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James Richard Getting Loose

Adam Kilgore checking in from Columbus, where J.R. Reynolds is playing like a combination of Chuck Norris, Jack Bauer and Eric Maynor. He said "See ya tomorrow" to that 9-for-44 slump he carried into the game when he made his first seven shots -- four of them beautiful, high-arcing 3s -- and scored 23 by halftime, when the Cavs led 45-25. He's got 26 now and Virginia is up 60-32. Also, he's wearing some money kicks -- white, with patent leater orange paneling and a blue Nike swoosh. Muy cool. You could tell James Richard was on today when, after being fouled, he was lying on his back and chucked up a two-handed, overhead shot that banked off the glass. Not only is Reynolds crushing Albany, he just gave them an 'H'.

I sat right in front of Bruce Pearl in the first half, which was cool because I could hear him talking to his assistants about how he would try to guard Virginia's guards and some other stuff. The best part: Albany's fans are right behind us, and they started yelling at Pearl, asking what was wrong as Virginia pummelled the Great Danes. Pearl turned around and said, "Hang in there. It's gonna be alright." Not many coaches in the country would banter with fans like that two hours away from a tourney game. I officially like Bruce Pearl.

One note: It won't get much ink in tomorrow's birdcage liner because of amazing Reynolds is playing, but it deserves mention: DeMatha grad Mamadi Diane did a terriffic job on Jamar Wilson, the America East player of the year, in the first half. Wilson never got going, shooting 4 for 11. Lars Mikalauskas also gave some inspired minutes.

One other note: Virginia got some new black warm-ups for the week. Not game warm-ups, just the practice kind. Players univerally liked them. Will Harris and Reynolds were two of the biggest fans. "Gotta change it up for the tournament," Reynolds said yesterday. "Gotta switch it up." I think it worked.

OK, J.R. has 28 now and UVA is up 64-42. Those plucky Great Danes aren't going away.

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 16, 2007; 1:53 PM ET
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pearl was wearing a shirt, right?

Posted by: The Big Picture | March 16, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

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