2005-06 Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. William and Mary

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The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team will play their final home
non-conference game of the regular season when they host the William & Mary
Tribe on Tuesday night in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies are 8-3 and looking to
continue their push towards a possible NCAA Tournament bid. The Tribe is 5-4,
coming off a ten point win over UNC Greensboro on December 21.

This will be the first of three consecutive games against CAA teams for the
Hokies, two of which will come on the road. After facing William & Mary,
Tech will play at ODU on December 30 and at James Madison on January 2. The
Hokies need to finish 2-1 or better in this three game stretch to keep alive a
realistic shot at an NCAA Tournament appearance.

William & Mary is led by freshman guard and Newport News native Calvin
Baker. Baker leads the Tribe in scoring at 15.3 points per game. He isn’t a
great shooter, knocking down just 37.1% of his shots from the field, including
32.7% from three-point range. He also struggles somewhat with turnovers, with 29
giveaways and just 26 assists.

Baker is the only Tribe player to average over 30 minutes per game. Corey
Cofield, their second leading scorer at 11.2 points per game, averages just 22
minutes per game. Cofield is a bulky forward at 6-5, 245. He has only started
five of William & Mary’s nine games. Only Baker, Adam Payton and Laimis
Kisielius have started each game. Payton plays 25.4 minutes per game, good for
second on the team.

Because they rotate so many players in and out, don’t expect William &
Mary to try to slow the game down. They will try to run their offense and they
won’t be shy about trying some fast breaks. Just because they are playing a
more talented ACC team in Virginia Tech does not mean that they will back down
and change their style of play. They have scored 80 points or more in four games
this year, which shows they are capable of scoring some points on a good
shooting night.

William & Mary’s leading rebounder is Cofield, who averages 5.2
rebounds per game. The Tribe does not have a top notch individual rebounder, but
they do rebound well as a team, beating opponents 38.9 to 33.4.

Nathan Mann and Adam Payton are two players to keep an eye on from
three-point range. Mann has hit 16 of his 35 attempts, good for 45.7%. Mann, a
6-3 guard, has taken only six shots from the outside, but has hit five of them.
Kisielius has also taken 25 three-pointers this season, but has made just six.

William & Mary only has two players average double figures in scoring,
but that is because they rotate so many players. Some of their players have
proven to be good shooters throughout the season. Corey Cofield (58.2%), Adam
Payton (58%), Brian Hutt (56.5%), Taylor Mokris (56.3%) and Peter Stein (63.2%)
have all shown the ability to be efficient scorers when you consider their
amount of playing time.

& Mary 2005 Schedule/Results
(links to USA Today box scores)
Nov. 18
& Mary 89, Maine 55
Nov. 19
Cross 67, William & Mary 55
Nov. 22
& Mary 70, Hampton 60
Nov. 26
& Mary 93, Campbell 79
Nov. 28
& Mary 88, Longwood 75
Nov. 30
N.C.-Wilmington 75,
William & Mary 66
Dec. 3
Towson 76,
William & Mary 45
Dec. 17
County 64, William & Mary 60
Dec. 21
& Mary 83, UNC-Greensboro 73
Dec. 27 at Virginia Tech, 7 pm
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