Categorized | 2012-13 Season, Game Previews

Preview | bc (0-1, 8-6) @ VT (0-1, 9-5) | Wednesday at 7 PM | RSN & ESPN3

Spread: VT by 3.5.

Stat: The Hokies are 4-4 in ACC home openers.  They’ve only opened the ACC slate at home 3 times in 9 years in the league.

This is a critical game for the Hokies to win in conference play.  I’m not talking about in terms of making the NCAA Tournament, that ship set sail after the georgia southern loss.  I’m not talking in terms of finishing near .500 in the ACC, because that likely isn’t a realistic goal for the Hokies, either.  I’m saying that if Tech wants to avoid possibly going 3-15, or 2-16, or (gasp) 0-18 in the ACC, they need to win this game.

Do I really think VT could go 0-18 in an ACC that is not very good at all this year (with just two teams ranked and only one team higher than #23)?  No.  But this is the worst team in the ACC coming to our floor, who were picked to finish dead last in the league, and are off to just an 8-6 start on the season.  They have the least individual talent in the league.  And this is the only shot the Hokies get at the eagles this regular season.  Between this game and wake home game in a few weeks, those might be the only times VT is favored the rest of the way.

Will I guarantee a win?!  NO!!!  I’ve learned my lesson with betting against eagles.  I had to wear homemade uva gear to the VT@uva game last year because I had guaranteed a VT win at bc (I was wrong), and I had to donate $5 to an eagle fund because I had guaranteed a win over the eagles of georgia southern a month ago.  No bets this time.

Don’t forget the eagles always give the Hokies fits.  Tech had lost four straight to the eagles before pulling a win out of their rear on a Doo-Doo tip-in with 2 seconds left last February in Blacksburg.  Tech had trailed most of the game and needed 7 points in the final 3 minutes from Doo-Doo to overcome a 6-point deficit.

Tech suffered an extremely embarrassing loss in Chestnut Hill in the first meeting last year, falling 61-59 after I had guaranteed a win, forcing me to wear uva gear to the VT/uva game a week later as my humiliation.  Erick Green was out with an injury in that first meeting.

bc was led by Matt Humphrey, Dennis “The Big Red Zit” Clifford, and Ryan “Pass the Proactiv” Anderson.  Those three scored in double digits in both games and return this year.  Seriously, this team has more pimples than fans at most home games (granted they only draw 3,600 to their home games but you get the point).  I wonder if one of their coach’s philosophies is rubbing bacon grease and Crisco on their faces before practices and games.

For the second year in a row, the eagles are extremely young.  They might be the youngest team in the nation – with their top 8 all freshmen or sophomores.  And for the second year in a row, bc had a rough out of conference slate.  They lost to quality teams in baylor, dayton, and college of charleston in their Thanksgiving tournament, but they lost to bryant university at home, and later getting blown out by harvard also in the Conte Forum.

But, the eagles have turned it around since starting 3-5.  They had won five in a row before dropping a heartbreaker to #23 nc state on Saturday in the ACC opener.  They led most of the 2nd half before nc state went ahead with 6 minutes to go and held on for a 78-73 win.  Ryan Anderson, their best player, had 22 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.  He’s averaging 16.4 ppg and 9.8 rebounds.

bc coach Steve Donahue has not been a very strong recruiter.  He signed lightly regarded Olivier Hanlan and Joe Rahon last year.  The 3-star guards have been surprisingly good, averaging double digits in points.  Donahue seems to be a guy that gets the most out of his players and teaches great team basketball.

Clifford, who would be on my all-ugly team, is 7-foot and will provide the Hokies challenges in the post.  But he’s averaging just 5.3 ppg this year and has taken a step back as a player. In fact, the eagles really struggle with their post play.  They’ll likely start four guards (since losing 6’10” Andrew Van Nest) and have as many as four guards on the floor a majority of the time.

Look for the eagles to slow down the pace and make this a boring game (so maybe VT won’t lose by 20+?).  They don’t have the athleticism to get into an up-tempo game and rank near the bottom of the NCAA in terms of pace.  Both teams are awful in terms of defensive efficiency, ranking in the mid-200s nationally giving up more than a point per possession on average.

The eagles also slow it because, if you thought VT had a short bench, bc’s is just as bad.  Only six guys played more than six minutes against nc state.  Foul trouble or an up-tempo pace by VT could be devastating to the eagles.

And 3-point shooting?  bc isn’t a great 3-point shooting, but if you read my recent posts, you know that doesn’t matter.  But they do shoot a lot of 3s and average 7.1 makes per game (4th most in the ACC).  So if the trend of the last seven games holds up of VT allowing teams to shoot a blisteringly high 3-point percentage well above their normal pace in terms of % and makes, the Hokies could be in real trouble  Tech must avoid doubling in the post, especially given Clifford’s struggles this year and bc’s lack of post players, and play straight up man to avoid open looks from deep.  If bc wins this game via dribble penetration and points in the paint, so be it.  But the Hokies must try and slow the tsunami of 3-pointers they’ve been giving up, especially against this team.

Note: Erick Green is back on top of the NCAA D1 scoring list.  C.J. McCollum of lehigh suffered a broken foot and will be out 8-10 weeks (he fell to #2 on Saturday).  Not sure what the rules are on number of games needed to qualify.  Who’s #5?  Momo Jones of iona.

Preview - bc VT

This post was written by:

- who has written 1222 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.

Contact the author | Visit the author's website | Follow Niemo on Twitter

  • King

    Niemo, does Tech employ sports psychologists? Seems like a lot our problems are mental. We need to get back to our happy place.

    • Niemo

      Maybe we need the guy from the Natural — “Losing is a disease, as contagious as syphilis, as deadly as the bubonic plague.”

  • Chris_atl

    I hate to say this but I am not picking us to win any games until we actually win a game. BC competed with NCState. We are not competing at all.

    But, this matchup seemes to go our way. We are home, taller (starting 5), more experienced, have a go-to scorer and goodness knows we should be desperate. But another 6 for 27 from Brown and Eddie and forget it.

    I’ll be front and center, hoping.

    • Niemo

      Chris – and bc ALWAYS gives us their best. Luckily this game isn’t at the mostly empty Conte Forum, which is our ‘Carrier Dome’ of basketball.

  • FruitpietheMagician

    Guys, I saw their game versus NC State, and we are in for it…
    Someone besides Green better show up.

    • Niemo

      I watched it, too, and while Anderson was nice, I also think nc state mailed it in until the end. nc state is not a team like duke – they don’t come to play every night. That said, bc does play good team basketball and VT better be ready to defend the 3 or they could be down 10 early and have to play uphill all night.

  • Hank

    I think what we are seeing this year is the consequences of firing a coach late in the process. We didn’t have time for an exhaustive coach search, and then the new coach didn’t have time to try and solidify the recruits coming in. I really blame the administration for not deciding to fire Seth right after the season. That decision could have put this program back a few years.

  • schmitty

    we have a habit of not recruiting players with a chip on their shoulders, who want to prove everybody wrong nite in and nite out that they can play. These type of players should breed toughness and competitiveness and leadership on the court.

  • RK in Roanoke

    Hey guys:
    Good article about Allen Chaney in the Roanoke Times today.
    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/318795

    He is playing for High Point and he has a game in Radford tonight.
    Glad to see him back on the hardwood.

    • Niemo

      GREAT ARTICLE! Go AC!

      • King

        Evidently we do have a sports psychologist, Gary Bennett

The Wild Hokie Club!

The Hokies experienced their worst season since the ricky "program bomb" stokes era. Sure, it would have been easy to quit on you, but did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!

 

And we do it for free! But, just like NPR, we rely on the generosity of our loyal fans to help keep this humble Hokie website alive. That being said, see how you can help TechHoops.com make it to 10 years!

 

Jon King, Ben Floyd and Dan Rickenbach all got in on the action and we encourage all TechHoops heads to do the same.

 

Any donation amount earns you a spot in our Wild Hokie Club. We'll even give you a shout out on Twitter and Facebook. We may even let you get armcurled by Niemo.

 

So join the TechHoops.com Wild Hokie Club today!


Choose your level of support!




New Poll Question

Has the hiring of Buzz Williams influenced your plans for attending games next season?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Get TechHoops Updates via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Photos on flickr