The Hokies have started the season just as I expected, at least record-wise, with a 3-3 start. That said, I have been impressed with the Baby Birds (or Jake Squad). Ben Emelogu is for real, Trevor Thompson should develop into a good low post player (needs to add weight), Devin Wilson had a rough weekend but has shown flashes, and Adam Smith can really light it up offensively when it doesn’t matter.
After playing the #1 team in the nation and a Big East cellar-dwellar (both losses) this past weekend, the schedule gets considerably easier for the next week and a half. The Hokies play their next three games at home against low tier conference teams (two from the Big South and one from the Southern) before opening ACC play at miami on December 8th.
This week the Hokies host two games at the Cassell, including their neighbors:
- Tuesday at 7 PM vs furman (2-2) – ESPN3
- Friday at 2 PM vs radford (3-1) – ESPN3 – Bring your leftover turkey sandwiches!
Stat(s) of the Week:
- Virginia Tech was 34/63 (54%) on 3-pointers in their 3 games last week, but just 50/124 (40%) inside the arc.
- The Hokies are shooting a blistering 47% on 3s on the season.
- Of Tech’s 249 points last week, 41% were via 3s, 40% via 2s, and 19% from the line.
- The Hokies were -28 combined in turnover margin last week in their 3 games.
Hokie Leaders (through Nov. 17):
- PPG: Eddie – 18.0 (Emelogu 14.3)
- Rebounds: Barksdale – 6.0 (Eddie 5.8)
- Assists: Wilson – 4.7
- Blocks: van Zegeren – 2.0
- Steals: Wilson/Raines – 0.7
Hokie Team Stats (through 11/17):
- PPG: 79.7
- Opp PPG: 77.2
- FG%: 44%
- Opp FG%: 39%
- 3-Pt%: 47%
- Opp FG%: 33%
- FT%: 71%
VT vs the opponents:
- vs furman: VT 13-12 and 7-4 at home — the two schools haven’t played since 1964
- vs radford: VT 5-1 with all 6 games at the Cassell — haven’t played since 2005 and VT has won 3 in a row
opponents’ Records This Season:
- furman: 2-2 (gardner-webb is their lone D1 win with losses to florida golf course by 1 (the same team that made the NCAA run last year) and to college of charleston by 34)
- radford: 3-1 (lost to gwu by 22, beat chattanooga, brevard (not D1), and binghamton
opponents’ Best Player:
- furman: sophomore guard Stephen Croone – leads the team in PPG by over 9 (21.0 ppg), leads the team in assists (2.8), leads the team in steals (1.8), and is 2nd in rebounds of active players (5.3). Also commits 4.3 turnovers per game.
- radford: junior forward (but just 6’4″) Javonte Green – leads the team in PPG (16.8) and rebounds (7.3).
Things to Watch:
- furman is not a good 3-point shooting team. They average just 5 makes (29%) per game and no one has more than 6 made 3s. furman’s top 4 scorers are all guards.
- radford has no one taller than 6’8″ and their top 4 scorers are all 6’4″ or shorter – so stopping their guards is the key.
- The Hokies have had a negative turnover margin in all 6 games, including a combined -28 last week in 3 games. That has to improve. VT is not forcing many turnovers, either (just 16 steals on the season).
The Hokies are going 2-0 this week [period] Anything, while certainly possible, would be an embarrassment. Time to build up some momentum before the conference opener on December 8th, which is at miami (miami lost everybody and is very beatable, so VT needs to steal a game like that if they want to avoid the cellar, but we’ll get to that next week).
No prediction on the VT @ uva football game, or duke @ unc. I mean, could VT lose 3 games they are double digit favorites in (VT is -13.5 in this one)? And unc is -5.5 after their 80-20 win over odu.