2008-09 Basketball Game Preview: Boston College at Virginia Tech

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Virginia Tech (11-5, 1-1 ACC) vs. Boston College (13-5, 1-2)

Saturday, January 17, 2009, 4:00


Special Preview Items:

Virginia Tech will play the final game of their short home stand on Saturday
afternoon when they take on the Boston College Eagles. If the Hokies can win
this game, they’ll have a winning record in the ACC and put themselves in a
better position to take on three consecutive Top 50 opponents.

Boston College is 13-5 on the season, with a 1-2 mark in ACC play. They upset
North Carolina 85-78 in the Dean Dome on January 4, and that win moved the
Eagles into the Top 25. However, since then BC has lost three consecutive home
games. They lost to Harvard 82-70, Miami 77-71 and Wake Forest 83-63.

The Harvard loss was particularly embarrassing, coming off the win over the
Tar Heels. It was Harvard’s first ever win over a Top 25 team. After three
straight home losses, the Eagles will be looking to rebound against the Hokies.

College Starting Lineup
Position Name Height Weight Year PPG RPG APG
Tyrese Rice
6-1 190 Sr. 17.5 4 6
Rakim Sanders
6-5 225 So. 11.5 4.4 1.5
Joe Trapani
6-6 218 r-So. 13.7 6.9 1.8
Corey Raji
6-6 214 So. 11.6 6.7 1.9
Josh Southern
6-10 242 So. 5.6 5.5 0.8

The top player for the Eagles, and arguably the top player in the ACC, is lead
guard Tyrese Rice. Rice is a scoring point guard whose distribution skills have
improved throughout his career. With a good scoring lineup around his this year,
he is second in the ACC in assists.

Garrett Weddle at 540-320-7571 and make an appointment to see
Kent Square Condominiums when you’re in town for the game!

Rice is a complete offensive player. He gets to the basket and scores, pulls
up for midrange jumpers, and has terrific range on his outside shot. He is
shooting 38.2% from three-point range on the season, and he’s also 91-of-108
from the free throw line, good for 84.3%.

Rice isn’t BC’s only offensive threat. Vermont transfer Joe Trapani is having
a very good season. Trapani had 20 points and 11 rebounds on Wednesday against
Wake Forest. Like the rest of BC’s perimeter players, he is a balanced offensive
threat, meaning he can go inside and outside. He also leads the Eagles in

Rakim Sanders is only BC’s fourth leading scorer, but he’s a much better
player than that. He started last year as a freshman and had some big games.
Sanders is a big-bodied guard who is streaky with his shot, but he’s capable of
putting up big numbers when he’s on. He’s not a great shooter, but he’s very
capable and uses his body well.

Call Garrett Weddle and make an
appointment to see Kent Square
Condominiums this weekend!

BC’s other double figures scorer is forward Corey Raji. Raji is an undersized
inside player who rebounds well. His presence in the starting lineup at the
“4” spot (power forward) makes the Eagles a bit more athletic than
they were last year.

BC’s top threat off the bench is freshman guard Reggie Sanders (6-3, 193,
Fr.). Sanders is averaging 8.1 points per game, and is really the only major
threat off the Eagles’ bench. Tyler Roche (6-7, 215, Jr.) is capable of getting
hot from three-point range, but he lacks athleticism and can be a liability on
defense at times.

It will be interesting to see how Seth Greenberg chooses to matchup with
Boston College. Tech’s regular starting lineup would give the Hokies a size
advantage on the inside. They would have two traditional post players (Jeff
Allen and Victor Davila), while BC starts just one (Josh Southern).

Greenberg also has enough versatility on his bench that he can go small,
putting J.T. Thompson on the inside. Thompson had a lot of success against BC
playing as an undersized post player last season. He averaged 12.5 points and
5.5 rebounds against the Eagles a year ago. From a size standpoint, Tech’s
“small” lineup and BC’s regular starting lineup are very similar.

“Small” Lineup vs. BC’s Regular Lineup
Position Name Height Weight Position Name Height Weight
Malcolm Delaney
6-3 170 G
Tyrese Rice
6-1 190
Dorenzo Hudson
6-5 220 G
Rakim Sanders
6-5 225
A.D. Vassallo
6-6 216 F
Corey Raji
6-6 214
J.T. Thompson
6-6 210 F
Joe Trapani
6-6 218
Jeff Allen
6-7 240 C
Josh Southern
6-10 242

Those are two similar lineups in size, athleticism and skill. Perhaps the only
difference is that the Hokies have two big time scorers in Malcolm Delaney and
A.D. Vassallo, while Boston College has just one in Tyrese Rice.

Boston College doesn’t want to lose their fourth consecutive game. They will
show up and play hard on Saturday. The Hokies must match their intensity. They
can’t afford to drop a home game before taking on Wake Forest, Miami and Clemson
in three straight games.

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