Categorized | 2012-13 Season, Game Previews

Preview | VT (7-0) @ wvu (3-3) | Saturday at 4 PM | ESPN2

Spread: wvu by 7.5.

The last time these two teams met on the court both teams were still in the Big East. Now neither one is, with Tech in the ACC and the ‘neers in the Big 12. And while the Hokies haven’t enjoyed much success against wvu (29-46 all time), especially in Morgan-hole (10-25), the Hokies did sweep the ‘neers back in 2004 including a 69-67 win at wvu in Greenberg’s first year.

Erick Green has moved up to second in the nation in scoring at 24.9 ppg. He is just two behind Bimbo Coles’s Tech record streak of nine 20+ point games to start the season. Green will need a big game against wvu to help Tech stay unbeaten.

This is not the most talented wvu team we’ve seen, especially under Coach “Huggy Bear” Huggins, a wvu ‘grad’. There are no Jerry Wests or Piss-knuckles on this team. The ‘neers did go to the Big Dance last year, losing in the 2nd (1st) Round to gonzaga. Gone from that team are their two leading scorers – Kevin Jones (neither the one that was a RB for VT nor the reporter with terrible conference realignment sources) and Darry Bryant. Those two averaged almost 37 ppg and Jones averaged 11 rebounds.

This wvu team features no one averaging even half of what Erick Green scores per game — Staten at 11.0, Murray at 9.7, Browne at 9.2, and Kilicli at 11.3 (he had a huge game against marshall) provide a lot of balance. But they don’t have a star or a go-to guy.

The ‘neers are just plain awful from 3-point range. They are making just 23% from deep (VT is at 40%) and no one has more than six made 3-pointers for them after 6 games. They average 3.3 makes per game, while their opponents make more than seven.

wvu got throttled at gonzaga (losing by 34 although the game was played at 2 a.m. EST), lost to davidson, and lost to oklahoma. But if you look at their numbers, they are in the top 100 in the nation in adjusted offense (points per possession) and adjusted defense. How? Feasting on weak competition – they beat marist by 43 and vmi by 25 (Tech beat vmi by 15). They also just beat marshall by 10.

So what do the ‘neers do well? They average 17 offensive rebounds per game while giving up just 11. They grab 41% of their misses (insanely high) while their opponents get just 30%. The key is not missing – the ‘neers’ opponents do shoot for a higher percentage from the floor and 3-point range than them. The Hokies also have to limit their second chance opportunities and points (VT had a 35-13 margin in second chance points against iowa and okie state combined).

wvu also turns the ball over just 12 times per game while they force 16 per game, so protecting the ball will be key, although Tech has turned the ball over more than their opponent in three of their seven wins. Just keeping it close should be fine.

wvu must win in second chance points and turnover margin to have any chance in this game to compensate for their lack of 3-point shooting.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1216 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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  • josh

    Really? comicsans for the stats?

    • http://www.thegarycope.com Cope-acabana

      That’s all Niemo. Perhaps it looks like Arial or Verdana after a few shots of Wild Turkey.

      • RK in Roanoke

        What’s wrong with Comicsans? My wife uses it for work all the time.

        Of course, she is a kindergarten teacher.

  • RK in Roanoke

    It will be interesting to see how the officiating goes. VT goes to the line a lot more often, but the difference is mostly Green. Will the refs let them play or will there be a lot of early fouls called, especially on the boards, so that they can keep the game under control.
    Our guys need to box out and be aggressive on the glass, but stay out of foul trouble.

    This is definitely a game VT can win and doing so on ESPN2 would be a boost.

    • goodraisin

      I wonder if having a nationally televised game in a hostile environment will push the refs to call fewer fouls. Nobody wants to get booed for an entire game that is shown on TV all over the country. My gut feeling is that Erick Green will get far fewer trips to the foul line than he deserves.

  • King

    Green, Brown & Eddie range from 6’3″-6’7″. wvu’s counterparts range from 5’11″-6’3″ so we should be able to get shots off from the perimeter. That’s a big advantage for Tech. Opportunity for Raines, CJ, JvZ, & Wood to matchup against a sizable front court that is not as good as Iowa’s or OK St’s, IMO.

    wvu played a slow, boring pace against marshall. Let’s get out and run. wvu’d better bring their track shoes!

  • Ryan W

    Yea we definitely have a huge advantage on the perimeter size wise. We should be able to get out and run and Eddie might get some easy looks in the post with a smaller defender on him. (I am now Ryan W since a different Ryan posted yesterday).

  • schmitty

    we might not be ranked but we are good enough to put us on tv. So lets runem in the ground. i know the rifleman is playing awesome but lets give sum love to eddie. I think he is the motor to the team while eric is the gas and accelerator: his rebounds, blocks, and clutch scoring are vastly improved. Go Hokies

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