Spread: oklahoma state by 2.
Who’d have thunk it. Who’d have thought before this season that if Tech beats the oklahoma state cowpokes for the fourth time in three seasons, they just might be ranked come Monday. But that’s likely the case as the re-loaded osu team comes to Blacksburg for the first time ever.
We all remember Le’Bryan Nash for oklahoma state. He was the cowboys’ top 10 recruit last year that went head to head with Doo-Doo Finney-Smith, with Doo-Doo getting the upper hand. Well, Nash is still there, and he’s been joined by Marcus Smart, a top 10 recruit this past year from Marcus HS in Dallas, TX.
Nash is turning into the star you’d expect – 19.2 ppg and 6.4 rebounds. But check out Smart’s stat stuffers – 13.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg (this is a guard!), 5.8 apg, 2.4 steals, 1.4 blocks. That’s nuts, and from a freshman. He had 20 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 blocks, and 4 steals in their 20 point win over then #6 nc state. Yeah, he can play. Brown will need to bring his A game on defense Saturday. Eddie will likely draw Nash.
And remember Keiton Page, their 3-point bomber? He’s gone, but they now have Phil Forte, a Page clone. You will swear that’s Page on the court when you see him just with a different name on his back. Forte loves to bomb treys and he’s quite good (50%). Forte helped Smart lead Marcus HS to the Texas State title last year.
The cowboys beat akron (in OT), tennessee and nc state on their way to the Puerto Rico title.
osu is NOT a deep team. They really only play two off their bench significant minutes since losing Jean-Paul Olukemi for the second straight season to injury (he got hurt against VT last year).
The cowpokes are a very solid defensive team thanks to their abundance of great athletes (except Jurick and Forte). They allow less than 90 points per 100 possessions (100-to-100 is average). So they are insanely good there. They allow less than 60 ppg, but iowa had a similarly low average and we saw what VT did to them. We’ll see though, this is a more athletic club.
So let’s pack the Cassell and try and propel the Hokies into the rankings! Let’s go for a perfect Golden Sombrero (4-0) against the cowpokes!
Final thought: how odd is it to play an OOO team 4 times in 3 seasons? Over the same stretch, VT have only played ACC foes unc and nc state twice!