Hokies host Maryland

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on January 31, 2014
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Time: Noon
TV: The ACC Network

Virginia Tech will look to halt a seven game losing streak when Maryland visits Cassell Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.

The last seven games haven’t been pretty for the Hokies.  Actually, we can go back 10 games to see exactly how ugly it has been…

VCU: 82-52 L
UNCG: 55-52 L
UMES: 82-66 W
Syracuse: 72-52 L
BC: 62-59 L
Clemson: 56-49 L
Notre Dame: 70-63 L
Wake Forest: 83-77 L
UVA: 65-45 L
BC: 76-52 L

Tech has averaged just 58.3 points per game over the last 10 games, and their defense has gotten progressively worse over the last three contests.  This isn’t a very good team to begin with, but it has the look of a team that is very close to packing it in.

They’ll face a Maryland team that is 12-9 overall and 4-4 in ACC play.  The Terps aren’t an NCAA Tournament team, but they do have a chance to make the postseason.  However, they are only 1-4 on the road this season, with their lone win coming over Boston College.

Maryland features four players who average in double figures, though defense has been the biggest Achilles heel for the Terps.

Dez Wells (6-5, 215, Jr.): Wells plays on the wing and averages 14.9 points per game.  He’s very good around the basket, and he gets to the free throw line and makes shots (80.3% on 117 attempts).

Jake Layman (6-8, 205, So.): Layman averages 12.6 points per game, and he has a good outside jumper for a guy his height.  As a freshman last season, Layman wasn’t very good, but he did manage to destroy the Hokies twice.  He averaged 17 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in two meetings and lit Tech up from the outside.  For the season he averaged just 5.5 points, but he always brought it against Tech.

Evan Smotrycz (6-9, 230, r-Jr.): Smotrycz is an excellent outside shooter for a big man (39.6%), and he averages 11.8 points per game.

Nick Faust (6-6, 205, Jr.): Faust is a veteran player who averages 10.1 points per game.  He leads the Terps with 25 steals on the season.

Let’s examine these teams from an efficiency standpoint…

VT: #231 in offensive efficiency, #151 in defensive efficiency
MD: #156 in offensive efficiency, #95 in defensive efficiency

The Terps are the better team on both ends of the floor.  However, their poor showing on the road this season means the Hokies do have a shot to steal an upset win.  New athletic director Whit Babcock, who officially starts work on February 17, will be in attendance.

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