Preview | wake forest (0-2, 7-10) at VT (1-2, 10-5) | Saturday at 8 PM | ACC Network

Spread: VT by 19.5 (wow)

It’s Ace Custis Night! In case you missed our interview with Tech’s 10th highest scorer, third highest rebounder, and 7th greatest thief (steals) back in April, here’s a link:

As for the game, this is a contest the Hokies have to win. wake is terrible (in the 250s of the RPI surrounded by northwestern state, illinois-chicago, and utah valley), it’s at home, and a loss would severely dent the Hokies’ NCAA Tournament bandwagon, which is already leaking oil, gas, and some strange odor we can’t identify. A win means nothing to VT’s tourney hopes. It just means Tech notches a much needed ACC win.

Let’s not throw the 2010-11 media guide in the trash just yet, either. Remember, the Hokies started 1-2 in ACC last year with a loss at unc and florida state. All Tech did after that is win 7 of their next 8 ACC games. As last night showed, this team, even depleted, can play with anyone in the ACC. They also can lose to the bottom feeders of the ACC, and wake forest is clearly the ‘catfish’ of the ACC.

Tech will respond one of two ways on Saturday night: come out pissed off for the win they let slip away Thursday and dominate the deacons like I dominate women at arm wrestling, or, as Cope said, they let carolina beat them twice and don’t show up tomorrow night. Knowing Greenberg and how his teams tend to react, I expect a beat down, even if it takes a while.

As I said, the deacons are bad. Real bad. They are ‘maybe the worst team in the history of the ACC’ bad. Last year, their coach was Dino Gaudio. But their AD said, “Gaudio, you gotta go.” And he was fired. The result? This year their fans are saying, “God, ee-ooh do we suck!”

wake lost their first two ACC games by a combined 40 points. And that was to nc state and maryland, not duke and unc. The deacons have also lost to stetson, vcu, winthrop, unc-wilmington, and presbyterian among others. They only beat unc-greensboro by a bucket. Yeah, they are that bad.

Allow me to go Antonio Cromartie for a moment – [bleep] wake forest and [bleep] everyone that went there! Thank you, carry on.

HO-KEYS:

  • Will El Ocho Become Siete? Hopefully Green (cramps) and Atkins (knee) are OK to play or this might turn into Hoosiers where Coach Dale plays with 4 on the court. The good news is because Allen sat most of the first half, his groin should be OK despite the short turnaround between games.
  • 48 Hours: Each year each ACC team plays a game with a short turnaround time (around 48 hours). This year for some reason VT has to do it twice (gt/maryland later in the year though the gt game is an early afternoon game). Tech has been amazing in the back end of these short turnaround games since joining the league – they are 5-1 in the second game. That should go to 6-1 Saturday.
  • Less Delaney: Here’s an odd stat – the Hokies are 9-1 when Malcolm scored 20 or fewer points, and 1-4 when he scores 21 or more. So here’s hoping he gets 20 or less.
  • Key on McKie: Travis McKie, who played against Cadarian Raines a few times while at Marshall HS in Richmond, is built a lot like Jeff Allen. McKie is just 6’7″, small for a power forward. But he plays bigger than he is like Allen. Hopefully Jeff can shut him down, and he should be able to score on McKie since he doesn’t have the long wings John Henson did that blocked many of Jeff’s shots. But that’s if 7′ Ty Walker is lurking on the back end – he averages 3.2 blocks per game.
  • wake’s Weaknesses: wake is #1 in the ACC in FT% and #3 in 3-point %. How do they lose so much? They get dominated on the glass (dead last last in Offensive and Defensive Rebounding %s) and are dead last in Turnover Margin. Tech did a great job of creating turnovers early against unc with the zone because the Hokies were intense on defense. wake has only had a few days to prepare for the 2-3 zone so I expect they’ll have similar issues. I’d also use the 1-3-1 trap both in the half court and full court at times to put pressure on the wake guards (assuming VT has 8 bodies… otherwise, they can’t press). The result should be some easy buckets.

SERIES:

  • Overall: Tied at 26
  • At Tech: VT 19-9
  • ACC: VT 6-2

The Hokies have owned the deacons since joining like I own the entire Magnum PI DVD series (don’t hate!). Tech is 3-0 in football against wake forest, and 6-2 in basketball. VT has won 6 of the last 7, and in that one loss our current senior class blew a late 10-point lead and lost 77-75 at wake. The Hokies have won 3 straight in the Cassell versus wake, including an 87-83 win last year (RECAP) where Tech overcame a big first half (and early second half) lead. See the first part of the video below for highlights from this game, including an awesome block by Raines and dunk by Hudson (miss you guys)…


Watch VT Plays of the Week | 02.21.10 in Sports | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

STARTERS:

wake forest is young! Their top two scorers are freshman (J.T. Terrell off the bench and Virginia native Travis McKie). Clark, their third leading scorer, is a senior. But the fact he’s scoring 11.5 ppg this year shows how bad they are – he hadn’t averaged more than 3.2 ppg in his first three seasons. wake’s fourth and fifth leading scorers, Ari Stewart and C.J. Harris, are both sophomores. They have been forced to go young this year due to attrition and they are taking their lumps for it. This is a hard league to grow up in.

Position Virginia Tech wake forest
Guard 11 Green – 6-4 11 Harris – 6-3
Guard 23 Delaney – 6-3 2 Clark – 6-4
Wing/Forward 1 Bell – 6-7 20 Stewart – 6-7
Forward 0 Allen – 6-7 30 McKie – 6-7
Forward/Center 14 Davila – 6-8 33 Desrosiers – 7-0

The Hokies face a 7-footer for the second game in a row, but comparing Carson Desrosiers to Tyler Zeller is like comparing a Hyundai to a Porsche… or for those of you that liked the McDonald’s theme… it’s like comparing a Filet-O-Fish to a Sausage Egg-n-Cheese McMuffin.

STATS:

Virginia Tech wake forest
PPG 70.2 71.9
Pts Against 59.7 74.8
FG % 47% 44%
3-Pt % 32% 39%
FT % 70% 77%
Leading …
Scorer Delaney – 19.3 Terrell – 13.3
Rebounder Allen – 9.6 McKie – 7.8
Assists Delaney – 4.1 Harris – 4.0
Steals Green – 2.1 Clark – 1.0
Blocks Bell/Davila – 1.3 Walker – 3.2

BORING FACTS ABOUT wake

  • ACC Basketball Championships: 4 (‘61, ‘62, ‘95, ‘96 – in other words, only back-to-backs)
  • Final Four Appearances: 1 (‘62)
  • wake is the only NC school to win an outright ACC football championship (in 2007) since 1980. Only one school has tied for an ACC title in that stretch: duke. How sad is that, unc and nc state?
  • Founded in 1834 in Wake Forest, NC, just outside Raleigh. Moved to Winston-Salem in 1956… that’s right, they aren’t even in the town they are named for!
  • Undergrad Enrollment: 4,400
  • Type: Private (and uppity)
  • Ties: Baptist
  • Students: The screamin’ deacons wear tie-dyed shirts to games even though it looks dumb and has the entire seven years they’ve been doing it.
  • Biggest Jerk Alum: Billy Packer
  • Nicest Alums: Arnold Palmer and Tim Duncan
  • Other Famous Students: Chris Paul, Randolph Childress (his performance in the 95 ACC Tourney was nothing short of incredible), Dr. Jerry Punch (sideline reporter… got his doctorate at wake… why does a sideline reporter need that?… played QB for Lou Holtz at nc state… OK, enough about this dude), Brian Piccolo (of Brian’s Song… great movie – see the James Caan version), Rodney Rogers (who recently became paralyzed due to an ATV accident), Lanny Watkins, and Lee Norris (been in a bunch of TV shows I will never watch like 1 Tree Hill and Boy Meets World)

This post was written by:

- who has written 1216 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

  • http://stores.ebay.com/hip-hop-heads-vinyl-crates HipHop_Hokie

    I like how Niemo acts like his DVR isn’t filled with Boy Meets World reruns to the point where it’s 97% full and can’t even record anything else. Including many episodes that are recorded more than once, so that as he goes through them again (and again, and again) he can “catch things he didn’t see the first time around”.

    I kid… I kid…

    • Niemo

      I’ll plead the fifth on that one, HipHop. But I will say this – I’ve seen the movie Fletch so many times now that I’ve been reduced to trying to find errors in it. The other day I discovered the basketball in his apartment magically moves from one seen to the next (there, this comment is now somewhat loosely tied to basketball).

      My DVR is full of VT basketball (since often I don’t remember a lot from the first go-around and have to re-watch the game), the Office, Tosh.O, Modern Family, Family Guy, Simpson’s, and a little show I like to call Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman!

  • http://stores.ebay.com/hip-hop-heads-vinyl-crates HipHop_Hokie

    Can you watch last night’s game one more time and tell me if Jeff Allen’s second foul (which caused him to miss 75% of the first half) was legit? Seeing it live I thought it was totally bogus, but we all know Jeff’s propensity for silly fouls. I wasn’t watching somewhere that I had access to DVR rewind, and it put me in a foul mood right from the jump. Our 16 point lead helped ease that, but deep down I knew that the zebras would have things under control in the second half. I was right, of course, culminated by the biggest joke of a charge that I have ever seen as Jeff posterized Zeller.

    But really, I am curious to know whether foul #2 on the big little donut was legit.

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

    Haha, caught the Simpson’s reference at the end… nice.

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