Hokies look to get even with BC

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on January 29, 2014
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Boston College defeated Virginia Tech on the road 62-59 earlier this month.  The Hokies will try to return the favor in Chestnut Hill tonight at 7pm.  The game will be televised by RSN.

The first meeting between these schools was a classic, as you might expect from the two teams with the worst record in the league.  The Eagles are 5-14 overall with a 1-5 mark in ACC play.  Tech is 8-11 and 1-6.  BC’s lone conference win came against the Hokies.  A late three-pointer from guard Lonnie Jackson put them on top for good.  Adam Smith’s response from the baseline fell short.

The Hokies did a good job against BC’s two best players in the first matchup.  Olivier Hanlan (6-4, 181, So.) was held to just 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting, while Ryan Anderson (6-8, 219, Jr.) was denied the ball in the post.  He finished with just six points, and only one offensive rebounds.

Two things hurt Tech badly in the first meeting: Lonnie Jackson (6-4, 182, Jr.) and Dennis Clifford (7-1, 250, Jr.) having good games, and a bad offensive performance.

Jackson averages 7.3 points per game for the Eagles, but he finished with 17 points against the Hokies and went 5-of-8 from three-point range.  He eventually hit the game-winning basket.  Dennis Clifford has played in just three games this year because of injuries, but he had six points and six rebounds against the Hokies, and his long frame protected the rim against Tech’s post players.

Fortunately for the Hokies and unfortunately for Clifford, he hasn’t played since that game.  He has since been ruled out for the season, and he will apply for a medical redshirt.  That could tilt the scales in Tech’s favor, but the Hokies have injury issues of their own…

Adam Smith: Out, calf injury and stress fracture
C.J. Barksdale: Out, groin (plus his ankle and knee probably aren’t 100% either)
Ben Emelogu: Probable, ankle (though nowhere near 100%)

I list Emelogu as probable because he played against UVA.  However, he’s not healthy, and Tech could elect to sit him.

With Smith and Barksdale out, and Emelogu not 100%, where will the Hokies get their points?  They have averaged just 57.5 points per game over their last six losses.  BC is one of the worst defensive teams in the league, yet Tech managed just 59 points against them at home in the first meeting.

Despite what happened earlier this month, this game remains one of Tech’s best chances to get a win.  Can the summon up a good enough shooting night?


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