Spread: VT by 16.5.
The Hokies take on the eagles of georgia southern on Saturday at the Cassell in the second meaningless installment of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. Why is it meaningless? Because win or lose, the Hokies advance to the semi-finals on Saturday, Dec. 22, in Vegas, baby. While the eagles will keep playing consolation games. Either way, don’t worry, Tech will win this game (or I’ll donate money to some ‘save the eagles’ fund).
georgia southern is better known for the football program, and with good reason. While they stink in basketball, they have captured six NCAA I-AA (FCS) Championships since starting their program in 1982. Our old buddy Paul “chop block” Johnson won back-to-back titles there in ’99 and ’00. And the eagles knocked off odu on the road last weekend to advance to the I-AA semi-finals last week (don’t expect eagle fans to have a lot of interest in this game).
The eagles are just 1-5 on the year against D1 teams, with the lone win over kennesaw state, who just moved up to D1 in 2009. They lost to powerhouses like elon and samford. They do not play a fast pace. They will try their best to keep this a low scoring, half-court game.
The eagles do have some length at court, surprising for a low tier team, with their three starting guards in the 6-2 to 6-5 range. But no one over 6-7 plays more than 10 minutes. That said, we’ve seen the Hokies struggle on the glass with similarly small teams, so we’ll see what happens. A good goal would be to keep gsu’s offensive rebounding percentage under 30%, and have VT’s around 40%.
gsu’s star is junior forward Eric Ferguson. He was first team All-Southern Conference last year and leads the eagles in almost every statistical category. He also turns it over a lot, as do the eagles (15 turnovers per game). So, Tech should have some opportunities to turn those TOs into fast break BRRRAHHHHs.
Reed and Roberts both are good 3-point shooters on perimeter (50%).
But, this game really is just a tune-up for the Hokies before they head to Vegas for back-to-back games next weekend, starting with a game against a solid bradley team.