April 6, 1998
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Norman Nolan (Baltimore, Md.) and Curtis Staples (Roanoke, Va.) have been honored as co-recipients of the University of Virginia men's basketball team's Bill Gibson Cavalier of the Year Award for the 1997-98 season. Nolan and Staples shared the team's Michael McCann Leadership Award with fellow senior co-captains Mike Curtis (Richmond, Va.) and Pete McLaughlin (Maplewood, N.J.).
Staples also received the team award for the best free throw percentage (75-98, 76.5 percent), while Nolan received awards for the most rebounds (276, 9.2 rpg.) and as the team's Most Improved Player.
Nolan was a second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and played for the East Team in the 36th annual National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star game on March 27 during the 1998 Final Four weekend in San Antonio, Texas. He finished third in the ACC in both scoring (21.0 ppg.) and rebounding (9.2 rpg.) during the 1997-98 season. He was fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (257-490, 52.4 percent), minutes played (1,077, 35.9 mpg.) and offensive rebounds (87, 2.9 orpg.). Nolan is only the second player in school history to average as many as 20 points and eight rebounds a game in a season. He finished his Virginia career ranked sixth on the school's all-time rebounding list (765) and 17th on UVa's career scoring list (1,321 points).
Staples was a third-team All-ACC selection and established NCAA career records for three-point field goals made (413) and attempted (1,079). He led the nation in 1997-98 with a school-record 130 three-point field goals. Staples led the ACC in three-point field goals each of his four seasons at Virginia and also led the conference in minutes played per game (1,174, 39.1 mpg.) in 1997-98. He ranked fifth in the ACC with an average of 18.1 points a game in 1997-98 and won the three-point shooting contest at the 10th Annual College Basketball Slam Dunk & Three-Point Shooting Championships on March 26 during the Final Four weekend in San Antonio, Texas. Staples finished his Virginia career ranked eighth on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,757 points.
Freshman Donald Hand received the award as Virginia's Rookie of the Year, and shared the award for the most assists (99, 3.3 apg.) with sophomore Willie Dersch. Hand started 21 of 30 games and averaged 4.7 points a game. In addition to tying for the team lead in assists (99, 3.3 apg.), Dersch averaged 6.5 points and 3.6 assists a game.