It is a business-person’s special on Wednesday as the Hokies take on the… hmm, what is longwood’s nickname (inappropriate thoughts going through my head)… let me look it up… the lancers! PLEASE NOTE: this game is at 2 PM at the Cassell. I have to believe this is so the Hokies can get to the international terminal at Roanoke Airport (chuckle) and head to Cancun for their game against the seton hall pirates on Saturday. Don’t want to miss prime sun hours on Thursday!
The Hokies will be heavy favorites in this game and unless tequila bottle worms have invaded their heads already, the Hokies should lay the lumber to longwood. VT has a significant size advantage inside and a talent advantage all over the court.
The two teams met last year for the first time ever and Tech won 79-57. longwood was quite impotent in that game, shooting just 29.9% for the game (20 of 67), suffering from a STD (ShooTing Dysfunction… and yes, I’m reusing that joke from last year). Jeff Allen was the star of that game with 19 points and 21 rebounds, the latter is still a career high. Malcolm Delaney was relatively quiet with 12 points. Terrell Bell had a career high at the time, 12 points (he upped that to 13 against iowa this year). Tech dominated the glass, rebounding 77% of longwood’s misses and getting 48% of their own misses. The lancers did hang around thanks to 23 VT turnovers and trailed just 56-50 with 8 minutes to play, but the Hokies used a 16-0 run to pull out from the pack.
Note: Jeff Allen is 33 points away from 1,000 in his VT career.
SIX PACK OF THINGS TO WATCH FOR:
- longwood or bikinis: Will the team be focused on longwood or babes in bikinis? It is easy to start thinking ahead to your trip to Cancun and just want to get this game over with. Last year the Hokies took the lancers lightly and longwood hung around for 32 minutes. This year Tech needs to come out focused and put this game away quickly.
- Tune up: Tech should safely win this game despite what I said, but this is a chance to prepare for seton hall on Saturday, which is a huge game for the Hokies and their resume. Even if they get up big early, they need to keep working on their gameplan and prepare for Saturday. They could be a little rusty with 8 days between games. Play your minutes and get back to doing what the Hokies were doing before the Christmas break.
- Dominate the paint: Allen had a huge game last year and there is no reason why Victor Davila and Jeff shouldn’t this season. The lancers will play three guards out there at almost all times, and their center (Antwan Carter) is just 6’6″ and 225 lbs. Their other two big men are just 6’7″ and 200 and 6’5″ and 230. Everyone else that normally plays for them is 6’2″ or less. Pound the ball inside to Allen and Davila and let them work their post magic.
- See Spot Shoot: Tech’s guards/wings will also have big height advantages on the lancer guards. The longwood guards will likely have to help their forwards by doubling down, leaving VT perimeter players open outside. The big men, when doubled, should look for the open man sliding along the three-point line and kick it out.
- Win: With a victory, Tech will be off to their best start since starting 12-1 in 1995-96. VT also started 3-1 that year before ripping off 9 straight wins. A victory over longwood would be Tech’s 8th in a row.
- The A. Smith Bowman Distillery of Fredericksburg has come out with a new line of bourbon, rum, gin, and vodka. The makers of crappy Virginia Gentleman bourbon now have a select Bowman bourbon, single barrel Bowman bourbon, and rum, gin, and vodka. Check out Virginia ABCs for it.
The lancers started out this season 0-8 but played several teams tough, including uva, navy, and a good richmond team. Their three wins are against florida gulf coast, uva-wise, and campbell (yes, the same campbell team that played VT extremely tough down in NC). longwood lost to lehigh on Monday evening, so they will have a short turnaround (less than 48 hours) for this game.
longwood is an experienced team with all but one of their main players being an upperclassmen. They start four seniors and a sophomore.
But, as I mentioned above, they greatly lack size. Their three “big” men play a lot of minutes. The lancers normally have three or four guards on the court at any given time but may have to change that for Tech. Expect Jan van der Kooij, who normally is a benchwarmer, to see many minutes to match Tech’s size.
Antwan Carter and Dana Smith are their best players, both averaging over 15 points per game. Smith is a wing that has to play forward for the lancers. He led longwood with 13 points against Tech last year but fouled out. Carter is their center, at just 6’6″, and comes off the bench. He had 10 last year against the Hokies but also fouled out, hence VT pulling away late.
The longwood guards will look to get the ball to Smith and Carter. None of their five guards in their rotation average more than 8.6 ppg, but do combine for close to 13 assists per game. The lancers average 15 turnovers per game and the Hokies will look to take advantage of that.
The lancers don’t shoot a lot of threes, nor do they shoot them well. They average about 15 turnovers a game which the Hokies will look to take advantage of and turn into transition opportunities.
On offense, longwood likes to push the pace. They average 72 possessions per game, which is around 50th in the nation of over 300 teams. But they are not efficient, averaging just .95 points per possession and giving up 1.07 points per possession (both are in the mid-250s in the country). Tech needs to get back on defense and limit their transition buckets. The lancers like to get the ball off quick, as they did last year. Luckily, with VT’s size, rebounding the many lancer misses shouldn’t be an issue.
On defense, the lancers get 7.5 steals per game (pretty good) but just 2 blocks per game (awful, but not surprising with their lack of size).
|Guard||23 Delaney – 6’3″||1 Dawson – 6’2″|
|Guard||5 Hudson – 6’5″||5 Washington – 6’0″|
|Forward/Guard||1 Bell – 6’6″||24 Swecker – 6’1″|
|Forward||0 Allen – 6’7″||22 Smith – 6’5″|
|Forward||14 Davila – 6’8″||12 Robinson – 6’7″|
BORING FACTS ABOUT longwood:
- Location: Farmville, VA
- Enrollment: 3700 undergrad, 700 grad
- Student Ratio: 65% chicks!
- History: Became a university in 2002
- Conference: None for basketball, they are an independent; they just entered D1 in June 2007
- Famous Students: Jerome Kersey (bball), Michael Tucker (baseball), Jason Mraz (awful, awful singer), and Pat McGee (singer)
- Other Boring Facts: KD and ZTA were founded at longwood
- The school was NOT named for Davey Woods, that’s for sure