- notre dame is favored by 10.5 over VT on the night they honor Digger Phelps.
- c-l-e-m-s-ohhh-n is favored by 3.
You’re only as good as your last game, they say, and the Hokies are coming off a real stinker – losing at home in front of less than 4k while shooting less than 40% and scoring less than 60 points. In fact, Tech hasn’t reached the 60-point mark in regulation in any of their 3 ACC games this season. And if you are hoping the Hokies break that streak on Wednesday, don’t count on it. clemson is #1 in the nation in PPG allowed.
But hope springs eternal, and Wednesday night is a new night. And thank goodness for that.
On Sunday, Tech will be featured as part of ESPNU’s ACC Sunday Night Hoops. But the ratings should be lower than a WB sitcom — the game will start right as Manning vs Brady is ending and overlap with most of San Fran @ Seattle. So at least not many people will see us if we throw out another stinker!
Here’s the week ahead:
- Wednesday, January 15 at 7 PM at the Cassell on Raycom: vs clemson (2-1, 11-4)
- Sunday, January 19 at 6 PM on ESPNU: at notre dame (1-2, 10-6)
Stat(s) of the Week:
- clemson is #1 in the nation in scoring defense at 53.5 ppg (uva is #3)
- The tigers are #1 in the ACC in FG% and 3-Pt% defense, but 14th and 10th offensively in those two stats respectively
- clemson and notre dame are #2 and #3 in the ACC in FT%, with VT at #10 (could be a deciding factor in the games)
- Jarell Eddie is 2nd in the ACC in 3-Pt% and 3s made
- The Hokies have fallen from #1 in the nation in 3-point % a few weeks ago to #17 now 40.7%
- ACC Shooting Woes: In their 3 ACC games, Tech is shooting just:
- 35.4% from the field (62/175) — last in the ACC for conference games only
- 32.5% from deep (26/80) — 8th in the ACC
- 53.7% from the charity stripe (22/41) — last in the ACC
- Tech hasn’t cracked 40% from the field or 3-point line, or 60% from the foul line in any ACC game
Hokie Leaders (through Jan. 14):
- PPG: Eddie – 16.1; (Smith 12.7 and Emelogu 11.6)
- Rebounds: Eddie – 6.1; (Barksdale 5.0)
- Assists: Wilson – 4.9
- Blocks: van Zegeren – 2.1
- Steals: Wilson – 0.9
Hokie Team Stats (through Jan. 14 — note that these stats and conference rankings are for all games, not just ACC games which have severely brought down Tech’s offensive numbers):
- PPG: 71.5 (10th in the ACC)
- Opp PPG: 68.9 (12th in the ACC)
- FG%: 43% (13th in the ACC)
- Opp FG%: 39% (5th in the ACC)
- 3-Pt%: 41% (2nd in the ACC and 17th nationally)
- Opp 3-Pt%: 32% (7th in the ACC)
- FT%: 68% (10th in the ACC)
VT vs the opponents:
- vs clemson (RPI #104):
- Hokies 15-13 overall
- clemson 8-7 in ACC games
- Hokies 4-3 in ACC home games
- Last Year:
- @Hokies 69, clemson 61 (3/2/13)
- @clemson 77, Hokies 70 (1/27/13)
- Tech’s won 3 straight at the Cassell over clemson (home team has won 6 in a row in this series)
- This is the only meeting this regular season between the Hokies and clemson.
- vs notre dame (RPI #89):
- notre dame 3-1 overall
- First game as ACC foes
- notre dame won all 3 Big East meetings
- Tech’s only win over notre dame was their 92-91 overtime thriller to win the 1973 NIT Championship on a buzzer-beater by Bobby Stevens! Tech won their 4 NIT games by a combined 5 points.
- This is the only meeting this regular season between VT and notre dame
opponents’ Records This Season:
- clemson (2-1 ACC, 11-4 overall): Last week: Lost vs fsu (56-41) and beat duke at home (72-59). They’ve also beaten temple (who is awful this year) and south carolina (also pretty bad). They lost to umass, auburn, and arkansas, plus florida state.
- notre dame (1-2 ACC, 10-6 overall): Everyone expected doom and gloom when Grant, their leading scorer at 19 ppg, went out for the season. They responded with a win at home over duke in their first ever ACC game. But since they they at home to an average nc state team (77-70) and at georgia tech 74-69 (both teams lost their 2 other ACC contests). That duke win doesn’t look as good considering duke is just 1-2 in ACC play now. And even with Grant notre dame lost to indiana state (Bird wasn’t playing for them) and north dakota state at home.
opponents’ Best Player(s):
- clemson: K.J. McDaniels – 6’6″ junior – if you remember K.J. from two years ago, he can flat out jump out of the arena. He is the most explosive leaper in the ACC. But he has become a much more well-rounded player and now shoots 37% on 3-pointers (20/54). He leads the team in PPG (17), rebounds (7.1), steals (1.1) and blocks (2.9). He reminds me of Josh Smith on defense and can block a lot of shots as a trailer on breaks, or just go up and out-jump someone and reject them in the lane.
- K.J. is in the top 10 in the ACC in points, rebounds, field goal %, free throw %, and leads the ACC in blocks per game. He’d be a fantasy stud if you are into that stuff.
- notre dame: Garrick Sherman – 6’11” senior and Eric Atking – 6’2″ senior - Both irish seniors have stepped up a ton since Grant’s injury (19 ppg). In the four games since the injury, Sherman has averaged 16.3 ppg and 12 rebounds, including 21/18 in a loss to nc state! He will likely give the Hokies fits in the low post given Tech’s lack of beef (weight/muscle) with Raines riding pine, and even Raines would give up a few inches to Sherman. Atkins, meanwhile, has averaged 21 ppg and 7 assists in those 4 games, including 30 points against canisius and 11 assists in their win over duke.
Prediction: VT goes 1-1 this week
Yeah, I said it! I think Tech will knock off the c-l-e-m-s-ohhhhh-n tigers at home Wednesday. I think they “won’t take [clemson] lightly” and will be fired up after the embarassing loss to bc at home. Tech’s won 3 in a row over clemson at home, including the last two seasons (when Tech only won 4 league games each year). This is a prime game for a letdown from the tigers. After losing to fsu by 15 at home on Thursday and scoring just 41 points, they beat duke by 13 (72-59) on Saturday at Littlejohn. Combine that with a sterile road game and all the ingredients are there for a Hokie upset. Yes, I realize Tech is offensively challenged and clemson has the #1 defense in the nation, but the tigers aren’t an offensive juggernaut, either. I think the Hokies pull it out in a game in the 50s (the loser probably won’t make it out of the 40s).
The Hokies can beat notre dame, too, given that their leading scorer is out for the season. So I’m hedging my bets and saying Tech wins one of two, with the more likely win being against clemson. However, an 0-2 week is much more likely than a 2-0 week (you will hear me saying this every week for the rest of the season). Go Hokies!