Categorized | 2010-11 Season, Game Previews

Preview | maryland (5-5, 16-9) @ VT (6-4, 16-7) | Tuesday at 8 PM | ACC Network

Spread: VT by 4.

The Hokies can take command of fourth place in the ACC with a win Tuesday night against the maryland terrapins at the Cassell, and move to 7-4.  A loss, however, will throw the Hokies right back into a traffic jam for the final bye in the ACC Tournament.  A loss would drop VT into a fourth place tie with maryland, bc, and clemson at 6-5.  Yep, this is a big one.

Expect Gary Williams, one of the better coaches in the ACC, to make significant adjustments in this game.  The Hokies’ 2-3 zone really rattled the terps in the first contest.  maryland shot just 36% from the floor in that game and 6/20 (30%) from deep.  They committed 16 turnovers (4 steals by Erick Green).

Tech also limited maryland’s star, Jordan Williams.  He was probably the ACC Player of the Year going into that game, but was limited to 11 points and 11 rebounds.  That may sound pretty good but considering he’s scored 20+ ten times this year and grabbed 15 rebounds in five games, 11 and 11 is a good effort by Tech.

maryland is not a good shooting team, though.  In ACC games they are 11th in FT%, 5th in FG%, and 10th in 3-Pt%.   The reason they are so high overall in FG% is Williams.  Limit him and you are forcing the turtles into their shell.

The Cassell had better be rocking for this one (Seriously, students!  The student section was maybe 75% full at best for georgia tech.).  Before the Hokies head back to the road for games at uva and wake (and then that other game), Tech needs to send a message that they are a contender for the ACC title.

LAST MEETING:

Erick Green helped vault himself to ACC Player of the Week with his performance in this game.  He had 24 points on 12/16 shooting and added 4 steals, 2 assists, and a block.  His defense fueled the Hokies in transition.

SERIES:

  • All-time: maryland 27-9
  • In ACC play: VT 5-4
  • At the Cassell in ACC play: VT is 3-1 but lost at home in 2 OTs last year

STARTERS:

Position Virginia Tech maryland
Guard 11 Green – 6-4 1 Bowie – 6-2
Guard 23 Delaney – 6-3 21 Howard – 6-3
Wing/Guard 1 Bell – 6-7 14 Mosley – 6-4
Forward 0 Allen – 6-7 33 Gregory – 6-7
Forward/Center 14 Davila – 6-8 20 Williams – 6-10

The terps, as always, spread their minutes out a lot.  Jordan Williams is the only terp playing more than 28 mpg.  The bench goes three or four deep.  Tucker is the only player that produces much off the bench.

STATS:

(ACC Games Only) Virginia Tech maryland
PPG 71.8 71.4
Pts Against 64.6 68.7
FG % 46% 44%
3-Pt % 37% 33%
FT % 76% 66%
Leading (All Games)
Scorer Delaney – 18.3 Williams – 17.1
Rebounder Allen – 10.0 Williams – 11.8
Assists Delaney – 4.3 Bowie – 3.7
Steals Green – 1.9 Mosley – 1.2
Blocks Bell – 1.1 Gregory – 1.4

HO-KEYS TO WINNING:

  • You Can’t Stop Williams, You Can Only Hope to Contain Him: Jordan has 20 double-doubles on the year, including 13 in a row up until the uva game.  But VT held him to 11 points and 11 rebounds in the first meeting and won easily.  bc limited him to 12 points and 8 rebounds Saturday in an eagle win.  He is their true star and without him having big numbers, they will struggle to find production.  Davila did a great job in the post on him (even in the zone) in the first meeting and needs to react to whatever adjustments maryland makes to get him the ball more.
  • Limit the Others: Like I said, Jordan is going to stuff the stat sheet for the most part but the other guys can burn you, too.  Against uva when Williams had just 4 points and 6 rebounds, Adrian Bowie exploded for 22 points and Cliff Tucker had a key 13 during a big run and the terps won by 24.  Pe’Shon Howard hit 4/5 from 3-point range against bc to keep them in the game.  Expect maryland to have different wrinkles to get their shooters open looks from deep against the zone.  That said, they aren’t a great 3-point shooting team – they are 10th in ACC play in 3-Pt% and makes per game.
  • Pressure maryland’s Guards: maryland has two freshmen guards that play a lot in Stoglin and Howard who will make freshmen mistakes (bad passes).  Even Mosley, a junior will throw the ball away.  Those three guards combined for 9 turnovers in the first meeting, leading to a lot of transition points for the Hokies.  If Green and Delaney can create run-outs by getting their hands on passes, the Hokies can get easy buckets as they did in the first meeting.
  • Protect the Ball: maryland will press after almost every make or dead ball.  They’ll use a full court man, which is more about delaying you from getting in your offense and draining the shot clock, or they’ll go with a full court trap aimed at creating turnovers.  Both teams average around 14 turnovers per game, and cause around 17.  If Tech can avoid struggles with the press that will give them a big advantage and limit run-outs for the terps.  maryland has just one real threat – Williams.  The rest are just very good athletes who play hard.  Force them to beat you in the half court.
  • Big Donut – Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Jeff Allen has been a man-child of late.  He’s outplayed Jordan Williams of late and needs to keep that up.  He had never had more than 3 double-doubles in ACC play in a season before this year, but has notched 5 in a row and 6 overall in ACC games this year.  Jeff has averaged 25 points and 16.5 rebounds in his last two games.  The Big Donut has lived up to the big promise of late.
  • Take Care of Business: The Hokies had a chance to take command of 4th place at Boston, but laid an egg against the eagles.  Tech cannot come out flat in this game.  The Hokies need to treat this like a huge game, because it is.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1222 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.

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

    Definitely a big one!! (TWSS) I personally think that we have wiggle room for 2 more losses on the year to still have a legitimate argument to be in the big dance, and with games vs Duke and @Clemson still remaining, we can be using up one of those losses tomorrow night. We need to jump on the twerps QUICK… I’d even like to see us start out man-to-man to perhaps throw Gary’s fellas off a bit (assuming that they’ll predict us to start in zone due to the success we had last time with it), and hopefully turn them over a few times right from the get-go and establish some transition offense.

    If we can do that, and then effectively utilize man and zone D at different times throughout the game, then we should be able to protect the Cassell. Oh and another 25/14 type effort from Jeff wouldn’t hurt, either. GO HOKIES!!!

  • RK in Roanoke

    Niemo – nice job on this site. I am glad I found it. repeating part of my post to the recap of gt game. We were up big all game. I don’t understand why jeff played 39 minutes with such a big game coming up in 2 days. With about 11:30 left after a media time out, Jeff hit two free throws VT up 25. if you’re not going to give him a break and play Parker with a 25 pt lead, then when? If jeff gets two quick fouls and can’t make jordan williams work on D and be fresh to help on D, VT could have a long night. VT needs Jeff to play the way he has been, and tired legs won’t help. I know, they had a week off, but this was a blow out. jeff can commit silly fouls when tired. I hope I am way wrong, but I am nervous.

    • Niemo

      RK – Davila will be the bigger key on Williams. He’s our best post defender now (wow, who’d imagine me saying that a year or two ago). Although if we go zone as expected it falls on everyone. But Davila is usually the base-middle of the 2-3, which means he’s keying on the other team’s big.

  • RK in Roanoke

    Niemo – you are correct that is how they held Williams in check last time. Hope it works tonight. Still concerned that Jeff played almost the whole way in a blow out. He is playing lights out the past few weeks and they will need him to be great tonight.

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