Categorized | 2012-13 Season, Game Previews

Preview | iowa (5-1) @ VT (5-0) | Tuesday, 7:15 | ESPNU

Spread: VT by 3.

The bad news is VT is just 2-5 all time in the ACC/Big(12)Ten Challenge.  The good news is both wins came against iowa.  The Hokies will look for the hat trick Tuesday night in the Cassell.

Tech has gotten off to a great start at 5-0, but they really haven’t been tested.  That changes over the next two weeks as VT plays iowa and oklahoma state at home, then at wvu.  This will show us whether we really are solid, or if we’ve just been feasting on weaker competition and still can’t win a big out of conference game.  Having Tuesday at home will surely help.

Both teams have similar tempo-free numbers.  They average approximately 105.5 points per 100 possessions, a very good average, and hold opponents to less than a point per possession (iowa is 50th best in the nation in this stat).

The hawkeyes have mostly played cupcakes, too, except they did play wichita state in the Cancun Challenge title game and lost by 12 (the shockers were a #5 seed in the Big Dance last year and are undefeated this season).

iowa will really challenge the Hokies with their length.  Of iowa’s top eight players, all but one are 6’5″ or taller.  The Hokies must all get after the defensive glass to help reduce second chance opportunities for the hawkeyes.  iowa averages 14 offensive rebounds per game led by White, Basabe, and 7’1″ Woodbury.  Tech, meanwhile, averages less than 8 offensive rebounds per game.  They’ve been outrebounded on the offensive glass 61-39 by their opponents.  Plain and simple, rebounding could decide this game.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1201 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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  • Krishna

    When you look at just the height they really only have an advantage at center, everyone else is basically even. But I do agree that rebounding could be our biggest weakness, when JVZ is in there he needs to be more aggressive. And Raines needs to attack all game so that we can get their big man in foul trouble. If we win these two this week I wouldn’t be surprised to see us in the top 25 by next week.

    • goodraisin

      Absolutely… beating OK State is the big key to that. They have had a couple top-10 recruits each of the last two years and their talent is starting to put them into the category of of a top-25 team. But beating Iowa would be our first respectable win, so hopefully our boys come out and play hard. If Iowa is going to work us on the offensive boards, then we need to work them in the turnover margin, getting out for easy fastbreak points.

    • King

      Top 25?? Let’s everybody just calm down and not get too far ahead of ourselves. Our SOS as of 11/25/12 is 336 (Source: http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/polls?poll=5&group=1). Besides, rankings before January are pretty meaningless.

      Interesting TechHoops article yesterday about Barksdale’s surprising +/- in games. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on him against Iowa & OK St.

      I know the students pack the student section along the baseline but it would sure be nice if Tech’s administration had a contingency plan to fill the sideline seats when season ticket holders are unable to attend. I’ve been seeing far too many empty seats when I watch online. It looks bad. Go Hokies!

      • goodraisin

        It does look bad, but I think that’s due to two factors… 1) the quality of opponents and 2) the football team drawing fans. Many season ticket holders for basketball are also season ticket holders for football, and I’m just guessing that they are unlikely to make the trip to see VT on Friday then stay overnight to see the Hokie football team on Saturday. If we see the same trend continue for Iowa and OK State I would be shocked but would certainly eat my crow without complaint.

      • King

        I stand corrected. Holy cow!

    • hokiegrad

      Iowa may not be much bigger than us, but they are definitely bigger than the competition we’ve had thus far. If we couldn’t dominate those teams on the glass… And our outside shooting percentages may go down as we are more challenged by lengthy defenders.

  • Hank

    Has anyone put some thought into the theory that Maryland going to the Big Ten might help our recruiting situation moving forward? My thought is that it might give us better opportunities with DC area kids who might want to play in the ACC, as Maryland no longer would be ahead of us in those situations. As a basketball conference, I believe the ACC(esp after picking off Louisville or Conn) will still be head and shoulders above the Big Ten in many kids eyes. JJ must make some recruiting in roads in the DC area for this team to become a top 20 program.

  • Jack

    Niemo are you going to do the tracking of our 2013 recruits? I’d really like to see how they do. I feel like a couple of them are going to put up big numbers

    • http://www.heyhokie.com goodraisin
      • http://www.heyhokie.com goodraisin

        Sorry, forgot that was an Insider article… Telep gave our 2013 class a “B” rating, making us tied for 5th in the ACC from his POV.

      • RyanC

        I really like our 2013 recruiting class. It seems like we picked up a lot of late boomers. I hear Thompson grew to 7’0″.

    • Niemo

      Sure. Just haven’t gotten to it yet but I will. It is easy with Clark as Hargrave posts their stuff. With the others it may be more tricky (tracking down small town newspapers) but I’ll see what I can do.

      • Jack

        Sweet thanks! I know their seasons are just beginning but I was just wondering. I really like checking up on the future hokies

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