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.
- 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.
- 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)…
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.
|Virginia Tech||wake forest|
|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)