Spread: VT by 10.5.
It’s a BLACKOUT, people, when the lowly yellow jackets buzz up to the Cassell on Sunday to face the Hokies, it will be as close to a must win as you get. Tech (Tech = VT, duh) sits firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble with seven regular season games to go and cannot afford to get swept by a bad georgia tech team that is without their third leading scorer and best 3-point shooter, Brian Oliver, who torched the Hokies for 28 in the ATL.
Tech has to win this game to stay in the hunt for fourth place in the ACC. clemson has already moved to 6-4 and maryland may join them if they beat bc on Saturday.
Tech has to win this game because georgia tech is absolutely awful on the road. Check out these numbers:
- 0-7 overall on the road this year and 0-4 in ACC play, including losses at kennesaw state, northwestern, siena, uva, and miami.
- gt has lost 10 straight ACC road games.
- They have lost 19 of their last 20 ACC road games.
- ga tech was 4-4 on the road in 2007-08, but the two years before that they were a combined 1-15 on the road.
- So, since the start of the 2005-06 season, Paul Hewitt and the jackets are 6-38 in ACC road games (and 4 of those wins were in the same season, just 2-34 in the other 5 seasons!).
Tech has to win this game because there is no way Paul Hewitt, the second worst coach in the ACC, should out-coach Seth Greenberg twice in the same season. And he did out-coach Seth in Atlanta, though Greenberg’s hands were tied with Tyrone Garland and Jarell Eddie getting benched and Tech having just six players (Eddie did play one minute).
Tech has to win because they will be double digit favorites and Vegas wouldn’t lie to us.
Tech has to win this game because georgia tech looks like a team that has given up. They scored just 2 points in the first 8 minutes against fsu on Thursday, and had just 18 at the half. In the second half, it was the Iman Shumpert show (he had 21 in the second half). But this is a team that has to know their coach is getting fired after the year (he is) and are missing a key player. Get up early, as VT often has in ACC play, and keep the pedal to the metal. Put this away early and let’s get to the post-game Hokie Celebration for some arm-curling.
THE FIRST MEETING:
gt 72, VT 57: The Hokies led most of the first half in Atlanta but faded late. VT was undone by hot shooting against their 2-3 zone by Brian Oliver (28 points on 11/18 shooting), and a boat load of turnovers in the closing minutes. Iman Shumpert, the jackets’ best player by far, had a career game. He secured the first georgia tech triple-double in over 20 years with 22 points, 12, rebounds, and 11 assists. He also added 7 steals for good measure and created a lot of the late turnovers by getting his hands in passing lanes.
The Hokies dominated in the paint early, but their guard play was poor. Erick Green had 9 early points but didn’t score in the final 30 minutes of the game, and Shumpert shadowed Delaney, holding him to 8 points.
Although the final score looked like a blowout, the game was close late. VT was down just 5 and had the ball with 2:30 to go, but that’s when the roof caved in due to turnovers. Tech had 6 turnovers in the final 5 minutes and Delaney had 8 for the game.
HO-KEYS TO WINNING:
- Stump the Shump: Iman Shumpert is the only guy that really concerns you on offense for georgia tech, especially with Oliver out. Force him to beat you from outside or get rid of the ball at all costs. He is deadly at driving and finishing and can really get above the rim. But he has no one other than Rice to help him. If he drives, everyone needs to look to help and force him to pass. He has just 8 assists in 4 games since getting 11 against VT. Shumpert is a poor 3-point shooter, yet he’ll try close to a half dozen per game. That’s fine, he hits just 25% and has only made more than 2 in a game once this year. VT needs to defend Iman like he defended Delaney last game (easier said then done since Iman is a great defender and VT doesn’t have that).
- D-Fense: We might even see a box-and-1 on Shumpert but expect to see the zone a lot against the worst 3-point shooting team in the league. gt hits just 29% from deep, by far the worst percentage in the league (VT is next to last).
- Limit Turnovers: miami had 28 turnovers and still beat the jackets but VT cannot really afford to do that. gt loves to press full court and they are extremely aggressive trying to get steals. The jackets lead the league in steals per game with almost 10 per in league play.
- Full Speed Ahead: Tech needs to look to attack the press. The Hokies have two problems: they aren’t good in odd-man rushes (3-on-1 or 2-on-1) and often they just look happy to get the ball over half court against the press. But because gt is so aggressive, you are going to have numbers if you inbound quickly and attack the press. Don’t let them setup. Now, the other key is to attack the rim, don’t settle for 3-pointers in transition because VT doesn’t want this to turn into a track meet. Tech can get better shots in the half court. Attack, look for a layup, and then setup the offense if need be.
- Half Court = Big Donut: Jeff Allen had 18 points and 11 rebounds at georgia tech. They simply have no answer for him inside. Once in the half court, VT needs to get him a touch on at least 50% of their possessions. This will allow Jeff to either work that great spin move, or if they double down, he can kick it out and get Delaney some looks.
- Clean the Glass: The jackets had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half against fsu on Thursday. They throw up a lot of bricks because they are so poor shooting. They also create a lot of long rebounds with their way-off 3-point attempts. They are 2nd in the ACC in Offensive Rebound % and they aggressively go after rebounds. Shumpert does not get back, instead he’s in there. Box out, protect the backside, secure the rebound, and then look to push the ball since four or five guys will be inside for them.
The Hokies have owned the yellow jackets over the years. Who’s the real Tech? The Hokies are.
- All-time: VT 10-4
- In ACC Play: VT 6-3
- At VT in ACC Play: VT 3-0
|Position||Virginia Tech||georgia tech|
|Guard||11 Green 6-4||1 Shumpert 6-5|
|Guard||23 Delaney 6-3||3 M. Miller 6-2|
|Wing/Guard||1 Bell 6-7||41 Rice 6-5|
|Forward||0 Allen 6-7||24 Holsey 6-8|
|Forward/Center||14 Davila 6-8||5 D. Miller 6-11|
|Virginia Tech||georgia tech|
|Scorer||Delaney 18.3||Shumpert 17.0|
|Rebounder||Allen 10.0||Shumpert 6.1|
|Assists||Delaney 4.3||Shumpert 3.5|
|Steals||Green 1.9||Shumpert 2.8|
|Blocks||Bell 1.1||D. Miller 2.0|
BORING FACTS ABOUT gt:
- Established: 1885
- Type: Public
- Mascot: Buzz
- The term ‘ramblin’ wreck’ comes from the makeshift motor vehicles gt engineers were using for projects in South American jungles in the late 19th century.
- Students: 13,750 undergrad (NERDS!) and 7,000 postgrad (NERDS!)
- Notable Alums/Students: President Jimmy Carter, Jeff Foxworthy, several astronauts, Chris Bosh, Matt Price, Dennis Scott, Stephon Marbury, John Salley, Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Anderson, and Stewark Cink. John Heisman coached gt.
- ACC Basketball Titles: 3 (last in 1993)
- ACC Football Titles: 3 (one less than the real Tech who has been in the league 25 fewer years) — last – ’09