Feb. 12, 1998
Better-Conditioned Nolan Produces Big Results for UVa
By his own admission when he came to Charlottesville in 1994, Norman Nolan had no idea of the strenuous conditioning required to excel in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Four year later, he has become a role model for the rest of the league. In the best shape of his life, Nolan is playing the best basketball of his four years at Virginia and has emerged as a candidate for All-ACC honors.
"We knew that Norman could step up his game and he's done just that," head coach Jeff Jones said. "He has become our go-to guy." To get an idea of how the 6-8 senior from Baltimore has progressed, consider a few statistical comparisons: It took Nolan just 18 games this season to score as many points as he did in 31 games, including 26 as a starter, in 1996-97. Nolan was the ACC leader in "double-doubles" through January with 11. He had 10 in his first three years combined at UVa. His 35 points against North Carolina State Jan. 18 tied for the fifth-best showing ever by a Cavalier in University Hall. Little wonder then that teammate Donald Hand was moved to say: "He's a man-child right now. No one can stop him."
Nolan attributes his stellar numbers to improved conditioning and a sense of mission in his final season. "I've been very determined to go out and have the best year I've had since I've been here," Nolan said. "The off-season workouts helped a lot with my stamina. I'm in rea l good shape now. I couldn't say that when I first got here," he said. Additionally, Nolan was eager to fill the point gap created when Harold Deane, Courtney Alexander and Jamal Robinson departed after last season. "Last year, we had four major scorers and everybody wanted to be the big one. The loss of those scorers gives everyone a chance to step up. A lot of people doubted that I could do that, but I knew I could," he said.
Nolan was considered a major recruiting coup when he committed to UVa after lea ding Dunbar High School to the Maryland Class AA state title as a senior. As a freshman, he averaged 8.0 minutes and 2.6 points per game in a reserve role behind Junior Burrough. But Jones fretted that he could not rely on Nolan for longer stretches of activity. "It was clear that Norman needed a lot of work in that regard," Jones said. "He was producing for us when he was playing, but we needed more playing time out of him." As a starter in his sophomore and junior years, Nolan gradually saw more acti Łon, averaging about 29 minutes a game. He scored 11.3 points on 45.7 shooting in 1996-97. But Jones and Nolan both were dissatisfied with the end results of the forward's labors.
"Last year, I was very inconsistent early on. Against schools that were not the level of the ACC, I just didn't show up," Nolan said. "Then toward the latter part of the season, I found myself getting out of shape." That is why Jones thought Nolan might be the primary beneficiary of a rugged off-season conditioning program that included everything from running to obstacle courses. As a result, this year Nolan scarcely has stopped to take a breather. He has averaged 35 minutes per game, and almost 39 minutes in ACC action. He added a short jump shot to his repertoire of post-up moves, and has boosted his free throw shooting from a 56 percent career mark to 66 percent.
"That is important because Norman is getting to the line more than anyone else on our team," Jones said. "I still think he can do better, bit it is someth `ing he has worked on." Nolan said he will continue to work on his game, particularly moving his feet on defense, in the hope of attracting attention from pro scouts. "That's definitely a goal of mine," he said. "I just want them to know that I am not afraid of hard work."
Cavaliers Looking to Build MomentumWomen's Basketball11/22/17Virginia (2-3) will play twice this weekend in the Cavalier Classic at John Paul Jones Arena: Saturday against Harvard and Sunday against Duquesne.'Hoos Eager to Seize Opportunity Friday NightFootball11/21/17At 8 p.m. Friday, in the annual battle for the Commonwealth Clash, UVA (6-5 overall, 3-4 ACC) meets Virginia Tech (8-3, 4-3) at Scott Stadium.Hunter Dazzles as 'Hoos Stay UnbeatenMen's Basketball11/19/17Behind a career-high 23 points from redshirt freshman De'Andre Hunter, unbeaten Virginia defeated Monmouth 73-53 on Sunday at JPJ.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
Virginia-Vanderbilt Clash on Thanksgiving Day
M. Basketball | 11/21/2017
Virginia (4-0) meets Vanderbilt in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Thanksgiving Day (...
Jeff White: Hunter Dazzles as 'Hoos Stay Unbeaten
M. Basketball | 11/19/2017
Behind a career-high 23 points from redshirt freshman De'Andre Hunter, Virginia defeated Monmouth...
Hunter's 23 points lifts Virginia past Monmouth 73-53
M. Basketball | 11/19/2017
Behind a pace-setting, 23 point, eight-rebound performance by redshirt-freshman Deandre Hunter, ...
Virginia Entertains Monmouth on Sunday
M. Basketball | 11/18/2017
Virginia (3-0) hosts Monmouth (2-1) in men’s basketball non-conference action on Sunday (No...
Guy's 29 lead Virginia past VCU, 76-67
M. Basketball | 11/17/2017
Kyle Guy scored 29 points and hit two 3-pointers in the final three minutes Friday, leading...
Virginia Plays at VCU Friday
M. Basketball | 11/16/2017
Virginia meets VCU for the first time since posting a 74-57 win over the Rams during the 2014-15 ...
Jeff White: Redshirt Freshmen Impress in Emphatic Win
M. Basketball | 11/14/2017
Jay Huff and De'Andre Hunter combined for 29 points Monday night in Virginia's 93-49 victory over...
Huff Shines in Debut as Virginia Rolls Austin Peay, 93-49
M. Basketball | 11/13/2017
Four players scored in double-figures for Virginia as the Cavaliers defeated Austin Peay 93-49 on...
- Online Stores