Categorized | 2011-12 Season, Game Previews

Preview | uva (7-5) @ HOKIES 3G.1 (4-8) | Tues., 9 PM | espnU

Spread: uva by 2.5

The Hokies look to give uva a taste of their own medicine on Tuesday night in the Cassell and sweep the hoos in the rematch of their January 22nd contest that VT won 47-45 at uva. Last year uva swept the Hokies, helping knock Tech off the NCAA Tournament bubble.  While uva appears to be a lock for this year’s Dance, sitting at #41 in the RPI, VT could at least make them sweat it out a bit.  The good news for VT is the winner of the first match-up has swept the season series in 3 of the last 4 years and 4 of the last 6.

Tuesday night will be Mike Scott’s 5th and final appearance in the Cassell (we think).  Actually, the first time Scott played at VT, I think the Hokies were still playing in War Memorial Gym.  Mike has done very well in the past in the Cassell, but VT limited him to just 10 points in the first meeting, 7 points below his average. In Scott’s last two trips to Cassell, he’s totaled 41 points and 26 rebounds.  He has 110 points and 58 rebounds for his career against the Hokies.  Ouch.

Scott is a lock to be 1st Team All-ACC, if not the player of the year.  He’s 3rd in the league in PPG (17.2), 6th in rebounds (8.2), #1 in FG% (59%)*, and even #9 in FT% (82%). [*My fiance would tell you he shoots a higher percentage from the field than I do at the toilet.]

Davila is Tech’s best post defender and he was a big reason Scott only scored 10 points in the first meeting.  If Victor is out, will the Hokies be able to defend Scott inside?  We could see the 2-3 zone again.  Foul trouble would be a major risk for Barksdale and Raines, but the zone would help mitigate that.  And the zone would also help uva get decent looks from the outside.  This will be the key match-up if VD can’t go.

It will also be Dorenzo Hudson’s 5th game against uva in the Cassell.  He had 15 points two years ago in VT’s 61-55 win.

In the first meeting back in January, Zo scored 6 of the team’s final 8 points, including a clutch hook to put VT up 3, 44-41, and then the game-clinching 3-pointer to make the margin 47-43 with 17 seconds left to cement the win.  Late in that game, Coach Greenberg had Hudson post up on uva’s smaller guards down low, allowing Hudson to shoot over the cavalier defender.  It worked twice down the stretch.  Hudson had 12 total points for the game.

FIRST MEETING (1/22/12 @ uva):

  • RECAP - Green led VT with 15, including 12 in the 2nd half, but it was Zo Hudson’s clutch 3-pointer with 17 seconds left that clinched the game for the good guys.  uva had 22 FTAs to just 7 for VT (and most of those were at the end) and had 13 offensive rebounds to just 4 by VT.  But uva was just 1/14 from deep, while VT hit 5/13, and as you all know, that stat decides the winner.  It was the lowest point total for VT in a win over uva since 1942.
  • HIGHLIGHTS
  • Me looking like an idiot because I guaranteed a win at bc and lost my bet

THE SERIES:

  • All Time: uva 81-53
  • At VT: VT 27-17 (VT is 14-3 vs uva at the Cassell)
  • In ACC Play: tied 8-8
  • At VT in ACC Play: VT 5-2 (Tech had won 4 straight in the Cassell before last year)

STARTERS:

VIRGINIA TECH
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 11 Green 6-3 Jr 15.6
SG 5 Hudson 6-5 r-Sr 11.1
SF 31 Eddie 6-7 So 9.6
F 15 Finney-Smith 6-8 Fr 6.0
C 4 Raines 6-9 r-So 4.9
Bench 1 Brown 6-5 Fr 6.9
10 Rankin 6-1 Fr 2.7
14 Davila# 6-8 Sr 7.5
uva
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 1 Evans 5-11 Jr 6.8
G 13 Zeglinski 6-1 Sr 8.1
G 12 Harris^ 6-6 So 12.0
F 23 Scott 6-8 Sr 17.2
F 25 Mitchell* 6-8 So 4.0
Bench 22 Brogdon 6-5 Fr 7.0
  • # Davila has missed Tech’s last 2 games with a groin injury and is questionable for the uva game.
  • ^Joe Harris, uva’s 2nd leading scorer, broke his left, non-shooting hand, 3 games ago.  He has averaged just 5.3 ppg since suffering the injury.  He hasn’t reached double digits in those 3 games after surpassing the 10-point mark in 18 of the 21 games before the injury.
  • *uva has been without 7’0″ senior center Assane Sene (4.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg) since he rolled his ankle against ga tech in mid-January. Akil Mitchell (6’8?, Sophomore, 4.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg) has started in his place.
  • uva does not have much depth due to transfers so this could be a big issue for them.  They are down to 8 scholarship players of note that see minutes.

HOT HOKIES:

  • Dorian Finney-Smith has hit 18 of his last 35 shots (51%) since ending his 0/25 stretch.
  • Marquis Rankin has hit 5/11 3-pointers after starting the season just 2/9.
  • Jarell Eddie has made at least 2 three-pointers in 9 of 13 games, including 4 of the last 5.
  • Tech has just 12 total turnovers in their last two games while their opponents have committed 29.  VT also has a 16-4 advantage in steals in those 2 games.
VT COLD:
  • The Hokies have just 40 total fast break points in their 7 home games in 2012 (5.8 fast break ppg).  They haven’t reached double digits in fast break points in any home game this year.  Tech had just 4 fast break points in the game at uva (uva also had 4).  By comparison, VT had 41 fast break points against campbell and north florida combined.
  • Tech hasn’t reached 70 points in regular this calendar year (it took OT on Saturday to get to 70 against georgia tech).

uva COLD: Senior Sammy Zeglinski has averaged just 5.2 ppg over his last 6 games, well below his now 8.1 ppg average.  He scored just 5 in the first meeting.

uva HOT: Junior PG Jontel Evans, who is a horrible shooter for a point guard, has averaged 9.8 ppg over his last 4 games, pulling up his scoring average to 6.8.  He had 10 in VT’s win at uva.  Evans is a very talented ball-handler that can penetrate and get to the tin.  He has not attempted a 3-pointer in uva’s last 6 games (play off him).

STATS:

Note: these stats are for ACC games ONLY.

VT uva
ACC RANKING IN PARENTHESIS
PPG 58.7 (9) 58.2 (11)
PPG vs 63.6 (4) 54.5 (1)
FT% 72% (3) 72% (4)
FG% 39% (11) 45% (2)
3-Pt% 33% (7) 30% (10)
Made 3s PG 5.6 (t5) 4.3 (11)
FG% D 43% (7) 40% (3)
3-Pt% D 33% (8) 28% (1)
Blocks 3.0 (9) 2.4 (12)
Steals 5.5 (9) 5.8 (t7)
TO Margin +1.9 (t3) Even (8)
Off Reb % 31% (8) 28% (11)
Def Reb % 63% (12) 73% (1)

Interesting that uva is #1 in defensive rebounding, but 2nd-to-last in offensive.  I attribute that to them dropping back on defense, since that’s their bread and butter, and not sending a lot of guys to the offensive glass.

The Hokies must do a good job on Scott again to win, but they must improve on defensive rebounding, turnovers, and free throw attempts.  uva dominated all 3 stats in the first meeting (well, they didn’t dominate TOs but VT had 13, which is way too many).  Tech cannot expect uva to shoot 1/14 from deep again, which is the main reason the Hokies won.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1217 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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  • HipHop_Hokie

    No excuses even though Davila’s possibly out considering that Sene’s out for the Hoos and Harris is playing one-handed. Let’s crush these fools!!

  • RK in Roanoke

    OK, I’ll say it. TMI on the fiance and shooting % comment.
    But great post! Love to see them sweep the hoos!

    • HokieGuru

      I’m sorry, I though that was funny as hell.

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