Categorized | 2013-14 Season, Game Previews

The Week Ahead: Nov. 9 to Nov 15 (3 Home Games vs usc upstate, wvu, and w. carolina)

The Hokies open their 2013-14 campaign on Saturday at Noon in the Cassell — consider it an appetizer before the Coastal Division showdown between miami and Virginia Tech that night.  Here’s the schedule for the first week of the Hokies’ season:

  1. Sat., Nov. 9 – usc upstate – Noon – Cassell – ESPN3 (Internet/mobile devices/gaming systems/new Samsung SmarToilets) – Coaches vs Cancer Classic
  2. Tue., Nov. 12 – west virginia – 1 PM – Cassell – ESPN
  3. Fri., Nov. 15 – western carolina – 7 PM – Cassell – ESPN3 – Coaches vs Cancer Classic

Does anything stand out to you on that list above?  Well, for starters, yes, usc upstate is a real college (one of my former players has confirmed the campus does exist — even got me a t-shirt).  Basically, no one in south carolina wants “North” in their name, so they chose to go with “upstate” instead.  That’s about as much as I know about them.  Not even sure who their mascot is.  spartans, maybe?

The other thing you probably noticed is we are playing wvu at home for the first time since we left the Big East 10 years ago… at 1 PM… on a Tuesday… and no, that’s not Veteran’s Day (which is Monday).  So he we take the one interesting home game we have in the first two months of the season (unless you like usc-u, wcu, vmi, furman, radford, winthrop, unc-g-spot, or md-eastern shore), and play it in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday.  Why, you ask?   Well, we are part of the 24 hours of basketball on ESPN all day Tuesday.  I guess it could be worse – hawaii plays at 5 EST (Midnight local), there’s always some East Coast teams playing at 7 AM (florida gulf coast this year… remember them?), 9 AM, and 11 AM, so maybe this isn’t quite so bad.  Looks like I have a “doctor’s appointment” on Tuesday afternoon!!!  So come on down, Huggy Bear. (FYI: This is the recommended game to take a siesta during according to one web site.  No love.  And vcu and uva (both ranked) play later in the night)

Rounding out the week will be another home game versus western carolina to culminate our weird geographic week on Friday night (this is the appetizer for the football game on Saturday).  Note that this game, like the usc-u game, is part of the Coaches vs Cancer Classic.  But, regardless of what happens in these two games, VT will advance to the semi-finals at the Barclays Center (Brooklyn Nets) on Nov. 22 to face #2 michigan state.  We saw a similar situation last year where VT lost to georgia southern, but still went to the semis of the tourney in Vegas to beat bradley in OT, then get throttled by colorado state.  Let’s hope we win both tune-ups this year.

Look for the Hokies to feature their new style of play.  Coach JJ has said all along he wants to play up-tempo on offense and aggressively trapping on defense.  They couldn’t last year because of lack of bodies, but that shouldn’t be an issue this year.  Coach SG would always say we were going more up-tempo, then scrap it by halftime of the first game.  I think JJ will stick with the plan, at least on offense (how tightly refs call hand checking this year will affect the defense).  I mean, it couldn’t be much worse than last year so he might as well see how it plays out over the early part of the season.  Should keep things interesting!  Let’s hope the result is lots of easy transition buckets for VT, and not just making it easier for the other team to score more quickly (i.e. colorado state, byu, maryland).


usc upstate:

  • Last Year: 16-17 (9-9 in Atlantic Sun)
  • Series: VT 1-0 (game was in 2010-11 season, VT won 64-53)
  • Top Player: #23 Torry Craig – 6’6″ senior forward, 17.2 ppg and 6.9 rpg last year
  • Nickname: spartans (I was right!)


  • Last Year: 13-19 (6-12 in the Big(10)12 – 8th place out of 10 teams in the league)
  • Series: wvu 47-29
  • At VT: VT 16-12 (no games at VT since 2004)
  • Last Meeting: @wvu 68, VT 67 – Tech’s first loss last year on 12/8/12 after a 7-0 start
  • Top Player: Honestly, I don’t see one.  They had no one average even double-digit points per game last season and 3 of their 6 guys that averaged between 7-9.9 points per game are gone.  They are offensively challenged to say the least.
  • Of note: They added two 4-star recruits this offseason.

western carolina:

  • Last Year: 14-19 (9-9 in the Southern)
  • Series: VT 3-0 (all in the Cassell with the last meeting in 2005)
  • Top Player: #5 Trey Sumler – 6’2″ senior guard – 18.4 ppg last year including 36% on 3s; 4.5 rpg, 3.6 apg – stat stuffer)
  • Nickname: The catamounts (didn’t even have to look that one up)


I bet we’ll go 2-1 this week.  Anything less would not be a good start to the season and could ensure the bandwagon stays parked.  usc upstate and wcu are middle of the pack Atlantic Sun and Southern teams respectively, so Tech must win those games.  That said, VT lost to georgia southern last year, and I predict these games will be agonizingly close.  wvu isn’t that good, so VT could pull it out at home, but the 1 PM time will basically turn it into a neutral site game unless the students come out in mass (hint hint).  So I’ll stick with 2-1 where I think any of the three could be a VT loss.  No guarantees from me this year, I’ve learned my lesson.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1284 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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6 Responses to “The Week Ahead: Nov. 9 to Nov 15 (3 Home Games vs usc upstate, wvu, and w. carolina)”

  1. Slam Dunk says:

    Please, please be a 3-0 start! But really… please be competitive! Please be fun to watch! There’s nowhere to go but up!

  2. Vindictive_Pat says:

    How in the world did that VT/WVU game get put on ESPN? That’s pretty surprising. I’m excited to see some of the new players, see how the minutes are distributed, and see how the team operates sans Erick Green.

  3. Nannerstand says:

    Honestly, watch out for USC-Upstate. I know their name is easy to make fun of and they have never been a relevant program, but they are returning everyone from last year’s team, are predicted to finish third in their conference, and have the preseason Atlantic Sun Player of the Year (Craig). According to Ken Pomeroy’s preseason rankings (a pretty reputable list), we are 154 in the nation (ick) and they are actually ahead of us at 129. So they’re not a cupcake. I think we’ll end up 2-1 this week, but wouldn’t be surprised in the least if we go 1-2.

    • Niemo says:

      You called it… But that doesn’t make this any better to swallow. ACC teams should not be losing to teams picked to finish 3rd in the Atlantic sun.

  4. Blue Collar Hokie says:

    ” usc upstate and wcu are middle of the pack Atlantic Sun and Southern teams respectively, so Tech must win those games.”
    face in palm


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