Home Preview: What Virginia Basketball fans need to know about North Carolina Central
Basketball, Sports

Preview: What Virginia Basketball fans need to know about North Carolina Central

Chris Graham
uva cheerleaders
Photo: Mike Ingalls/AFP

Virginia hoops fans might remember North Carolina Central University as the opponent in the 2022-2023 season opener, and if you remember that one, you’ll remember it wasn’t the cakewalk that you expected.

NCCU (4-5 in 2023-2024) actually took a one-point lead with 14:21 to go before Virginia took control with a 15-2 run on its way to a 73-61 win.

The 4-5 record for this year’s NCCU squad is deceptive – two of the wins are over non-D1 opponents, and the other two are over teams that are 300+ in KenPom.

The leading scorer is from the All-Name team – sophomore guard Po’Boigh King (15.6 ppg, 4.8 rebounds/g, 48.2% FG, 33.3% 3FG).

King spent his freshman year at Harcum College, a JUCO in Pennsylvania, averaging 13.4 points in 20.0 minutes per game, so, he can put the ball in the hoop.

6’2” senior guard Ja’Darius Harris (13.9 ppg, 47.8% FG, 37.8% 3FG) has grown into being a top option for coach LaVelle Moton.

Harris is averaging 26.9 minutes per game this season after getting 10.6 minutes per game in his first two seasons at NCCU.

The other guy to watch for is 5’9” fifth-year senior Fred Cleveland (13.6 ppg, 3.9 assists/g, 43.7% FG, 32.0% 3FG).

The matchup on Tuesday in JPJ shouldn’t be like what we saw last year, but the one hangup here is trap-game nature in terms of the schedule.

Tuesday is the final game before the 11-day break for final exams.

You couldn’t fault the UVA kids for looking ahead to the break.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].