Dec. 1, 1997
Cavs Host Appalachian State
Virginia vs. Appalachian State
DATE: December 2, 1997
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
SITE: University Hall. Charlottesville, Va.
In Brief: Virginia (1997-98 record: 3-1 overall) hosts Appalachian State (1997-98 record: 3-1 overall) in the first meeting ever between the two schools. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Radio: All UVa games are heard on the Virginia Sports Network originating at WINA/WQMZ in Charlottesville. Mac McDonald calls the play by play. Jim Hobgood provides the analysis.
The Series vs. Appalachian State
This is the first meeting between Virginia and Appalachian State.
The two teams have several common opponents this season. The Cavaliers and Mountaineers both play North Carolina from the Atlantic Coast Conference and VMI from the Southern Conference this season.
Virginia was one of the 13 original members of the ³old² Southern Conference from 1922-37 and has a long and rich history of compeitition against the Southern Confernce.
Against the 11 current members of the Southern Conference, the Cavaliers are 107-19 all-time. Most of the games were against VMIa series Virginia leads 94-15. The Cavaliers are 2-0 vs. the Citadel, 1-0 vs. East Tennessee State and 10-4 against Davidson.
In addition to never having played Appalachian State, Virginia has never faced Chattanooga, Furman, Georgia Southern, North Carolina-Greensboro, Western Carolina and Wofford.
There have been 38 other schools besides UVa that have been members of the Southern Conference at one time or another since 1922. These schools include many current members of the Southeastern Conference and the ACC. Virginia is 267-244 (.523) against these schools at the time they were in the Southern Conference.
Norman Nolan is averaging 18.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
Opponents Shoot Blanks at University Hall
Virginia is 25-4 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 45.0 percent from the field compared to 36.0 percent for the opposition. Virginia also out-rebounds the other team by more than 10 rebounds per game (45.8/g to 34.4/g).
In contrast, the tables are turned in Virginiaıs 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 Virginiaıs 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 29 non-conference opponents to come to University Hall have managed to make more than 40 percent of their field goal attempts.
Non-Conference Teams at University Hall
Virginia is 120-10 (.923) 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. They ran their home non-conference winning streak to 11 consecutive games with a 60-45 win over George Mason on November 22. The last home court loss to a non-conference team was a 61-48 loss to Vanderbilt on December 5, 1995.
Under Jeff Jonesı direction the Cavaliers are 43-5 (.896) at U-Hall against non-conference teams.
The Cavaliers have won 43 of their last 47 home games against non-conference opponents dating back to Jonesı first year as head coach in 1990-91.
Virginia is 166-24 (.874) all-time in University Hall against non-conference opponents since the building opened for the 1965-66 season.
Curtis Staples leads the team with a 20.8 ppg average.
Four Reach Double Figures in Win
Norman Nolan and Curtis Staples have generally carried the scoring load for Virginia so far this season. They are the only Cavaliers averaging more than 10 points per game and they have scored in double figures in every game.
Monte Marcaccini scored 12 points in the win over George Mason 10 days ago to become the first player besides Nolan and Staples to top 10 points.
As the season progresses, more players are rounding their offensive games into form. Virginia placed four players in double digits in the win over Delaware last TuesdayStaples (19), Nolan (14), Colin Ducharme (11) and Donald Hand (10). For Ducharme and Hand it was the first time they scored at least 10 points this season.
Ducharme reached double figures five times a year ago, while Hand came into the game having scored five points in the first three games of the season.
Two Freshmen Split Point Guard Duties
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 two players to see significant action at point guard for Virginia both started as freshmenCory Alexander and Harold Deane. This season alone has seen the Cavaliers start two different freshmen point guardsDonald Hand and Chezley Watson.
Hand won the preseason battle with Watson for the starting nod at point guard and started the season opener against Richmond on November 16.
Jones shuffled the line-up a bit for the William & Mary game, starting Watson at point guard. Watson has stayed in the starting line-up since that game by starting against George Mason and Delaware.
Alexander took over the reins for John Crotty as a freshman in 1991-92, Jonesı second season as Virginiaıs 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.
Nolan Paces Cavaliers in Early Going
Senior forward Norman Nolan has been Virginiaıs primary inside scorer for the last three years.
He led the team in scoring on eight occasions last season, the third-best mark on the team.
So far this season heıs displaying a strong inside game on both ends of the court, leading the team in rebounding in three games and in scoring twice.
He was a one-man wrecking crew for the Cavaliers in their loss to Richmond in the season opener on November 16. 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 ³double double² by pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.
He turned in his second consecutive ³double double² against William & Mary on November 19, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
He posted his third consecutive ³double double² against George Mason 10 days ago with 13 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.
Saddled with early foul trouble the last time out against Delaware, Nolan scored 14 points and grabbed four rebounds in only 18 minutes of play. He scored two important baskets in the closing minutes to help the Cavaliers hold off the homestanding Blue Hens.
Nolan is averaging 18.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game this season, while shooting 58.2 percent from the field.
Dersch Playing Lots of Minutes
Willie Dersch came to Virginia a year ago as one of the nationıs top recruits. With the Cavaliers featuring several experienced players at his position, he didnıt 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 in the season opener against Richmond and played a fine game.
He scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds and led the team with five assists in 47 minutes of play.
Dersch tied Chezley Watson for game-high honors with four assists in UVaıs win over William & Mary in the seasonıs second game. Dersch also added eight points and six rebounds in 31 minutes of action.
He didnıt score against George Mason, but contributed four assists and three rebounds in the game. His excellent work on the defensive end of the floor helped hold the Patriots to 30.9 percent shooting.
Dersch scored only two points in last Tuesdayıs win at Delaware, but he still came up big for the Cavaliers. In 36 minutes of action, he dished out four assists (tied for team high), blocked two shots, grabbed three rebounds and made a steal.
Dersch has played 153 of a possible 170 minutes in Virginiaıs four games this season.
Watson Starts Last Three at the Point
Chezley Watson, one of two freshmen point guards on this yearıs team, has started the last three gamesall Virginia wins.
He made his first start against William & Mary on November 19 and scored seven points and dished off four assists in 21 minutes.
Watson led the team with seven assists in the 60-45 win over George Mason 10 days ago. He added six points and pulled down four rebounds in his 32 minutes.
He played just 15 minutes in Virginiaıs win over Delaware last Tuesday as Donald Hand had the hot scoring touch, but still tied for the team lead with four assists.
He has had at least four assists in every game this season and has led the team in that category in all three of his starts.
A look at Watson game-by-game is below.
Opponent Pts. Rebs. Asts. Minutes
Richmond 2 4 4 34
W&M 7 2 4 21
Geo. Mason 6 4 7 32
Delaware 2 1 4 15
Nolan and Staples Provide Scoring Punch
As Virginiaıs leading returning scorers, it is no surprise that Norman Nolan and Curtis Staples have carried the scoring load this season.
Staples tossed in 26 points against Richmond and 15 vs. William & Mary. He connected on five three-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points in the win over George Mason 10 days ago. He paced the Cavaliers in scoring for the second consecutive game against Delaware with 19 points. He also tied his career high with nine rebounds.
Staples leads the team with a 20.8 ppg average.
Nolan scored a career-high 31 points to lead UVa against Richmond in the season opener on November 16. He paced the Cavaliers again with 17 points vs. William & Mary in this seasonıs second game and scored 13 points in UVaıs win over George Mason 10 days ago. Early foul trouble limited him to only 18 minutes against Delaware last Tuesday, but he still managed to score 14 points. Nolan is second on the team with an 18.8 ppg average.
Between them, Staples and Nolan have scored almost two-thirds of Virginiaıs points this season (158 of 262).
Staples Wins Gold Medal
Curtis Staples was a member of the USAıs 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 Michiganıs Earl Boykins (15.7 ppg) were the teamıs 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.
Staples off to Fast Start
Curtis Staples poured in 26 points in the loss to Richmond in the season opener, making nine of 18 field goal attempts, including seven of 15 from behind the arc.
He followed that with 15 points in the win over William & Mary on November 19 and tossed in a game-high 23 points against George Mason 10 days ago.
Staples played an outstanding game against Delaware last Tuesday in leading the Cavaliers to an important early-season road win. He scored 19 points, recorded three steals and tied his career high with nine rebounds in the 64-57 UVa win. Fourteen of his points came in the second half as the Cavaliers held off the Blue Hens.
He leads the team in scoring so far this season, averaging 20.8 ppg.
The sharpshooter from Roanoke has typically been a slow starter, not reaching the 20-point plateau until deep into the season.
Last season he didnıt 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.
Staples 27th Player in NCAA History to 300
Curtis Staples is known as one of the top three-point shooters in the nation. So far this season he is living up to his reputation by averaging 4.5 three-pointers per game with 18 treys in four games.
He has led the Cavaliers in scoring in the last two games and has topped the 20-point plateau twice this season.
Staples began the season by connecting on seven of 15 three-point attempts and scoring 26 points in the opener against Richmond.
He came back less than a week later against George Mason by hitting five of eight shots from behind the arc and finishing with a game-high 23 points.
Against Delaware in Virginiaıs most recent contest, Staples paced the Wahoos with 19 points and was true on three shots behind the arc. He became just the 27th player in NCAA history to make 300 career three-pointers with his three against the Blue Hens.
The ACC leader in three-point field goals made the last three seasons, Staples is 24th in NCAA history for career three-pointers (301) and three-point attempts (788).
Three Starters Return for 97-98
The Cavaliers return three starters from last seasoncenter Colin Ducharme, forward Norman Nolan and guard Curtis Staples.
Virginia also returns two other players who started at least five games last seasonMonte Marcaccini and Chase Metheney.
Two others who averaged at least 10 minutes per game a year ago also returnWillie Dersch and Craig McAndrew.
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 in the season opener, but shot just 33.3 percent from the field.
As good as the Cavaliersı field goal percentage defense was against Richmond, it was even better against William & Mary three days later. The Tribe scored just 45 points, while shooting 28.8 percent from the field.
The Tribeıs field goal shooting was the worst percentage by a Virginia opponent in 23 games, dating back to last seasonıs Radford contest (27.9 percent).
William & Maryıs field goal percentage is the 15th-lowest mark in Virginia history.
George Mason couldnıt muster much on the offensive end 10 days ago in Virginiaıs 60-45 win. The Patriots shot just 30.9 percent from the field and committed 23 turnovers.
Virginiaıs defensive clamps remained firm in the 64-57 win at Delaware last Tuesday as the Cavaliers held the Blue Hens to just 29.0 percent field goal shooting.
Richmondıs 33.3 percent shooting is the highest by a Virginia opponent this season.
Virginiaıs opponents have shot 50 percent or better from the field in only 13 of the last 166 games dating back to the 1991-92 season.
Virginiaıs 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 .306 57.5
Jonesı caree .407 66.9
Cavaliers Welcome Three Newcomers
The 1997-98 Virginia menıs 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.
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 Jonesı 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 nationıs 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 UVaıs 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 schoolıs 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.
Marcaccini Tops Double Digits
Junior Monte Marcaccini came off the bench against George Mason on November 22 and gave Virginia a big lift. Inserted for Chase Metheney as the Cavaliers went to a smaller line-up early in the game, Marcaccini responded with 12 points and four rebounds in the best performance of his Virginia career.
A transfer two years ago from Pepperdine, Marcaccini is known for his tough defensive play and rebounding prowess. He had several games last season with more rebounds than points, including an 11-rebound, no points effort against Delaware.
His 12 points in the George Mason game are the most heıs scored at Virginia and the most heıs scored since getting 20 points against Saint Maryıs while at Pepperdinea span of 27 appearances for him.
Demonstrating that he does the little things, he failed to score against Delaware the last time out, but grabbed five rebounds off the bench.
Staples Works on the Boards
Curtis Staples has a well-deserved reputation as one of the nationıs top long-range shooters, but an overlooked aspect of his game is his rebounding ability.
Standing just 6-3, Staples is second on the team in rebounding this season with a 6.5 rebounding average. His average should come as no surprise as his 4.6 rpg mark was second among ACC guards last season.
He tied his career high with a team-leading nine caroms against Delaware last Tuesday.
In the last 30 years, Cornel Parker is the only Cavalier perimeter player to average more than five rebounds per game in a season. A 6-7 swingman, Parker averaged 6.9 boards per game in 1992-93.