start under Jones. The pair started the 1991-92 season opener against William & Mary.

Interestlingly, of the four freshmen in the season opening line-up under Jones, two are point guards (Cory Alexander and Hand).

First Time in 20 Years

Tonight the Cavaliers are playing the second of three consecutive games against Virginia schools to start the season.

This is the first time in 20 years the Cavaliers have begun a season with three straight games against opponents from Virginia.

The 1977-78 Cavaliers opened with wins over James Madison, VMI, Randolph-Macon and Old Dominion en route to a 20-8 overall record.

Opponents Shoot Blanks at University Hall

Virginia is 23-4 against non-conference opponents at University Hall over the last five seasons. Among the reasons the Cavaliers have been so successful in non-conference games is their ability to out-shoot and out-rebound the other team.

In their wins, the Cavaliers have shot 45.1 percent from the field compared to 36.5 percent for the opposition. Virginia also out-rebounds the other team by more than 10 rebounds per game (45.9/g to 34.4/g).

In contrast, the tables are turned in Virginia's home losses. The opponents shoot much better than Virginia (40.5 percent vs. 33.3 percent) and out-rebound the Cavaliers by a wide margin (49.5/g to 34.0/g).

The two highest shooting percentages by non-conference opponents on Virginia's home floor the last five seasons have come in Virginia losses. Ohio shot 47.4 percent from the floor in a 94-83 win during the 1994-95 season, while Connecticut shot 46.3 percent in winning the 1993-94 season opener.

Only eight of the last 27 non-conference opponents to come to University Hall have managed to make more than 40 percent of their field goal attempts.

Nolan Scores Career-High 31 Points

Senior forward Norman Nolan was a one-man wrecking crew inside for the Cavaliers in their loss to Richmond on Sunday. He scored a career-high 31 points, including one stretch where he scored 19 consecutive points for the Cavaliers. He also recorded his 11th career "double double" by pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.

Nolan's "double double" on opening night was the second time he's done that in his career. He scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Tennessee-Martin in the 1995-96 season opener.

Nolan's 31 points is the most by a Cavalier in a season opener since Bryant Stith poured in 33 points against Siena in the Great Alaska Shootout in the 1990-91 opener.

New Court Makes Debut Tonight

For the first time in nearly 20 years, University Hall features a new playing surface. A new court was installed this summer to replace the old court that dated back to the days of Jeff Lamp. The old floor was put in prior to the 1978-79 season.

The new court was installed by R.L. Dresser, Inc., of Raleigh, N.C. It consists of nearly 14,000 square feet of hardwood maple from Wisconsin. The project, completed in mid-September, cost approximately $100,000.

Virginia's men's basketball teams compiled an overall record of 204-52 (.797) on the old floor.

Staples Assaults the Record Book

Curtis Staples is known as one of the top three-point shooters in the nation. He displayed an accurate shooting eye last Sunday against Richmond by hitting seven of 15 three-point attempts and finishing with 26 points.

His 15 three-point attempts tied the school record, while the seven made three-pointers is the second-highest total of his career.

The ACC leader in three-point field goals made the last three seasons, Staples is tied for 34th in NCAA history for career three-pointers (290) and is 33rd in history for three-point attempts (761).

He needs 10 threes to become just the 27th player in NCAA history to make at least 300 in a career.

Hand is Third Freshman Point Guard

Head coach Jeff Jones has had a succession of rookie point guards in his eight years at the helm of the Cavalier program. The last three players to play point guard for Virginia all started as freshmen--Cory Alexander, Harold Deane and Donald Hand.

Hand won the preseason battle with classmate Chezley Watson for the starting nod at point guard, so the Cavaliers were going to have a freshman there this year for sure.

Alexander took over the reins for John Crotty as a freshman in 1991-92, Jones' second season as Virginia's head coach, and helped lead the Cavaliers to the NIT championship.

When Alexander broke his ankle in the opener of the 1993-94 season, Deane immediately stepped into the line-up and started 27 of 31 games that season.

An historical footnote shows that Jones started 13 games at point guard as a Cavalier freshman in 1978-79.

Dersch Shines in First Career Start

Willie Dersch came to Virginia a year ago as one of the nation's top recruits. With the Cavaliers featuring several experienced players at his position, he didn't get a lot of playing time last season, averaging 13.4 minutes per game in his 28 appearances.

This season things have changed dramatically for the 6-5 swingman from Floral Park, N.Y. He made the first start of his career last Sunday against Richmond and played a fine game.

He scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds and led the team wtih five assists in 47 minutes of play.

His nine points and six rebounds are the most he's had in a game since an 11-point, six-rebound effort against Radford last December.

Three Starters Return for '97-98

The Cavaliers return three starters from last season--center Colin Ducharme, forward Norman Nolan and guard Curtis Staples.

Virginia also returns two other players who started at least five games last season--Monte Marcaccini and Chase Metheney.

Two others who averaged at least 10 minutes per game a year ago also return--Willie Dersch and Craig McAndrew.

Four Seniors Named Captains of '97-98 Squad

The four seniors--Mike Curtis, Pete McLaughlin, Norman Nolan and Curtis Staples--on the UVa men's basketball team will serve as captains for this season.

Curtis, from Richmond, Va., joined the team as a walk-on three years ago. He appeared in six games last season as a reserve guard.

Like Curtis, McLaughlin also joined the team as a walk-on. He played in nine games in 1996-97 as a reserve guard.

Nolan, a two-year starter, led the team in rebounding a year ago with a 7.4 rebounds per game average. He also scored a career-high 11.3 points per game last season.

Staples is Virginia's leading returning scorer this season. He averaged 13.9 points per game last season and led the Atlantic Coast Conference in three-point field goals per game (3.2). He is third in scoring among active ACC players (and tied for 20th on UVa's all-time list) with 1240 points.

Cavaliers Welcome Three Newcomers

The 1997-98 Virginia men's basketball team features three new faces. Joining 10 returning lettermen, including three returning starters, are Donald Hand, Greg Lyons and Chezley Watson.

Hand, a 5-11 guard from Paterson, N.J., averaged 19.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists as a senior last season at Paterson Catholic High School.

Lyons, a 6-4 guard from Mineola, N.Y., was a co-captain of the Holy Cross High School squad with current Cavalier Willie Dersch in 1995-96.

Watson, a 6-2 guard from Gainesville, Ga., averaged 30.0 points 5.9 rebounds and 6.6 assists as a senior last year at East Hall High School. He also plans to play baseball at UVa.

Staples Wins Gold Medal

Curtis Staples was a member of the USA's gold medal-winning squad at the World University Games in Italy this summer.

Staples averaged 10.0 points per game in six games as the Americans won the gold medal for the fifth consecutive time. He and Eastern Michigan's Earl Boykins (15.7 ppg) were the team's only players to average in double figures.

Staples came off the bench in the gold medal game against Canada and scored 12 points to spark the USA to a 72-64 win. He made four of seven shots from the field, including four of five from three-point range, grabbed four rebounds and blocked a shot in 19 minutes of action. His 19 points against Hong Kong was his high for the tournament.

Cavalier Duo Tops 25

Norman Nolan scored a career-high 31 points and Curtis Staples added 26 in Virginia's 83-79 double overtime loss to Richmond on Sunday.

This marks the first time in three seasons that UVa had two players top 25 points in the same game. The last time this occurred, Harold Deane scored 28 and Staples 27 as Virginia defeated UNLV on February 12, 1995.

Stokes Returns to His Alma Mater

Ricky Stokes, an assistant coach at Wake Forest for the last eight years, returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach on Jeff Jones' staff on May 8.

Stokes, a 1984 UVa graduate, coached at Wake Forest under former UVa assistant coach Dave Odom from 1989-97. He was an assistant coach at Bowling Green in 1988-89 and a graduate assistant coach at UVa in 1985.

A native of Richmond, Va., Stokes was a four-year basketball letterman at Virginia. He played in two Final Fours (1981 and 1984), and received the Frances Pomeroy Naismith-Hall of Fame Award in 1984 as the nation's most outstanding senior male collegiate basketball player under six-feet tall. He was co-captain of the team during the 1983-84 season, lived on UVa's prestigious Lawn as a senior and played in a UVa record 134 games. Stokes shot 53.4 percent from the field and 76.3 percent from the free throw line during his UVa career, and is currently ranked seventh on the school's career steals list (140). During his four years in the Virginia program, the Cavaliers compiled an overall record of 109-25 (.813) and participated in four NCAA Tournaments.

Virginia Wins with Defense

Virginia has built a reputation for outstanding defensive play over the last 20 years and last season continued the pattern.

The Cavaliers allowed an average of 65.0 points per game and held the opposition to 40.9 percent field goal shooting. Twelve times last season opponents shot less than 38 percent from the field. The Cavaliers held the opposition under 40 percent 15 times.

Richmond scored 83 points in downing the Cavaliers on Sunday, but shot just 33.3 percent from the field. The Spiders' field goal shooting was the worst percentage by a Virginia opponent in 22 games dating back to last season's Radford contest (27.9 percent).

Virginia's opponents have shot 50 percent or better from the field in only 13 of the last 163 games dating back to the 1991-92 season.

Virginia's defensive statistics under head coach Jeff Jones are listed below.

Year            FG% D   PPG allowed
1990-91          .442   68.5
1991-92          .424   65.2
1992-93          .405   69.3
1993-94          .394   65.7
1994-95          .390   66.8
1995-96          .394   68.8
1996-97          .409   65.0
1997-98          .333   83.0
Jones' career    .408   67.1

Three-Point Attack Ties Record

The Cavaliers connected on 36.2 percent of their three-point field goal attempts last season, tying the school record for three-point percentage. Additionally, they made 205 treys, the second-highest total in school history. (The 1994-95 squad holds both records with 232 three-pointers made and a 36.2 percentage).

Virginia has made at least one three-point field goal in a school-record 157 consecutive games. The last time the Cavaliers failed to make at least one three-pointer came against New Mexico in the 1992 NIT.

ACC Media Pick Virginia Eighth

The Cavaliers were selected to finish eighth in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season by media representatives attending the 36th annual ACC Operation Basketball in Greensboro, N.C., on October 26.

This season's predicted conference standings look like this (first-place votes in parenthesis):

1.  Duke (45)           730
2.  North Carolina (40) 727
3.  Clemson (2)         628
4.  Maryland            429
5.  N.C. State          391
6.  Wake Forest         335
7.  Florida State       324
8.  Virginia            177
9.  Georgia Tech        174

Wahoos Lose Consecutive Overtime Decisions

After winning 10 consecutive overtime games between 1992-1996, the Cavaliers have now lost their last two overtime games. Last season they dropped a 64-61 overtime decision to Connecticut. Virginia began this season with an 83-79 double overtime loss to Richmond last Sunday.

Over the last 11 seasons, Virginia has won 17 of its last 21 overtime games.

The Cavaliers have not lost an overtime game at home since losing to Maryland 78-74 on March 2, 1991, a span of 87 home games.

Staples off to Fast Start

Curtis Staples poured in 26 points in the loss to Richmond last Sunday. He made nine of 18 field goal attempts, including seven of 15 from behind the arc.

The sharpshooter from Roanoke has typically been a slow starter, not reaching the 20-point plateau until deep into the season.

Last season he didn't hit 20 points until he scored 20 against Radford in the 10th game of the season.

Two years ago he waited until the 14th game of the year to score 20 against Georgia Tech.

As a freshman in 1994-95 he reached 20 points once. He scored 27 points in a win over UNLV in the 22nd game of the season.