Spread: VT by 5.5.
Do you like watching 7-footers that can’t dunk? How about point guards that can’t shoot? Do you like seeing the shot clock near zero? Hate fast breaks? Then this is the team for you! I’m talking about the hoos, of course.
Normally I wouldn’t mock a team that has already beaten the Hokies this year. [think Family Guy-style flashback to me mocking georgia tech and Paul Hewitt last week] OK, never mind. I’ll mock away…
The hoos are bad. Real bad. ["How bad are they???"] I’m glad you asked, loyal TechHoops.com reader. They are so bad, Michael Jackson was singing about them (and I’m not talking about Thriller). They are so bad, mothers across America have formed an organization against them. [No, I'm not sure what I meant by that, either] They’re so bad… alright, you get the idea.
The real joke is the wahoo offense. It smells, offensively bad. The hoos are last in the league in PPG and FT%, and second worst in FG% in ACC games. They do shoot the 3-pointer very well though. They are tops in the league in 3-Pt% at 39% (just ahead of the Hokies) and 5th in makes per game at 7.2. But take away their 3-point shooting and they have nothing. Period. And that’s just what duke did – holding them to just 3/12 from behind the arc – 4 fewer makes and 7 less attempts than normal.
The hoos have put up some memorably bad offensive efforts this year, especially at home. They totaled just 19 in the second half against unc in their ACC home opener and lost 62-56. Their best effort at home was the 29 second half points against ga tech in a 72-64 win, but that just points to Paul Hewitt. uva scored just 42 points against maryland at home and lost by 24 (21 in each half). They scored just 20 second half points against clemson, but won at home 49-47. And in their last game against duke, they tallied just 15 second half points and lost 56-41. Yep, they have not reached the 30 points in the second half of any of their five ACC home games and average just 23 ppg in the half where scoring should go up due to urgency.
Meanwhile, the Hokie offense is riding the gravy train on biscuit wheels. They’ve scored 193 points in their last two games, an all time high for a Coach Greenberg team while at VT. They’ve vaulted up the ACC rankings and are now 3rd in the league in PPG, 1st in FG% and FT%, and 2nd in 3-Pt%. And then there’s Jeff Allen… but you can read all about that and his 19.5 PPG and 12.8 rpg over the last six games in this article: Go Nuts Big Donut.
- All Time: 52-80
- In ACC Play: 7-7
- At uva in ACC Play: 2-4 (but VT has won 2/3)
Eh, let’s just not talk about the 57-54 loss at VT (RECAP). That was a totally different game due to three things:
- uva had Mike Scott who scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds (he has owned the Hokies). He’s out for the year but will likely be back for a fifth year next year.
- uva shot 56% in the first half, yet are a 40% team normally. The Hokies defense gave them open looks, but they were hotter than they’ve been at any other time this year.
- The Hokies hadn’t found themselves yet with an injured Zo Hudson battling it out there, Green mostly on the bench, and Allen still being a foul machine. This is a much different VT team over two months later. They are 6-2 in their last 8 ACC games, uva has lost 8 of 10.
|Guard||11 Green – 6-4||1 Evans 5-11|
|Guard||23 Delaney – 6-3||13 Zeglinski 6-1|
|Wing/Guard||1 Bell – 6-7||2 Farrakhan 6-4|
|Forward||0 Allen – 6-7||12 Harris 6-6|
|Forward/Center||14 Davila – 6-8||5 Sene 7-0|
The hoos play four guards almost exclusively. Believe it or not, they are even more thin inside than the Hokies with Mike Scott, their best player, out for the year and Will Sherrill, a 6-9 forward that would lose to Kyle Singler in an arm-wrestling match, also out with an injury (though he’s day-to-day and could possibly play Saturday). If Sherrill is out, the hoos will just go two deep on their bench. K.T. Harrell is a solid freshman guard with a great pull-up mid-range jumper, and Akil Mitchell will sub in for Sene inside, but he’s just 6-8 and 221, and they clearly don’t think much of him since he plays just 10-18 minutes a game despite their lack of post players.
|(ACC Games Only)||Virginia Tech||virginia|
|PPG||73.5 (3)||58.1 (12)|
|Pts Against||66.3 (5)||64.0 (3)|
|FG %||46% (1)||40% (11)|
|3-Pt %||37% (2)||39% (1)|
|FT %||76% (1)||62% (12)|
|Leading (All Games)|
|Scorer||Delaney – 19.1||Farrakhan – 13.1|
|Rebounder||Allen – 10.2||Sene – 5.4|
|Assists||Delaney – 4.3||Evans – 3.6|
|Steals||Green – 1.8||Evans – 1.5|
|Blocks||Davila – 1.1||Sene – 1.2|
HO-KEYS TO WINNING:
- Feed the Donut, or Count Dunk-ila: The hoos can either put 7’0″ Assane Sene on Victor Davila and limit him, but put a 6’6″ unathletic guard (Harris) on Allen, or put Sene on Allen and Harris or Mitchell on Davila and let him outmuscle them inside. It’s a no win situation for the hoos. Allen will destroy the puny Harris inside, and if Sene comes over to help Jeff has shown a great ability to pass in tight to Victor. If Sene is on him, Jeff can pop out and either shoot his midrange jumper, or if Sene comes out, take him off the dribble. They need to feed the bigs, the hoos have nothing to stop them with.
- Man Up: Expect man defense from the Hokies. The hoos shoot so many threes Tech will have to get out on them. This means Allen will likely have to guard someone smaller than him. If he’s on Harris, this will limit his rebounding ability as Harris plays away from the hoop.
- Guard the Guards: Jontel Evans is very quick and a decent finisher near the rim. And Mustapha Farrakhan has improved greatly with his pump fake and drive. Delaney and Green have to limit this. The good news is Evans averages just 5.8 ppg and 40% from the field, and has shot just 8 3-pointers, so you can play off him. But Stoglin beat VT up the court on Tuesday. That can’t happen. Farrakhan you have to respect and come out on, so help defense will be the key.
- Watch the Pump: The Hokies cannot foul 3-point shooters [cough, T-Bell, cough]. On the pump fake, get a hand in the shooters face, but don’t run out at them and into them like they have at times lately. duke shut them down from deep by fighting over picks and forcing them to pass the ball well behind the arc. Tech will need to, too.
- Deadly Delaney: Malcolm was 2/18 from the field against purdue. He followed that up with 10/15 against uva. MD was 3/10 vs fsu, then 8/18 against unc. Malcolm doesn’t have two bad games in a row, and I don’t expect him to here.
- Rivalry: The hoos would love to sweep the Hokies, especially at home where they have been awful most of the year. Tech cannot look a week ahead to duke. The Hokies need to have some vinegar in their piss and come out and smack the hoos, and gain some revenge for December.
Random Thought: That uva arena sure is pretty. Pretty empty and pretty quiet most of this year. I love the Cassell. Sure it is a barn, but it is a LOUD barn. Us ‘farm boys’ (that are from the same well to do counties the hoos are) have it right. It’s not about the architecture, it’s about the fans, the coach, and the team. Yep, 3 for 3.