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.
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.
- 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
|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.
|(ACC Games Only)||Virginia Tech||maryland|
|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.