It wasn’t an impressive victory by any stretch. In fact, it was anything but inspiring. However, it was the first game of the season and it was clear the team was feeling it’s way through actual competition, looking for the chemistry it will need to live up to the highest expectations of a Virginia Tech basketball team since the 1995-1996 season.
There were certainly positives in the game and honestly, at no point did it feel like the Hokies might be in trouble. One of the bright spots was the play of true freshman Jarrell Eddie, who looked comfortable and impressive in his debut, scoring six points in 15 minutes. He also recorded three rebounds and two assists. Sophomore Erick Green played 17 minutes.
The Hokies struggled from the start of the game, falling behind early, 6-9, but kept the game close until closing the first half on a 23-9 run to take a 41-26 lead into the break.
The camels came out in the second half and kept the game close, eventually cutting the lead down to seven, 45-52, with 13:19 to play. Tech slammed the door after that, though, using an 11-0 run to race back in front by 18 points. From there, the Hokies coasted to a 70-60 win. Tech is now 8-0 in season-openers under Seth Greenberg.
The only bit of concerning news was the lack of depth and size in the front court. Victor Davila didn’t score a point in 30 minutes. He didn’t even attempt a single shot. Davila, a junior, played hard, but if the Hokies are going to compete in the physical ACC, he’s going to have to step his game up and play smarter. He fouled out tonight.
Despite the lack of size, Tech dominated the boards tonight, which proved to be the difference in the game. The Hokies out-rebounded the camels 41-24. Jeff Allen had the most complete game of any Hokie, leading the team in rebounding and assists. He did just about everything you could ask of him, including staying out of foul trouble. Allen played incredibly smart basketball and looks lean and polished.
Delaney was his usual self. He scored 20 points, but 11 of those were free throws. He was 3 for 9 from the field and 3 for 8 from 3-point range. Delaney did, however, hit all 11 of his free throws.
The Hokies get back on the court next Tuesday against No. 3 kansas state in Manhattan, Kan. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.