The #25 Cavaliers defeat the Florida State Seminoles in a late night classic, 31-24

 

This second Saturday in September was shaping up to be as exciting a football Saturday that Charlottesville had ever witnessed.

 

On the heels of the Friday celebration for the Men’s Basketball raising their championship banner, the #25 Cavaliers hosted perennial ACC powerhouse Florida State Seminoles. These Seminoles were not as flashy or dominant as the previous versions, but they were still dangerous. This team was loaded with speed, talent and potential but none of that was going to sway Virginia from the task at home.  In front of nearly 58,000 enthusiastic fans, the Cavaliers were poised to Defend their turf and Rock the Scott (Stadium).

 

Virginia received the opening kickoff and with a promising drive moved into the Florida State redzone. The drive turned sour after an errant Bryce Perkins pass was intercepted.  Each team traded punts before Virginia broke through with a long drive and a field goal from Brian Delaney that traveled 49 yards to put the Hoos up 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.

 

The Seminoles struggles were on offense but defense kept them in the game. The Cavaliers secured their own muffed punt but with backs to the end zone, the offense was not able to move very far from the shadow of the end zone. A poor punt by Nash Griffin gave the ‘Noles life and they scored in three plays on a short field.  QB James Blackman pass to TE Gabe Nabers was a successful 10 yard touchdown and gave the visitors a lead with user nine minutes left in the second quarter.

 

It was vital for the Cavaliers to regain momentum and grab back the lead.  They were able to do both. In six plays and 75 yards, the Hoos mixed passes and runs to get into the promised land with Wayne Taulapapa’s three yard dash to push the lead to 10-7 for Virginia. Florida State’s answered the touchdown with one of their own. In less than three minutes, the Seminoles went 87 yards with the final pass a touchdown from Blackman to RB Cam Akers for three yards.  Virginia could not answer before the half and a desperation pass from Perkins to Reed was intercepted deep in the Seminoles’ territory.

 

Seminoles took opening second half kickoff and then punted only to have Virginia return the favor.  The next possession saw positive returns for Florida State. They were able to work down the field and convert a long, 53 yard field goal by Ricky Aguayo.  The Hoos now facing a 17-10 deficit in the third quarter proceeded to match the Seminoles.

 

In a quick passing attack, Perkins led the team 75 yards spanning the end of the third quarter and start if the fourth. On a second down pass play, Perkins hit WR Joe Reed with a beautiful pass in corner of endzone and the score was tied at 17 afer Delaney's PAT kick.  With Florida State feeling the momentum slipping away, the hurry offense made plays and forced Virginia’s defense to react and not attack. A well led attack with timely passes and strong running got Florida State the lead again. This time Keyshawn Helton was the recipient of a Blackman 17 yard toss. Down but not out, the Hoos made up the deficit with a finely orchestrated 75 yard, 12 play drive that saw Tualapapa get his second TD. The extra point was no good and with that Florida State held a thin one-point advantage. 

 

The Cavaliers defense made the stops and a forced punt allowed the Cavaliers’ offense to get the lead back.  With Perkins’ arm and Joe Reed’s legs, the Cavaliers made Florida State’s defense work and sweat. The Seminoles were flagged for a targeting which gave Uva the ball 1st and goal inside the 10. Two runs later and Tualapapa was celebrating with his 3rd rushing TD. The magic of Bryce Perkins was on display for the subsequent two-point conversion. With the moves of Houdini and some intuition, the Cavalier QB made moves to slip out imminent danger and finally waltz into the end zone, giving the home squad a 31-24 lead to the the roar of over 60,000 obsessed Wahoo fans. 

 

However, there were 2 minutes and 36 seconds left and Florida State has more than enough time to score.  The high flying, quick pace Seminole offense has shown to be dangerous all night. This last drive would be no different. The Seminoles started at their on 25 yard line and proceeded to pass their way up the field. However, something strange happened on the way to the end of the game.  On fourth down, Blackman fires a pass broken up by CB Nick Grant, but a flag was tossed and Florida State was awarded a first down. That was not all. Coach Mendenhall profusely argued the call and his antics supplied Florida State with another 15 yard penalty. The Seminoles has moved 30 yards with no time elapsing. The Blue Wave Cavalier defense answered the call again. The Seminoles were down to their last play when an incomplete pass seemed to seal their fate.  However, another flag and yet again another 15 yards for Florida Star who was creeping ever so close to the redzone.

 

As the anticipation increased, so did the anxiety on the faces of each fan in Scott Stadium. The Seminoles were on the verge of another fourth down with just 13 seconds left. A pinpoint pass from Blackman to Helton on third down earned a 1st and goal from the 4 yard line with four seconds left. In helter-skelter fashion, the Seminoles played super hurry up and reminiscent to Warrick Dunn in 1995, this endzone was the stage for a frenzied finale. Cam Akers to a direct snap around the right side and as he closed in on the goalline, he was stopped twice by Virginia defenders with time expiring. It happened again, a goalline stand and a tremendous victory as a sea of people in orange and blue embraced these undefeated Hoos in the belly of Scott Stadium.

 

The Clipboard:

- Blackman was phenomenal with 22-37, 234 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions

 

- Perkins played spectacular in second half with 16 consecutive completions and a passing TD to go along with the key two-point conversion.

 

- First time a ranked Virginia team (#23 AP in 2007) has won since destroying the Miami Hurricanes in the final game in the Orange Bowl, 48-0.

 

- Keep away, time of possession: UVA 39:44 > FSU 20:16

 

- Both teams combined for 19 penaties, 180 total yards and five personal foul penalties (All Florida State)

 

by EMSPORTS.org 9/14/19

photo by virginiasports.com

Virginia manhandles William & Mary in home opener, 52-17

 

Friday night lights is a natural phenomenon that engulfs countless fans of football in the fall every year. In this Friday, the Virginia (1-0) Cavaliers decided to make their mark as they opened up their 2019 home schedule with the visiting William and Mary Tribe (1-0).

 
The Tribe are in the first year under the helm of new head coach Mike London. Yes, that same Mike London who once roamed the sidelines as the head ball coach for the Cavaliers. They won their first game last week over the Lafayette Leopards, 30-17.
 
The last two time these team men met at Scott  Stadium was the opening game in 2013 as London led UVA to a 19-16 comeback victory over the BYU Cougars, Mendenhall’s former team.
 
Hoos started off right. A quick three and out by the defense and Bryce Perkins went to work. He was a perfect 4 for 4 on the drive culminating it with a 40yd touchdown pass to Joe Reed. The defense was just as effective on the next series. After the Tribe recorded a couple of first downs, then the Cavalier Defense made a statement. 
 
An rushed throw by Tribe QB Hollis Mathis found the waiting arms of CB Nick Grant. The Cavalier cornerback took the ball on a sprint and raced down the home sideline nearly untouched for a pick six of 85 yards.
 
The next drive after a Tribe punt was finished with another TD. The offense showed a few more mixes of power runs and timely passes. Bryce Perkins added the final blow with a seven yard touchdown scamper to put them up 21-0 as the first quarter was coming to a close. 
 
The offense didn’t slow down. Perkins Drive the team methodically down the field and then Perkins found his big target, Terrell Chatman, with a 15-yard strike in the middle of the end zone pushing the score to 28-0.
 
William and Mary caught a break on the first mistake by UVA. The Tribe punted and what looked to be another Cavalier possession turned into a fumble as Chuck Davis bobbled the punt allowing the Tribe to recover inside the red zone. With their best position all
game, the Tribe was unable to penetrate the Virginia defense and settled for a 40-yard field goal.
 
Just when it looked as if the momentum was slowly shifting it wasn’t. The kickoff went deep into the end zone but no touchback because Joe Reed has other plans. With a burst of speed and a quick cut to the left, Reed weaved his way through the defense and left all defenders in his dust. 100 yards later, the Cavaliers were celebrating another touchdown and the crowd was in a frenzy. 
 
The Cavaliers were on the move again but this time an ill-advised throw by Perkins in the  red zone led to his first interception allowing the Tribe a chance to catch its breath and stop any further damage.  Virginia had one more chance to score but an errant field goal attempt kept the score at 35-3 in favor of the Hoos at the half.
 
Virginia opened up the second half with ball first and time consuming scoring drive.  The feet and arm of Perkins did most of the damage but the score honors belonged to 1st year running back Mike Hollins.  On his first ever carry as a Hoo, Hollins sliced through a tired Tribe defense for a 9-yard touchdown. 
 
After Virginia forced a three and out, the Cavaliers were not as effective on offense. Bryce Perkins threw his second pick of the game in a third and long situation. William and Mary moves the ball but were unable to capitalize, missing on a 35 yard field goal attempt. 
 
The Tribe defense struck again.  This time the  quarterback was Brennan Armstrong. After a few first downs, Armstrong was hit on a blitz and his pass fell in the hands of Tribe linebacker Arman Jones, who returned it 47 yards for the Tribe’s first touchdown. 
 
Virginia found their footing after stumbling on previous possession. The hard running of Mike Hollins got the Cavaliers inside the 10 yard line where they settled for a field goal by Brian Delaney from 34 yards.
 
William and Mary put together their best drive with an answer to the field goal by Virginia. In seven plays, covering 75 yards, Albert Funderburke bulldozed in from the two yard line for another Tribe TD. 
 
The Hoos seamlessly moved 64 yards into end zone with Mike Hollins converting a one yard rush for the last yard. With his second TD, Hollins increased the lead to 52-17. 
 
Aside from a few miscues the Virginia offense was sensational racking up 511 yards.  Their 52 points was the most points since beating Temple 51-0 in 2005.  Perkins was responsible for two passing touchdowns and one rushing.  He also threw his first two interceptions of the year.  Brennan Anderson, the understudy was also very efficient.  He completed 9 of 10 passes (1 interception) for 103 yards.
 
First year running back Mike Hollins led the ground attack.  He chewed up 78 yards and scored his first two career touchdowns.
 
Joe Reed was the leader with 58 yards receiving and an entertaining 100 yard KO return for a TD (4th of his career).
 
The defense also was very impressive if not dominant.  The Tribe was held to 193 yards total offense and just 10 points were scored on the Cavaliers' defense.  Zane Zandier was the leader with 9 total stops and the entire unit finished with five sacks and 12 tackles for loss plus the interception for a TD by Nick Grant (1st career interception).
 
The Hoos will now have an extra day to rest and prepare as they will welcome in the vaunted Florida State Seminoles on next Saturday night, primetime under the lights.
 
by EMSports.org  9/6/2019

Joe Harris, USA Men's National Basketball Team

 

jJoe Harris is fan favorite of all of Wahoo Nation, in making his name on the International Basketball level.  Harris, professionally of the Brooklyn Nets, is making himself as a name as a sharpshooter and overall great leader with the US National Men's Team.  Harris was originally participating in the US Select Team, a group of professionals who were preparing the senior team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Tournament in China.  After several rounds of cuts, the USA team recognized how valuable Harris would be to the team and now he is on the Senior National Team.

 

Harris has made great strides as a professional leading the NBA in three point shooting percentage at 47.4%.  Harris is a knockdown, long distance sniper who also provides size on the perimeter and solid defense.

 

Harris will get a chance to prove his mettle and continue to showcase his skills as the USA is the favorite going into this tournament.  In the style of the world famous World Cup that soccer fans have loved for decades, the 2019 FIBA World Cup will take place from Sept. 1 - Sept. 15.

 

The USA has started preparations and are expected to be on the top of the medal podium when the dust clears.  Joe Harris will be an integral part of their success.

 

by EMSPORTS.org 8/23/2019

 

Hunter, Jerome and Guy Selected in 2019 NBA Draft

 

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Former Virginia stars De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy were selected in the 2019 NBA Draft Thursday (June 20) night.

 

Hunter was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the fourth overall pick and is expected to be traded to Atlanta. Jerome was picked 24th overall by Philadelphia and is expected to be traded to Phoenix.

Hunter became UVA’s highest first-round selection since Ralph Sampson was selected first overall by Houston in 1983. In addition, UVA has two players drafted in the same draft for the first time in school history.

Guy was selected by New York with the 55th pick of the second round as the Cavaliers had three NBA draft selection for the first time since 1987 when Olden Polynice (Chicago), Andrew Kennedy (Philadelphia) and Tom Sheehey (Boston) were selected in the first, second and fourth rounds, respectively. Guy will head to Sacramento as part of a trade.

Virginia has had eight players drafted in the NBA since 2012, including Mike Scott (2012), Joe Harris (2014), Justin Anderson (2015), Malcolm Brogdon (2016), Devon Hall (2018), and Hunter, Jerome and Guy in 2019. Scott, Harris, Brogdon and Hall were second-round selections, while Anderson was selected 21st overall in the first round.

Hunter, Jerome and led UVA to its first NCAA title in 2018-19. Hunter earned consensus third-team All-America honors, and was the NABC National Defensive Player of the Year, All-ACC first-team and ACC Defensive Player of the honoree after his breakout season in 2018-19. He averaged 15.2 points and 5.1 rebounds, while shooting 52 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from 3-point range and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. Hunter racked up 10 20-point games, including a career-high 27 points against Texas Tech in the NCAA championship game. He averaged 12.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 71 career games.

 

Jerome averaged career highs in points (13.6), rebounds (4.2) and assists (5.5) during his junior season in 2018-19. Jerome netted six 20-point games, including 24 against Purdue and 21 against Auburn in the NCAA Tournament. Jerome registered three double-doubles and tied a school record with 14 assists at Syracuse. Jerome, who was two-time All-ACC  honoree, totaled 1,011 points, 317 rebounds and 384 assists in 105 career games in three seasons at UVA.

 

by EMSPORTS.org 6/20/2019

 

by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Champs are Here! Cavaliers defeat defending Lacrosse Champ Yale, 13-9

 

In Charlottesville, the University of Virginia has had an historic seven weeks.  In early April, the basketball team captured their first ever Men's NCAA Title.  The Cavalier Lacrosse Team saw and learned the lessons from their UVA brethren and decided to do the same.

 

Exactly 7 Mondays from the night of the basketball championship, the team led by coach Lars Tiffany secured the program's sixth NCAA title in Lacrosse.  This was no easy feat and it took some fortunate bounces and tremendous play to earn their newest hardware.  The Cavaliers completed the trifecta, of sorts.  They also won the ACC regular season title and the ACC tournament championship.  

 

First Round:

The UVA Men, seeded #3 in the NCAA Tournament, hosted their first-round matchup where they dispatched Robert Morris, 19-10.  They entered the quarterfinals looking at a familiar foe, the Maryland Terrapins.  The Hoos and the Terps had faced off nearly 100 times and Maryland was easily the most hated and longest despised rival for the Cavaliers. 

 

They had many epic contests however the most recent one of importance was the 2011 National Championship in Baltimore, MD.  The Hoos prevailed that day in Maryland's back yard and a few years later the Terrapins left the ACC for the Big Ten.

 

Quarterfinals:

The Cavaliers and Terps were neck and necks through most of the first three quarters.  However, with 10:38 left in the fourth quarter, the Terrapins led 12-7 and look to be heading into the national semifinals.  The Cavaliers were down but not out and went on a furious scoring binge.  The Hoos scored the last five goals in regulation to send the game into overtime.  In overtime, faceoff specialist, first-year Petey LaSalla won the biggest faceoff of the year.  He found Matt Moore on the move and Moore did the rest.  Moore's sudden victory OT goal just 45 seconds into the extra period sent the Cavaliers through to the Final Four in Philadelphia with a 13-12 triumph.

 

The Cavaliers went from the frying pan right into the oven has they were now facing their newest nemesis, the Duke Blue Devils.  The Blue Devils had a stranglehold over the series with the Cavs.  They had been victorious in 19 of the last 20 contests including nine straight.  The Cavaliers had not vanquished the Devils since 2010 ACC Tournament. 

 

Semifinals:

The Cavaliers took an early 1-0 then 2-1 lead but the Blue Devils would not allow another goal in the first half.  After a 4-0 scoring advantage in the second period, the teams traded goals in the third quarter.  Every time UVA made a move, Duke countered and they upped the ante.  The Blue Devils jumped ahead 8-4 halfway in the third period and looked to be in control.  Virginia found new life an answered back with a quick 3 goal scoring spree before Duke closed the quarter with back to back goals.  The fourth quarter was going to decide the fate of one of these teams, the loser was going to rue the chance to be in the national final match.

 

Leading 10-7, Duke gave up the first score to UVA.  Then answered with another goal.  UVA pushed to deficit to one, with two quick scores and looked to have momentum.  Duke squelched the run with a goal and under two minutes to play, the Blue Devils just needed to play defense to win this match.  The Hoos did not listen to conventional wisdom and has in the past, they found a way to knot the score at 12 with 15 seconds left and head to overtime.

 

One overtime was not enough as both teams wasted chances to end this contest however, in the second OT, Ian Laviano, the Cavs' leading scorer on the year, notched his 50th goal of the season of an assist from Matt Moore (team leader in that category).  With the clock showing 3:09 to play in the second OT, the final score was 13-12 in favor of Virginia.  Finally, the Blue Devils had been exorcised.

 

After such a magnificent win, the Cavaliers were starting to resemble that team from JPJ.  Cardiac Cavaliers or Comeback Cavs seemed to be a fitting description for the ability to pull the wins out at the end of these playoff battles.  

 

National Finals:

Championship Monday on Memorial Day was the final stop for this Virginia team and a date with destiny.  The Yale Bulldogs stood in the way of the Cavaliers completing the journey to the top of the Lacrosse mountain.  

 

The Bulldogs had been here before and their claim to fame was their offense.  The offense had scored 59 goals in the first three rounds of the tournament and were looking like a juggernaut after dispatching the #1 team in the country, the Penn State Nittany Lions, 21-17 in the semifinals.

 

The Elis (Yale's nickname) sported the one of the best players in the country in TD Irelan, a faceoff specialist who had won a mindboggling 75% of the faceoffs and was a finalist for the player of the year award, The Tewaaraton Award.  Yale took an early 1-0 lead before Matt Moore scored two goals to give UVA a 2-1 lead.  Then Yale tied the game when all tourney player, Matt Brandau assisted Matt Gaudet for the tying score.

 

Virginia then took over and scored the next four goals in the first half.  The Virginia defense was phenomenal and thwarted every attack that the Yale offense attempted to ignite.  With the score at 6-2, the Cavaliers headed into the final 30 minutes with a lead and complete control.

 

The Yale Bulldogs would not go down without a fight and in a blink of the eye, the Bulldogs scored two lightning fast goals and suddenly the mood shifted in the stadium.  In less than 70 seconds, the score was 6-4, Yale was jubilant and the Cavaliers were back on their heels.  

 

UVA collected their thoughts and responded in a grand fashion.  With precision passing and great energy, the Hoos put together a 5-0 streak that knocked the Elis off their high horse and essentially ended the chance of a repeat by Yale.

 

There would be no great comeback or tense moments in this championship tilt.  The Cavaliers had ascended back to the top of the sport with their scintillating performance.  The final score of 13-9 was confirmation of the hard work and long road this team had traveled to be recognized as the Kings of Lacrosse.  They started the season 1-2 and only dropped one more contest over the final 17 matches of the season.  That was to Duke in the regular season and they avenged that loss in the semifinals.  The Cavaliers will look to be the favorite heading into the 2020 season.  Their Sixth National Championship has a sweet taste to it and will be housed in Charlottesville, the new City of Champions.

 

by EMSPORTS.org  5/28/19

 

Virginia drops another in the ACC Tourney, falling 10-3 to #17 Miami

 

The Cavaliers were looking to break even and gain a big win in the ACC Tourney versus Miami.  The #17 Hurricanes had swept the Cavaliers earlier in the season and were the top seed in the pod for this matchup,

 

The Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 lead following a homer in the top of the first inning.  The Cavaliers answered back and tied the score at 2 with some timely hitting.  Both starting pitchers performed admirable but Miami broke open the game with three runs in the fifth inning.

 

Trailing 5-2, the Cavaliers chipped away with one more in the sixth and drew closer.  However, the Miami pitching got tougher and didn't allow another run.  The offense for the 'Canes tacked on five additional runs in the eighth inning to put the game away.

 

With the loss, UVA now holds out hope that their strong regular season and RPI will earn them an at-large bid into the NCAA tourney.  The Hurricanes will advance to face UNC for a chance to move into the ACC semi-finals on Saturday.

 

by EMSPORTS.org 5/25/2019

 

Virginia loses in pitcher's duel to #23 UNC, 3-2 in 10 innings

 

The Virginia Cavaliers' baseball team was riding high into the ACC Baseball Tournament in Durham, NC.  The Cavaliers had won their last two ACC series (2-1) over the highly ranked Louisville Cardinals and their arch-enemies the Virginia Tech Hokies.

 

With 5 wins in their last 7 games, the Hoos had placed themselves squarely in the conversation to return to the NCAA tourney after missing last year for the first time in Coach O'Connor's 15 years at the University.

 

The Cavs got their first crack against their neighbors from the South, the #23 UNC Tar Heels.

 

In what turned into a pitcher's duel, also required extra innings to decide the fate of each team.  UNC took an early 2-0 lead into the 7th inning and were cruising.  However, the feisty Cavaliers would not back down.  After a Nate Eikoff homer to cut the lead to 2-1, the Hoos scratched another run across in eighth inning to know the score at 2.

 

Andrew Abbott came on in relief and was masterful.  The Hoos threatened in the ninth inning with bases loaded and only 1 out.  However, the Tar Heels shut the Cavs down and proceeded to load the bases in the 10th inning where they scored the winning run on a hit batsmen from the pitch of UVA's Devin Ortiz.

 

With the agonizing loss, the Hoos drop to 32-23 on the season but still have one more chance for an ACC win against the #17th ranked Miami Hurricanes.

 

by EMSPORTS.org

by virginiasports.com

UVA Women's Basketball adds 2 new coaches

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia women's basketball head coach Tina Thompson announced on Monday (May 13) the addition of Walter Pitts and UVA alumna Monica Wright to her coaching staff.
 
"With the addition of Walter and Monica, we have grown in the best way," Thompson said. "I am truly excited about these two, their energy and work ethic are just what we need. Welcome to the Hoo Family Walter and Monica!"
 
Pitts comes to Virginia after spending last season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Jackson State. During his tenure with the Tigers, he helped develop two All-SWAC players and the Newcomer of the Year, Kaisah Lucky. His professional coaching career has also included being the lead assistant for the Texas Legends in the NBA Development League, an assistant for the Texas Southern men's basketball team and an assistant coach for UNC Greensboro's women's team. Pitts played collegiately at Alabama, receiving the Guy Lee Turner Defensive Award twice. He helped lead the Crimson Tide to a 1992 NIT bid and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1993. He went on to play professionally for four years in South America.
 
"I'm so very excited to add Coach Walter Pitts to our coaching roster," Thompson said. "What appealed to me most about Coach Pitts was his energetic personality! He has a love for the game that is not measurable, being in the gym and developing kids is his passion. Most people that know him well would call him a 'gym rat' of sorts. He really enjoys the development side of the game, which is also the part of the game I enjoy. He is committed to getting our kids better through mental and physical work. Our kids are workers by nature, so to have another member of our staff that mirrors their intentions is a welcomed addition. Coach Pitts has a wealth of knowledge in the game of basketball, as a player and a coach at different levels. He will bring a diverse perspective to our staff and a big personality. I am very much looking forward to him bringing all that knowledge to the Hoo Family enhancing our ability to grow."
 
Wright graduated as the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer with 2,540 points, which ranks third in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The three-time All-American was honored as the 2010 ACC Player of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 23.7 points per game (ranked seventh nationally) and 3.7 steals per game (second in the NCAA).

After playing at UVA, Wright was the second overall pick in the 2010 WNBA draft. Playing for the Minnesota Lynx, she was named to the 2010 WNBA All-Rookie Team averaging 11.1 points per game in her first season in the league. She won WNBA titles with the Lynx in 2011 and 2013. During Minnesota's 3-0 sweep of the Atlanta Dream in the 2013 WNBA Finals, Wright averaged 11.7 points and 1.7 steals per game. Wright, who also spent time with the Seattle Storm during her five WNBA seasons, served as secretary/treasurer for the WNBA Players Association during the 2015 season.

Wright spent last season as an assistant coach at Liberty after working at Incarnate Word in 2017-18 as the women's basketball team's director of student-athlete development. 

"The hiring of Coach Monica Wright for me was a no-brainer! She embodies all that is necessary to be a successful student athlete at UVA," Thompson said. "Not many have done it better than Monica. She knows a side of the university that no one else on our staff knows and has accomplished the very things our girls aspire to. It is important to me that our kids have examples of what is possible, that they can see, touch and talk to everyday. That way they will know if they are committed to the work, anything is possible. Monica is also a bright young coach, she has that thing that stars are made of. Her body of work as a player is an example of that. Her energy and work ethic is one that our kids will take to immediately. Monica absolutely loves everything that is UVA, she bleeds Virginia orange and blue. Like I said, a no-brainer."
 
Pitts and Wright will be filling vacancies on the coaching staff left by the departures of La'Keshia Frett Meredith and Jama Sharp, who will not be returning for the 2019-20 season.

 
by virginiasports.com 5/13/2019  

 

Tomas Woldetensae
Tomas Woldetensae
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 195
Year: So.
Hometown: Bologna, Italy
Position: G
Associates Degree: Victory Rock Prep (FL)
Previous School: Victory Rock Prep (FL)
GP28
PTS/G17.3
FG %46.7
3PT %47.6
FT %88.8
REB/G2.8
A/G2.5
  •  

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia men's head basketball coach Tony Bennett announced Monday (May 13) the signing of guard Tomas Woldetensae (pronounced Thomas Woal-duh-TEN-sigh) to a National Letter of Intent with the national champion Cavaliers.

 

"We are excited to welcome Tomas into the Virginia men’s basketball family,” Bennett said. “Tomas is a talented guard who is a complete player. Earning a degree from UVA is important to Tomas and his family, and we’re looking forward to him joining our program this fall.”

 

In 2018-19, Woldetensae (Bologna, Italy) earned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) First-Team All-America honors after averaging 17.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists for Indian Hills Community College (Ottumwa, Iowa). Woldetensae (6-5, 195) shot 47 percent from the field, 47.6 percent from 3-point range and 88.5 percent from the charity strip for Indian Hills, which advanced to the second round of the NJCAA National Tournament. Woldetensae, who was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches NJCAA All-America team, was the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) Player of the Year and member of the ICCAC all-league team.

 

Woldetensae averaged 8.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists during his freshman season at Indian Hills in 2017-18. He shot 39.4 percent from 3-point range and 89.3 percent from the free throw line.

 

Woldetensae holds the school record in free throw percentage (88.8%) and is third in 3-pointers (154). Indian Hills went 60-8 with a pair of regular-season conference titles and one postseason tournament title. Indian Hills advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament in each of Woldetensae’s two seasons at Indian Hills.

 

Prior to Indian Hills, Woldetensae played two seasons at Victory Rock Prep in Bradenton, Fla.

 

 

                       JUAN THORNHILL GETS SELECTED IN NFL DRAFT

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia senior safety Juan Thornhill (Altavista, Va.) was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs during Friday’s second round of the National Football League Draft. Thornhill was the 63rd overall pick and the first safety drafted out of Virginia since Anthony Poindexter was taken by the Baltimore Ravens in the seventh round, 216th overall, in 1999.

 

Thornhill is the first Cavalier drafted by the Chiefs since 2008 when offensive lineman Branden Albert was taken in the first round. Thornhill is the sixth Cavalier all-time to be drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs.

 

Thornhill finished the 2018 season No. 3 in the nation and No. 3 in the ACC with six interceptions. He set a UVA single-season record for interception return yards with 141 and led Virginia with 98 tackles.  Thornhill was a first-team All-ACC honoree, an honorable mention All-American by College Football News and named to the Associated Press All-Bowl team. Thornhill started in the Senior Bowl and participated in the NFL Combine. He was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after making six tackles and intercepting two passes against No. 16 Miami. Thornhill also recorded 4.5 tackles for loss, blocked a PAT and returned it for a two-point score. He leaves UVA tied for No. 6 all-time at UVA with 13 career interceptions, sharing the spot with Chase Minnifield (2008-11). Thornhill helped spearhead a UVA secondary in 2018 that finished No. 12 in the nation in passing efficiency defense (107.62), No. 16 in passing yards allowed (183.0) and No. 20 in both team defense (330.5) and scoring defense (20.1).

 

NFL DRAFT 2019

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.– Virginia senior cornerback Tim Harris (Richmond, Va.) was selected by the San Francisco 49ers during Saturday's sixth round of the National Football Draft. Harris was the 198th overall pick and the first cornerback drafted out of Virginia since Maurice Canady was taken by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round, 209th overall, in 2016.
 
Harris is the first Cavalier drafted by the 49ers since 2015 when Eli Harold was taken in the third round. Harris is the sixth Cavalier all-time to be drafted by the 49ers.
 
Harris appeared in 47 career games for the Cavaliers over six seasons. He started the last eight games on 2018 and made 36 tackles, broke up four passes and recorded two interceptions. Harris notched interceptions at Virginia Tech in the regular season finale and against South Carolina in the Belk Bowl. His interception in the Belk Bowl solidified UVA's 28-0 shutout of the Gamecocks. Harris was part of a UVA secondary in 2018 that finished No. 12 in the nation in passing efficiency defense (107.62), No. 16 in passing yards allowed (183.0) and No. 20 in both team defense (330.5) and scoring defense (20.1).

 

by virginiasports.com 4/26/2019

 

Several other standouts from the Cavaliers' football team went undrafted but shall continue their journey in the NFL after signing free agent contracts.

 

Olamide Zaccheaus signed with Atlanta Falcons

Chris Peace signed with the LA Chargers

Marcus Applefield signed with the Baltimore Ravens

Jordan Ellis signed with the Cincinnati Bengals

 

by EMSPORTS.org  4/27/2019

 

Kyle Guy and Mamadi Diakite' Declare for the NBA Draft 2019

 

The Virginia Cavaliers have been living a charmed life with the spectacular run they had during the NCAA tournament.  They lived on the edge in a few games and made many of the fanbases' hearts stop with their cardiac ways of snatching victory from the hands of defeat.  Well in order to repeat from this year, next year will look strikingly different.  After the announcements that Ty Jerome and De'Andre Hunter were leaving school early for the NBA, two more Hoos have joined the declaration train.  Sharpshooting specialist, Kyle Guy and the defensive intimidator, Mamadi Diakite', have officially submitted their names for the 2019 NBA Draft.

 

In a move that is not entirely unexpected, both players were instrumental in the Virginia Cavaliers capturing the 2018-2019 NCAA Men's Basketball title.  Both players were not projected to be drafted in the latest ESPN Mock Draft, however their profiles have greatly increased with their outstanding play in the NCAA tournament.

 

Guy, the junior guard led the Cavaliers in scoring each of the past two years, including 15.4 points per game in 2018-19, and he scored 24 points in the team's national championship game win over Texas Tech on April 8.  He led the team in 3pt field goals made and 3pt percentage.  He also was the best free throw shooter at 82% and his three consecutive free throws in the National Semifinal to beat Auburn, will go down as the most clutch free throws in UVA History. 

 

Diakite had a breakout 2018-19 campaign, establishing career highs in points per game (7.4), rebounds per game (4.4) and blocks (63). He surged in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 10.5 points, 8.2 boards and 2.7 blocks per contest. His game-tying basket in the Elite Eight led to UVA defeating Purdue in overtime, earning the Hoos a spot in the Final Four.

 

by EM-SPORTS.ORG 4/18/219

4/15/19

 

Hunter and Jerome To Enter 2019 NBA Draft

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Redshirt sophomore guard De’Andre Hunter (Philadelphia, Pa.) and junior point guard Ty Jerome (New Rochelle, N.Y.) announced Monday (April 15) that they will forgo their remaining eligibility at Virginia and enter the 2019 NBA Draft.

 

Hunter and Jerome helped lead the Cavaliers (35-3) to their first NCAA National Championship in 2018-19. Both players plan to sign with agents and intend to stay in the NBA Draft, which will be held June 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

 

“De’Andre and Ty leave Virginia with tremendous legacies,” head coach Tony Bennett said.  “They were outstanding players and role models, and I’m so proud of the men they have become. We won a lot of games and championships with De’Andre and Ty, and they are ready to realize their life-long dreams of playing in the NBA.”

 

Hunter earned consensus second-team All-America honors, NABC National Defensive Player of the Year, All-ACC first-team and ACC Defensive Player of the honors after his breakout season in 2018-19. He averaged 15.2 points and 5.1 rebounds, while shooting 52 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from 3-point range and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. Hunter racked up 10 20-point games, including a career-high 27 points against Texas Tech in the NCAA championship game. He averaged 12.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in 71 career games.

 

“I have been dreaming about this moment for a long time and I’m excited to enter my name into the NBA Draft. My last three years at UVA have been magical and playing with this team has been amazing. I want to thank Coach Bennett, my family and teammates for this opportunity. Ending my collegiate career as a national champion means the world to me.”

 

Jerome averaged career highs in points (13.6), rebounds (4.2) and assists (5.5) during his junior season in 2018-19. Jerome netted six 20-point games, including 24 against Purdue and 21 against Auburn in the NCAA Tournament. Jerome registered three double-doubles and tied a school record with 14 assists at Syracuse. Jerome, who was two-time All-ACC  honoree, totaled 1,011 points, 317 rebounds and 384 assists in 105 career games in three seasons at UVA.

 

“I would like to thank Coach Bennett and his staff for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to play at this level,” Jerome said. “This is the hardest decision of my life because of how much I loved my teammates and my three years at UVA. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for the NBA Draft and I’m excited to go chase this dream.”

 

Virginia has produced five NBA draft selections under Bennett since 2012, including Mike Scott (Atlanta, 2012), Joe Harris (Cleveland, 2014), Justin Anderson (Dallas, 2015), Malcolm Brogdon (Milwaukee, 2016) and Devon Hall (OKC, 2016). Anderson was the last UVA underclassman selected in the NBA Draft after Dallas selected him 21st overall in 2015. Scott (Washington), Anderson (Atlanta), Harris (Brooklyn) and Brogdon (Milwaukee) are currently playing in the NBA.

 

Virginia  face Texas Tech for the national championship

Kyle guy's three free throws with 0.6 six seconds left in regulation sealed Virginia first trip to the national championship game. UVA trailed 31 - 28 at the half the Cavaliers
went on an 8-0 to start the second half and held Auburn scoreless for the first 5:46
 on a controversy call, guy's got foul with 0.6 left in game Kyle got foul from the three-point line with three free throws he made all the free throws to win the game 63-62

 

• Double-figure scorers: Ty Jerome (21), Kyle Guy (15), De’Andre Hunter (14)

• Diakite had a career-high five blocked shots

• Jerome matched a career high with nine rebounds

• Jerome had his eighth career 20-point game

• Jerome (six assists) is tied for sixth on UVA’s single-season assist list with 194   EM-SPORTS 4/6/19

 

 

 

Bennett and Hunter Claim Top ACC Honors

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s Tony Bennett was named the 2019 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year and redshirt sophomore De’Andre Hunter (Philadelphia, Pa.) was named Defensive Player of the Year, the ACC announced on Monday (March 11).

 

Hunter, along with junior Kyle Guy (Indianapolis, Ind.) were named All-ACC First Team, and junior Ty Jerome (New Rochelle, N.Y.) was named All-ACC Second Team. Hunter was also named to the All-Defensive Team.

 

UVA now has 26 All-ACC first team selections. The Cavaliers have had the defensive player of the year in four of the last five years, with Hunter joining Isaiah Wilkins (2018), Malcolm Brogdon (2016), and Darion Atkins and Brogdon (2015).

 

Bennett earned his fourth ACC coach of the year honor, the third most all-time behind Dean Smith (8) and Mike Krzyzewski (5). Bennett guided UVA to a share of the ACC regular-season title, giving the Cavaliers four in the last six years. UVA captured an ACC-record five ranked road wins, tied for most all-time with UConn (1998-99) and had a school-record eight wins over ranked opponents in 2018-19.

 

Hunter spearheads UVA’s top-ranked defense that yields 54.1 points per game. He is averaging career highs in points (15.2) and rebounds (5.2). He ranks third in in the ACC in field goal percentage (53.3%), seventh in free throw percentage (78.7%) and 13th in scoring (15.2). Hunter earned Battle 4 Atlantis MVP honors and ACC Player of the Week accolades after averaging 19.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in the tournament.

 

Guy leads the Cavaliers with 15.3 points per game. He ranks first in the ACC in 3-pointers per game (3.2), third in 3-point percentage (45.1%), ninth in minutes (34.2), 10th in field goal percentage (46.3%) and 12th in scoring (15.3). Guy has scored 20 or more points in seven games and his 97 3-pointers this season rank fourth on UVA's single-season list.

 

Jerome is averaging career highs in points (13.5), rebounds (4.1) and assists (5.1). He ranks first in assists (5.3), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.2), fourth in 3-point percentage (42.6%), 18th in minutes (32.7) and 21st in scoring (13.5). Jerome has three double-doubles this season, including 16 points and school-record tying 14 assists at Syracuse. Jerome has handed out four or more assists in 22 games.

 

Joining Hunter and Guy on the first team were ACC Player of the Year Zion Williamson (Duke), RJ Barrett (Duke) and Cameron Johnson (North Carolina).

 

Jerome is joined on the second team by Luke Maye (North Carolina), Ky Bowman (Boston College), Coby White (North Carolina) and Kerry Blackshear, Jr. (Virginia Tech).

 

No. 1 seed Virginia (28-2) will play No. 8 seed NC State (21-10) or No. 9 seed Clemson (19-12) in ACC quarterfinal action on Thursday, March 14. Tipoff at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. is set for 12:30 p.m.

 

 

 

Williamson Sweeps ACC's Top Honors, Four Named All-ACC

March 11, 2019  

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke freshman forward Zion Williamson has been named both the 2019 ACC Player of the Year and Rookie of Year, leading four Blue Devils to earn All-ACC mention and becoming just the third player in ACC history to sweep the league’s Player and Rookie of the Year honors.

Williamson joins former Duke standouts Marvin Bagley III (2018) and Jahlil Okafor (2015) as the only players in the ACC’s 66-year history to sweep the conference's top individual awards in the same season. Williamson was also the only unanimous selection for both first-team All-ACC and All-Freshman honors this season.

Freshman RJ Barrett joined Williamson with first-team All-ACC honors, while fellow classmates Tre Jones and Cam Reddish each earned honorable mention All-ACC nods. Williamson and Jones were tapped to the ACC All-Defensive Team, while Williamson, Barrett and Jones were All-Freshman selections. Jones finished second in the balloting for ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Williamson was the choice for ACC Player of the Year by 49 of the 70-member voting panel (15 ACC head coaches, 55 selected media). His teammate Barrett placed second with 16 votes. The ACC Rookie of the Year balloting was 47 votes for Williamson to Barrett’s 21.

Williamson is the 17th Blue Devil to be named ACC Player of the Year and 11th to be named ACC Freshman of the Year – the 13th and eighth, respectively, under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. All-time, Duke now boasts 70 first-team picks, with 46 coming under Coach K.

Duke’s 17 Player of the Year Awards are the most in conference history, and the Blue Devils have had a first-team All-ACC selection in 12 consecutive years – the ACC’s longest active streak by eight years. It is the 17th time in school history, and first time since 2011, that Duke has had multiple first-team All-ACC honorees.

Although missing the better part of the final six regular season games due to a knee injury, Williamson still ranks third among ACC players in total points scored. His 21.6 points per game scoring average is second among conference players, and he stands third in rebounding at 8.8 per game and leads the conference (second nationally) with a .683 field goal percentage. The 6-foot-7, 285-pound native of Spartanburg, S.C., has also provided an intimidating defensive presence, ranking second in the ACC in steals (2.2) and fourth in blocked shots (1.85). 

A finalist for the Wooden Award, the Naismith Award and the Karl Malone Award, Williamson is the nation’s only player averaging more than 20 points per game and shooting better than .650 from the field.

The native of Mississauga, Ontario, Barrett is one of two players nationally – and the only one in power conferences – averaging 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The freshman is the ACC’s leading scorer at 23.3 points, is sixth in the conference in assists per game (4.2) and 12th in rebounds (7.4). He holds both the Duke and ACC freshman scoring records with 724 points, and the ACC freshman record for 20-point games (23). The freshman also set the overall Duke record for points in a season at Cameron Indoor Stadium with 402.

Virginia’s Tony Bennett was recognized as the ACC Coach of the Year, while the Cavaliers’ sophomore De’Andre Hunter received the nod as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. The Sixth Man of the Year was Florida State’s Mifondu Kabengele, while Louisville’s Jordan Nwora was voted the ACC’s Most Improved Player.

Williamson and Barrett were joined on the All-ACC first team by Virginia’s Hunter, North Carolina’s Cameron Johnson and Virginia’s Kyle Guy.

Third-seeded Duke (26-5, 14-4) has a double-bye to the New York Life ACC Tournament quarterfinals and plays Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET in Charlotte. The Blue Devils will face Syracuse, Boston College or Pitt with a spot in the semifinals on the line.

2019 Atlantic Coast Conference Post-Season Honors

All-ACC

First Team

Zion Williamson, Duke, 350*

RJ Barrett, Duke, 346

De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, 302

Cameron Johnson, North Carolina, 277

Kyle Guy, Virginia, 231

 

Second Team

Luke Maye, North Carolina, 221

Ky Bowman, Boston College, 188

Ty Jerome, Virginia, 177

Coby White, North Carolina, 171

Kerry Blackshear Jr., Virginia Tech, 170

 

Third Team

Jordan Nwora, Louisville, 135

Marcquise Reed, Clemson, 129

Tyus Battle, Syracuse, 128

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Virginia Tech, 72

John Mooney, Notre Dame, 71

 

Honorable Mention

Mifondu Kabengele, Florida State, 69

Cam Reddish, Duke, 37

Tre Jones, Duke, 18

Terance Mann, Florida State, 16

Elijah Thomas, Clemson, 10

 

ACC Player of the Year

Zion Williamson, Duke, 49

RJ Barrett, Duke, 16

De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, 4

Ky Bowman, Boston College, 1

 

ACC Freshman of the Year

Zion Williamson, Duke, 47

RJ Barrett, Duke, 21

Coby White, North Carolina, 2

 

ACC Coach of the Year

Tony Bennett, Virginia, 30

Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech, 12

Roy Williams, North Carolina, 11

Leonard Hamilton, Florida State, 10

Chris Mack, Louisville, 7

 

ACC Defensive Player of the Year

De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, 46

Tre Jones, Duke, 19

David Skara, Clemson, 3

Trent Forrest, Florida State, 2

 

ACC Most Improved Player

Jordan Nwora, Louisville, 30

John Mooney, Notre Dame, 27

Cameron Johnson, North Carolina, 5

Mifondu Kabengele, Florida State, 4

Kerry Blackshear Jr., Virginia Tech, 2

Chris Lykes, Miami, 2

 

ACC Sixth Man of the Year

Mifondu Kabengele, Florida State, 60

DJ Funderburk, NC State, 3

Jared Wilson-Frame, Pitt, 3

Nassir Little, North Carolina, 2

Braxton Key, Virginia, 2

 

ACC All-Defensive Team

De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, 60

Tre Jones, Duke, 56

Zion Williamson, Duke, 53

Elijah Thomas, Clemson, 31

James Banks III, Georgia Tech, 29

 

ACC All-Freshman Team

Zion Williamson, Duke, 70*

Coby White, North Carolina, 67

RJ Barrett, Duke, 66

Xavier Johnson, Pitt, 40

Tre Jones, Duke, 38

photo by virginiasports.com

Cavaliers capture another ACC, come from behind to fly past the Louisville Cardinals on Senior Day, 73-68.

 

In a memorable regular season finale, the fans at John Paul Jones knew something special was about to happen. This is Senior Day 2019 and no one stood taller or larger than 4th year redshirt senior, Jack Salt.  Salt has been a key member of the Virginia teams the last four years and is the backbone of the team.

 

The number two-ranked Hoos hosted their cross division rival the Louisville Cardinals. With a win, Virginia captured another regular season title and looked to lock up the top seed in the ACC Tournament.  

 

The game opened up with a three point strike from Kyle Guy. Kihei Clark followed with another three pointer. Louisville answered with their own three pointer from Malik Williams.

Virginia continued the hot three point shooting they had at Syracuse making five of their first 10 attempts. At the under 12 minute timeout, Virginia held the lead at 19-14.  

 

Louisville would not go away. They got a boost from sharpshooter Ryan McMahon who knocked down two three pointers to keep the Cardinals in striking distance. Jay Huff and Ty Jerome continued the aerial assault from behind the three-point arc but Louisville also found success inside the paint and at free throw line.

 

Louisville was able to finish the half with a modest 6-0 run and draw the score to 36-33 Virginia. 

Ty Jerome led all scorers with 13 points.  Jordan Nwora led the Cards with 10 points.  Both teams shot over 41% from three while Louisville shot 41% from the floor compared to 36% from the Cavaliers. Each team was near perfect from the free throw line with Virginia having the only miss out of six tries. Louisville made all six of their attempts. 

 

The Cards were the aggressor coming out of the locker room. Louisville opened with a quick 5-0 spurt to take their first lead of the game. Jerome answered back with two free throws to tie the score at 38.

Louisville used long distance accuracy to take a 47-40 lead with three consecutive 3-point makes. The Hoos responded with a Kyle Guy triple and then Ty Jerome finished with a layup to bring the score to 47-45 Louisville. 

 

Louisville stymied the momentum and in back to back layups increased the lead to 53-49 at the under 12 minute timeout. The lead see-sawed back and forth with each team trading baskets.  Ty Jerome made two free throws, Jay Huff hit his third three-pointer and Jerome drilled a jumper in the paint to cap 7-0 run in a little over two minutes and bring the home crowd to their feet. Virginia took a 68-62 lead into the under four minute timeout. 

 

With the score at 68-64, Ty Jerome atoned for a missed three with a crafty steal on a fast break attempt by Jordan Nwora to limit any damage or chance for Louisville to get any closer.  Virginia finished the game with free throws and clinches another ACC regular season championship as they head into the ACC tourney as the #1 seed next week in Charlotte, NC.

 

Ty Jerome held game high scoring honors with 24.  He was joined in double digits by Kyle Guy with 13. Three other Hoos chipped in nine apiece: De’Andre Hunter, Jay Huff and Braxton Key. The team finished with only four turnovers and six blocks. Louisville shot well in the second half but could not hold onto the lead. 

 

Nwora led the way with 19, Williams added 12. The Cards got 10 points each from Dwayne Sutton and Christen Cunningham. The Cards finished with 10 turnovers but outrebounded the Cavs 40-31. They finished shooting 41% from the floor and but only 36% from the 3pt line. Virginia made only 40% of their shot but shot nearly 43% from behind the 3pt arc.

 

by EMSPORTS.org  3/9/2019

 

 

photo by virginiasports.com

The Virginia Cavaliers tame and control the Pitt Panthers, 73-49

 

The Virginia Cavaliers hosted the Pittsburgh Panthers in another ACC home contest. The Cavaliers who just completely dominated Georgia Tech 81-51, were looking to complete a two-game homestand sweep. 

 
The Panthers, under first-year coach, Jeff Capel, were hoping for a major upset of the #2 ranked Cavaliers. 
 
The offenses both struggled in the first few minutes. Pitt opened the scoring with a 3 from Jared Wilson-Frame. Virginia got on board following a Ty Jerome floater. Pitt answered with another layup before Jerome scored again in the paint.
 
Following the timeout, Virginia started to flex its  muscle. Jay Huff scores on a reverse layup to start a modest 7-2 run capped by a Kyle Guy three-point shot.  Pitt called a timeout losing 18-10.
 
Virginia continued their offensive explosion and gave up little in the defensive end. During an 16-0 run that spanned nearly six and half minutes, Virginia established complete control and forced the Panthers into multiple turnovers. 
 
Virginia closed the half on a 12-7 finish leading 39-19. They only allowed six made field goals by Pitt (31.6 %) and forced 10 turnovers. Virginia shot extremely well. 63% from the floor, 56% with the 3-ball and 80% from the free throw line. 
 
Virginia's hot shooting  continued after the break. Kyle Guy scored on a dribble dive to open up the lead to 41-19. Pittsburgh was more aggressive and more efficient. They made three of their first six shots.  At the 14:42 mark, Virginia had stretched the lead to 50-26 and were completely in control.
 
Virginia subbed in fresh bodies with an enormous lead and Pitt could not produce a real challenge. The lead never dipped below 22 points and swelled to as high as 27 points. 
 
With about four minutes left, both teams had taken out a majority of the starters and allow some reserves to get some floor time. With under two minutes, the biggest cheer came when team manager Grant Kersey entered the game.   After a few more mop-up minutes, the game ended with Virginia rolling away with a 73-49 Virginia victory.  
 
Virginia’s suffocating defense was relentless. The Panthers finished the game just below 39% shooting and only 32% from behind the three-point arc They also made just 9 of 13 on free throws. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to 10 from Virginia. The Cavs shot a blistering 59% from the floor, 56% from behind the arc and 16-20 from the charity stripe. 
 
Kyle Guy led all scorers with 17 points and 5-7 from the 3pt arc. Ty Jerome added 13 and De’Andre Hunter chipped in 12. For Pitt, Wilson-Frame scored 15 and teammate Au’Diese Toney had 12.
 
They improved to 14-2 in ACC and 26-2 overall. Pitt now stands at 2-14 in ACC and 12-17 overall. Va heads to Syracuse in Monday. Pitt will stay in the road and entertain the Miami Hurricanes on Tuesday, March 5th.
 
Hot Takes:
* The Cavaliers' starters scored 48 points, Pitt scored 49 points total as a team.
* The Virginia Bench accounted for 25 points, Pitt's bench could only muster 11.
* Mamadi Diakite's 20 game streak of having at least 1 block came to an end.  
 
by EMSPORTS.org  3/2/19
 
photo by virginiasports.com

The #2 Cavaliers demolish the visiting Yellow Jackets

 

The University of Virginia Cavaliers returned home to an energetic crowd and new ranking. The #2 Cavs hosted the Georgia Yellow Jackets and it was a back and forth affair in the first eight minutes. The Cavaliers started the scoring with a three ball from De'Andre Hunter.  Georgia Tech would answer back with four straight points.  After falling behind 11-7, the Cavaliers found their shooting stroke and turned up the defensive heat.   With a conventional three-point play from De’Andre Hunter, the Hoos busted out an 11-0 run to force a GT timeout and take an 18-11 lead.

 
With Virginia now in the lead and controlling tempo, they continued to push GT out of its zone defense. The Yellow Jackets switched to a man to man scheme, yet Virginia continue to make shots and grew the lead to 28-15 at the 7:48 mark and another GT timeout. 
 
The Cavaliers came out the break and continued to stretch the lead. With contributions from the bench in the form of Jay Huff, the Cavaliers made a quick 10-5 run and with GT out of their element, the score was 38-20 at the next GT timeout.
 
Virginia finished the half with a three-pointer from Kihei Clark. A great defensive play from Jack Salt closed the door and the Cavs took a commanding 41-22.
 
Virginia was led by Hunter’s 14 points and Ty Jerome’s nine. Virginia shot over 53% from the field and hit 6 of 11 from behind the arc. GT was only 1-7 from three point land and only made nine of their 28 field goals. Leading scorer at nine points was James Banks and with five points was Kristian Sjolund. Virginia made all three of their free throws and outrebounded the Yellow Jackets, 20-14.
 
Virginia sprinted out the gates after halftime and posted a 10-0 run before the under 16 minute timeout, increasing the lead to 51-24. Georgia Tech misses some point blank shots before finally breaking the scoring drought five minutes into the second half. 
 
Georgia Tech was outmatches and outmanned but they kept fighting. Braxton Key knocked down a three-pointer to give Virginia their biggest lead at 63-35.  Georgia Tech then responded with a respectable 11-4 run to close the gap to 67-46 with under seven minutes to play. 
 
The Cavaliers sustituted the starters out with about five minutes and finished with several highlight reel dunks to put the icing on the cake of the 81-51 victory. Ty Jerome held game high scoring marks with 19. Hunter added 18 and Kyle Guy chipped in 11.
 
The Yellow Jackets has three in double digits. Jose Alvarado with 12. Banks with 11 and Michael Devoe provided 10 points.
 
Cavaliers shoot 30-54 and 9-17 from the three-point line. The Packline D limited GT to shoot roughly 38% from the field and below 30% from behind the arc. 
 
The win moves the Hoos into a tie for first place at 13-2 with UNC in the ACC.  Uva is 25-2 overall and will stay home to face the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday, March 2nd.  The loss drops GT to 12-17 overall and 4-12 in the ACC.  They will host the Boston College Eagles on Sunday, March 3rd.
 
Hot Takes:
*Virginia eclipsed the 80 point mark for seventh time this season.
 
*Virginia outscored GT 18-7 in bench scoring.
 
*Virginia outrebounded the Yellow Jackets 41-21.
 
*Virginia scored at least 40 points and shot over 50% s from field and three-point line in each half
 
*Clark was perfect from the field and dished a game high six assists with 0 turnovers.
 
by EMSPORTS.org  2/27/19
photo by virginiasports.com

The #4 Virginia Cavaliers hold off the pesky Notre Dame Irish, 60-54.

 

After the Cavaliers pulled off a mighty, gritty win on the road at the #8 UNC Tar Heels, they returned home to face the scuffling Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  On a day where the Virginia bench was limited and offense was a premium, the #4 Cavaliers grinded out a victory over the desperate Notre Dame Irish.

 

The Cavs held ND to anemic shooting from the field (34.5%) and three-point line (26.7%).

 

Kyle Guy scored a game high 22 points and De’Andre Hunter added 20 to help Virginia pull out a 60-54 victory. The team played outstanding defense and timely shooting to keep the Fighting Irish from pulling an upset TJ Gibbs led the visitors with 17 points. John Mooney gave the team 11 with DJ Harvey scoring 10.  The team turned the ball over only nine times and grabbed 26 rebounds.  The Irish were perfect from the free throw line shooting 8 for 8.

 

Virginia shot below their season average from the field and three-point line as well. The Cavs made only 37% and 34% respectively in these categories. They were able to control the tempo with just eight turnovers and also collected 36 rebounds. They made 14-17 from the free throw line and this advantage between both teams was the difference in the score.

 

Virginia will now head to arch-rival Virginia Tech in Monday while Notre Dame will hosts the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Tuesday, Feb. 19th.

 

by EMSPORTS.org 2/16/19

#2 Duke Blue Devils outshoot and outscore    #3 Virginia, 81-71

 

Uva versus Duke Part II. The rematch of two of the best teams in all of college basketball was finally here and the anticipation was almost impalpable. The #2 Blue Devils and #3 Cavaliers were tied at 8-1 in ACC and battling for a chance to move up in the national standings.

 
Duke was not intimidated by the hostile home crowd nor the electric atmosphere. Duke raced out to an 8-0 lead before UVA scored with nearly three minutes gone. Duke was efficient and effective from the three-point line hitting 8-11 with RJ Barrett making all five of his attempts. Zion Williamson was very impressive as well making 12 points and a couple of blocks.  The Duke hit start kept Virginia at bay and allowed Duke to push the lead to 31-17 before Virginia took back some momentum. 
 
Kyle Guy started out as cold as a frigid December night with zero makes in his first five tries. However, he found the touch and scored eight straight points to close the half. The late surge made it a 39-35 score at the half.  Mamadi Diakite score seven points as second leading scorer.
 
Duke began the second half as they began the first with perimeter firepower and supreme accuracy. At each turn the Blue Devils made a backbreaking three-pointer to push back any Virginia efforts. 
 
Tre Jones who missed the first game, was essential in keeping Virginia’s offense oft-balance and lead the charge for the Duke attack. They outscored Virgina 17-0 in fast break points which proved to be an obstacle too big overcome. 
 
Duke made every big play down the stretch and continued to shoot extremely well from behind the three-point arc. It seemed Virginia couldn’t grab a loose ball when they needed a break or get a rebound. 
 
Virginia was never able to make enough stops and stymie Duke’s offense. Duke shot 13-21 (62%) from outside the arc because they were limited from inside the paint. 
 
Ty Jerome returned from injury to lead the Hoos with 16 points as was Kyle Guy. De’Andre Hunter chopped in 11. RJ Barrett showed his prowess leading all scorers with 26 points with a blistering 6-10 from the three-point line. Cam Reddish pumped in 17 points on 5-8 from three-point arc. Zion Williamson has 18 and Tre Jones finished with 13. The Blue Devils scorched the nets at nearly 58% scored a season high 81 points against Virginia. The Cavs shot roughly 47% from the field and 42% from behind the 3.
 
Virginia win the rebound battle 29-25 but turnover the ball 14 times compared to nine from Duke. Blue Devils (21-2) moves into a tie at 9-1 with the UNC Tar Heels into first in ACC. The Cavaliers are now 8-2 and 20-2 on the year. 
 
by EMSPORTS 2/9/2019
 
by virginiasports.com

The #3 Virginia Cavaliers hold off the Miami Hurricanes, 56-46.  

 

The Virginia Cavaliers were showing signs of fatigue.  After winning their second straight road contest in the ACC, 66-65 in OT versus the #23 NC State Wolfpack, the Cavs returned home to JPJ.  However there was a different vibe in the air.  Starting PG Ty Jerome was sitting out the first game of the year due to back spasms, and the Cavaliers were trotting out a new lineup with 1st year PG, Kihei Clark, manning the position.

 

The game was not for the weak at heart but more for grind-it-out defense and patience.  Both teams started slow and traded the lead as Miami went ahead 11-9 after a Sam Waardenburg jumper.  The home crowd was uneasy and rightfully so.  This Virginia team had blown a big lead in Raleigh and did not look like their usual dominant selves.  The team lack some rhythm and turnovers were as abundant as points.

 

Virginia finally got a boost from the unlikely replacement in Clark, who hit a jumper to tie the game at 11.  This was the start to a 19-10 run in the last 10 minutes of the half boosting the Cavaliers to a 28-21 lead. In that stretch, the Cavaliers held the Hurricanes to one made field goal in nearly seven-and-half minutes.

 

De'Andre Hunter scored 10 points to lead all scorers.

 

In the second half, Miami started with five consecutive points and stole back momentum as they also scored the last points before halftime.  Virginia settled in and began to flex their muscle on defense and on the glass.  Everytime Miami attempted to crawl back in the game, the Hoos had an answer.  The contributions were plentiful and came from many directions.  Mamadi Diakite was vital in helping control the boards and his timely jumpers allowed Virginia breathing room down the final minutes of the game.  His defense was also a key deterent in snuffing out the Hurricanes' interior plans.  Kihei Clark and Kyle Guy continued to make back-breaking jumpers which also limited the amount of pressure that Miami continued to apply throughout the second half.  

 

Virginia was able to push the lead up to 11 points on a few occasions later in the contest and Miami was never able to recover.

 

Hunter led the Cavs with 14 points and six rebounds.  Diakite also grabbed six rebounds and add 11 points.  Kyle Guy contributed 10 points.  Clark stuffed the stat sheet with 9 points, six assist and five rebounds.  Virginia snagged 42 rebounds and shot 42% from the field, only 33% from behind the three-point arc.  Jack Salt and Braxton Key were the biggest rebounders with 9 and 8 respectively.

 

For Miami, they were able to get most of their points from three guys.  Chris Lykes pumped in a game high 16 points.  Sam Waardenburg had 10 as well as Zac Johnson.  The shooting was paltry.  The Hurricanes only made 34% of their field goal tries and even worse, 19% from the three-point line.  They also grabbed just 24 rebounds.  They did a good job of handling the ball with only seven turnovers, which was half as much as the 14 that Virginia committed.

 

Virginia (20-1) will now rest for a full week as they prepare for the rematch with the #2 Duke Blue Devils, who provided the only loss on Virginia's record.  The game will be the College GameDay on Saturday, Feb. 9th.  The Hurricanes (9-12) will look to clear their minds and get ready for a home date with Notre Dame on Wednesday, February 6th.

 

by EMSPORTS 2/2/2019

by virginiasports.com

The #3 Cavaliers suffocate the Demon Deacons, 68-45

 

The University of Virginia returned to JPJ to host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Tuesday, January 22nd. The Cavaliers were smarting from their first loss of the season at the #1 Duke Blue Devils. The Demon Deacons were trying build momentum following a loss at #9 ranked Virginia Tech. 

 

The Cavaliers came out of the tunnel on fire.  Mamadi Diakite started the scoring party with the first seven points of the game.  When Diakite cooled off, De'Andre Hunter picked up the pace and scored the next seven points for the Wahoos.  The score was quickly 12-0 four minutes into the game.  The score looked to be worst before Wake Forest was able to remove the goose egg with a three pointer from Brandon Childress.  The first bucket they made in the first 11 shots of the game.

 

The Cavaliers were hardly phased.  Kyle Guy answered the Wake Forest triple with one of his own and the lead ballooned to 17-3.  Following a much needed, WF timeout, the Cavaliers made several substitutions but it didn't make Wake's case any better.  The new Cavaliers continued to apply intense pressured on defense and the offensive prowess on Jay Huff went on full display.  

 

Huff knocked down his first shot which was a three-pointer.  Then Huff converted a traditional and-1 with a beautiful finger roll as he was being fouled at the hoop.  He then added another highlight with a thunderous alley-oop dunk off a great assist from Ty Jerome.  The score was 25-3 and there was no relief in sight for the Demon Deacons.  The Cavaliers were looking to blow the game out with the lead at 32-9 before Wake Forest found life after a 3 of 17 start from the field.

 

After a scorching start, the Cavaliers cooled off and went scoreless in nearly the last three minutes of the half.  The Demon Deacons finally found a rhythm from the outside and were able to knock down a flurry of shots in the last six minutes of the half.  Sharone Wright, Jr. knocked down consecutive three point shots before Childress finished the scoring a personal 5-0 run.  The Demon Deacons finished the half on a 14-4 scoring spree to go into the half only down 36-23.  Jay Huff led the Cavaliers with 10 points and the Cavaliers held the Wake Forest to 32% shooting and 17 rebounds.  Virginia shot 45% and grabbed 20 boards.  Brandon Childress was the game's leading scorer with 11 points at the half.

 

Virginia started the second half with the same pressure as they began in the game.  However, the offense was not hitting on all cylinders.  Both teams started slow as they attempted to find a flow.  A technical foul from Wake Forest coach Danny Manning seemed to get the Virginia offense in gear as they ran off nine consecutive points with a few floaters from Ty Jerome and a three-point dart from Kyle Guy.  Wake Forest eventually ended their scoring drought with a three-point rainbow by Oliver Saar.  The second half was filled with sloppy play and long droughts of offensive ineptitude.  The Cavaliers were mired in an 0-for-11 drought from the field before Jack Salt finished a great no-look bounce pass from Kyle Guy with a two-handed jam.  Kyle Guy then swished home a three-pointer from the top of the key and pushed back any attempt for Wake to gain momentum.  Wake would answer with a lay-up off a Guy turnover and then a runout alley-oop after a Diakite shot was blocked.  This was the last reasonable threat by the Demon Deacons in the game.

 

Virginia displayed great versatility and it was best seen in the box score where five players finished in double digit scoring.  Kyle Guy and Jay Huff both finished with 12 points.  Hunter had 11 as did Diakite and Jerome added 10.  The Cavaliers shot under 39% for the game and only 33% from the three-point arc but they made 17 of 21 free throws.  The defense was outstanding forcing 11 turnovers and collecting 30 rebounds led by eight from Jack Salt.  Wake Forest was led by Childress with 12 points and 11 from Oliver Saar.  They barely shot 31% from the field and just 25% with the 3-ball.  They also made just 5 of 7 free throws but entered as the most productive scoring team from the free throw line in the NCAA.  

 

UVA moved to 17-1 for the season and 5-1 in ACC play.  It was their fourth win of 20 or more points over an ACC opponent this year and the eighth time they held an opponent under 50 points.  Virginia will go back on the road to Notre Dame on Saturday, January 26th.  Wake Forest falls to 1-5 in ACC and 8-10 overall.  They will attempt to regroup and head home to face the Boston College Eagles.  


by EMSPORTS 1/22/2019

photo by virginiasports.com

#4 Virginia destroys commonwealth rival, the #9 VT Hokies, 81-59.

 

In the the first ever match up of the two Commonwealth giants as Top 10 opponents, Uva and VT took center stage in JPJ. The #9 Virginia Tech Hokies were entering enemy territory with a gaudy 14-1 record and boasting the highest ranking they had earned in nearly a decade.  Their arch-rivals, the Virginia Cavaliers were use to battles with highly ranked teams but never with the Hokies at this lofty position.

 

The #4 Cavaliers started out with fire in the eyes and in the nets. Virginia hit four of their first six three-point shots to separate themselves from VT.  Virginia Tech was determined to stay within striking distance and ith good free throw shooting helped offset the three-point precision of the Cavs.

 

This didn’t last long. For every small challenge the visitors from I-81 put up, the Cavaliers made quick work of the resistance.  Virginia exploded on the Hokies near the halfway point of the first half.  After an Ahmed Hill layup closed the score to 21-14 in favor of the Hoos, Virginia responded with a 23-8 Cavalance over the next 10 minutes.  The Packline D shone the brightest as they forced Virginia Tech into contested shot after contested shot which was followed by multiple misses and rebounds for UVA. The Hokies went over five and a half minutes without a field goal. The final blow was a buzzer beating three-pointer from Kihei Clark to pushed the lead to 44-22.

 

Virginia’s offense was none too shabby as they converted  71% of the three point shots. The team made 68% of their field goals as well. The Hokies were only successful on 7 of their 20 first half shots (35%) and a measly 2 of 9 from behind the three-point arc. Virginia Tech did make six their nine free throw attempts.

The offense was spearheaded by Ty Jerome’s 12 points and Kyle Guy’s 11.  The Cavs also received a boost from the bench led by the air assault of Kihei Clark's six points aand Jay Huff's three points all from behind the arc.

 

The Hokies were led by Justin Robinson who scored seven points, whereas no other teammate had more than 3.

 

Virginia Tech played with more emphasis on scoring and efficiency. They were able trim the lead to 14, 48-34, following a modest 12-4 run, higlighted by Hill's 12 points during the run.  However, the Cavaliers regrouped and worked their muscle inside with close range buckets. De'Andre Hunter became the go-to force in the second half where he scored 12 points to match Hill and provide ample breathing room for the Cavaliers.

 

Virginia Tech was no match  for the offensive balance displayed by UVA. Walker and Robinson tried to pace the Hokies but to no avail.  Robinson’s frustration boiled over and his technical foul gave Virginia two more easy points. The lead swelled to a game high 25 when Kyle Guy hit both free throws to make the score 68-43.  The final minutes allowed both benches to get some floor time.  The last few Cavalier buckets came courtesy of a dunk showcase by Jay Huff.  Huff rocked the rim on consecutive possessions and brought the crowd to an absolute frenzy. 

 

Ty Jerome recorded his first double-double with 14 points and 12 assists. De’Andre Hunter took game high honors in scoring with 21 points. Kyle Guy provided 15 points.  Nickeil-Alexander Walker gave his team a boost with 19 points in 6-10 shooting. Ahmed Hill scores 14 points with 12 coming in the second half. 

 

Virginia punished VT on the glass with 27 rebounds to only 19 for the Hokies.  UVA was lights out from the field at nearly 59% while making 13-24 three-pointers and hitting all six of their free throws.  Tech shot much better in the second half to raise the game totals to 43% from the floor and 33% from behind the three-point arc.  They were very good at the free throw stripe making 14-17. Each team finished with nine turnovers on the night,

 

The undefeated Virginia squad at 16-0, will now set it sights on facing the #1 team in the country, the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday, January 19th. This is also the site of the first College Gameday of the year.  Virginia Tech now at 14-2, will look to get this game behind them and set to host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons also on Saturday.   

 

by EMSPORTS 1/15/2019

photo by virginiasports.com

The #4 Cavaliers open up ACC play with an impressive 65-52 win over the #9 Florida State Seminoles.  

 

Virginia entertained the #9 ranked Florida State Seminoles in a battle of top ten teams in the ACC opener for both. The Seminoles brought a six game winning streak and 12-1 record into JPJ. They were a high octane scoring team averaging 81.3 points a game. The Cavaliers were undefeated at 12-0, handcuffing teams to a tune of only 51.4 points allowed per game.  These Hoos are looking to open up 2019 like they finished 2018, with a win.

 

Ty Jerome opened the scoring with two made free throws.  Florida State did not backdown from the challenge. They used a 8-2 run on the strength of two three-pointers, one each by MJ Walker and Phil Cofer to take a lead of 8-4 prior to the first TV timeout.  Virginia took advantage of the time to score a quick four points and tie the game at 8.  Virginia fell behind 9-8 with about 12 minutes left and then their defense turned up the pressure and the offense started to heat up the nets.  

 

Virginia closed the half with a 34-14 to take a 42-23 lead. Kyle Guy didn’t miss from behind the three-point arc, making all four attempts. With game high 18 points, he paced the offense which shot 44%. Florida State, meanwhile struggled from the floor and free throw line. The shot barely 35% from the floor, scoring only three points in the last five minutes of the half.  During the first half, Virginia held Florida State to two long stretches without a field goal (nearly 8 1/2 minutes and then over 6 1/2 minutes) respectively.  During that time, Florida State only made free throws but that was not a strong suite either.  They converted only 8-15(53%) from the stripe. Virginia outrebounded Florida State 17-12 in the first half.  Phil Cofer was leading scorer at six for the Seminoles. Braxton Key was a force off the bench scoring 12 points and grabbing four rebounds the saw as Ty Jerome. 

 

A new half but the same start. Kyle Guy knocked down his fifth consecutive three-point shot.  This extended his team and career long record of 11 consecutive three-point makes with no misses.  He made his last six attempts in the previous game versus Marshall.  The lead ballooned to 53-25 and began another nice scoring streak for UVA while the Seminoles continued to look for answers.  Virginia limited the Seminoles to nine points in the first ten minutes of the half. As well as the defense played, Virginia’s offense cooled but did more than enough to compliment the defense. Virginia scored a total of 21 points off of the 16 turnovers from the Seminoles.  By contrast, Florida State only score 10 points on the 11 turnovers of Virginia. Virginia made 16 of 18 (89%) free throws whereas Florida State 16 of 27 (59%) from  the stripe.  

 

Braxton Key was instrumental in keeping the offense above water with tough layups and strong rebounding. Key finished with a career high 20 points to back up Kyle Guy who scored 21 to lead all players.  Key also tied with De'Andre Hunter for team high in rebounds at six apiece. 

 

Florida State didn't have any scorers in double figures.  Phil Cofer lead his team with nine points and was followed by eight points by PJ Savoy.  After opening up a lead of 63-36 with under three minutes to play, both teams substituted freely.  Florida State was able to take advantage of some sloppy play and turnovers from the reserves.  They closed the game on a 15-2 run to make the final score respectable at 65-52 for a Virginia victory.

 

Each team will continue their journey through the ACC as Virginia travels to Boston College on Wednesday, January 9th.  Florida State will look to regroup and prepare for home date with instate rival, the Miami Hurricanes also on January 9th.

 

by EMSPORTS 01/05/2019

photo by virginiasports.com

#4 Cavaliers outshoot the Marshall Thundering Herd by a score of 100-64.

 

As the University of Virginia continued their homestand and looked to protect their 11-0 record, they had faced an array of teams with different styles and different personalities.  There may be none more diverse than the Marshall University Thundering Herd.  Coach Dan D'Antoni wore a gree tee shirt that said "Hillbilly Ball" and his team took pride in their style of play. 

 

This Marshall team boasted a high volume, streaky perimeter offense that boasted the motto “7 seconds or less!”  That meant get a shot up in less than 7 seconds when you cross halfcourt. The vaunted Packline D of Tony Bennett's team was about to face another challenge and an opponent who made the Sweet Sixteen in last year’s NCAA tournament. Virginia and Marshall were tied after 80 seconds into the game.  That would be the last time the game was close.

 

Opening with 27-12 scoring outburst in the first 11 minutes of the game, Virginia had firmly established it would be a long day for the visiting Thundering Herd.  Virginia hit an offensive lull and a breakaway dunk by Taevion Kinney gave Marshall some much needed life but they still trailed 27-16.

 

Then Kyle Guy got the three point barrage started and his fellow Hoos followed his scoring lead. The reliable Cavalanche came in the form of a 17-0 run to increase the lead from 27-16 to 44-16 before a Thundering Herd three-pointer stopped the onslaught.  Kyle Guy scored eight points during the streak and Virginia took a 50-25 lead into the half. 

 

The second half began like the first half.  Ty Jerome opened up the game with a three pointer and Kyle Guy opened up the second half with a three pointer.  The jumper triggered a 25-10 onslaught that doubled up the score at 70-35 with a little over 13 minutes left in the game.  With the game well in hand,
Virginia substituted freely and defenses became less a priority.  Virginia's lead never dipped below 32 points and even got as high as 43 (93-50) when Francesco Baddocchi scored a layup with a little over two minutes and 30 seconds to play.  Walk-on manager, Grant Kersey, made a game ending, buzzer beater from three point land to give the Cavaliers their final score and complete the victory at 100-64.

 

UVa outrebounded Marshall 45-23 but committed a season high 16 turnovers while only forcing 13.

Kyle Guy lead four Hoos in scoring with a game high and career high 30 points. He made seven of his nine three-point attempts and was a perfect 3 of 3 from behind the three-point arc. Jay Huff added 14 with a team high eight rebounds off the bench. The team continued hot ahooting from free throw line connecting on 22-26 shots. Marshall was not nearly as effective. They made 18-23 free throws but only converted on 36% from the field and a little over 27% from the three-point line. 

 

Virginia was much better at both. Virginia shot at a clip over 52% from the field and 44% in three-point shots (12-27). Ty Jerome also added 14 while De'Andre Hunter chipped in 11.  For Marshall, leading scorer Jon Elmore had 14 points on 17 shots but well below is over 20ppg average.  CJ Burks and Rondale Watson scored 11 and 10, respectively. 

 

The Thundering Herd fall to 7-5 and will next face Conference USA rival Old Dominion University on January 3rd.  Virginia will stay at home and await the #9 Florida State Seminoles on Saturday, January 5th as the opener of ACC play for both teams.

 

by EMSPORTS 12/31/2018 

photo by virginiasports.com

Cavaliers crush the Gamecocks, hoist the Belk Bowl Crown with 28-0 victory

 

The Virginia Cavaliers "Hoos" made the trip south to serve as “Home” team in the 2018 Belk Bowl.  They did not act very hospitable at all.  The "local" team, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks were awaiting and they boasted the same record as UVA. Each team had 7-5 records and both were 4-4 in their respective conferences.

 

Each team picked up initial first downs on their first respective drives of the game. South Carolina was unsuccessful on 4th and 1 while Virginia has to punt when their drive stalled. Virginia pinned SC with the punt and stopped them in 3rd and short. 

 

Virginia took the ensuing drive following a 59-yard punt and drove the field with a mix of run and pass to finish with a 6-yd touchdown pass from Perkins to Zaccheaus. The drive covered 77 yards in 13 plays and took six minutes and 31 seconds. The Gamecocks drove down the field as the second quarter progressed. The Gamecocks were able to move inside the VA 30-yd line but missed a 45-yd FG attempt. 

 

Virginia goes into ball control mode on the next possession. After a penalty, the Cavaliers’ offense control of the gridiron and the clock.  In 14 plays to move 90 yards, the Cavaliers were back in the end zone. The drive took eight minutes and 10 seconds from start to finish. The Cavaliers presented an array of plays that was capped by a nine yard sprint by Jordan Ellis. 14-0 Virginia with 42 sec left. 

 

Both teams traded punts early into the third quarter.  As each team looked for momentum in the second half, Virginia took advantage of a short punt. With the ball inside the Gamecocks’ 40 yard line, Virginia methodically moved down the field and capped the drive when Perkins found Zaccheaus for their second TD connection of the day. This time the 10-yd pass put them up 21-0 going into the final quarter. SC would not go away and threatened to score, driving deep inside Cavalier territory.  As the Gamecocks approached the goalline, the Cavaliers' defense stiffened.  Inside the 10-yd line and on fourth down, a Jake Bentley incomplete pass fizzled out the best chance for SC to score. 

 

Virginia was looking for the knockout punch, and started the fourth quarter started with a pop then a dud. With Brennan Armstrong in at QB, he took the snap and handed off to Perkins, who completed a pass to Hasise Dubois. Unfortunately, Dubois was tackled and fumbled. SC recovered and looked to capitalizde with the new lease on life.  However, the next pass attempt from Jake Bentley was intercepted by safety Juan Thornhill. His 54-yd return placed the Cavaliers at the red zone. However, the field goal attempt was wide left and the score remained 21-0.

 

The Virginia defense made their presence felt again, forcing another another Gamecocks’ punt. Virginia made another successful drive that all but ended the hopes of the visitors from Columbia. With the ball at their own 36-yd line, Virginia only took eight plays and exactly five minutes off the clock to score once again on the arm of Perkins and the hands and legs of Zaccheaus. In what was a wild third down scramble, Perkins eventually found Zaccheaus in the end zone with a 12-yard dart. It was their third pitch and catch score of the day.

 

South Carolina tried to make a dent in the scoreboard. After their best play of the game, a 62-yd kickoff return, the Gamecocks setup shop. Virginia’s defense was solid and allowed a long fourth down conversion. Virginia did not break and CB Tim Harris picked off an errant Bentley pass to end another drive. The Hoos turned the mistake into another time wasting, ground and pound drive. This time they held onto the ball and completed the mission by running out the clock. 

 

With a dominating 28-0 shutout, the Hoos easily played their best game of the year.  Olamide Zaccheaus, with his 12 catches and 100 yards receiving, 3 TDs and added a 10 yard rush, took home MVP honors. A proud Coach Mendenhall could only shed tears of joy and satisfaction for a season ending win and a defining victory over their SEC opponents.  The Belk Bowl champs completed a successful season with a their first bowl victory since the 2005 Music City Bowl.  Virginia ties their best season record (8-5) since 2011 and provides a great springboard for 2019 while sending the graduating players off on a great note. 

 

by EMSPORTS 12/29/2018

photo by virginiasports.com

The #5 Cavaliers overwhelm the College of William and Mary, 72-40

 

As Christmas draws near, the Virginia Cavaliers returned home after a successful road victory against the South Carolina Gamecocks.  The Cavaliers were entertaining their commonwealth rival, the College of William and Mary in another out of conference battle.


The Tribe entered the contest at only 4-7 on the year but they run a Princeton-style offense that is known to give even the best of defenses fits.  They also boast a potent offense averaging over 77 points on the young season.  Their perimeter shooting, ranked 1st in the NCAA in three-point field goal percentage a year ago, was still lethal and two of their best shooters were back this season.  However, none of that mattered midway through the first half. 


W&M jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and held and early 6-5 lead before the Virginia offense unleashed a Cavalanche to that jumped started their offense.  During the 20-2 run, the Cavaliers kept the Tribe from scoring a field goal for over 6 minutes of play.  The offensive spark gave the Cavaliers a comfortable 17- point lead and they looked to cruise into the half.  However, the Tribe showed fight and grit.  They clawed back into the game with a 9-3 run to end the half and carry some much-needed momentum as they closed the lead to 34-23. The Hoos limited their counterparts to a paltry 1-10 effort from the three-point line and made them uncomfortable throughout the half.  


After the intermission, William and Mary found some life when they hit their very first three-point attempt of the second half and coupled with an opening jumper, Virginia had lost some momentum, William and Mary had cut the deficit to only six while by scoring seven consecutive points to William and Mary.  


After a brief timeout, Virginia corrected their mistakes and the onslaught began.  For nearly nine minutes, the Cavaliers’ defense dominated and suffocated the team from Williamsburg.  The Cavaliers took complete control with a 17-2 run to effectively end any hopes of W&M pulling off the upset of the year.
De’Andre Hunter led the way with a team high 18 points.  He was joined in double figures by Kyle Guy who contributed 16 points. 

William and Mary received a great effort from their versatile big man, Nathan Knight who scored a game high 22 points and led his team with five rebounds, was the only constant force all game long against the Cavaliers.


Virginia was getting impact from different sources.  Ty Jerome, the starting point guard, collected a game high nine rebounds to go with his eight points.  Kyle Guy was second highest rebounder with seven, a career high for him.


The Cavaliers were able to restrict the perimeter firepower of the Tribe and forced them into under 33% from the field and exactly 10% from the three-point line (2-20).  Virginia shot a robust 48% for the game and almost 39% from behind the three-point arc.  The biggest difference in the game was Virginia’s accuracy from the free throw line.  The Cavs converted on 19 of their 21 attempts, nearly 91%.  W&M was far worse only making 6 of 16.  Virginia also outrebounded W&M by a count of 42 to 24.

 

Now at 11-0, Virginia will return to the court to host their final out of conference game on December 31st.  The Marshall University Thundering Herd will be the opposition.  Meanwhile, William and Mary fell to 4-8 on the season.  They will battle against another in-state foe, the James Madison Dukes, on Friday, December 28th at home. 

 

by EMSPORTS 12/22/2018

12/20/18

 2019 University of Virginia Football Early Signing Day Recruits

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –
The Virginia football program signed 21 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent (NLI) for the 2019-20 academic school year, head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced.  The 21 student-athletes were part of the early signing period for football adopted by the NCAA in 2017.

Highlighting the class are four signees from the Commonwealth of Virginia, while student-athletes from nine other states or districts also signed with the Cavaliers. UVA’s recruits come from Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. UVA also has one signee from Germany.

The following is a list of individuals who have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Virginia on football grant-in-aid.

The next period for signing football student-athletes begins on Feb. 6, 2019.

Attached is the full recruiting class and player bios:

 

2019 Football Recruiting Class

Name                                               Pos.              Ht.          Wt.         Hometown                                 High School/Previous School

Josh Ahern                                      LB                  6-3          215         Burke, Va.                                    Lake Braddock HS

Kariem Al Soufi                               OL                 6-4          350         Paderborn, Germany                Friedrich-Spree Gesamtschule

Nathaniel Beall III                           WR                6-5          200         Houston, Texas                           Strake Jesuit College Prep

Jowon Briggs                                   DL                 6-2          286         Cincinnati, Ohio                         Walnut Hills HS

Chayce Chalmers                           DB                 6-2          208         Gainesville, Va.                           Stonewall Jackson HS

Antonio Clary                                  DB                 6-0          200         Jacksonville, Fla.                         Sandalwood HS

Fentrell Cypress II                          DB                 6-0          173         Rock Hill, S.C.                              Northwestern HS

Tenyeh Dixon                                 DB                 6-0          185         Washington, D.C.                       Woodson HS

Dorien Goddard                             WR                6-3          222         Greeneville, Tenn.                     Greeneville HS

RJ Harvey                                        QB                 5-10        182         Orlando, Fla.                               Edgewater HS

Mike Hollins                                    RB                 5-10        214         Baton Rouge, La.                        University Lab HS

Ja’Quay Hubbard                           OL                 6-6          330         Sharpsville, Pa.                           Sharpsville HS

Nick Jackson                                    LB                  6-2          222         Atlanta, Ga.                                 The Lovett School

Jonathan Leech                             OL                 6-5          270         Hoschton, Ga.                             Creek HS

Seneca Milledge                            RB                 5-6          170         Fort Myers, Fla.                          Dunbar HS

D’Sean Perry                                  LB                  6-3          223         Miami, Fla.                                  Gulliver Prep

Ben Smiley III                                  DL                 6-4          280         Chesapeake, Va.                         Indian River HS

Hunter Stewart                               LB                  6-3          220         Alexandria, Va.                           Gonzaga College HS

Zachary Teter                                 OL                 6-5          290         Lakeland, Fla.                              Lake Gibson HS

Dontayvion Wicks                          WR                6-2          195         Plaquemine, La.                         Plaquemine HS

Major Williams                               DB                 6-0          176         Fort Myers, Fla.                          Dunbar HS

 

 

Josh Ahern

6-3 • 215 • LB

Burke, Va. • Lake Braddock HS

 

Played linebacker and tight end at Lake Braddock High School for head coach Mike Dougherty … was a first-team all-region linebacker in 2018 as a senior after finishing with 183 tackles … also earned first-team All-Northern Virginia honors and second-team All-Met … 2017 first-team all-conference, all-region and all-area honoree … helped lead Lake Braddock to the conference championship in 2017 and a third-place finish in the region after tallying 182 tackles … son of Michel and Pete Ahern  … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Kariem Al Soufi

6-4 • 350 • OL

Paderborn, Germany • Friedrich-Spree Gesamtschule

 

Played offensive line with the Paderborn Dolphins for head coach Marc Droste, an American football team in Paderborn, Germany … attends Friedrich-Spree Gesamtschule in Paderborn … started playing football in 2011 … previously played basketball and soccer growing up … son of Sabrin and Samer Al Soufi … father played professional basketball in Syria … brother, Atef Al Soufi was a professional soccer player in Paderborn and Bielefeld … has a twin sister, Lara … has a younger sister, Luna … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247sports.com … a two-star recruit by Rivals.com.

 

Nathaniel Beal III

6-5 • 200 • WR

Houston, Texas • Strake Jesuit College Prep

 

Played wide receiver at Strake Jesuit College Prep for head coach Klay Kubiak … was a 2018 unanimous first-team all-district honoree after making 31 receptions for 691 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior … averaged 22.3 yards per reception as a senior in 2018 … in nine games in 2017 he made 25 catches for 590 yards and three touchdowns … averaged 23.6 yards per reception as a junior … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Jowon Briggs

6-2 • 286 • DL

Cincinnati, Ohio • Walnut Hills HS

 

Played defensive tackle at Walnut Hills High School for head coach Gerry Beauchamp … selected to play in the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game at Camping World Stadium … a first-team all-state honoree after making 54 tackles and six sacks … named the ECC’s Defensive Player of the Year … earned first-team SWO District … as a junior he made 47 tackles, three sacks and was named first-team All-ECC and second-team All-SWO District … also is a thrower on the track & field team … squats over 700 pounds … an ESPN Top 300 recruit … rated a four-star recruit by ESPN.com, 247Sports.com and Rivals.com … rated the No. 60 overall recruit in the nation and No. 3 defensive tackle by Rivals.com … rated the No. 68 overall recruit in the nation and No. 7 defensive tackle by 247Sports.com … rated the No. 82 overall recruit in the nation and No. 11 defensive tackle by ESPN.com … son of Dalila and Jowon Briggs.

 

Chayce Chalmers

6-2 • 208 • DB

Gainesville, Va. • Stonewall Jackson HS

 

Played safety and wide receiver at Stonewall Jackson High School for head coach Carroll Walker … named first-team all-region as an all-purpose defender … named first-team All-Cedar Run District as an all-purpose defender ... as a senior in 2018 he posted 60 tackles and four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown … also recorded 1.5 sacks and blocked a punt … recorded six receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown … as a junior in 2017 posted 77 tackles, one interception, one sack and one blocked punt … named first-team all-district as a junior and second-team all-conference defense as a sophomore … also runs indoor and outdoor track … as a junior he qualified for the state indoor tournament in the 300m and outdoor in the 100m and 200m … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com … son of Jakia and Marvin Chalmers Jr. … father, Marvin, played wide receiver at Utah and Wake Forest … grandfather, Marvin Chalmers Sr. played shortstop at North Carolina A&T.

 

Antonio Clary

6-0 • 200 • DB

Jacksonville, Fla. • Sandalwood HS

 

Played safety and wide receiver at Sandalwood High School for head coach Adam Geis … finished 2018 with 53 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks and three interceptions … earned first-team All-Cedar Run District honors as a utility player in 2017 … all-conference honoree as a sophomore … also runs track at Sandalwood … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Fentrell Cypress II

6-0 • 173 • DB

Rock Hill, S.C. • Northwestern HS

 

Played cornerback and wide receiver at Northwestern High School for head coach James Martin … made 31 tackles and recorded two interceptions as a senior … also broke up 24 passes as a senior … played in the 2018 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas senior all-star game … made 48 tackles and four interceptions as a junior … also broke up 35 passes as a junior … also runs track and won the 2018 Region 4-AAAAA championship in the 100 meters … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Tenyeh Dixon

6-0 • 185 • DB

Washington, D.C. • Woodson HS

 

Played defensive back at Howard D. Woodson High School for head coach Greg Fuller … his pick-six clinched a Turkey Bowl overtime victory for his Woodson team over Ballou, 18-12, in 2018 … his pick-six sealed Woodson’s fifth Turkey Bowl win in six seasons … a two-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Dorien Goddard

6-3 • 222 • WR

Greeneville, Tenn. • Greeneville HS

 

Played wide receiver and defensive line at Greeneville High School for head coach Caine Ballard … helped Greeneville to the 2018 TSSAA 4A state championship with a 15-0 record with 78 receptions for 1,320 yards and 14 touchdowns … named region co-offensive player of the year in 2018 … he helped Greeneville win back-to-back state championships … he leaves Greeneville with multiple records including single-season receiving yards, career receptions, career receiving yards and career touchdowns a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

RJ Harvey

5-10 • 182 • QB

Orlando, Fla. • Edgewater HS

 

Played quarterback at Edgewater High School for head coach Cameron Duke … accounted for 48 total touchdowns, including 25 rushing touchdowns and 23 passing touchdowns in 2018 … passed for 1,787 yards and rushed for 1,376 yards as a senior … was 21-5 in his career as the starting quarterback … led Edgewater to a state semifinal appearance in 2018 after his class went 0-10 in 2016 as sophomores … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com … son of Juliet and Robert Harvey.

 

Mike Hollins

5-10 • 214 • RB

Baton Rouge, La. • University Lab HS

 

Played running back and linebacker at University Lab High School for head coach Chad Mahaffey … led University Lab to back-to-back 3A state championships in 2017 and 2018 … earned MVP honors of the 2018 state championship game after rushing 27 times for 237 yards and four touchdowns … also caught five passes for 47 yards and a score in the state title game … finished senior season with 1,645 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns on the ground … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Ja’Quay Hubbard

6-6 • 330 • OL

Sharpsville, Pa. • Sharpsville HS

 

Played offensive tackle at Sharpsville High School for head coach Paul Piccirilli … two-time all-state offensive lineman … finalist for Pennsylvania’s ‘Mr. Football’ … helped Sharpsville reach the District 10 championship game … also plays basketball … a four-star recruit by Rivals.com … three-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247Sports.com.

 

Nick Jackson

6-2 • 222 • LB

Atlanta, Ga. • The Lovett School

 

Played linebacker and wide receiver at The Lovett School for head coach Mike Muschamp … made 95 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and caused one fumble in 2018 as a senior … also made 26 receptions for 406 yards and three touchdowns … recorded 57 tackles, 3.0 sacks and caused one fumble as a junior in 2017 … made 26 tackles and 8.0 tackles for a loss as sophomore … also made 26 receptions for 406 yards and three touchdowns in 2016 … will graduate with 72 career receptions for 1,224 receiving yards and nine touchdowns … averaged 17.0 yards per reception for his career … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

Jonathan Leech

6-5 • 270 • OL

Hoschton, Ga. • Mill Creek HS

 

Played offensive line at Mill Creek High School for head coach Trent Slear … was a 2018 first-team all-county selection after helping Mill Creek to an 8-4 record and a second-round appearance in the state tournament … attends the same high school as current UVA center Tyler Fannin … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Seneca Milledge

5-6 • 170 • RB

Fort Myers, Fla. • Dunbar HS

 

Played running back and cornerback at Dunbar High School for head coach Sam Brown … rushed 74 times for 678 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018 … logged three games a senior with 100+ rushing yards … also caught 10 passes for 96 yards in 2018 … also made 34 tackles, 1.0 tackles for loss and recovered one fumble as a senior … graduates with 2,132 career rushing yards and 27 touchdowns … rushed for 843 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior … also owns 17 career receptions for 348 yards and two touchdowns … was 26-of-55 passing for his career for 427 yards and two touchdowns … played in the 2018 Rotary South All-Star Classic … took the 2A state title in the long jump in 2018 with a jump of 7.19 meters … was county champion in the long jump and triple jump, and a district champ in the 100 meters … is cousins with fellow signee Major Williams … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

D’Sean Perry

6-3 • 223 • LB

Miami, Fla. • Gulliver Prep

 

Played linebacker, defensive line and tight end at Gulliver Prep for head coach Earl Sims … named the South Florida Conference’s 2018 Defensive Player of the Year … finished his senior season in 2018 with 89 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and three interceptions … helped Gulliver Prep to an 8-4 record and a playoff berth in 2018, losing in the regional semifinal … as a junior he made 53 tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks and recovered a fumble … graduates with 199 career tackles, 41.0 tackles for loss and 15.0 sacks … on Team USA U19 and will appear in the International Bowl in Dallas, Texas … also plays high school basketball … high school coach, Earl Sims, was a three-year letterwinner for Virginia (1998, 2000-01) at linebacker … attends the same high school as current Cavaliers DE Mandy Alonso and ILB Dominic Sheppard … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Ben Smiley III

6-4 • 280 • DL

Chesapeake, Va. • Indian River HS

 

Ben Smiley III played defensive line and offensive line at Indian River High School for head coach Glenwood Ferebee … helped Indian River to a 12-1 record and a regional finals appearance in 2018 … named a first-team all-region honoree in 2018 … as a junior in 2017 he was first-team All-Tidewater after leading the Braves with 69 tackles, including 16.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks … earned second-team VHSL all-state honors in 2017 … was also first-team All-Southeastern District and Class 5 Region A … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Hunter Stewart

6-3 • 220 • LB

Alexandria, Va. • Gonzaga College HS

 

Played linebacker and defensive end at Gonzaga College High School for head coach Randy Trivers … earned second-team All-WCAC honors on the defensive line as a senior, helping Gonzaga go 9-3 and win the 2018 WCAC championship … as a junior he made 69 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and two sacks … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Zachary Teter

6-5 • 290 • OL

Lakeland, Fla. • Lake Gibson HS

 

Played offensive line at Lake Gibson High School for head coach Doug DeMyer… started 20 career games at right guard with a career blocking grade of 90 percent ... was part of an offensive line unit that produced over 5,800 yards of total offense and 62 touchdowns over a the 2017 and 2018 seasons ... first-team all-county as a senior and second-team all-county as a junior ... also wrestled and helped Lake Gibson win the Dual State Championship in 2018 … son of Joyaand Doug Teter… father, Doug, is the head athletic trainer for the Detroit Tigers … has two younger brothers, twins Matthew and Deacon … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Dontayvion Wicks

6-2 • 195 • WR

Plaquemine, La. • Plaquemine HS

 

Played wide receiver and quarterback at Plaquemine High School for head coach Paul Distefano … named second-team all-district in 2018 … as a junior in 2017 he had 12 catches for 212 yards helping Plaquemine to the district championship … also plays basketball for Plaquemine … son of Latisha Wicks … a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

Major Williams

6-0 • 176 • DB

Fort Myers, Fla. • Dunbar HS

 

Played cornerback and wide receiver at Dunbar High School for head coach Sam Brown … made 31 tackles and broke up five passes in 2018 … made four catches for 104 yards as a senior … as a junior recorded 30 tackles, broke up five passes, intercepted three and returned a fumble 58 yards … played in the 2018 Rotary South All-Star Classic is cousins with fellow signee Seneca Milledge … a three-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

 

 

 

12/13/18

 

Bryce Perkins Wins 2018 Dudley Award

 

RICHMOND – Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins was named the winner of the 2018 Dudley Award as the state’s top Division I collegiate player. The announcement was made at the annual Dudley Award Banquet in Richmond on Wednesday night. The other finalists were cornerback Jimmy Moreland of JMU and defensive lineman Ricky Walker of Virginia Tech.

 

In addition to winning the Dudley Award, Perkins was honored by the Touchdown Club of Richmond as the state’s Offensive Back of the Year. Also honored by the Touchdown Club of Richmond on Wednesday night were Bryce Hall (Defensive Back of the Year), Chris Peace (Linebacker of the Year), Olamide Zaccheaus (Offensive End of the Year) and Lester Coleman (Co-Humanitarian Award winner). 

 

Perkins is the ninth Cavalier to win the Dudley Award. Previous UVA winners include quarterback Shawn Moore (1990), quarterback Matt Blundin (1991), defensive end Mike Frederick (1994), tailback Tiki Barber (1996), safety Anthony Poindexter (1997), wide receiver Billy McMullen (2001), defensive end Chris Long (2007) and inside linebacker Micah Kiser (2017). With Kiser winning in 2017, UVA has back-to-back winners for the first time since 1990-91 with quarterbacks Shawn Moore and Matt Blundin.

 

Perkins (Jr., Queen Creek, Va.) is No. 2 in the ACC and No. 16 in the nation with 188 points responsible for. His 3,314 yards of total offense is a UVA single-season record and it currently ranks No. 2 in the ACC and No. 18 in the nation. Perkins and Oklahoma's Kyler Murray are the only players in the nation with at least 2,400+ passing yards and 800+ rushing yards. Perkins is the only ACC player with at least 20 passing touchdowns and nine rushing touchdowns. Perkins also set a UVA single-season record with 31 touchdowns (22 passing, nine rushing) responsible for. He was clutch on third down passing (65 percent) and rushing, where he averaged 7.6 yards per rush with 15 first downs and four rushing touchdowns. Perkins rushed for 1,032 yards when you adjust for sacks. Perkins also earned honorable mention All-ACC honors.

 

The Dudley Award is named after former University of Virginia standout "Bullet" Bill Dudley and has been presented annually since 1990 to the player of the year at a state school. Each football-playing school in the Commonwealth is allowed to nominate one player. In 2004, a separate award was created for players at Division II and Division III schools. The Richmond Times-Dispatch sponsors the awards. A panel of 15 voters is used to select the Dudley Award winner.

photo by virginiasports

#4 Virginia rallies late to beat VCU, 57-49

 

The 8-0 University of Virginia Cavaliers had set their sights on staying undefeated as they hosted their neighbors from Richmond, the Virginia Commonwealth Rams. The Rams were coming off a thrilling victory on the road versus Big 12 power, the Texas Longhorns, who are now coached by Shaka Smart, the former Rams' head man.

 

The Cavaliers knew it would be no easy task as they were prepared to butt heads with a VCU team known for tenacious defense and physical play.  The no. 4 ranked Cavaliers would have to be at prepared for a heavyweight battle with each team looking to control the momentum and limit the scoring.  Both teams were allowing less than 60ppg to their opponents.

 

The Rams got off to an early start with a 6-0 lead before the Cavaliers were able to score after four minutes of play had elapsed.  The game became a back and forth seesaw affair as each time struggled to find the basket and the lead alternated before VCU grabbed a 19-18 lead.  The Rams seemed to be able to dictate tempo harassing UVA into multiple turnovers in the first half.  However, the Cavaliers stopped the bleeding with a quick 7-0 run highlighted by Kihei Clark's circus reverse layup that brought the partisan crowd to its feet.

 

The Cavaliers enjoyed the momentum and Kyle Guy hit a free throw to give Virginia a 29-24 advantage at the half.  Guy had a game high 13 points.  The snow and cold weather that had blanketed the University and city of Charlottesville seemed to have made its way into JPJ Arena.  Both teams shot under 40% from the field and barely 30% from the three-point line. Virginia was able to make a strong impression at the free throw line where they converted 10 of 12 shots while VCU was limited to a paltry 1 for 3.

 

Each team protected the ball fairly well as VCU only had four turnovers compared to Virginia's five.  The Cavs were better on the glass, securing 18 rebounds to 15 from VCU. As Virginia looked to seize more control of the game and put VCU in a difficult position, the Rams responded with a sudden burst out of the locker room.  VCU opened up the second half with seven consecutive points and much like the beginning of the game, the Cavaliers found themselves on shaky ground before a timeout was called.

 

Virginia weathered the initial punch and answered back.  The lead like momentum swung back and forth from one team to the next on roughly every made basket or turnover.  The game was played with great physicality but very little offensive rhythm from either side.  Buckets were few and far between and the amount of missed shots, rebounds and turnovers seemed to dominate the action midway through the second half.

 

At one point VCU had placed the clamps on Virginia which led to a scoring drought of nearly five minutes.  In a game like this, time was important and VCU was able to get some breathing room and take a commanding lead at 43-38 with under seven minutes.  The Cavaliers had failed to score a field goal for well over nine mintues of the game and only free throws had kept them with in striking distance.  Following a lay-up from Ty Jerome with about six minutes and thirty seconds in the game, the Cavaliers found their rhythm and then shut down the Rams' offensive attack. The signature Packline D suffocated the Rams into only two made field goals for the remainder of the game.  The Cavaliers were sparked by Ty Jerome's 10 points following his lay-up and outscored their visitors 19-6 in that time span.  Ty Jerome was a force with tow big three point baskets, the crucial basket at just over four minutes left, to give Virginia a lead they would not relinquish.

 

Ty Jerome took over the second half and finished with 14 points.  Kyle Guy who led the team in the first half, scored a game high 15 points.  Issac Vann was the high man for VCU with 10 points.  Kihei Clark and De'Andre Hunter both scored nine points apiece.  VCU big man, Marcus Santos-Silva, finished the game with eight points and a game high 10 rebounds.

 

Virginia's shooting was not very pleasant.  They finished with only 13 made field goals and shot under 30% from both the field and the three point line.  The difference was the execution at the free throw line where they converted 26 of 30 shots (85.7%).  VCU was just as bad if not worse from the field.  The Rams made 18 field goals and six three-pointers (Virginia had 5) but they were only able to make 7 of the 11 free throw attempts.  The difference at the charity stripe was to much for VCU to overcome.  The Cavaliers also out-rebounded VCU 38 to 34.
  
The 9-0 Cavaliers will now rest for 10 days as they prepare for exams and then a road contest at the University of South Carolina.  At 9-0, Virginia is one of few teams still undefeated in the country.  The Rams, now 7-3, will regroup from this lost and get ready to play the College of Charleston at home on Saturday, Dec. 15.

 

by EMSPORTS 12/09/2018

 

Let's Go Bowling!

Virginia Football has accepted an invitation to play South Carolina in the 2018 Belk Bowl. The game is scheduled to take place at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Dec. 29. Kickoff is set for noon ET.

 

The 4th ranked Cavaliers demolish the visiting Coppin State Eagles, 97-40.  

 

The Virginia Cavaliers were at home for the third straight game to open up the new season.  This time they played host to Coppin State from the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference.  The Cavaliers were an overwhelming favorite and they did not disappoint.

 

This game was part of the preseason tournament, the Battle 4 Atlantis.  The tournament will continue over the Thanksgiving holiday in the Bahamas at the world famous Atlantis resort.  On this night, it looked as if Coppin State was already on vacation because the Cavs did all the heavy lifting.

 

The game started out as a game of quick streaks.  Virginia, playing without center Jack Salt (injury), came out with a smaller, athletic lineup that went on a 7-0 run.  The underdog Eagles did not back down and scored the next five points.  Then reality set in and the Hoos ratcheted up the defense and flexed their offensive arsenal.

 

A 14-0 run gave the home crowd everything to cheer about and the game was a route from that point going forward.  De'Andre Hunter was having a game and he was not only leading scorer (11 points in first half), he also was outscoring the visiting Eagles until they scored a bucket at the 6:10 mark to get to 13 points for the game.  Virginia cruised into the half with a 45-17 lead and seemingly could do no wrong.

 

Virginia was just as effective after the teams left the locker rooms.  Both teams traded three point baskets to open the half, but another Cavalanche was in effect.  Virginia ran off 15 consecutive points over a span of five minutes before Coppin State was able to stop the bleeding. 

 

With the game well in control, the Cavaliers substituted freely and every one that touched the floor for Virginia put their stamp on the game.  Each player in uniform scored, with the final points being delivered by crowd favorite, Grant Kersey.  Kersey is one of the team managers who has been able to play in all three games this year.  His three point shot gave Virginia their largest lead at 97-38.  The 97 points are the most points ever scored for a Tony Bennett coached team at Virginia. 

 

Virginia shot a scorching 60.3% from the floor.  This percentage was aided by the 15 three-point baskets from behind the three-point arc.  They connected on 60% of those shots and grabbed 35 rebounds.  In contrast to the Hoos, the Eagles were very inconsistent.  They were only able to make 17 of their 52 shots at nearly 33% clip and only made 6 of their 24 three-point attempts.  Coppin State collected 25 rebounds but was guilty of 16 turnovers and did not attempt a single free throw.

 

Virginia was much better converting on 80% of their shots from the charity stripe.  The Hoos had 24 assists and only four turnovers. 

 

Hunter led all players in scoring with 20 points.  Diakite scored a career high 18 and Ty Jerome added 11 points with a game high six assists.  The Eagles received six points each from Ibn Williams and Lamar Morgan. 

 

Coppin State now sits at 0-4 on the year and will travel to Rider University on their next game.  Virginia will gear up and pack their bags to face Middle Tennessee State in the Bahamas.  A 3-0, Virginia looks to stay perfect and claim another preseason tournament title. 

 

by EMSPORTS 11/16/2018 

#5 Cavaliers overwhelm the Colonials

 

The University of Virginia continued their home stand with a new out of conference foe.  The  George Washington Colonials were actually successful the last time these two teams met.  However, this team was 0-2 on the young season and from the tipoff their day got progressively worse.  The Cavaliers jumped out to a quick 18-4 lead and were never threatened as they cruised to a 76-57 victory.

 

Led by the outstanding shooting of third year guards, Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome, the Cavs took a 42-17 lead into halftime.  Both of UVa's outstanding guards scored 20 points apiece.  Also, no other Cavalier scored a three-point basket.  It was not needed as both Guy and Jerome made four each.  The defense was not to be overlooked.  The long arms and suffocating Packline defense limited to Colonials to four made field goals for the entire half.  The Colonials didn't reach double figures until nearly 14 minutes had elapsed.  

 

The Cavaliers continued to apply the pressure to GW midway through the second half as the lead grew to 30 points at 66-36 on a De'Andre Hunter layup with less than nine minutes left in the game.  The Cavaliers freely substituted throughout a majority of the second half and it made for some disjointed play.  The Colonials took advantage of the different matchups to score 40 points in the second half and make the final score more respectable.

 

DJ Williams led the way with 17 points.  Terry Nolan, Jr. added 13 points and were the only Colonials in double figures.  They team 40% from the field but only 33% from the three-point line.  Mamadi Diakite helped out with 10 points and two block shots.  Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy also tied for team highs with six rebounds.  The Cavs shot nearly 55% for the game and over 42% from behind the three-point arc.

 

The Cavaliers will complete the homestand with a matchup versus Coppin State on Friday night, November 16th.  George Washington will entertain the #19-ranked Michigan Wolverines on Saturday, November 17th.

 

by EMSPORTS 11/11/2018 

 

 

Virginia Cavaliers extinguish the Liberty Flames on Senior Day, 45-24.

 

The Virginia Cavaliers were set to accomplish several different goals as they entered Senior Day.  The Cavaliers were looking to earn their first winning season since 2011 (8-5).  They wanted to honor the 27 players who were playing their final game in Scott Stadium.  Also, the new opponent, in-state rival, Liberty Flames, was looking to upset their big brother and claim maybe the biggest win in their program, especially as a new FBS Independent.  Finally, the Cavaliers were looking to celebrate the Fan Appreciation Day and get another win after losing last week.  It was a long laundry list of items, yet the Hoos were able to check off each goal as complete success.  These in-state rivals, separated by less than 70 miles, played on this cool, football perfect afternoon in November.  The Flames started off strong and gained an early lead 7-0 lead.

 

On their first possession, LU drove 75 yards in 12 plays and capped the scoring drive when RB Frankie Hickson burrowed in from the 2-yd line.  The Flames were not listening to the experts who projected them as a near 25-point underdog.   

 

On the ensuing kickoff, Joe Reed gets 41 yards and set UVA up with great field possession. The Cavaliers wasted little time in tying the score. After alternating passes and runs, Bryce Perkins delivers a 14-yd strike to Joe Reed and finishes the drive in the end zone.  Bryce Perkins was perfect throwing the ball on the drive.

 

Liberty began the next drive like they did the first drive and continued to run successfully versus Virginia.  This time they were stopped after a failed third down attempt.  The Flames attempted a 51-yd field goal that fell short. Virginia took advantage of the field position and proceeded to march down the field.  In the red zone for the second time of the game, Bryce Perkins chose to use his legs and turn on the jets as he scored from 13 yards on a QB scamper.  Virginia takes the lead 14-7.

Liberty continued their ability to move the ball but Virginia’s defense capitalized on the game’s first turnover. Inside the red zone, Liberty attempted a screen pass that was intercepted by Elliott Brown. Virginia used the momentum and proceeded to eat up clock and field. Virginia scores on a Jordan Ellis one yard plunge. 

 

Liberty took the next possession and made more ground down the field. They were able to get to the 20-yd before settling for a 37-yd field goal from Alex Probert making the score 21-10 Virginia. Liberty responded  with their own defensive gem and after interception of Perkins, they scored immediately from the 7-yd line when Frankie Hickson rushes in for his second TD of the day. They take a quick 7-0 lead.  Virginia takes the next possession and pushes deep into the red zone.  They are able to convert a 32-yd field goal from Brian Delaney and take a 24-17 lead into halftime.

 

Virginia opens second half with a bang. Joe Reed scorched the turf on a 90-yd kickoff return. Liberty answers with a 65 yard touchdown drive ending with Peyton Pickett’s 20 yard touchdown run. A Virginia punt pinned Liberty back at the 5 yard line. Liberty attempted to go for it on fourth and 1 and to no avail they were turned away by the Cavalier defense.  This turned the momentum in favor of the homestanding Cavs.  They wasted very little time to score on the short field position. Bryce Perkins scoots to the right corner of the end zone, from 11 yards, for his second rushing TD. 

 

As Liberty feels the game slowly getting away, they couldn’t crack open the Virginia defense as easily as they had in the first half.  On back to back possessions, QB Stephen Calvert threw interceptions. The first by safety De’Vante Cross after a tipped pass and the next from safety Juan Thornhill.  Thornhill’s pick came on the heels of a sack from Zack Snyder that almost resulted in a safety. 

 

The Cavaliers successfully put the final touches on the scoreboard with a scoring drive of 45 yards.  It took eight plays to complete.  After converting a fourth and 1, Bryce Perkins flipped a swing pass to Joe Reed who scored from six yards out. For Reed, it was icing on the cake of a tremendous day where he scored three touchdowns and recorded over 200 yards of total offense. Bryce Perkins was very effective as well.  He accounted for four touchdowns (2 passing, 2 rushing) and nearly 270 total yards.  He was also responsible for 1 interception.  Senior workhorse, Jordan Ellis, enjoyed success in his last home game.  Ellis carried the ball 25 times for 106 yards and one touchdown.  Liberty Flames were not able to duplicate the impressive stats that they usually averaged in the passing game.  They were able to run the ball effectively against Virginia.  The team rushed for 205 yards with Peytton Pickett leading the way with a game high 117 yards and one TD.  His backfield mate, Lynchburg native, Frankie Hickson, grounded out 93 yards and two touchdowns.  Stephan Calvert finished with less than 150 yards passing and three interceptions.  He was averaging well over 300 yards per game and the team was averaging nearly 37 points a game. 

 

The defense raised their game in the second half and led the way to victory.  Virginia (7-3, 4-2 in ACC) will finish the season 5-1 at home and end the season with the last two ACC games at Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.  Liberty (4-6 overall) will continue their virgin season a new FBS member.  The road gets tougher as they will head to SEC power Auburn before finishing with two home contests.  

 

by EMSPORTS 11/09/18

 

Fifth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers tame the Towson Tigers, 73-42.

 

In all the country, two great things were taking place.  First, it was Election Day and those who could vote had the right to exercise their voice.  Second, the NCAA was about to take off with the opening night of the highly anticipated 2018-2019 Men's basketball season.

 

 The University of Virginia Cavaliers were ready to get the JPJ home crowd of on the right foot.  The Cavaliers having finished a brilliant season at 31-3 with a sweep of both the ACC regular season and ACC Tournament titles was looking to erase the bitter taste of an unprecedented, early round exit in the NCAA tournament.  The highly regarded Cavs welcomed CAA member, Towson Tigers, to open up the 2018-2019 basketball season.

 

The Cavs got off to a slow start only scoring one point in the first three minutes until a Jack Salt basket opened up the scoring from the floor.  The Cavs and Tigers battled back and forth in the first nine minutes of the game.  As the Tigers were clinging to a one-point lead, the Hoos started to flex their muscle and created an 11-1 run to take control of the first half.  The Cavaliers held Towson to under 25% shooting from the field and just 19 points in the half.  The Hoos were leading but not by much.  A 27-19 lead was not very comfortable and fouls were starting to pile up.  Jack Salt, Mamadi Diakite, Kihei Clark and D’Andre Hunter had each collected two fouls. 

 

The second half began with Virginia starting to push the lead into double digits.  Towson wouldn’t go away quietly and continue to claw and scratch to stay within striking distance.  Ty Jerome was the hot man for Virginia and he continued to knock down big jumpers from three-point land.  The Cavs used a mini-Cavalanche, a 12-0 run, to drive the lead over twenty points. 

 

By the time Towson could find their way it was too late.  Ty Jerome led all scorers with 20 points and hit a game high 6 three-pointers.  De'Andre Hunter complimented his classmate by recording a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

 

The Cavs will now look to make it two in a row when they welcome the George Washinton Colonials on Sunday, Nov. 11th. 

 

by EMSPORTS 11/6/18

photo by virginiasports.com

Pitt Panthers upset the 25th ranked Virginia Cavaliers on Friday Night in Scott Stadium, 23-13.

 

The 25th ranked Vrginia Cavaliers opened up ACC weekend football by playing under the lights on Friday night. The Cavaliers welcomed the Pittsburgh Panthers in an ACC Coastal showdown.

 
Virginia started the game with the ball in a heavy downpour. After an initial first down, Virginia was forced to punt. The defense took over and with the Pitt offense backed up inside the 20, they marched down the field 84 yards for the game opening TD. Running back Darrin Hall scores from 41 yards away. 
 
The lead lasted about 15 seconds. After a strong return from Joe Reed then a subsequent penalty, Bryce Perkins found Terrell Jana down the sideline on a 42-yard passing touchdown for Virginia’s opening score. 
 
Virginia drive down the field and converted a fourth down but after the completion, Evan Butts fumbled and Pitt recovered. The Virginia defense stepped up and turned Pitt away on a third down sack by Charles Snowden. 
 
Virginia converted a few more first downs but a big sack of Bryce Perkins slowed down the drive. Lester Coleman then helped the Cavaliers’ cause by booting a punt that was downed at the 1-yd line.
 
The Cavaliers take advantage Pitt’s poor field position and forced another punt. The Virginia offense compliments the defense and drives down the field in a minute and 13 seconds. The Cavaliers add a field goal to take a 10-7 lead into the half. 

After an initial stop on defense, Virginia was unable to generate much offense. After another strong punt from Coleman, the Panthers’ offense used a mix of runs and passes plus a fortunate penalty on Virginia, to chew up over 7 minutes and punch in another rushing TD by Darrin Hall.  The Panthers took a 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers answered back with a nice scoring drive to open up the quarter. Brian Delaney secures three points with a 42-yd field goal to bring the Cavs to within one point.  
 
The Panthers answer right back with first play from scrimmage with Darrin Hall streaking 75 yards for his third rushing TD of the game. 
 
Virginia was shut down again and Pitt took advantage of a short field. Virginia defense was solid however Pitt’s placekicker, Alex Kessman, successfully hit a 53 yarder to increase the score to 23-13.  Virginia was unable to mount the comeback and Pitt stuns the favored Cavs by a final score of 23-13.
 
The Panthers controlled the line of scrimmage with 254 yards of rushing and Darrin Hall was the main cog in the machine.  He finished with a game high of 229 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns.
 
Bryce Perkins led Uva with 205 yards passing and one touchdown in the air.  However, the Virginia rush attack was non-existent.  They could only muster 44 total yards led by Jordan Ellis who had 10 carries for 46 yards.
 
Pitt moves to 5-4, and 4-1 in Coastal with first place all by themselves. Virginia drops to 6-3 and 4-2 in the Coastal. 
 
by EMSPORTS 11/2/2018
photo by virginiasports.com

Cavaliers run past the Tar Heels, 31-21.  

 

It is known as the oldest Battle of the South. As far as college football is concerned, the Cavs and the Tar Heels have seen each other the most. The 123rd matchup of this border battle took place with Virginia looking to become bowl eligible for the second year in a row. The Tar Heels reeling from a heartbreak loss at Syracuse were looking to upset the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers were hosting the North Carolina Tar Heels on a perfect fall day in October.

 
The UVa offense struck first. Bryce Perkins used his feet to rush for the game’s first touchdown. The Tar Heels answered back with a long TD pass from QB Nathan Elliott to WR Dazz Newsome. The Hoos were still on fire and this time found the end zone on the arm of Bryce Perkins.
 
With the ball and momentum, the Cavs were looking to strike again but an inopportune pass by Perkins led to an interception. The defense backed up the offense and turned the Tar Heels away. 
 
The Cavs were able to move the ball into the red zone before kicking a field goal.  The Tar Heels responded with a long drive that ended with another Tar Heel TD reception from Elliott to Carl Tucker the TE.
 
Virginia’s defense took over in the second half. With constant pressure and timely third down stops, the Heels were not able to produce points in five consecutive drives. In the meantime, Virginia’s offense was able to produce more points with touchdown passes from Perkins to Hasise Dubois in the third quarter and Perkins to TE Evan Butts on a jump ball into the end zone for the final Cavalier score in the fourth quarter. The Tar Heels made one last successful drive to complete the scoring with about three minutes to play. Virginia got final possession and ran out the clock. 
 
Bryce Perkins passed for 217 yards and three touchdowns and led each team with 112 rushing yards and one touchdown. WR Olamide Zacchaeus (10 receptions, 108 yards) broke the school record for total pass receptions in a season (213), formerly held by Billy McMullen (210). 
 
The Hoos moves to 6-2, 4-1 and first place in Coastal Division. They have know become bowl eligible for the second consecutive year.  The Tar Heels feel to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the Coastal and will need to win out to be considered for a postseason bowl.
 
by EMSPORTS 10/27/2018

 

 

 

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced that UVA senior safety Juan Thornhill has been named its National Defensive Player of the Week, for games played through Oct. 13.

 

Thornhill (Altavista, Va.) made six tackles and intercepted two passes to help lead UVA to a 16-13 Homecomings victory over No. 16 Miami on Saturday night. It was UVA’s first win over a ranked opponent since beating then-No. 21 Louisville at Scott Stadium in 2014. Thornhill recorded 86 return yards on his two interceptions, including a career-long 62-yard return that set up UVA’s lone touchdown in the second quarter.

 

Thornhill is the fourth Virginia player to earn Walter Camp National Player of the Week honors since 2004, and the first since linebacker Micah Kiser on Sept. 17, 2017.

 

Thornhill Named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week

photo by virginiasports.com

The Cavaliers stage the upset over the "U" (Miami Hurricanes) on Homecomings Night.  Defense sparks a 16-13 victory. 

 

The crowd and energy were electric as the University of Virginia welcomed the 16th-ranked Hurricanes on Homecomings' night to Scott Stadium. 

 

The Cavs received the ball first and after worked their way into Miami's territory.  Unfortunately, Bryce Perkins made an ill-advised throw for an interception.  This became a theme for the night.  Miami was unable to convert on fourth and short near midfield and the momentum swung back in favor of Virginia.  Virginia was moving the ball again but as they entered deep into the Hurricanes’ territory another misguided pass found its way to Miami’s favor.  As the game moved along, the stingy defenses made life miserable for their offensive counterparts.  

 

Following a scoreless first quarter, the Cavaliers would exact revenge when Joey Blount picked off an errant Miami throw from QB N'Kosi Perry and helped the offense convert this miscue into three points.  Brian Delaney knocked home a 26-yard attempt.  

 

The Cavaliers would make some more noise on defense after both teams traded punts.  The defense  compliments of Virginia strong safety, Juan Thornhill, picked off another Perry pass.  This interception and long return placed the Cavaliers' offense in the redzone.  From there, Jordan Ellis bullied his way to finish the drive with a 7 yd touchdown run.

 

However, Perkins was once again off target. His third interception of the half. Miami who had changed to  quarterback Malik Rosier, were able to jump-start the offense.  The Hurricanes took the turnover and converted a 47-yard field goal by Bubba Baxa the turnover into a field goal. 

 

Both teams traded field goals in the last three minutes of the half. Brian Delaney converted a career high 46-yard field goal to increase the lead to 13-6.

 

The third period was a stalemate and neither team scored. Finally, the Hoos broke through with a strong offensive drive that ended with Delaney’s third field goal. As the defense continued to make plays, time was running out in the Hurricanes. The Hoos picked off a third pass and seemed ready to end the night.

 

After a great punt from Lester Coleman pinned the Hurricanes on their on seven yard line, the Hurricanes made their best drive of the night. They covered 93 yards and with Rosier’s 11 yard TD gallop, the score was 16-13 and the crowd became eerily silent. The nervous fans hanging on the edge of their seats, the Hoos needed to run off the last 3:04 off the clock.  The Hurricanes has three timeouts but chose to onside kick. It backfired and the high bounce was snatched by TE Evan Butts who returned the ball inside the Hurricanes’ 30 yard line. The Hoos played it safe and were able to burn the rest of the clock and Miami’s timeouts. A couple of personal fouls from the undisciplined visitors allowed the Cavs to take the knee in the Victory formation.

 

Juan Thornhill collected two interceptions and Joey Blount had the other one. Miami also picked off three Bryce Perkins’ passes, two by Miami safety Trajan Bandy and one from CB Sheldrick Redwine.  The Miami offense out gained UVA,  339 to 231 in total yards. Malik Rosier led all passers with 170 yards and one interception.  Travis Homer was the game’s leading rusher with 95 yards. Brian Delaney made all three of his field goals.  Both teams are now 2-1 in ACC play. Virginia improves to 4-2 overall while Miami drops to 5-2.

 

by EMSPORTS 10/13/2018

photo by virginiasports.com

Virginia returns home and dominates the visiting Louisville Cardinals

 

Virginia and the electric play of QB Bryce Perkins made life miserable for Louisville.  Perkins was responsible for three touchdowns and 275 yards to lead the Cavs to a 27-3 win.  

 

Charles Snowden was the mainstay on defense and he was everywhere all the time.  Snowden filled up the stat sheet.  Snowden had an interception, a fumble recovery, a sack and team high eight tackles.  He helped spearhead a defense that only allowed Louisville a season low 214 total yards and kept the Cardinals from scoring a touchdown in a game since 2010.  

 

The first half was dominated by defenses which reflected the 6-0 score with Virginia in the lead.  Virginia limited Loiusville to a total of 88 yards in the first two quarters.  Snowden's pick led to the first points of the game.  Hunter Pearson's first of two perfect field goal attempts.

 

In the first series in second half, a Perkins' pass deflected off Olamide Zaccheaus and was intercepted by Rodjay Burns who returned 34 yds to Virginia 2. The defense stood up and on three rushing downs, prevented Louisville from the end zone. The Cardinals finished the drive with 20 yard field goal by Blanton Creque. 

 

After a punt, the defense for Virginia picks the offense up again.  Louisville drives the ball into Virginia territory but the ball hawking secondary picks off Cunningham again. Bryce Hall does the honors and returns the ball 20 yards. 

 

As the game enters the fourth quarter, Virginia takes the turnover and finds the endzone again.  On the 8th play of the drive, Virginia finds the end zone again. Bryce Perkins floats a pass over the top of the defense and Joe Reed finds himself with the ball and nothing but space in front of him. The scoring strike covers 44 yards and gives Perkins another touchdown pass. The lead grows to 20-3 for the Cavaliers. 

 

Virginia defense was the star of the game and shown bright again following a UVA punt. Faumui recorded a sack and caused a fumble recovered by Charles Snowden. The fumble was Louisville’s third turnover of the game. Faumui’s first sack of his career.   

 

With the short field, Virginia punches in another touchdown. It only took four plays and 25 yards for Perkins to do it again. This time Virginia’s QB hurdles a Louisville defender and the goal line for an eight yard touchdown sprint. The touchdown put the Hoos comfortable up 27-3 midway through the fourth quarter. 

 

Louisville's three turnovers led to 17 points for Virginia.  The Cavaliers start off 1-0 in the ACC (3-1 overall) and now head to North Carolina State to face the Wolfpack.  The Cardinals will return home to face the fiesty Florida State Seminoles.  They now stand 2-2 and 0-1 in ACC.

 

EMSPORTS 9/22/2018

 

photo by virginiasports.com

CAVALIERS TAME THE BOBCATS IN TENNESSEE

 

The Virginia Cavaliers were preparing to host the Ohio University Bobcats for their second home game of the year.  After losing to the Indiana Hoosiers in a steady downpour on last Saturday night, the Hoos were looking forward to getting back on the winning path. 

Mother Nature, however, had other ideas. With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the East Coast and causing chaos and great fear, the University of Virginia and Ohio University made a pre-emptive decision to not cancel but go west.  The teams agreed to play at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

So the Cavs packed their bags and moved their "home" game to Tennessee nearly 550 miles west to play a very important game.  It was a decsion that paid off with a 45-31 victory for Virginia.

 

The decision paid off with a win.  The game did not have many in attendance but those who were there were treated to an offensive battle.  Ohio received the ball and on their first possession they turned the ball over.  The Cavaliers capitalized quickly with a running touchdown courtesy of Jordan Ellis on the first offensive play from scrimmage.  Ellis would only be warming up.  The next UVA score was produced in the air with Bryce Perkins to Olamide Zaccheaus.  This pitch and catch was also an one play possession as it covered 86 yards.  The Bobcats finally settled down and got their first score after an 80 yard drive that was finished by a Maleek Irons one-yard run.

 

The Cavaliers answered back with 21 unanswered points.  Jordan Ellis continuing running roughshod over the defense with two more rushing touchdowns, including a career high 75 yard sprint.  Perkins had his second touchdown pass of the game with a 10 yarder to Hasise Dubois.  

 

Just when the Cavaliers were looking at a blowout win, the Bobcats had other ideas.  As the first half was getting close to halftime, Ohio made some big plays to give the team in green and white much needed momentum.  Nathan Rourke made a great pass to the corner of the endzone and Papi White hauled in the touchdown pass. On the ensuing kickoff, the Bobcats caught the Hoos off-guard with an onside kick.  In a matter of seconds, Rourke found another open receiver and this time from 36 yards away.  The Hoos were stunned and their big lead was cut in half.  Virginia took the best punch and finally steadied the ship.  they were able to put together a drive to close out the quarter with a field goal from AJ Meija and lead 38-21 at the intermission.

 

The Cavaliers gained first possession but could not muster any points.  However, the Bobcats wree not looking to slow down and found the endzone on their third consecutive drive this time witih Maleek Irons scoring his second TD of the game.

 

After all those points in the first half and early third quarter, the offenses lost a little steam and the defense were able to hold each other at bay until The Wizard of OZ struck again.  The Virginia offense was looking to close out the game and need a big drive to get points and take off some time.  The points were in the arm of Perkins and the feet of Olamide Zaccheaus.  On what seemed to be an average catch for a modest gain, Zaccheaus had other ideas and turned on the jets and afterburners as he left grass and Bobcat defenders in his rearview.  The 77-yard bolt provided a much needed sigh of relief for the Virginia faithful and put the final points on the board for the Cavs.  The Bobcats were able to add a field goal to create the final margin of 45-31.

 

Record performances were many. Bryce Perkins completed 25 of 30 passes for a career high of 379 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.  For the second time in three weeks, Ellis surpassed his career high rushing with 171 yards and three touchdowns.  Finally, the speed and big plays from Olamide Zaccheaus accounted for a career high  247 yards on 9 receptions and two touchdowns.  Ohio was also pretty proficient.  QB Nathan Rourke tossed for 246 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.  Maleek Irons led the way with 43 yards on the ground and two scores.  Papi White was the Bobcats' high man in the receiving game.  He hauled in 6 receptions for 131 yards and 1 touchdown.  A total of five turnovers (all fumbles) kept both teams in the game and each defense recorded three sacks apiece.  TheCavaliers outgained the Bobcats 552 yards to 

364 yards.

 

The Cavaliers move to 2-1 on the season and welcome cross division foe, the Louisville Cardinals, to Scott Stadium on next Saturday.  This will be the ACC opener for both teams.  The Ohio Bobcats move to 1-1 and will visit their in-state rival, the Cincinnati Bearcats next week.

 

by EMSPORTS 9/15/2018

photo by virginiasports.com

Virginia crushes the Richmond Spiders

The University of Virginia had waited nearly nine months to kickoff their 2018 college football season.  The wait was even longer due to inclement weather that pushed opening kickoff back nearly another hour.  

 
Once the fans, started the fill the stands and the national anthem was sang, it felt like football was ready to begin.  The start of the game was auspicious at best. Upon the first drive after a quick thre and out from Richmond, transfer QB Bryce Perkins made a mistake. The signal caller in his first year, had moved the team down the field with his arm and good decisions until he made a poor throw across the middle of the field.  It led to an interception by Dale Matthews, who was on the other team. The linebacker for Richmond took the interception to the house for a 72-yd TD. What a unbelievable gut punch to Perkins who was trying to revitalize the Cavaliers' offense.  He was down but the team was far from out. 
 
On the next series, the dynamic running of Bryce Perkins was on display. After two incompletions, Perkins took the snap, looked left then right.  When no one was open, the middle of the field presented a lane and off he went.  By the time Perkins had stopped running he was in the end zone.  QB Bryce Perkins shows off the wheels with a 36 yard touchdown gallop. He got back the points he gave away moments earlier and the thrashing had just begun.
 
Perkins would lead the Cavaliers on four consecutive scoring drives, all touchdowns.  Perkins scored his second rushing touchdown with a play fake, option keeper from 22 yards out to give the Cavaliers their first lead of the game at 14-10.  They would never trail again. 
 
The third score followed a short punt from the Spiders.  This scoring drive was of the fast paced variety.  In one minute and eight seconds, the Hoos were in touchdown celebraton mode.  The third play of the drive was a catch and run from Perkins to Olamide Zacchaeus for 38 yards. 
 
As the Spiders' offense was getting shut out, the Virginia offense was not letting up.  On the final scoring drive of the first half, the Cavaliers brilliantly mixed the pass and run to capitalize on the previously missed field goal by the Spiders. In covering 80 yards in four plus minutes (longest drive of the game), Jordan Ellis punctuated the finish with a bruising 10-yd rushing touchdown, his first of the game. 
 
Richmond and Virginia both trade punts on next possessions and Spiders run out th clock in first half trailing the home standing Cavaliers by a score of 28-10. 
 
Virginia's dominance was evident on both sides of the ball.  Perkins had gained 107 yards on the ground and 121 yards through the air.  Ellis was very effective with 146 yards rushing and Zacchaeus had acculmulated 90 yards receiving.  The Spiders entire offense had only mustered 143 total yards.  Perkins was outgaining the entire Richmond team by himself.
 
Virginia opened up the second half with another scoring drive. As Perkins controlled the tempo, the rest of his teammates controlled the clock.  Using up over four minutes on the clock, the Hoos covered 65 yards and Jordan Ellis delivered the biggest blow.  His inside-outside sprint of 21 yards, put the Cavaliers comfortably ahead 35-10.
 
The Spiders were never able to mount a real threat on were only able to connect on a Griffin Trau field goal (2-3 FGS) to finish their scoring for the game.  Bryce Perkins put his stamp on the game with one more beautiful strike to a wide open Hasise Dubois to the sixth UVA touchdown of the day. The Perkins to Dubois connection covered 20 yards and produce the final score of 42-13. 
 
The defense complimented the offense with two interceptions in the fourth quarter to nix any more 
Spider scoring opportunities.  The first interception was caught by Joey Blount.  The very next series his running mate in the defensive backfield, Brenton Nelson, recorded the second and final interception. 
 
The Cavaliers left no doubt that they had remembered the rude awakening they suffered at the hands of the Spiders on opening day in 2016.  They were determined and focused not to let history repeat itself.  Bryce Perkins lived up to the preseason hype for one game.  He amassed 185 yards passing and 108 yards rushing.  He accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing).  Jordan Ellis began is final campaign in Orange and Blue with 146 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.  The final component of the three headed offensive monster, Olamide Zacchaeus, caught six passes for a game high 101 yards and one touchdown.  The Cavs outgained the Spiders 492 yards to 225 yards.  The most damage was done on the ground where Virginia enjoyed an advantage of 301 yards to the 34 of Richmond.
 
The Hoos will take their show on the road to the University of Indiana on September 8.  If the first game is any indication, the new look Hoos will have the Hoosiers attention as UVA looks to avenge a loss at home to Indiana from 2017 .
 
story by EMSports.org
9/1/2018 

 

 

 

UVA Women's Basketball Adds Purdue Transfer Dani Lawson

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 2:17 PM EDT Updated: Jul 16, 2018 2:18 PM EDT
 
 
Dani Lawson Dani Lawson

University of Virginia Media Release

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia women's basketball head coach Tina Thompson announced on Monday (July 16) the addition of forward Dani Lawson (Cleveland, Ohio) for the 2018-19 season. 

           

Lawson signed a financial aid agreement and has transferred to Virginia after playing last season at Purdue.

“We are excited to welcome Dani to UVA,” Thompson said. “We will be able to leverage her size and unique skills at the forward position. She has a great jumper, and will give us depth at the forward position, adding a bit more diversity to our frontcourt. Dani is also a terrific student who will adjust well to the high academic expectations and standards at Virginia. We are excited to get her on the court to continue to develop and add to her skill set.”

Lawson helped lead Hathaway Brown to an Ohio High School Division II State Runner-Up finish in 2017, becoming just the fifth player in school history to surpass 1,000 career points. The two-time Cleveland.com All-Star was ranked 22nd at her position in her recruiting class by ESPN Hoop Gurlz. The 6-2 forward appeared in five games last season for the Boilermakers having knee surgery in January and missing the remainder of the season.

 
 
 
 
 

Tina Thompson Named Virginia Women’s Basketball Coach

Tina Thompson Named Virginia Women’s Basketball Coach

Courtesy of Virginia Athletics

Charlottesville, Va. –
Virginia athletics director Carla Williams announced today (April 16) Tina Thompson as head coach of the Cavaliers’ women’s basketball program. Thompson comes to Virginia after serving on the coaching staff at Texas the past three seasons. Prior to entering the coaching profession, Thompson had a college and professional career that gained her entry into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the 2018 induction class.
 
Thompson’s background is one of the most impressive in the history of women’s basketball. She is the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a four-time WNBA champion and was the first player drafted in the history of the WNBA.
 
Thompson becomes the fifth head coach in UVA’s 44-year history.
 
“I am thrilled to have Tina Thompson as our new women’s basketball coach,” Williams said. “She is one of the best to ever play the game and she has experienced tremendous success at all levels of the game. I am looking forward to working with her and supporting her vision for Virginia basketball.
 
“She has a strong commitment to and passion for developing confident, successful women. As a coach, she has proven to be a tremendous teacher and recruiter. I’m excited for the future of our program.”
 
Thompson joined Karen Aston’s staff at Texas in May of 2015 as an assistant coach. She was promoted to associate head coach last September. During her tenure at Texas, she focused on the development of the Longhorns’ post players. Texas recorded a 28-7 record in 2017-18, reaching NCAA Sweet 16 in Kansas City. The Longhorns went 84-21 (.800) during her three seasons in Austin. The 2016-17 Texas team reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and the 2015-16 squad compiled a 31-5 mark on the way to a NCAA Elite Eight appearance.
 
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to become the next women’s basketball coach at the University of Virginia,” Thompson said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead a program with such a rich history. This program is in an exciting place with a hardworking group of young ladies. It is my intention to continue the winning ways coach Joanne Boyle has built with this impressionable group.
 
“My sentiments mirror that of my 12-year-old son Dyllan. When I told him the great news he said, ‘Wait! Mom are you kidding? I mean wow. Isn’t that a good program? Correction. Great program! I am so happy for you. We will do great things there!’ My response to him was that I could not agree more! I am excited about meeting my team, getting to know them and pouring into them.
 
“I am forever grateful for the opportunity Karen Aston and the University of Texas provided me. My experience there has helped to prepare me for this moment. I want to thank Carla Williams for this coveted opportunity. I appreciate her courage and her outside-of-the-box thought process. Wahoowa!”
 
Thompson arrived at Texas after a trailblazing career in the WNBA, in which she began as the first overall draft pick in 1997 and ended as the league's all-time leading scorer in 2013.
 
Throughout her 17-year professional playing career, Thompson was a four-time WNBA champion with the Houston Comets (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000), a member of the WNBA All-Decade team, an eight-time All-WNBA team selection, a nine-time WNBA All-Star and the WNBA All-Star MVP in 2000.
 
After 12 seasons in Houston, the Los Angeles native returned to her hometown in 2009 as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks. She became the WNBA's all-time leading scorer on August 8, 2010, scoring her 6,264th career point to pass Lisa Leslie -- a former teammate of Thompson's at the high school, college and professional levels.
 
Thompson ended her professional career with the Seattle Storm in 2013 and still stands as the league's all-time leading scorer with 7,488 points in 496 games played (15.1 ppg).
 
On the international level, Thompson has won two Olympic Gold Medals as a member of Team USA in 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing). She has also participated in other professional leagues overseas. Following the 2001 WNBA season, she played for Rovereto Basket in Italy and in 2003 she joined the Kumho Falcons of the Women's Korea Basketball League (WKBL). In 2006 and 2007, she played for Spartak Moscow Region (Euro league) and in 2010 for the MCM Târgovişte in Romania.
 
In her first year in Austin, Thompson was heavily involved in the development of senior center Imani Boyette, who earned honorable mention All-America honors from both the Associated Press and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. In 2015-16, Boyette became the first player in program history to reach the combined milestone of 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career blocks. Boyette was the fourth player in school history to be drafted in the first round of the WNBA Draft, going to the Chicago Sky with the 10th overall pick in 2016. 
 
Thompson was also responsible for the development of Kelsey Lang who was a 2016-17 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection, earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree and top-30 finalist for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award. Lang finished her UT career fifth all-time in games played (138), sixth in blocked shots (190) and 36th in scoring (1,086).
 
In 2018, Texas saw Ariel Atkins taken as the No. 7 selection by the Washington Mystics during the WNBA Draft.
 
Thompson played collegiately at the University of Southern California (1993-1997) where she helped USC compile a 77-37 record and three NCAA tournament appearances (1994, 1995, 1997), including an Elite Eight appearance in 1994. 
 
A three-time All-Pac 10 selection at USC, Thompson was a second-team All-American as a senior in 1997. She finished fifth on USC’s career lists in scoring (2,248 points) and (1,168 rebounds).
 
Thompson graduated from USC in 1997 with a degree in sociology and a minor in psychology.
 
Thompson was born in Los Angeles as one of five siblings – and has two brothers and two sisters. She has one son, Dyllan, who was born in 2005.  
 
Thompson’s enshrinement ceremony for the 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will take place on Friday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Springfield Symphony Hall in Springfield, Mass.
 
 
 

11/10/17

 

Clark and Stattmann ink National Letters of Intent with the Cavaliers

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia men's head basketball coach Tony Bennett has announced the signings of guards Kihei Clark (Woodland Hills, Calif./Taft Charter High School) and Kody Stattmann (Bentley Park, Queensland, Australia/St. Augustine’s College) to National Letters of Intent with the Cavaliers.

 

"We are excited to welcome Kihei and Kody into the Virginia men’s basketball family,” Bennett said. “Both of these young men bring a lot skill, competitiveness and great character to our program. Kihei and Kody understand the value of a degree from UVA and we are looking forward to them joining our program next fall.”

 

The 5-9, 155-pound Clark averaged 18.9 points, 7.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds for Taft Charter High School as a junior in 2016-17. He earned all-conference and all-city honors and was named Taft’s most valuable player after guiding the school to a 27-11 record. Clark averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 assists and 3.3 rebounds en route to team MVP and all-conference honors in 2015-16. Clark also handed out a school-record 22 assists during his sophomore season as Taft posted a 26-8 record.

 

The 6-7, 178-pound Stattmann averaged 31 points to lead the Australian U17 Emus Men’s Basketball Team to a gold medal at the FIBA Oceania Championships in Guam. Stattmann also tallied 25 points per game to lead the U18 Queensland North Basketball team to a silver medal at nationals. Stattmann plays his high school basketball for St. Augustine’s College and is also a member of the Queensland Basketball League’s Cairns Marlins.

  

  UVa hires Carla Williams as its next athletic director      


Carla Williams

 

 

Virginia has hired Georgia deputy athletic director Carla Williams to succeed Craig Littlepage as the Cavaliers’ athletic director, sources said Saturday night.

A formal announcement is expected Sunday afternoon.

Williams, who was expected to become the next athletic director at Georgia, will be the lone African-American woman athletic director in the Power Five conferences. She also will be the first head of the Virginia athletic department since Dick Schultz who is without close ties to the university.

 

Shultz, who guided the department from 1981-87, came to Virginia from Cornell. He was succeeded by three consecutive directors with UVa connections: Jim Copeland, who played football for the Cavaliers and later worked for the Virginia Athletics Foundation; Terry Holland, the school’s longtime head basketball coach; and Littlepage, who was both an assistant basketball coach and a UVa assistant athletic director under both Copeland and Holland.

Littlepage has been UVa’s athletic director for the past 16 years and became the first African-American AD in ACC history.

According to two sources, finalists for the AD position were called to Boston for interviews with incoming UVa president James Ryan, the dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. UVa’s current president, Teresa A. Sullivan, informed finalists of the decision Saturday afternoon.

Williams is a 1989 Georgia graduate who has overseen the Bulldogs’ football program as the top lieutenant for UGa athletic director Greg McGarity. According to sources, Virginia football alumni were pushing hard for someone with a football background to move into the job.

Williams, a former professional basketball player, not only oversees Georgia football but also its women’s basketball program, and she has supervisory responsibility for academic support services, business operations, compliance, event management, external operations, facilities, human resources, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, student services and ticketing.

An All-SEC guard for the Lady Bulldogs from 1985-89, Williams, née Green, played professionally in Spain in 1989. Williams joined Andy Landers’ Georgia women’s basketball staff from 1991-96 as an assistant coach. Two of those teams reached the Final Four.

After a stint as an assistant coach, Williams moved into athletic administration, serving as the school’s assistant director of compliance before climbing in the administrative ranks at Florida State, Vanderbilt, and Georgia.

She was hired at Vanderbilt University by former UVa assistant athletic director Todd Turner, who works with Korn Ferry, a consultant firm hired by Virginia to help with its search.

Jerry Ratcliffe is The Daily Progress' sports reporter 10/22/17

Virginia defensive sacked Jones twice, with both coming on the final drive of the game. Charles Snowden plays a major role and Jordan Mack who finished with a team- high 10 tackles for cavaliers. The Cavaliers look to make it four wins in a row after beating Duke, 28 to 21.

Craig Littlepage Announces Retirement As Virginia Director Of Athletics

By: Kris Wright |
 
Craig Littlepage announced his plans to retire Tuesday.

Craig Littlepage led Virginia athletics for 16 years. ~ Courtesy of Virginia athletics

 

After 16 years, 76 ACC Championships, and 13 NCAA National Championships, Virginia director of athletics Craig Littlepage announced his retirement on Tuesday. He will remain in his role until a replacement is in place before transitioning to a role in the University President’s Office.

Per an official UVA news release, a national search for Littlepage’s successor will begin in the near future.

“It’s hard to believe how fast the last 16 years as the director of athletics at UVA have gone,” Littlepage said in the news release. “Overall, to have worked and lived in Charlottesville and the University community for 35 of the last 41 years is truly a blessing. After much thought and consideration, I realized this was the right time for me to step aside. There is a sense of great pride in the accomplishments of our program since taking over as AD in 2001. When I reflect on the great coaches that have come here, the facilities, and talented student-athletes, I can move ahead knowing the athletics program has a great foundation.”

 

That foundation and the athletic department’s “most successful era to date” per the news release came on the heels of an Athletics Task Force recommendation to create formal tiers for the University’s 24 varsity sports. That Task Force was created by then University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III as part of the school’s 2020 long-term planning effort. The Task Force made its proposal to the Board of Visitors in April of 2001 just four months before Littlepage officially was appointed as director of athletics following an interim role to fill in for the departing Terry Holland.

 

The Task Force stressed that the department was not in distress, but that the rising costs of college athletics did not match the slower pace of revenue increases (that landscape changed dramatically over the years with conference realignment and TV contracts). The recommendations included:

  • Adding women’s golf, while eliminating men’s indoor track and field.
  • Classifying sports into four tiers: top tier of football, men’s and women’s basketball; second tier of men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, rowing, men’s and women’s swimming; third tier of softball, women’s tennis, women’s cross country, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball, women’s golf if added; fourth tier of baseball, wrestling, men’s golf, men’s tennis, men’s cross country, men’s indoor track and field if retained.
  • Establishing a $100 million VAF endowment.
  • Raising student fees to meet the state average with increases going to athletics.
  • Redesigning the Department of Athletics’ academic advising and support services.

According to the news release on the recommendations, “the task force did not make a recommendation about whether or not to build a new basketball arena, but expressed concerns about projected costs and possible overruns.” 

 

Beginning his tenure in that climate, Littlepage ushered in a tremendous period of growth and success during the past 16 years. Starting in 2002, the department adopted the brand statement of “Uncompromised Excellence” alongside 10-year goals for athletics. In 2013, those goals and the brand statement were extended for another 10-year period through 2022. Over those 15 years, Virginia has won an ACC-leading 76 conference championships as well as 13 NCAA National Championships.

The most notable blemish on the strong resume has been the deterioration of the Virginia football program. Since reseating Scott Stadium in 2008, the Hoos have posted only one winning season in 2011. Attendance and season ticket sales have dwindled throughout that time period. Bronco Mendenhall is the third coach in charge of the program since 2008 as Al Groh finished out his tenure before Mike London took over the job. The revenue hit from the extended period of football struggles has been offset by TV revenue, but remains a long-term issue for the department until the program turns things around.

Over the first 10 years of the new brand statement, UVA also graduated 93% of student-athletes who completed their eligibility. Most recently, the 2016-17 ACC Academic Honor Roll featured 323 UVA student-athletes, up from 232 in 2005. The overall 2017 spring semester GPA of 3.1 represented the highest in the department since 2003.

 

Fundraising also has grown over 16 years. From 2002-2012, the Virginia Athletics Foundation raised more than $350 million and the current All In For Excellence initiative is at more than $153 million. During Littlepage’s tenure, Virginia also raised $130 million to build the John Paul Jones Arena and $13 million for the George Welsh Indoor Practice Facility in addition to many other facility upgrades at the other sports’ locations.

 

The first African-American athletics director in Atlantic Coast Conference history, Littlepage was recognized for many of those accomplishments through the years. He was named the Black Coaches Association’s “Athletics Administrator of the Year” in 2003 and 2006. He was also listed on Sports Illustrated’s list of the 101 most influential minorities in sports in 2003 and 2004. In 2005-06, Littlepage served as the chair of the Men’s Division I Basketball Committee and administered its selection process and served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Collegiate Athletics Directors (NACDA) from 2006-10.

 

“Virginia athletics are synonymous with excellence and integrity, and much of the credit for that belongs to Craig Littlepage, a class act in every way.” Val Ackerman, Big East Commissioner of and former UVA women’s basketball player, said in a statement. “Legions of Wahoo student-athletes have Craig to thank for bringing them a one-of-a-kind life experience, and UVA supporters around the country can take enormous pride in being associated with one of most accomplished and best-run operations in college sports. Craig’s long-standing contributions to basketball have also been a tremendous service to the game. He’ll be greatly missed.”

 

“Craig Littlepage has been the steady hand at the helm of the University of Virginia athletic department for the last 16 years,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “His leadership and positive influence are well known, beginning with his days as a student-athlete and continuing throughout his coaching career and his 25 plus years in athletics administration. Craig is one of the most highly respected individuals within the ACC, among his peers, and across the overall landscape of collegiate athletics. Even more impressive is how remarkable he is as a person, which is why I’ve always described him as one of the true gentlemen in our profession. Nora and I wish Craig and Margaret nothing but the best as they look ahead to this next chapter.”

 

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