Jan. 16, 1998
Cavaliers Host Wolfpack
Virginia vs. N.C. State
January 18, 1998 - 1:30 p.m.
The Series vs. the Wolfpack
N.C. State leads the overall series with Virginia 65-45, but the Cavaliers have won the last six games and 11 of the last 12.
Virginia's six-game winning streak over N.C. State is the Cavaliers' second-longest winning streak over the Wolfpack. UVa won seven straight over State from 1980-83.
The Cavaliers have won 18 of the last 20 games between the two teams at University Hall, including the last nine. State's only two wins in Charlottesville during that stretch came in 1985 and 1988 by a combined margin of three points.
Virginia is 20-11 against the Wolfpack at University Hall and 26-20 in Charlottesville. State's last win at University Hall was a 64-63 victory on February 27, 1988.
Virginia won both of last season's meetings--56-50 in Charlottesville and 55-46 in Raleigh.
Last year's game in Charlottesville turned into a second half scoring battle between Curtis Staples and N.C. State's Danny Strong. Staples finished with 27 points (15 in the second half), while Strong led State with 25 points (20 in the second half). They were the only players in double figures for the game.
Staples was true on seven of 13 three-point attempts in pacing Virginia. His seven threes tied his season high.
Staples equalled his Charlottesville performance on the return trip to Raleigh by tossing in seven three-pointers and finishing with 26 points (21 in the first half).
Behind Staples' 21 points, the Cavaliers raced to a 36-17 halftime lead. State slowly chipped away at the lead in the second half and cut the margin to four points (40-36) with 9:45 left on the clock. From there the Cavalier defense stiffened, allowing the Wolfpack to make just two field goals the rest of the way. Virginia connected on 11 of 15 free throws in the final seven minutes to hold off the 'Pack.
Cavaliers and Wolfpack Battle to the Wire
The history of the series between these two schools since the late 1970's has been one marked by many closely contested games. Since 1978, 32 of the 44 games have been decided by less than 10 points. UVa is 22-10 (.688) in those games.
Virginia won both meetings last season--56-50 in Charlottesville and 55-46 in Raleigh.
Since 1978, four games have been decided by one point, five by two points, three by three points, three by four points and three by five points.
During one stretch (1985-1988) nine consecutive games were decided by nine points or less.
Shutting Down the Pack Offense Leads to Wins
Virginia has been known as one of the best defensive teams in the nation under head coach Jeff Jones. The Cavaliers' defensive prowess has been particularly evident in their six-game winning streak over N.C. State. The Wolfpack is shooting just 38.5 percent from the field, while averaging 61.2 points per game, in the last six games against Virginia.
State has not made 50 percent of its shots against the Cavaliers since shooting 53.2 percent (33 of 62) from the floor in an 84-58 win in Raleigh on January 31, 1990.
A look at N.C. State's field goal shooting and points scored against Virginia in the Jeff Jones era is below.
Year Site FGM FGA Pct. Pts.
1990-91 UVa 27 59 45.8 72
NCSU 28 58 48.3 83
1991-92 NCSU 24 66 36.4 69
UVa 26 62 41.9 68
1992-93 NCSU 19 64 29.7 56
UVa 28 62 45.2 66
1993-94 UVa 21 68 30.9 58
NCSU 25 53 47.2 67
1994-95 NCSU 24 65 36.9 65
UVa 24 62 38.7 55
1995-96 UVa 25 77 32.5 69
NCSU 26 61 42.6 82
1996-97 UVa 20 44 45.5 50
NCSU 15 39 38.5 46
last 6 games 38.5 61.2
UVa Wins since 90-91 38.3 63.0
UVa Losses since 90-91 47.7 75.0
Winning Streak over Wolfpack is ACC's Longest
Virginia owns a six-game winning streak over N.C. State. The Cavaliers' last loss to the Wolfpack was a 67-54 loss in Raleigh during the 1993-94 season. The winning streak is tied with Duke's streak over Florida State as the longest current streak in the ACC.
Virginia's streak is one of its longest winning streaks over an ACC opponent since UVa's inaugural season of ACC play in 1953-54.
Virginia's longest winning streak over another ACC school is nine games (accomplished against three opponents).
A look at all of Virginia's winning streaks longer than five games against ACC schools (only since 1953-54) is below.
School, years Consec. Wins
1. Duke, 1980-83 9
Clemson, 1981-84 9
Wake Forest, 1986-90 9
4. Wake Forest, 1971-74 8
Georgia Tech, 1981-83 8
6. N.C. State, 1980-83 7
Clemson, 1992-95 7
8. N.C. State, 1995-pres. 6
20-Point Scorer for Virginia
Virginia is 19-5 against N.C. State in the last 24 games dating back to the 1985-86 season. One of the factors that has helped the Cavaliers post wins over the Wolfpack is having a player score at least 20 points.
In the last 24 games, Virginia has had a 20-point scorer 18 times. In those games the Cavaliers are 15-3 and have won the last 10 games when having at least one player score 20 points.
Virginia has had at least one 20-point scorer in the last five games (all wins) against State.
The last time UVa had a 20-point scorer against the Wolfpack and lost was when Kenny Turner poured in 25 points in an 83-76 loss in Raleigh during the 1990-91 season.
Norman Nolan is averaging 25 points and 10 rebounds during his last eight games.
Nolan Among Nation's Best Power Forwards
Norman Nolan may not get the national acclaim that some players
get, but he is becoming one of the top power forwards in the
The 6-8, 253-pound senior from Baltimore, Md., came to Virginia
as a high school All-American. His first year he played behind
Junior Burrough, who nearly led the Cavaliers to a Final Four
berth in 1994-95.
Nolan started as a sophomore in 1995-96 and averaged 9.5 ppg and a team-best 7.0 rpg.
He was again the Cavaliers' main man underneath last season and led the team in rebounding (7.4/g), while adding 11.3 ppg.
After a rigorous off-season where he worked hard on his strength and conditioning, and adding to his outside game, Nolan has picked up his level of play tremendously this year and caused ACC coaches and NBA scouts to take notice.
We're unsure what Nolan asked Santa Claus for this Christmas, but it's apparent the jolly man in red filled Nolan's stocking with a variety of offensive moves to score and bundles of rebounds to grab.
Since Christmas, Nolan has put together a series of performances the likes of which haven't been seen by Virginia fans since the days of Ralph Sampson.
Over his last eight games, Nolan is averaging 25.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. He's also shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 75.4 percent from the free throw line.
He had reached the 20-point plateau in seven straight games leading up to Thursday's game against Georgia Tech, but fell one point short of extending his streak by scoring 19 points vs. the Yellow Jackets.
Staples, Nolan Pass Scoring Milestones
Norman Nolan has been on fire offensively since Christmas, averaging 25.0 points per game since Santa Claus made his rounds.
His hot streak has enabled him to become the 32nd player in school history to score 1000 career points. He is now 30th in Virginia history with 1048 points.
Curtis Staples scored 16 points Thursday against Georgia Tech to become the 11th player in school history to score at least 1500 points. He is 11th on UVa's all-time scoring list with 1508 points.
Cavaliers Must Cut Down on Turnovers
Turnovers are one thing that drive basketball coaches crazy. And this season turnovers have been a big bugaboo for head coach Jeff Jones and his staff as the Cavaliers are averaging 16.8 turnovers per game and have three games of 20+ turnovers.
The Cavaliers have 85 more turnovers than the opposition so far this season. They have also attempted 35 fewer shots despite having 27 more offensive rebounds than their opponents.
An inability to maximize their scoring chances has doomed the Cavaliers in several games this season as they have lost two games by five points, and others by four, eight and 11 points.
Strangely, two of Virginia's three-lowest turnover totals have occurred in losses. The Cavaliers turned the ball over just 12 times against Richmond in the opener, but the Spiders scored 12 points off those turnovers and won by four points in double overtime.
The Cavaliers turned the ball over 12 times against Liberty on January 7. However, the Flames turned the extra possessions into 18 points and won by five points.
Overall this season the Cavaliers have a 0.91:1 assists-to-turnover ratio.
Virginia has had more turnovers than assists in each of the last two seasons.
Field Goal Shooting Improves this Season
Virginia has not been known recently for its field goal shooting proclivity, but so far this season the Cavaliers are shooting 44.8 percent from the field. This is a marked improvement from last season's mark of 42.7 percent.
Virginia topped the 40-percent mark in the first 16 games of the season before shooting a season-low 34.4 percent against Georgia Tech on Thursday. (The season high is 58.9 percent vs. VMI on December 22.)
Last season UVa topped 45 percent 12 times in 31 games, and shot less than 40 percent from the field in 10 contests.
Already this season Virginia has topped 45 percent nine times in 17 games.
The Cavaliers' field goal shooting percentage this season is their best since shooting 45.5 percent in 1990-91.
Nolan 11th in School History
Norman Nolan has led Virginia in rebounding the last two seasons and is bidding to lead for the third consecutive season in 1998. So far he holds a wide lead in the team rebounding race with a 9.1 rebounds per game average.
If he leads the team in rebounding again this season he would be the first Cavalier since Ralph Sampson to pace the team for three straight seasons. Sampson led all four years from 1980-83.
Nolan has grabbed 644 rebounds in his career, 11th in school history. Wally Walker is currently 10th with 665 career boards.
Staples Needs Three to Set ACC Record
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, ranking second in the nation with an average of 3.9 three-pointers per game.
He has led the Cavaliers in scoring four times, reaching the 20-point plateau each time.
Staples has tossed in at least five three-pointers in eight games this season, including a season-best seven threes in the opener against Richmond. In that game he connected on seven of 15 from behind the arc and scored 26 points.
He is seventh in NCAA history (and second in ACC history) with 349 career three-point field goals.
His place on the NCAA and ACC career three-point lists is below.
NCAA ACC Player, school, years 3FGM
1. Keith Veney, Lamar/Marshall, 93-97 409
2. Doug Day, Radford, 1990-93 401
3. Ronnie Schmitz, Mo.-K.C., 89-93 378
4. Mark Alberts, Akron, 1988-93 375
5. Jeff Fryer, Loyola Marymount, 87-90 363
6. 1. Dennis Scott, Ga. Tech, 1988-90 351
7. 2. Curtis Staples, Virginia, 1995-98 349
Virginia Wins with Defense
UVa has built a reputation for outstanding defensive play over the last 20 years and the tradition continues this season.
Virginia's opponents have shot 50 percent or better from the field in only 17 of the last 179 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 .403 68.0
Jones' career .408 67.1
Four in Double Figures
Virginia spread its scoring around in last Monday night's win over Virginia Tech as four Cavaliers reached double figures, led by Norman Nolan's 20 points. Colin Ducharme scored a career-high 16 points, while Curtis Staples added 13 and Willie Dersch chipped in with 10.
It was the fourth game this season at least four Cavaliers scored in double figures and Virginia has won them all.
In Jeff Jones' eight years as Virginia's head coach the Cavaliers have been remarkably successful when placing at least four players in double figures. His Cavalier squads are 70-15 with at least four players in double figures and have won nine of the last 10 games.
Something About the Water
That Curtis Staples is among the top three-point field goal shooters in NCAA history shouldn't come as a surprise. What might be surprising, however, is the fact that he is one of three Virginia natives in the top-seven in NCAA history in three-point field goals made in a career.
Doug Day, a bomber at Radford University from 1990-93, is second in NCAA history with 401 career threes. He hailed from Blacksburg and Blacksburg High School.
Current NBA standout Dennis Scott played at Georgia Tech from 1988-90 and is the ACC all-time leader with 351 treys. He hails from Reston, and played his high school ball at Flint Hill.
Staples, from Roanoke, is seventh on the NCAA's all-time list. He began his high school career at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, before concluding his prep days at Oak Hill Academy.
Nolan Leads ACC in "Double Doubles"
Counted on to carry the scoring and rebounding load inside for the Cavaliers, Norman Nolan is excelling in both areas this season in what is shaping up to be the best season of his career.
He is third in the ACC in both scoring--21.0 ppg--and rebounding--9.1 rpg--this season.
He leads the ACC in "double doubles" with 11 this season, including two in ACC contests.
Nolan's 11 "double doubles" this season equals Junior Burrough's total in 1994-95. It is also the most "double doubles" by a Cavalier since Ralph Sampson's career ended in 1983.
Nolan had six "double doubles" last season and now has 21 for his career.
He turned in a fabulous Rainbow Classic in Hawaii, recording "double doubles" in all three Virginia games.
Upon his return to the mainland, Nolan picked up where he left off in Hawaii by tying his career-high of 31 points against Wake Forest in the first game of the new year. He also pulled down 12 rebounds for his fourth consecutive "double double."
After consecutive near misses at "double doubles" against LIberty and North Carolina, Nolan recorded his 10th "double double" of the season against Virginia Tech last Monday by scoring 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. He got his 11th "double double" against Georgia Tech Thursday with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
His play since Christmas is outlined below.
FG FT Reb. Pts.
Nebraska 10-22 3-6 11 23
Brigham Young 10-16 4-8 10 24
New Mexico St. 8-19 8-10 10 24
Wake Forest 14-24 3-4 12 31
Liberty 11-17 8-10 8 30
North Carolina 11-20 7-9 8 29
Va. Tech 6-13 8-9 11 20
Ga. Tech 7-18 5-5 10 19
Last 8 avg. 51.7% 75.4% 10.0 25.0
Season Avg. 53.3% 65.1% 9.1 21.0
Ducharme Records Career Highs vs. Hokies
Colin Ducharme is one of the team's most intense players. Sometimes his intensity leads to being overly aggressive and a tendency to commit fouls.
Foul problems have been particularly bothersome for him lately. He was whistled for at least four fouls in six consecutive games leading up to last Monday's encounter against state-rival Virginia Tech. In those six games he was averaging just 20.0 minutes of playing time per game.
But against the Hokies, he stayed out of foul trouble and showed what he can do by scoring a career-high 16 points in a career-high 36 minutes of action.
He was able to work free underneath for several thunderous dunks and take some of the inside scoring pressure off Norman Nolan.
Ducharme also made the Hokie big men pay for fouls committed against him by connecting on 10 of 11 free throw attempts.
Playing what head coach Jeff Jones speculated was his best all-around game at Virginia, Ducharme also added nine rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.
Ducharme leads the team in blocked shots (23), while averaging 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
Nolan and Staples Provide Scoring Punch
As Virginia's leading returning scorers, it is no surprise that Norman Nolan and Curtis Staples have carried the scoring load this season.
One of the two has led Virginia in scoring in every game this season. There have been 13 games this season where the duo has ranked 1-2 in scoring.
Nolan leads UVa in scoring, averaging 21.0 points per game.
The senior from Baltimore, Md., turned in a fabulous Rainbow Classic in Hawaii recently. He led the Cavaliers in scoring and rebounding in all three games, registering "double doubles" in all three contests.
Since returning to the mainland, Nolan hasn't showed any signs of slowing down by scoring 31, 30, 29 and 20 points in four games recently. He reached the 20-point plateau in seven consecutive contests until Thursday's game against Georgia Tech when he scored 19 points.
Staples had a rough night against Liberty 11 days ago, scoring just two points, but bounced back with a 20-point effort against top-ranked North Carolina last weekend. He was slowed somewhat by an attentive Virginia Tech defense on Monday night and scored 13 points. He tossed in 16 points against Georgia Tech on Thursday night.
He is the only other Cavalier in double figures, averaging 17.3 points per game
Staples paced UVa in the two games leading up to the trip to Hawaii with 20 points against VCU and 23 vs. VMI.
Between them, Staples and Nolan have scored more than half of Virginia's points this season (651 of 1174).
Staples To Join Select UVa Group
Sharpshooter Curtis Staples has been one of Virginia's most consistent scorers throughout his career, averaging between 11.9 and 14.0 points per game up to this season. So far this season he is averaging 17.3 points per game, the highest by a Virginia guard since Cory Alexander averaged 18.8 ppg as a sophomore in 1992-93.
Staples is 56 points away from becoming just the sixth player in school history to score at least 350 points in all four years of varsity play.
Jeff Lamp was the first Cavalier to score at least 350 points in four consecutive seasons. He was followed by Ralph Sampson, Bryant Stith, Junior Burrough and Harold Deane.
Four others scored 350+ points in their three seasons of varsity play before freshmen became eligible to play in 1972-73. They are Buzzy Wilkinson, Bob McCarty, Jim Connelly and Barry Parkhill.
Second Half Rallies Frustrate Cavaliers
Virginia played 125 minutes of basketball in the recent Rainbow Classic and for approximately 95 of those minutes Virginia out-played its opponent. One of the factors that contributed to the Cavaliers' 1-2 record in Hawaii was their inability to prevent the opposition from putting together impressive scoring runs in the second half. In all three games in Hawaii, the opponent eliminated or chipped away at substantial Virginia leads in the second half. Since returning to the mainland, Virginia hasn't been able to completely reverse its second half luck.
The Cavaliers led Nebraska 35-28 at halftime, but the Cornhuskers used a 19-4 run to start the second half to grab the lead for good en route to an 80-65 win in UVa's Rainbow Classic opener.
Virginia built a 23-point lead in its second game against Brigham Young early in the second half, only to see the Cougars cut the lead to four points with a 28-9 run. The Cavaliers regrouped after BYU drew to within 56-52, and cruised to a 72-54 win.
In the final game in Hawaii, Virginia led New Mexico State 50-39 with 14:48 remaining in the second half. The Aggies then outscored the Cavaliers 23-8 over the next 10 minutes to take the lead. The lead seesawed back and forth in the last few minutes of regulation before the Aggies forced the game into overtime. Virginia couldn't regain the momentum in overtime and fell 87-82.
Virginia led Wake Forest 28-22 at halftime in the first game of the new year, but the Demon Deacons used a 13-6 run to start the second half to take the lead. Virginia fought back to regain the lead, but the Deacs closed the game with a 9-4 run in the last four minutes of regulation to force overtime.
The Cavaliers fell behind early in overtime, but held the Deacs scoreless over the last 3:24 while scoring the game's final 10 points to win.
Virginia built a nine-point lead against Liberty (51-42) with 10:50 to play in the game on January 7. From there the Flames scored nine straight points to tie the score and they continued to keep the game close. Liberty then gained the upset win by out-scoring the Cavaliers 8-3 in the final 2:30 of the game.
Freshman Hand Runs the Point
Freshman Donald Hand has started the last eight games at point guard for the Cavaliers, the longest streak by a UVa starting point guard this season. He returned to the starting line-up for the Rainbow Classic after not starting the previous three games and played a key role in Virginia's win over Brigham Young in Hawaii.
The rookie from Paterson, N.J., tossed in a career-high 14 points and added four assists to pace the Wahoos. Twelve of his points came in the second half as Virginia withstood a furious BYU rally. He connected on three three-pointers in the final nine minutes to spur Virginia.
His scoring has been down a bit in the last several games, but he is becoming more assertive in leading the Cavalier attack with each game.
Against Virginia Tech last Monday, his drives into the lane helped open up things for Colin Ducharme and Norman Nolan inside.
He handed off a team-high seven assists, while grabbing a career-high six rebounds, against Georgia Tech on Thursday.
Hand leads the team with 20 steals and is second in assists with 50. He is also averaging 4.6 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Cavaliers Connect from Charity Stripe
Virginia entered the Wake Forest game two weeks ago shooting 62.5 percent from the free throw line.
In the five games since then, the Cavaliers have shot a combined 78.4 percent from the line and upped the season percentage to 67.9 percent.
Among regulars Colin Ducharme has led the charge, shooting 85.2 percent (23 of 27) in the last five contests. He was outstanding on Monday against Virginia Tech, making 10 of 11 attempts.
Norman Nolan has also improved his free throw shooting which is important for Virginia because he gets to the line almost twice as much as any player on the team. He is shooting 83.8 percent (31 of 37) in the last five games.
Curtis Staples has connected on 80.0 percent of his tries (16 of 20) in the last five games.
Nolan Shines in Hawaii
With many NBA scouts in attendance at the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii, power forward Norman Nolan picked the perfect opportunity to have three of the best performances of his career.
He began the tournament with a 23-point, 11-rebound effort against Nebraska in the first round. Against Brigham Young he scored 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in a 72-54 Virginia win. New Mexico State didn't have much luck slowing him down as he scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
His three "double doubles" were the most of any player in the Rainbow Classic. In fact, he was the only player with more than one.
For the tournament he finished third in scoring with 71 points (behind Kansas' Paul Pierce and Nebraska's Tyronn Lue). He was the tournament's second-leading rebounder with 31 boards, one fewer than Lester Earl of Kansas.