Categorized | 2013-14 Season, Game Previews

The Week Ahead: @ bc (Wednesday at 7 PM); Home vs maryland (Saturday at High Noon)

Gambler’s Corner: The terps are favored by just 5.5 on Saturday. Did Vegas watch the bc game?

bc opened as 6 point favorites (the line was down to 5.5 — please tell me you all aren’t betting on VT because I said we’d win! If so, no refunds!)

Update: C.J. Barksdale is doubtful for the game Wednesday due to a groin injury according to THIS ARTICLE.

Predictions:

Normally I save this for the end but I have some exciting news for you.  No, no, you aren’t in the running to win the $1 million prize through Publisher’s Clearinghouse.  I’m here to tell you the Hokies are going to win a basketball game this week!  A men’s game, at that!  And I’m sticking with my pick even with the news Barksdale is probably out with a groin injury (and Adam Smith is still out with a stress fracture).

The Hokies enter the week alone in last place in the ACC at 1-6, but can move all the way up to 14th place with a win Wednesday.  Tech, who is 4-17 away from Cassell under Coach James Johnson, hit the road to boston college, where they are 1-10 all time at bc since joining the Big East in 2000 (including losing 4 in a row over the last 6 years).  Despite all that, I believe VT will beat the eagles on Wednesday night in the ACC Pillow Fight Game of the Month!

I know, I know, you are saying, “Are you crazy?  You pick VT to win against boston college EVERY single time and we always lose to them!  Are you certifiably insane?” Yes, Tech has lost 6 of 7 to the eagles and are just 7-16 combined in Big East and ACC play against them.  But if wake’s coach, Bzdelik, can go on the road and win against all odds, why can’t Virginia Tech win in front of probably fewer than 2,000 friends and family gathered (bc drew just 1,789 people for their home loss to georgia tech last week)?  The eagles are 0-4 at home in ACC play (like Tech), so home court advantage is not a factor.

With all the negativity and job security rumblings (including from here), I think the Hokies will win Wednesday.  I didn’t say play well, or play hard, or play with any semblance of a gameplan, I just said they’ll win.  I mean, this is a boston college team that is 1-10 in their last 11 games against Division I teams.  Granted, that one win was at Virginia Tech, but maybe they’ll take the Hokies lightly this time (as Devin Wilson claimed VT might have in the first game considering their 5-14 record).

And who wouldn’t get hyped up for the Flint Mega Bowl Battle for 14th Place!  The winner moves just up the road in the ACC standings, the loser falls firmly into dead last in the cellar.  Set your VCRs because this is gonna be a classic!

And if the Hokies don’t win at boston college, then I am guaranteeing* they win at home versus maryland this weekend, who has lost 4 of 5 and are ranked near the bottom of the ACC in almost every defensive statistic.  I mean, we have to win at home eventually, right?  Why not now?  Let’s get some revenge for the loss at Lane in football against the terps!  This will be the final meeting at the Cassell between the two teams as ACC foes (they do play at maryland later this season) before the terps head off to the Big(14)Ten.

So, I’m saying VT goes 1-1 this week with the more likely win at bc.  As always, 0-2 is more likely than 2-0, but I just have a feeling.  I have a feeling we are going to just win, baby!

*Note: I think I’m 0-3 all time in “guarantees”, so please use my predictions for recreational purposes only.  Any usage of said predictions for gambling purposes would be truly idiotic on your part, unless of course you bet the opposite of what I say.

Also, when we win, you know people are going to start saying how JJ has turned a corner and this and that.  No!  If we beat an awful bc team it proves nothing other than they are worse than us.  And if we beat maryland, who is much better than the Hokies but still not very good, it will prove nothing other than you can’t lose them all at home.  So let’s not go crazy if we win other than to enjoy it and take solace that maybe, just maybe, our core players are getting better (on their own).

Schedule:

  • Wednesday (1/29) at boston college (1-5, 5-14) at 7 PM on RSN
  • Saturday (2/1) vs maryland (4-4, 12-9) at 12 PM on ACC Network

Stats of the Week:

  • Tech has trailed by 15, 16, and 17 points at the half in their last 3 games respectively.
  • Devin Wilson has scored 4 total points in the first half of those 3 games and 54 in the 2nd half.
  • Devin is 7/11 (64%) on 3-pointers in ACC play, but 58% from the line (32/55).
  • Jarell Eddie is shooting 28% on FGs and 31% on 3s in ACC play.
  • In Tech’s last 10 games, they are 2-0 when making more 3s than their opponent, 0-6 when making fewer 3s, and 0-2 when making the same number.  Along the same lines, VT is 2-1 when shooting a higher 3-Pt % than their opponent and 0-7 when shooting a lower 3-Pt %
  • bc, maryland, and VT rank as the 3 worst defenses in terms of Opponent 3-Point % in the ACC (with bc the worst).  So if Tech was ever going to get back on track from deep, this is the week to do it.
  • VT is the worst shooting team in the league, and bc has the worst FG% defense.  That’s about what you’d expect between two evenly struggling teams.
  • maryland’s defense is 13th or worse in Opponent’s PPG, FG%, and 3-Pt%.

Hokie Leaders (through Jan. 27):

  • PPG: Eddie – 14.4;  (Emelogu 11.1)
  • Rebounds: Eddie – 5.6; (van Zegeren 4.7)
  • Assists: Wilson – 4.6
  • Blocks: van Zegeren – 2.0
  • Steals: Wilson – 0.9

Hokie Team Stats  — Overall (through Jan. 27 — 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: 68.8 (12th in the ACC)
  • Opp PPG: 68.8 (11th in the ACC)
  • FG%: 43% (13th in the ACC)
  • Opp FG%: 40% (6th in the ACC)
  • 3-Pt%: 39% (2nd in the ACC)
  • Opp 3-Pt%: 33% (10th in the ACC)
  • FT%: 66% (13th in the ACC)

Hokie Team Stats  – ACC Games Only (through Jan. 27 — Note that bc’s and then maryland’s ranks are also in the parenthesis)

  • PPG: 58.0 (13th in the ACC;  bc: 8;  md: 4)
  • Opp PPG: 66.9 (9th in the ACC;  bc: 11;  md: Tie-14)
  • FG%: 38% (15th in the ACC;  bc: 6;  md: 12)
  • Opp FG%: 43% (8th in the ACC;  bc: 15;  md: 13)
  • 3-Pt%: 32% (9th in the ACC;  bc: 2;  md: 10)
  • Opp 3-Pt%: 38% (13th in the ACC;  bc: 15;  md: 14)
  • FT%: 57% (14th in the ACC;  bc: 3;  md: 5)

VT vs the opponents (VT’s RPI is 195 and their BPI is 148):

  • vs boston college (RPI #159, BPI #178): 
    • bc 16-8 overall
    • bc 10-6 in ACC games
    • bc  6-1 in ACC home games vs VT (won 4 straight)
    • Earlier this season (January 11th, 2014): eagles 62, @HOKIES 59 – LINK to RECAP
  • vs maryland (RPI #80, BPI #65):
    • maryland 30-10 overall
    • maryland 7-6 in ACC games (won 3 straight)
    • VT 4-2 in ACC games vs maryland at VT
    • Last year:
      • @maryland 94, Hokies 71 (1/5/13)
      • maryland 60, @Hokies 55 (2/7/13)
  • The two teams meet again on Tuesday, March 4th

opponents’ Best Player(s):

  • boston college: Olivier Hanlan – 6’4″ sophomore guard – 18.9 ppg (leads team), 3.1 apg (2nd on team), 3.1 rpg (2nd), and 0.8 spg (leads team).  If you didn’t see him at the end of the season last year, you missed out.  Hanlan is a deadly penetrator and get’s a lot of and-1s.  He put up 41 against georgia tech in the ACC Tournament last year and had 38 vs florida atlantic this season.
  • maryland: They really don’t have a “star”.  Dez Wells probably has the most talent but isn’t always their guy every night (he usually is in the low double digits with a high of 33 vs bc this year).  They have 5 guys average in double figures, 3 guys average 5+ rebounds, and 2 average 3+ assists, and there isn’t a ton of overlap of those guys.  But Jake Layman killed the Hokies last year (6’8″ wing player – sophomore) with 20 and 14 points in the two games respectively (his highest and 3rd highest game outputs of last year), so I’ll say watch out for him.  He had 18 against the Hokies in the first half of the game at maryland last year.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1217 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

  • Slam Dunk

    On paper the Hokies are destined to lose both games this week. But, as we all know, the games are not played on paper but on the court! As usual I’ll be wearing my Hokie attire as I watch the games on TV, listen on the radio, or keep up with them on the computer. I’ll be cheering for our Hokies to put together a game or two, like we know they’re capable, and hopefully finish the week 2-0.

  • disappointed hokie

    Im torn, it kills me when the Hokies lose and I can’t believe I’m saying this but maybe losing would be better! I just want coach Johnson gone ASAP!!! If we win a few which its already a lost season but our new AD might see promise in coach JJ and keep him longer! Not saying I’m rooting for the Hokies to lose by any means but it could have a benefit

    • Niemo

      Ha, that sounds a lot like rooting against us. Kidding!
      I find myself very emotionally checked out during most games (maybe the 15-point holes in the first 10 minutes do that). And that is not my personality at all. I used to be a wild man during games. It is the exception now that I jump out of my seat and start pacing and cheering (or cursing at the TV). When we made that run against wake with 5 minutes to go I was up that whole media timeout… only to see us miss 2 FTs and give up an easy layup on the other end. As soon as they suck me back in, they do something to push me away.

      • disappointed hokie

        I’m right there with you, the Boston College and Clemson games hurt but at least the Hokies had a great chance to win coming down the stretch and the final buzzer

  • Slam Dunk

    Looks like CJ Barksdale may miss Wednesday’s game with a groin injury. This was reported by Mark Berman with the Roanoke Times.
    Will we ever have everybody healthy at the same time???

    • Niemo

      No. That way our coaching staff has more excuses for why we keep losing and why they should be kept another year.

    • Drew

      What do we do during practice, Navy SEAL training? Geez.

      • Niemo

        My guess is Fight Club… that’s why you never hear us talk about it, since that’s the first rule.

        • http://www.thegarycope.com/ Cope

          *drop mic, walks off stage

  • Benjamin Kemp

    I hate to say it cause I love this site…but, Niemo, wouldn’t save you a lot of time and effort on previews to just say…”Unfortunately, we will lose by 10+. We will go at least 5 minutes without scoring in a half. We will shoot 50% on free throws. Eddie will go 2/12 from the floor. Someone won’t play due to injury. And we will all complain about JJ when it’s over!!!” I know it’s sad but I’m just looking out for your emotional and mental health!!! :-)

    • Niemo

      Believe me, I’ve considered it, but I truly do believe we will win one of these games. I just have the feeling. I mean, can we really get swept by a team that is 5-14? Well, yes, but I just don’t want to believe it. And can we really start out 0-5 at home in ACC play and fall to 7-7 at home considering we’ve only had 1 losing season at home ever (in the history of the Cassell)? Well, maybe, but I just don’t want to accept it yet. And we are playing a couple of horrible defensive teams, so maybe we’ll be able to get some 3s to drop. So I’m holding out hope! This week may totally defeat me, but we’ll see.

      • Benjamin Kemp

        I sure hope you are right man!! It will make me feel a heck of a lot better!!!!

      • Rich Roberts

        BC and MD may be terrible on defense, but no team plays defense on FTs and we even can’t make those! I think the other team could go sit down and take a break while we have the ball and we’d get confused, pass the ball around the perimeter, and brick a 3 as the shot clock expires.

        • Niemo

          My guess is we’d get called for 3-seconds in the lane because a post player would be screaming for the ball by the hoop but since our guards have seemingly been brainwashed into not feeding the post, they’d just hold it outside not knowing what to do.

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