Update: It is being reported that Jarell Eddie will play tonight. No official word from Coach Greenberg, though.
Spread: VT by 14.
The Hokies travel to Winston-Salem and try to pick up a road win against the lowly deacs. This, plain and simple is a MUST WIN game. Must win to stay in the race for an ACC Tournament bye. Must win to keep NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Must win to keep Saturday meaningful as Gameday comes to the ‘Burg for the first time for hoops… oh, and duke will be there, too.
As if the Hokies’ roster wasn’t depleted enough with four guys out for the season with injuries and one player transferring, things seemingly couldn’t get worse. Well, perhaps the Hokies were getting bored and needed a new challenge. Tech got that challenge when freshman Jarell Eddie was charged with possession of marijuana. He may be available Tuesday, though, as the Hokies face his home state demon deacons. Eddie’s story is still being figured out. There has been no official word from VT on the matter.
The good news is Tech is playing a team they might be able to beat with four healthy, foul free players. wake is one of the worst teams in ACC history. Their scoring margin in ACC games is -18.8! Ouch. Nine of their 11 ACC losses have been by 18 or more (one was by one to miami and the other was by 14 to unc… they beat uva by five at home… ugh!). Check out the STATS section below to see how poorly they rank in the major categories in ACC games. And that doesn’t even show they are dead last in the league in Rebounding Margin or Turnover Margin.
These guys have lost to stetson, vcu, winthrop, unc-wilmington, presbyterian, richmond, and 8 ACC teams (they beat uva and haven’t played clemson or bc). Double ouch.
So, it is time to wash that stink off from Saturday and lay the lumber to the poor demon deacons. I believe we’ll see a very focused team after the uva game, even with the Eddie drama. The Hokies want to send a message to ESPN and the devils that Saturday is going to be about one thing: pain.
- Overall: VT 27-26
- In ACC Games: VT 7-2
- In ACC games at wake: 2-2
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 7-2 in basketball. VT has won 7 of the last 8 in the series, including a 94-65 drubbing at the Cassell in mid-January:
HO-KEYS TO WINNING:
- Focus: The Jarell Eddie news, and the Tyrone Garland issues, could easily distract most teams. But this team has overcome so much already, and they have three seniors that know this is their last shot at the Big Dance. They have to understand each game is a HUGE deal, no matter the opponent, and play like it.
- In the Zone: I’d expect to see VT in zone the whole game. It worked very well in Blacksburg. wake is a good 3-point shooting team at 38%, but they also turn the ball over a lot. The 2-3 zone, and maybe even the half court 1-3-1 trap, can create turnovers for VT and transition buckets.
- New Game: Tech destroyed wake by 29 in the first meeting. But wake is playing a bit better of late. They led fsu at the half (without Chris Singleton), before losing like 18. Still, these guys did beat uva.
- Beyond the Three Amigos: Tech must get production from Bell and Davila. They had just 1 shot and 1 point in the first half at uva and 6 turnovers combined. They finished with just 9 points. The Hokies need to get their confidence back up to where it was heading into uva before the duke game.
- 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 Davila can shut him down, and he should be able to score on McKie since he doesn’t have the long wings to block Jeff’s shots. But that’s if 7″ Ty Walker is lurking on the back end – he averages 2.8 blocks per game. Although McKie had 15 points in the first meeting and it didn’t matter.
- Low is for Clark: As in a low number of 3-pointers. Gary Clark shoots an amazing 58% from 3-point range on the year! While he hit 3/4 against the Hokies earlier this year, at least it was just 3. STAY ON HIM at all costs.
- wake’s Weaknesses: wake has a LOT of them. They cannot protect the ball (-4.5 turnover margin – by far the worst in the league), cannot rebound (12th and 11th in defensive and offensive rebounding respectively), and cannot shoot (dead last in FG%).
wake forest is young! Their top two scorers are freshman (Virginia native Travis McKie — 12.6, and J.T. Terrell — 11.8). C.J. Harris, a sophomore, scores 10.7 per game. Clark, their fourth leading scorer, is a senior. But the fact he’s scoring 10.6 ppg this year shows how bad they are – he hadn’t averaged more than 3.2 ppg in his first three seasons. And wake’s fifth leading scorer, Ari Stewart, is another sophomore. That’s four underclassmen, and a 3-point only senior, that are giving you all of your scoring. 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, even this year. The fact their scoring margin is -18.8 in maybe the worst ACC year in a long time says a lot about wake.
|Position||Virginia Tech||wake forest|
|Guard||11 Green – 6-4||11 Harris – 6-3|
|Guard||23 Delaney – 6-3||2 Clark – 6-4|
|Wing/Guard||1 Bell – 6-7||0 Terrell – 6-3|
|Forward||0 Allen – 6-7||30 McKie – 6-7|
|Forward/Center||14 Davila – 6-8||33 Desrosiers – 7-0|
|(ACC Games Only)||Virginia Tech||wake forest|
|PPG||71.9 (4)||62.7 (11)|
|Pts Against||65.8 (6)||81.5 (12)|
|FG %||45% (2)||39% (12)|
|3-Pt %||36% (3)||34% (8)|
|FT %||76% (1)||74% (3)|
|Leading …||(Includes all games)|
|Scorer||Delaney – 19.2||McKie – 12.6|
|Rebounder||Allen – 10.4||McKie – 7.5|
|Assists||Delaney – 4.3||Harris – 3.8|
|Steals||Green – 1.8||McKie/Harris – 0.9|
|Blocks||Davila – 1.2||Walker – 2.8|
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)