When freshman Justin Anderson checks into
In some ways, U.Va. (16-6, 6-3
Prior to Williams' retirement in early May 2011, Anderson was committed to Maryland (17-6, 5-5). Three weeks after Williams' departure, Anderson changed his mind and decided to go to U.Va.
Now, as he prepares for his first game in
"I have no clue what to expect," said Anderson on Thursday night after U.Va.'s 78-41 win against
"If they say something during the — no, I'm not going to give them any ideas."
That's a veteran move by Anderson — stopping short of providing bulletin-board material. Of course, he's been playing of late like a guy with far more experience than he actually has in mid-to-late season ACC games, too.
He's been a significant contributor during U.Va.'s surge in the last three weeks that has seen the Cavaliers win five of their last six games, with the only loss coming last Sunday at
He had his fourth start of the season, and first of his career against an ACC opponent, in Thursday's win against Clemson. He responded with 14 points.
"Coach Williams was a great coach," Anderson said. "(U.Va.) coach (Tony) Bennett and I talk about it all the time. (Williams is) a great guy and a great guy to play for. I was really looking forward to playing for him."
Though U.Va. has been playing well, it still hasn't figured out how to have consistent success away from home. U.Va. is just 2-4 in road games, including 1-3 in ACC games.
Those three conference road losses have come against teams —
"It'll be another tough game for us, especially being on the road," said U.Va.'s Joe Harris, who leads the team with 15.6 points per game, and who's shooting 45.9 percent from 3-point range. "I think this will be a big game for us to see how much we can grow and try to get a win on the road."
U.Va's most daunting challenge against Maryland may be defending 7-foot-1 center
With 6-foot-11 backup forward Mike Tobey out indefinitely while he struggles with mononucleosis, and 6-8 forward Darion Atkins still dealing with a stress reaction in his right shin, U.Va.'s frontcourt is depleted. Their absence places additional offensive and defensive pressure on 6-8 forward Akil Mitchell, who is averaging 12.5 points and nine rebounds per game.