On Thursday night the mini-keydets head to the Cassell to take on the Hokies. The two military schools (of sorts) do battle for the 130th time. Tech, as you’d expect, holds a significant home court advantage – 51-10 all time vs vmi at home, though many of those were played no doubt in War Memorial.
vmi is straight up a run and gun team and have been for several years. In a way, they have to be in order to stay competitive. Their starting lineup and first three off the bench consist of just one player taller than 6’6″. And they have four guys under 6′ on their roster. Needless to say, they like to push it and shoot a lot of 3-pointers (they are averaging almost 33 three-point attempts per game).
On defense, the keydets will gamble as most run-and-gun teams do. The object is to keep the tempo up. Plus, with their lack of size, they can’t afford to defend in the half court. So the Hokies will likely get a lot of very easy opportunities if they make smart passes and get out with numbers. They also can feed Raines in half court sets and let him do his magic. If they double him in the post, which they most certainly will do, Cadarian has shown he can pass very well this season and if players cut off the ball they can get easy looks (something they weren’t doing last year).
Technically the keydets are 1-2 on the season, but do you really count a win over central pennsylvania college? I don’t even know where that is. Their two losses sting quite a bit – to fellow military institutions – the citadel and army. And they’ve averaged just 75 ppg in those two losses, well below what you expect from them (they did score well over 100 against cpc).
Meanwhile, the Hokies have been pretty efficient on offense so far this year and, I won’t go so far to say they’ve been great on defense, they have played well and opponents have shot just 36% from the field and 11% from behind the arc (4/37). If the keydets cannot shoot a high percentage from deep, they will get run of the Cassell. This should be a good chance to see how the Hokies do in a true up-tempo game.