Preview | maryland at Virginia Tech

Sunday, January 21st at 7:30 PM – FoxSportsNet and XM 191

Records: VT 13-5 (3-1 ACC), md 15-4 (1-3 ACC)
Best Win: VT 94-88 over #1 unc, md 72-66 @ Illinois

Leading Scorers:
VT – Dowdell (17.3), Gordon (12.1), Washington (11.2), Vassallo (11.1)
md – Strawberry (15.3), Jones (13.8), Ibekwe (11.7), Gist (11.6)

Leading Rebounders:
VT – Collins/Washington (4.8), Gordon (4.2)
md – Ibekwe (7.8), Gist (7.4), Strawberry (4.4)

Assists Leader:
VT – Jamon Gordon (4.4), Dowdell (3.5)
md – Vasquez/Hayes (4.0)

Team Stats:

VT – 74.4 Pts, 48% FG, 64% FT, 39% 3Pt
md – 81.6 Pts, 48% FG, 71% FT, 40% 3Pt

Last Game:
fsu 82, VT 73;
VT fell behind by as many as 18 points before rallying to within 1 point at 52-51, using a 28-11 run. After that point, fsu pulled away led by Al Thornton’s 27 points, all of which were in the 2nd half. He scored 27 of their 43 2nd half points to lead all scorers. Zabian Dowdell had 23 to lead the Hokies. Deron Washington and Coleman Collins also topped double digits with 18 and 15 respectively. VT shot 57% for the game (70% in the 2nd half). But VT was outrebounded 27-19 and fsu made 31 free throws, compared to just 17 for the Hokies.

uva 103, md 91
uva came out smoking hot and stretched their lead to 50-32 with 2 minutes
left in the 1st half. The terps then managed to score 11 straight points
without uva even crossing half court to cut the lead to 50-43 at the half.
md would get within 3 in the 2nd half, but uva pulled away around the midway
point and cruised to the win.

The good news is VT shot over 70% in the 2nd half on Wednesday night. The
bad news is they had dug themselves a ‘Marshall-like’ deficit in the the 1st
half. The good news is VT has put up 47, 47, and 51 in 3 of their last 4
halves. The bad news is, after not allowing more than 71 points in a game
through 16 games, they have given up 82+ in their last 2. The good news is
maryland is coming off a game where they were thoroughly beaten by uva. The
bad news is VT is coming off a loss at Florida State.

Match-up:
Sunday, VT will have to put a full game effort if they want to beat
maryland. This team seems to struggle to put 2 decent halves together in
their losses. That was crucial in the losses to gwu, fsu, and marshall. VT
will have to beat the terps press. VT struggled with unc’s late in the
game, but uva was able to shred md’s press. The key to uva’s success was
their guards could find someone open when they beat the press for an easy
shot, or got fouled and went to the line. Often times VT just tries to
break the press and set up their half court offense, instead of attacking.

md loves to feed the ball inside. They do not shoot a lot of 3’s. However,
look out for Jones’s 3 point shot from the elbow extended on the left side;
he doesn’t miss from there. D.J. Strawberry and Mike Jones average 29
points per game, similar to what Dowdell and Gordon average for VT. The
terps are more physical inside than VT, so blocking out and securing the
boards will be key for the Hokies.

Both teams have identical starting lineups – 3 seniors, 1 junior, and 1
freshman. So experience is pretty even here. md goes about 4 deep on its
bench, where as VT plays 5-6.

VT Keys to Win:
- Feed off the crowd energy (see unc)
- Attack md’s press, don’t just beat it
- Keep Ibekwe, Gist, and Osby off the offensive boards (md has 2 guys
averaging more than 7 boards a game)
- Get to the line – md is not terribly talented on their bench. Foul
trouble will hurt them.
- Play 2 halves (see gwu, marshall, and fsu losses)

This post was written by:

- who has written 1197 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

Contact the author | Visit the author's website | Follow Niemo on Twitter

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