2008-09 Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Florida State

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

Info Center

TSL Roster Card



(PDF format)

Cassell
Coliseum
Seating Chart


2008-09 VT Roster
Florida State Links




Official Site

Rivals Site
Rivals Msg Bd
Scout Site
Scout Msg Bd
Tallahassee Democrat
Tampa Tribune
USA
Today

HokieSports.com Links

Radio Stations

Live Stats

(home games)

Virginia Tech (16-9, 6-5 ACC) vs. Florida State (20-6, 7-4 ACC)

Saturday, February 21, 2009, 8:00 p.m.

TV: RSN


Special Preview Items:

Virginia Tech begins their brutal season-ending five-game stretch on Saturday
afternoon with a home game against the Florida State Seminoles. The ‘Noles are a
lot better than anyone gave them credit for coming into the year. They are in a
four-way tie for second place in the ACC with a 7-4 conference record, 20
overall wins, and an RPI of 18 (according to realtimerpi.com). At this point,
they appear to be a lock for the NCAA tournament.

FSU is the real deal, with five wins over Top 50 teams this year. They
knocked off Cincinnati, Cal and Florida in non-conference play, and they’ve
defeated Clemson and Miami in the ACC. The ‘Noles are also an impressive 6-3 on
the road this year. In ACC play, they have road victories at NC State, Virginia
and Clemson.


FSU Starting Lineup

Pos.

Name

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

PPG

RPG

Assists

G

Toney Douglas

6-2

200

r-Sr.

20.3

4.2

69

G

Luke Loucks

6-5

200

Fr.

3.9

1.5

62

F

Chris Singleton

6-9

220

Fr.

8.1

5.4

28

F

Uche Echefu

6-9

225

Sr.

8.4

4.9

15

C

Soloman Alabi

7-1

241

r-Fr.

8

5.7

8

Don’t let the fact that only one player averages double figures fool you. This
is a very talented, very balanced lineup that plays excellent defense. Douglas
averages 35.9 minutes per game on the season. Nine players are used for
significant minutes, and seven of the other eight average between 19 and 27
minutes per game.

Douglas is a combo guard who can score in a variety of ways. He is 53-of-144
(34.4%) from three-point range this year, with 166 free throw attempts Douglas
also shows he can get to the rim. He is a 78.9% shooter from the charity stripe.
He has the ability to put his team on his back and carry them to victory.
Douglas scored 17 points in Virginia Tech’s 89-80 victory in Cassell Coliseum
last season.

Douglas is averaging 23.3 points per game in ACC play this year, tops in the
league. While he is the offensive spark, the rest of the team is filled with
balanced scorers, and the length of the ‘Noles lineup makes it very difficult
for opposing teams to shoot the basketball.

On the inside, FSU has the imposing Soloman Alabi, a former 5-star recruit.
Alabi is capable of scoring in double figures on any given night, but his most
important attribute is his length. At 7-1, he can block anything that gets near
the basket. He is averaging 2.1 blocks per game in ACC play, which leads the
conference.

6-9 freshman forward Chris Singleton averages 1.3 blocks per game in the ACC,
which is 10th in the conference. Throw in former VT recruiting target Uche
Echefu, and you’ve got a very long frontline that knows how to alter shots. All
three players also provide very balanced scoring and rebounding efforts.

Luke Loucks started FSU’s most recent game at guard beside Toney Douglas.
He’s not a big scorer, but he is second on the team in assists with 62. You’ll
also see Derwin Kitchen (6-4, 180, r-So.) and Deividas Dulkys (6-5, 195, Fr.) at
the off-guard spots. Kitchen is the cousin of former VT guard Jamon Gordon. He
could end up getting the start on Saturday night.

Jordan DeMercy (6-7, 208, So.) isn’t a big scorer, but he has started 16 of
25 games for FSU this year. He can knock down the open jumper, but he’s
developing into a very good defender for head coach Leonard Hamilton. Ryan Reid
(6-8, 235, Jr.) will also play big minutes for the ‘Noles in the post.

It’s easy to see why FSU has so much success defensively. The shortest player
in their rotation is 6-2, and everyone else is at least 6-4. They have a lot of
height in the frontcourt, and a lot of length on the wing. This isn’t a
particularly good matchup for the Hokies. Malcolm Delaney has been struggling
recently when opposing teams have put taller defenders on him.

However, if Delaney is guarded by Toney Douglas, we could see one of the most
entertaining matchups of the year in the ACC. We already mentioned that Douglas
is first in the ACC in scoring in conference games. Delaney is third, averaging
20.7 points per game. This will be a matchup of big time guards.

FSU
vs. VT, ACC Games Only

 

FSU VT
Category Stat Rank Stat Rank

FG%
42.1% 8 44.5% 5

FG% Def.
40.7% 2 44.2% 9

3-Pt.%
29.8% 11 33% 7

3-Pt.% Def.
28.9% 1 35.2% 7

FT%
74.6% 4 67.5% 10

Reb. Margin
-0.9 7 -1.2 8

TO Margin
+1.82 4 +1.09 5

Assist/TO Ratio
0.8 10 0.9 7

Scoring Off.
69.9 9 74.2 5

Scoring Def.
68.2 2 76.2 9

Average

 

5.8

 

7.2

Florida State’s defensive stats are excellent. Opponents are scoring fewer than
70 points per game against the ‘Noles, and they aren’t shooting the ball well at
all. FSU also takes good care of the basketball, and though they aren’t a very
good shooting team, they play good enough defense to overcome that.

Meanwhile, the Hokies are plummeting in the statistics. The Hokies were first
in the ACC in field goal percentage and third in scoring, until recently. Now
they rank no higher than fifth in any category on the list above. On paper,
Florida State is a better basketball team.

That said, this is a game the Hokies can win. Their backs are against the
wall, and if Florida State doesn’t get a top-notch effort from Tech, then I
don’t think anyone will for the rest of the season. A win over a Top 20 RPI team
could do wonders for VT’s confidence, and they’ll need as many of these types of
wins as possible to make the NCAA tournament.

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit