Hokies face tough challenge at FSU

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on February 5, 2014
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Time: 9pm
TV: RSN

Yet again, Virginia Tech will attempt to break a long losing streak.  Tonight they’ll do so in a place they haven’t won since joining the ACC: Tallahassee.  In fact, the Hokies haven’t won there since way back in 1989.  There’s a decent chance that a few of you reading this had not been born at that time.

Beating FSU in Tallahassee (and in recruiting, it seems) has been an exercise in futility for the Hokies.

2005: 77-70 L
2007: 82-73 L
2009: 63-53 L
2010: 63-58 L
2012: 48-47 L

This Tech team has lost eight games in a row and 10 of their last 11.  Florida State enters the contest sporting a 13-8 record, with a 4-5 mark in ACC play.  Ian Miller, who leads the ‘Noles in scoring at 12.7 points per game, is not expected to play.  However, the Hokies are also likely to be without three key players…

Adam Smith: calf, stress fracture
C.J. Barksdale: groin
Marshall Wood: flu

Yet again, Tech will play without Smith, one of their top scorers.  Barksdale and Marshall Wood are the top two power forwards, which means that walkon Christian Beyer might get the start and much of the minutes at that spot.

That shorthanded Tech frontcourt will have to deal with a lot of FSU height…

C Boris Bojanovski: 7-3, 240, So.
C Michael Ojo: 7-1, 292, So.
SF Okaro White: 6-9, 204, Sr.
PF Robert Gilchrist: 6-9, 220, Sr.
SG Montay Brandon: 6-7, 216, So.

That’s a lot of length.  FSU will have a 7-footer in the game most of the time, and they are also extremely tall at power forward, small forward and shooting guard.  This is a typical Leonard Hamilton team, and though they aren’t quite as talented as they were a few years back, their size and ability on the defensive end keeps them in games.

The Hokies are unlikely to score many points on the ‘Noles, which means they must play good defense.  They haven’t done that recently.  Key targets will be Okaro White (12.6 ppg) and Aaron Thomas (6-5, 195, So., 12.5 ppg).

From an efficiency standpoint, here’s how the teams rank…

FSU: #158 in offensive efficiency, #21 in defensive efficiency
VT: #240 in offensive efficiency, #176 in defensive efficiency

Virginia Tech has to keep this game in the the low 50s, and perhaps even the 40s, to stand a decent chance to win.

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