Game Preview | elon (1-2) @ VT (3-2) | Wed., 7 PM

THE SETUP

  • Spread: VT favored by 20 (wow!  really?)
  • All Time Series: VT 12-7
  • Streak: VT – 2 straight (only games since 1954 were in 2000 and 2007)
  • Last Meeting (11/9/07): VT 69-64 Recap | Game Film | In the Hokie’s first game of last season, Jeff Allen scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, pilfered 4 steals, and rejected 2 shots on his way to earning ACC Rookie of the Week honors

elonThe Hokies head home to the Cassell where they hope to snap their two game losing streak from Puerto Rico against the elon phoenix.  Tech is 2-0 at home this season and look to build some momentum before their Big(11)10/ACC Challenge Showdown with #19/25 wisconsin next Monday.

Random Movie Reference: Virginia Tech needs to get their offense going in this game and establish an identity.  That may be possible since elon is not a strong team and should be easy prey for the Hokies.  To steal a bit from Swingers, the Hokies are a big bear with claws and with fangs.  And elon is just like this little bunny, who is cowering in the corner.  Tech needs to find their offense and figure out how to kill the bunny.  Instead of just batting the scared bunny around [settling for poor outside shots and playing in the half court set all the time], the Hokies need to use their fangs and claws [their athleticism, speed, and superior height and post game] and kill the bunny.  Pressure defense leads to turnovers which leads to fast breaks which leads to easy buckets.  Tech needs to start pushing the ball, and attack the rim in the half court.  This will even help the outside game as they can penetrate and kick out for open looks from three, or attack the tin and score or get to the line.

THE OPPONENT

[Wow, you are still reading after that Swingers  tangent?]

Like I said, elon is… well… not good.  At least not so far this season.  They lost by 45 to wvu (avoided being doubled by just two points), beat southern virginia by 28 (who the heck is southern virginia???), and lost to tennessee-martin by 17 (is this school named for former tennessee volunteer QB Tee Martin???). 

elon has four of their top five scorers back from last season, so they do have experience.  The phoenix are led by senior Brett James, who topped the team in scoring last season.  He is averaging 15.3 ppg.  Ola Atoyebi, their second leading scorer, is also back and averaging 10.7 ppg.

The phoenix are chuckers.  They will launch the three at every opportunity, averaging seven makes per game on 17 attempts (41% which is darn good).  Strangely, they are terrible from the foul line, hitting just 58%.  Tech must defend the perimeter well and fight through screens.  For the most part, the Hokies have been great against the three, holding opponents to just 26%.  That’s bad news for the phoenix.

On defense, elon has been awful.  wvu shot 59% from the field and tennessee-martin lit them up for 52%.  Their major weakness is in the paint.  They play just four guys that weigh over 185 pounds, and even their two 6’8″ low post players are just 220 lbs (Ola Atoyebi) and 210 lbs (Adam Constantine).  Jeff Allen should be able to have a huge game just like last year if the Hokies feed him the ball enough.  I’d post up Dorenzo Hudson some too against their guards to take advantage of his size.

Probability of a VT Win: 84%

BORING FACTS ABOUT elon:

  • Private school in Elon, NC with ~5k undergrad and 500 grad students.
  • Only 32% of their students are from NC; 8% are from VA.
  • FCS (I-AA) in football and just missed the playoffs this season.
  • elon is a member of the Southern Conference, VT’s home from 1921-1965.
  • elon was 14-19 last year but surprised everyone by making the Southern Tournament finals before losing to davidson and Mr. Curry.
  • elon was 7-23 in 2006-07.
  • elon features four players from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • elon was known as the fighting Christians until 1999. That year, they entered Division I athletics and decided they wanted a more universal appeal. phoenix was picked since the school had suffered a horrible fire in the early 1900’s, but they “rose from the ashes” like a phoenix. And there are some religious ties to a phoenix.
  • Frank Haith, miami’s head basketball coach, went to elon.
  • Other alums: Ward Burton, Jim Morris (miami’s head baseball coach… yeesh, the canes sure love elon), Jack McKeon (former MLB Manager), and Country Joe West (MLB umpire).

This post was written by:

- who has written 1221 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

  • vatechhokies50

    Why is it that **every team** we have played has guards that penetrate on us at will? Boy, do we miss Deron’s defense. This element is completely missing.

    I’m tired of lackluster second half efforts… I don’t know how we win this game against Elon…. I’m tired of double digit turnovers.

    And if you guys that this was bad, the guards we play on Monday are much better…

    1.) Jordan Taylor – http://www.uwbadgers.com/sport_news/mbb/bios/bio.html?athid=6990&deptid=116 – 6’1″, 190lbs.

    2.) Trevon Hughes – http://www.uwbadgers.com/sport_news/mbb/bios/bio.html?athid=5985&deptid=116 – 6’0″, 193 lbs.

    These guys play defense. If we win on Monday, it may rank is one of the top 10 wins in program history… I’m not going over the top here, either… Whiskey has some physical guards… now, the got pounded against UConn… but that’s a common thing that will happen to many teams.

  • http://www.vthokiefans.com vthokiefans

    Based on your pregame assessment of the phoenix, Tech must have really sucked tonight because the phoenix looked pretty damn good, which we know they’re not, we just make them look better than they really are.

  • vatechhokies50

    VTH, I agree. I’m tired of seeing our guards get owned on defense. Even the Mt. Saint Mary’s guards were penetrating at will on us (we had to double team constantly at the point because couldn’t even stop the Mount). Last year, we (Deron) had the ACC’s best scoring defense. We have to turn it up three notches on Monday night. I’m sorry I sound negative, but we have a ton of stuff to work on.

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