Game Preview | mt. st. mary’s (1-0) @ VT (1-0) | Mon., 8 PM

THE SETUP

  • All Time Series – VT 3-0
  • Last Meeting: Hokies won in 2005 at VT by a 74-62 score. In that game, A.D. Vassallo had 13 points and Cheick Diakite had 11, which is still his career high and the only time he’s reached double digits.
  • Game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet
  • The Opposing View

The Hokies want to be dancing in March. Not at the nubbins CBI, or the “Junior Prom” (the NIT), they want to be in the Big Dance. On Monday night the Hokies face a team that is coming off a NCAA Tournament appearance. In fact, the mount st. mary’s mountaineers, or “the mount”, won a NCAA Tournament game. Granted, it was the Opening Round game, against coppin state of the MEAC, but it has given the mountaineers a lot of confidence heading into this season.

THE OPPONENT

mount st. mary'sThe mount returns all but one key cog from last year’s Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship team. They are led by 5’9″ junior Jeremy Goode (finally Hank Thorns can look eye-to-eye at an opponent). Goode was a preseason All-NEC selection after averaging 10.1 points as a freshman and 14.5 points and 5.5 assists as a sophomore last season. Jeremy had 25 points in the mount’s season opener win against loyola. In that game, mt. st. mary’s scored 50 points in the second half, shooting 54% for the game in a 84-75 win.

The mount also returns their third, fourth, fifth, and sixth leading scorers from last season, all of whom averaged over seven points per game. But the team is not deep, playing only seven guys in their first game.

The mountaineers like to attack the lane and push the ball in transition — they don’t want this to be a half-court game. The mount are not a threat to win games from the outside, but they aren’t big, either. There’s no player on the roster over 6’7″, and only two guys are over 215 lbs. Kelly Beidler and the Atupem brothers, Shawn and Sam, are their best inside players. So transition defense is vital for Tech.

KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Pack it in: No one on the mount’s roster averaged over two three-pointers per game last season, and only one guy, Will Holland, averaged over one three-pointer per game. Jeremy Goode, the mountaineers top player, only made 20 threes last year, although he was 3/4 in their first game this season. Tech must get back on defense and slow down the mount’s transition game. VT should dare the mount to beat them from behind the arc.
  • 40 minutes of 0: The Big Donut, #0 Jeff Allen, had 17 points in the first half Friday as VT scored 40 points. In the second half, Allen had just one official shot attempt and four free throws, as gwu dropped into a zone and held the Hokies to 25 points. Tech must continue to feed the ball to Allen, or get him out on the perimeter if necessary to get the rock in his hands.
  • Pressure the mount’s guards: The two starting st. mary’s guards had nine turnovers in their opening game against loyola. VT needs to put pressure on them and force them into making bad decisions, which can feed Tech’s fastbreak and get the Hokies easy buckets.
  • Better bench: Tech got just six points on 25% (3/12) shooting off their bench Friday (Thorns, Witcher, and Bell). Someone, likely Lewis Witcher or Terrell Bell, needs to step up and give the Hokies some offense off the bench, especially if Dorenzo Hudson continues to struggle (1/7 from the field Friday and a 36% shooter last year).
  • Quartet or more instead of a trio: Tech right now is a three man band on offense with Allen, Malcolm Delaney, and A.D. Vassallo. They had 53 of VT’s 65 points (82%). In J.T. Thompson’s absence, another man needs to step up his game.
  • Protect the ball: Tech had 10 turnovers in the second half Friday, mainly against gwu’s zone. The Hokies need to do a better job of handling the ball and making good decisions/passes. They also must do a better job of attacking the zone with overloads, finding the soft spots in the zone for threes (usually the corners where Bell likes to shoot), or just getting out in transition and beating the opponent down the court.
  • First things first: The Hokies leave for Puerto Rico approximately 10 hours after the conclusion of this game.  Tech needs to keep their minds on the mount, and not on the beach.  mount st. mary’s is talented enough, and experienced enough, to pull off the upset if VT lets their guard down.

Probability of a VT win: 75%

BORING FACTS ABOUT THE OPPONENT

  • Location: Emmitsburg, MD (about an hour west of DC)
  • Enrollment: 2100 (grad and undergrad – about the 6th smallest in Division I)
  • Affiliation: private Catholic university; the 2nd oldest Catholic university in the US — 200 years old this year
  • Main Program: liberal arts
  • Conference: Northeast (you likely haven’t heard of any of the schools from this conference and they actually have two schools named st. francis; in fact, if you could name three of the NEC schools’ nicknames without looking, I’d be stunned)
  • Famous Alums: Fred Carter (NBA and ESPN analyst), Susan O’Malley (former President of the Washington Wizards – first female to hold such a post), Peter Rono (1988 Summer Olympics gold medalist
  • Other: Jim Phelan coached the mount with his unique bow ties for 49 years and finished in 2003 with 830 wins, ranking fourth on the all time list. His 1962 team won the D-II championship.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1277 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.

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7 Responses to “Game Preview | mt. st. mary’s (1-0) @ VT (1-0) | Mon., 8 PM”

  1. vatechhokies50 says:

    Duke barely blog by Rhode Island lol… it’s a good day… lol….

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/boxscore;_ylt=AmW5.BerT8flnZ7gaH3CrevevbYF?gid=200811160173

  2. vatechhokies50 says:

    I know this isn’t Mount St. Mary’s but Whiskey has a great backcourt…

    http://www.uwbadgers.com/sport_news/mbb/bios/bio.html?athid=6990&deptid=116

    http://www.uwbadgers.com/sport_news/mbb/bios/bio.html?athid=5985&deptid=116

    We are going to grind it out with the Badgers.

  3. pmckenne says:

    My mind is on the beach.

    Puerto Rico baby!!!!!

  4. vatechhokies50 says:

    The Virginia Tech Athletic Department office is incompentent as usual. They have not advertised a new ticket transfer function on http://www.hokietickets.com

    It would be worthwhile for TechHoops and VTHokieFans to bring this to the attention to your readers (and make sure you give the Hokie Guru from Fire Bryan Stinespring or vatechhokies50 as I’m called here) credit for bringing this to your attention.

    Here’s how it works… one logs into Hokietickets.com using their normal log-in, then they click on Buy Tickets (or Renew Tickets), then they cluck on “My Account” on the left side of the web site, and then click on “Transfer or Return Tickets.” The individual games are listed. You select the game and then put the name of the person and their e-mail address in the system. The ticketholder can decide whether the sender or the receiver pays the $4.00 (cheap) transfer fee.

    It is ridiculous that this ticket policy has not been announced publicly. I had to call the Virginia Tech ticket office to find out if electrionic ticket transfer was even an option. It is far better than Seat Exchange.

    Please, for heaven’s sake, tell people about this option. The Virginia Tech ticket office said that they are doing this to ensure a full house… but if they don’t tell people about the policy? WTF.

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2014-2015 Schedule/Results

November

11/14 - Hokies 71, md. eastern shore 46
11/19 - Hokies 73, liberty 63
11/22 - appalachian state 65, Hokies 63
**********
Cancun Classic
11/25 - n. iowa 73, Hokies 54
11/26 - Hokies 78, miami ohio 63
**********
11/30 - Hokies 83, morgan state 63

December

12/03 - penn state 61, Hokies 58
12/07 - radford 68, Hokies 66
12/14 - Hokies 65, alabama a&m 55
12/20 - Hokies 64, the citadel 61
12/22 - Hokies 87, vmi 74
12/27 - Hokies 87, presbyterian 65
12/30 - west virginia 82, Hokies 51

January

01/03 - syracuse 68, Hokies 66
01/06 - louisville 78, Hokies 63
01/18 - unc 68, Hokies 53
01/22 - notre dame 85, Hokies 60
01/25 - uva 50, Hokies 47
01/27 - Hokies 70, pittsburgh 67
01/31 - wake forest 73, Hokies 70

February

02/03 - syracuse 72, Hokies 70
02/07 - vs. fsu | 3pm, ACCN
02/09 - vs. georgia tech | 9pm, ESPNU
02/14 - @ clemson | Noon, RSN
02/18 - @ miami | 7pm, RSN
02/21 - @ nc state | 6pm, ESPN2
02/25 - vs. duke | 9pm, ESPN2
02/28 - @ uva | 4pm, ACCN

March

03/02 - vs. boston college | 9pm, ESPNU
03/07 - vs. miami | Noon, RSN
**********
ACC Tournament
03/10 - 1st rd.
03/11 - 2nd rd.
03/12 - quarterfinals
03/13 - semifinals
03/14 - championship

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