Gambler’s Corner: nc state is favored by a measly 1.5 points.
miami was favored by 3.5.
You want three previews for the price of two? You got it! This extra preview is courtesy of Jon King — our #1 supporter (literally). Thanks Joking!
After Winter Storm “Action” Pax pummels the South, the hurricanes will blow into Blacksburg to kick off a 3 game home stand for the Hokies (0-5 at home in ACC play). This is a rematch of their December 8th contest in Coral Gables that the Hokies lost by… let me check… hmm, it says here that the Hokies won that game 61-60 in overtime. Really? We won a game? Wow. It really does feel like a year ago.
While it may not mean much to the average fan during a horrible season, this 3-game home stand means a ton to historians like me. This is Tech’s 53rd season playing in the Cassell. In that span, they’ve had a losing season at home once. ONCE. That was under you-know-who back in 2000-01, Tech’s first season in the Big East. VT went just 6-9 at the Cassell that year. The Hokies have finished .500 just once, with that coming in 1988-89 under Coach Frankie Allen.
Well, the Hokies stand at 7-7 in the Cassell this season after starting out 6-1 at home. There are four games left (a hot unc team is coming two weeks). The math is pretty simple:
- Win 3 of 4 and finish with a winning home record (Low probability… very low)
- Win 2 of 4 and finish .500 at home for just the 2nd time in 53 years of the Cassell (eh, I’d give this about a 20-25% chance at best)
- Lost 3 or all 4 and put a bow on our 2nd ever losing season at home. (smart money is on this scenario)
And it’s pretty simple — Tech really needs to beat miami to have any shot at winning at least 2 of these 4. Lose Saturday and you can pretty much put JJ in the stokes Hall of Shame.
- Saturday (2/15) vs miami (3-8, 12-12) at 6 PM on RSN
- Tuesday (2/18) vs uva (11-1, 20-5) at 9 PM on ACC Network
- Saturday (2/22) vs nc state (6-5, 16-8) at 2 PM on RSN
Yet again the ACC schedulers are doing us no favors — having a weekday game vs uva will keep attendance down from what it would have been on a weekend, then couple that with the fact it is at 9 PM and it will severely hurt the turnout at the gate. I realize if we were actually good this wouldn’t matter and we’d gladly get home after midnight after pounding the hoos, but that era is gone. I know, I know — pathetic to be making excuses for poor attendance vs your arch-rival, but that’s the world we live in now.
- Win vs miami (I know, I know — I just believe in the power of the Cassell!!!) — Why I’ll be wrong: miami is 0-6 at home in ACC play, including that loss to the Hokies… but this game isn’t in Coral Gables. In an odd reversal of fortune, the canes are 3-2 on the road in ACC play. 3-2! Including wins at unc and fsu. So this team clearly is better away from the beach but again, I believe in history.
- Loss vs uva: [just threw up in my mouth a little bit]
- Loss vs nc state — Tech really needs to win this and the miami game to avoid a losing record at home, but there’s no way I can pick a 1-10 team to win 2 of 3.
Stats of the Week:
- VT and miami are a combined 0-11 at home in ACC play
- boston college is 0-for-December, January, and February against D1 teams other than Va Tech. 0-14 vs the field, 2-0 vs VT.
- Devin Wilson will set the VT freshman record for assists with 14 more this season (he has 100, Hank Thorns had 113)
- Tech is dead last in the ACC in FT% and FG% in ACC play, but miami is also in the bottom third of the league, too (don’t expect a shooting display)
- nc state basically does nothing really well in league play — they aren’t in the top 5 in any major statistical category
- nc state is 14th in Defensive Rebound % while VT has been very good of late at this
- T.J. Warren leads the ACC in scoring in ACC play, averaging 22.1 (almost 5 points ahead of 2nd)
Hokie Leaders (through Feb. 12):
- PPG: Eddie – 14.0; (Emelogu 11.1)
- Rebounds: Eddie – 5.6; (van Zegeren 5.0)
- Assists: Wilson – 4.3
- Blocks: van Zegeren – 1.9
- Steals: Wilson – 0.9
Hokie Team Stats — Overall (through Feb. 12 — 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: 66.3 (12th in the ACC)
- Opp PPG: 69.3 (11th in the ACC)
- FG%: 41% (14th in the ACC)
- Opp FG%: 41% (8th in the ACC)
- 3-Pt%: 37% (3rd in the ACC)
- Opp 3-Pt%: 35% (12th in the ACC)
- FT%: 65% (13th in the ACC)
Hokie Team Stats – ACC Games Only (through Feb. 12)
- PPG: 56.8 (14th in the ACC)
- Opp PPG: 68.7 (9th in the ACC)
- FG%: 37% (15th in the ACC)
- Opp FG%: 44% (9th in the ACC)
- 3-Pt%: 30% (11th in the ACC)
- Opp 3-Pt%: 39% (14th in the ACC)
- FT%: 59% (15th in the ACC)
VT vs the opponents (VT’s RPI is 218 and their BPI is 165):
- vs miami (RPI #99, BPI #93):
- miami 13-11 overall
- VT 10-7 in ACC games
- VT 4-2 in ACC games at Tech vs miami
- VT won 61-60 in overtime at miami on 12/8/13
- vs uva (RPI #18, BPI #17):
- uva 85-53 overall
- uva 12-8 in ACC games
- VT 5-4 in ACC games at Tech
- uva has won 4 straight in the series and 3 straight at Tech
- VT hasn’t beaten uva at home since Feb. 13, 2010
- A loss to the hoos would give Tech their 2nd longest losing streak ever at home vs uva (4). Tech lost 6 straight from 1939-47 in Blacksburg to uva.
- uva won 65-45 at uva on Jan. 25, 2014
- vs nc state (RPI #51, BPI #72):
- nc state 37-14 overall
- nc state 9-5 in ACC play
- 3-3 in games at VT in ACC play
- state has won 3 in a row in the series (after VT won 4 in a row… after state won 6 in a row… so it is a series of streaks)
- Only regular season meeting between the teams
opponents’ Best Player(s):
- miami: Rion Brown – The 6’6? senior leads the team in PPG (14.5 — no one else is in double digits), rebounds (6.0), and is third in assists (2.3). His 46 made 3s easily leads the team. Brown is the only returning hurricane that averaged more than 10 minutes per game last year. But he was just 7th on the canes scoring list last season, averaging just 6.4 PPG.
- uva: Joe Harris – 6’6? senior – You say Harris by default because he’s been their star for a few years now, but is down 5 ppg from last year at 11.6 (2nd behind Brogdon at 12.2). He’s a deadly 3-point shooter – hitting 43% of his 106 attempts (46 makes just like Rion Brown). But this is a balanced uva attack with six guys averaging between 6.9 and 12.2 ppg.
- nc state: T.J. Warren – 6’8″ sophomore – With guys like C.J. Leslie gone, Warren has become the star of the ACC. His 23.1 ppg easily leads the ACC and is almost double his 12.1 ppg from last year where he was the 3rd or 4th option. He had 34 points and 10 rebounds against wake on 2/11. In fact, he’s scored at least 20 in 7 straight games and has eclipsed the 30-point mark 5 times this year. Oh, and he leads the team with 7.4 rpg (8th in the ACC), leads the ACC in FG% (52%), is 6th in steals (1.6 — leads the team). His weakness is he’s a below average 3-point shooter at 29% but does average a make per game. He’s a strong candidate for ACC POTY (especially given that Erick Green won it last year on a last place team).