Perhaps no one has benefited more from the ACC’s decision to make Greensboro the (mostly) annual home of the ACC Tournament than unc greensboro (aka: unc-g-spot). The spartans hosted four ACC teams last year at home and play three more in the Greensboro Coliseum this year. Teams like to get used to their environment, and therefore like to get a game in the Coliseum to get adjusted to the shooting background and such. How much does it really matter? I’m not sure, especially considering the Tournament is more than three months away. In fact, three of the four teams that played at unc-g-spot last year got bounced in their first ACC Tournament game.
On Sunday it will be the Hokies turn to tour the Coliseum and take on the spartans. Tech will try and erase their painful memories from their first round exit against miami in the same Coliseum in last year’s ACC Tournament. But this spartan club is not exactly ACC material, having lost by 15 to vcu and 24 to florida state (in the Coliseum) to open the season. unc-g gave up 198 points in those two games, so if you like defense, you probably just threw up in your mouth a little bit.
Before you get all hot and bothered thinking the Hokies are also going to put up a lot of points, please think back to last year. In Tech’s second game of the season the Hokies hung up just 59 on the spartans (luckily the spartans only scored 46). unc-g-spot confused the Hokies with a 2-3 zone. How do you beat a zone? Hit outside shots. Tech was just 1/13 on three-pointers, shot just 38% from the field overall, and just 56% from the line. It was bad.
In addition to avenging their loss in the ACC Tourney, VT will also try to get that bad taste out of their mouth from Tuesday. The Hokies ran out of gas (and players) in the second half and lost to #3 kansas state by a 73-57 score. This will be the Hokies’ final tune-up game before they start the 76 Classic in Anaheim, CA next Thursday against cal state northridge [Note: I will be really winging that preview – I have no idea about them or even who, or where, they are].
- All-Time: VT 6-0 (they’ve played in 4 of 5 seasons now)
- Last Meeting: VT 59, unc-g 46 (RECAP)
HO-KEYS TO THE GAME:
- Stop Whistling While You Work: Here’s hoping the refs don’t call games as tightly as they did Tuesday at kansas state. They called a lot of fouls on both teams, but it had a much bigger effect on VT with their lack of depth inside.
- Turn the Tide of Turnovers: Malcolm Delaney has 7 assists and 12 turnovers so far on the season (including 9 turnovers against the wildcats). A 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio is very solid for a guard, but under 1-to-1 is terrible. This would be acceptable for a freshman, but not a senior. Better decisions will lead to more points. And guys need to finish when Malcolm does distribute the ball well, which they haven’t so far. Note: Malcolm had 147 assists and 99 TOs last year – averaging just 3 turnovers per game.
- Go Deep: Tech has hit five three-pointers in both their games. They reached that mark in just 5 of their final 17 games last season.
- Movin’ on Up: Malcolm Delaney moved into 4th place on VT’s all-time assist list. He has 413, passing Dell Curry’s 407.
- Movin’ on Up, Part 2: Jeff Allen, who has 19 rebounds this season, is now 8th on the all-time VT list with 800 boards. He passed Bobby Beecher’s 797 against kansas state.
- ED-DIE! ED-DIE! How about Jarell Eddie? We knew the kid could play, but he has really been impressive so far. He has no fear on the court and gives the Hokies a much needed jump-shooter. Jarell is just 1/5 on threes, but has a good mid-range game and is 4/7 inside the arc.
|Guard||11 Van Dussen – 6’2″||23 Delaney – 6’3?|
|Guard||22 Evans – 6’2″||5 Hudson – 6’5?|
|G/F||00 Williams – 6’6″ or 12 Randall – 5’11”||1 Bell – 6’7?|
|Forward||2 Sellers – 6’7″, 41 Brackett – 6’8″, or 50 Cole – 6’8″||0 Allen – 6’7?|
|Forward||13 Henry – 6’10”||14 Davila – 6’8?|
The spartans basically return no starters off a squad that went 8-23 and finished 246th in the RPI. In other words, their 0-2 start with two blow-outs isn’t a surprise. And it should go to 0-3 with yet another woodshed beating Sunday unless the Hokies play down to their opponent.
Kyle Randall started some and was their second leading scorer last season (with just 9.5 ppg), but missed the first game and came off the bench in the fsu game. Randall did start against the Hokies last year and had 10 points, tied for tops on the spartans that day. Darrius Sellers also started some last year but averaged just 1.1 ppg.
The spartans have been scoring a lot more so far this year, averaging 80 points through two games – including 73 against the usually very stingy seminoles. But as I said above, they are also getting scored on more than wake forest’s football team. vcu put 101 on them and fsu tallied 97.
unc-g has a balanced scoring attack (read: no one is that good). Brandon Evans, Kory Van Dussen, Aloysius Henry, and David Williams are all averaging double digit points between 11.5 and 15.5 ppg. But even with that they have been inconsistent. Evans had 26 against vcu, including 13 FTs, but just 5 against fsu. He is their best three-point shooter (4/6 – only Van Dussen also has more than one made three-pointer and he has just 2). Aloysius Henry is the only guy that has reached double digits in both games.
David Williams is a tall wing player at 6’6″. That would be a problem for most teams, but not VT who has 6’7″ Bell on the wing and can also bring in the 6’7″ Jarell Eddie.
This should be just what the Hokies needed – after two games where Tech struggled on offense, they are facing a porous defense. Tech needs to come out, push the ball like vcu and fsu did (and VT should be doing), and blow this thing out early. This should help VT gain some confidence before heading to California.
BORING FACTS ABOUT unc-g-spot:
- Founded in 1891
- 15,000 undergrads and 4,000 grad students
- Colors are gold, white, and navy
- Established a women’s college, admitting men in 1963
- Won three straight NCAA soccer titles (D-2) in the late 1980s
- Moved to Division 1 in 1991
- They have a giant boulder, the Rawk, they paint over almost daily
- Famous alums: no one I’ve ever heard of