Spread: VT by 4.
My first post was a preview, so it is only fitting my 1,001st is, too…
The worst coach in the ACC, Jeff Bzdelik* — 7-29 in ACC games and 30-49 overall in three seasons — will make his final trip to Blacksburg on Saturday (at least as the head man of the deacs). The Hokies will look to get to .500 in the league against a team they’ve owned since joining the ACC. Tech has won eight of 10 against wake, but lost last year in Winston-Salem in their only meeting, an embarrassing start to a rough 2011-12 ACC campaign. But this time the game is in Blacksburg where the Hokies have won four in a row over the deacons (every game since Chris Paul left for the NBA).
Erick Green still leads the nation in scoring, 0.8 ppg ahead of Doug McDermott of creighton-barrel (Momo Jones has dropped to 5th). As for the rest of the Hokies, let’s just hope they are all available Saturday and the flu bug doesn’t bite us anymore.
wake is led by senior guard C.J. Harris and junior forward Travis McKie (a former high school rival of Cadarian Raines). They are the ONLY vets on this team that see significant minutes. Six of their nine guys that play regularly are freshmen, and Chase Fischer (a deadly 47% 3-point shooter), is a sophomore. They are young. Can you blame the other guys for leaving? And the freshmen are probably counting on having a new head coach next year.
Codi Miller-McIntrye was a teammate of Montrezl Harrell at Hargrave last year and is a decent shooter, but not much of a defender. He’ll look to score off the dribble but has a poor assist-to-turnover ratio for a point guard (barely above 1). Devin Thomas is the best low post player of the freshmen, grabbing 7 rebounds per game. He already has an ACC body at 6’9″ and 240 lbs.
But their best players are Harris and McKie. McKie has shown he can spot up and score off the dribble, even with a pull-up jumper from about 18-feet in. But that’s not really a good thing — check out how much time he spends behind the 3-point line, almost like a Jarell Eddie-type player. That’s a waste with all his low post skills (but bad coaching is bad coaching). He’s attempted 41 three-pointers and made just 30%. He does average over 6 FTs per game so he gets to the line a lot.
Harris, meanwhile, is cold-blooded from deep. He’s made 28/60 (47%) and must be watched. You can’t leave him or Fischer to help on defense. With Tech not doubling in the post recently, this should help resolve this potential issue (though gt still made 8 three-pointers, well above their average). Harris isn’t just a long range bomber, though, he’ll attack the tin and get to the line a good bit. Both he and McKie are good from the stripe.
But, this team is not good. And they are young. And they push the ball, which leads to turnovers. Focus on limiting Harris and McKie and dare the baby deacs to beat you. clemson just held them to 44 points this week on 25% shooting. Their two wins are against uva and bc, two teams in the lower half of the league, and they also lost at duke by 18. This is a game you need to win at home (flu or no flu). Tech couldn’t beat lowly bc at home, so they need to hold serve here unless they want another last place finish in the league.
*Bzdelik was 36-58 (10-38 in the Big 12) at colorado before wake. How did he get this job? Easy, he’s friends with the AD. This hire has to rank right up there with Terry Holland hiring ricky “program bomb” stokes at ecu after how he fared at VT.