2009-2010 Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Brown

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Basketball season is here, as the Brown Bears travel to Cassell Coliseum to
take on Virginia Tech on Sunday at 4pm. This is a game the Hokies should win
easily, but nothing can be taken for granted considering the injuries and
illnesses that Tech suffered during the preseason.

As of now, we aren’t even sure who will be starting for Virginia Tech. At
times the Hokies were practicing with just eight players during the preseason,
thanks to a rash of injuries, as well as the flu bug. Jeff Allen had an injured
knee, and now he has a hand injury. J.T. Thompson has missed time with a high
ankle sprain. Victor Davila had to be quarantined for four days with the flu,
and he lost 12 pounds in the process.

Those are just a few of the problems Seth Greenberg has faced during the
preseason. Luckily the Hokies will get an Ivy League team at home, so they
should be able to get a win, and Greenberg will have a chance to get a better
understanding of what he has to work with this season.

Brown has some good Ivy League players in their starting lineup, but they
lack depth. Here’s a look at the projected starters for the Bears.

Brown
Projected Starting Lineup
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG
G
Adrian Williams
6-1 180 Jr. 11
G
Matt Sullivan
6-6 205 Fr. HS
F
Peter Sullivan
6-5 215 Jr. 14.3
F
Andrew McCarthy
6-8 205 Fr. HS
C
Matt Mullery
6-8 235 Sr. 16.1

The best player on the team is center Matt Mullery. Mullery was a First Team
All-Ivy League selection last year, averaging 16.1 points per game and 6.5
rebounds per game. He can do it all in the Ivy League. He also averages two
assists and 2.1 blocks per game, and he led the league in field goal percentage,
shooting 60.6% from the field.

Mullery blocked 59 shots last season, which led the Ivy League and is a Brown
single season record. He had a rare 20-20 game against Harvard last season,
posting 20 points and 20 rebounds.

Brown has other good scorers in the lineup as well. Guard Adrian Williams is
capable of getting hot at any time. Last season against Quinnipiac, Williams
scored 29 points on 9-of-11 shooting. He was an amazing 7-of-8 from three-point
range. He’s generally not that dominant of a player, but he’s good enough to
burn you if he gets hot.

Here’s a small tidbit for you Redskins fans out there. Williams’ father is
Doug Williams, former Redskin quarterback and MVP of Super Bowl XXII.

Peter Sullivan is a solid wing for the Bears. He averaged 14.3 points per
game last season as a sophomore. He was a Third Team All-Ivy League selection.
Sullivan averaged 35.9 minutes per game, and he was one of three Brown players
to average over 30 minutes per game.

The other starters for Brown are complete unknowns. Matt Sullivan is the
brother of Peter Sullivan, and they’ll both start on the wing for the Bears.
Andrew McCarthy will start in the frontcourt alongside Matt Mullery. They are
the headline recruits of what appears to be a pretty good Ivy League recruiting
class.

Brown doesn’t have a lot of depth. Right now it looks like they only go about
eight players deep, and they don’t have any major scoring threats off the bench.
Expect the starters to get the majority of the minutes, and Adrian Williams,
Peter Sullivan and Matt Mullery should all play 30+ minutes per game for the
second year in a row.

This game is an opening round game of the Philly Hoop Group Classic and will
be Brown’s second game of the season. They open their 2009-10 campaign against
St. Francis (NY) on Friday night.. Tech will travel to Philadelphia over
Thanksgiving to take on Temple and Delaware to conclude the Philly Hoop Group
Classic event.

The Hokies

There’s not a lot to say about Brown in this game. The Hokies are bigger,
faster, stronger and more athletic. They should win this game without any
difficulty. Here’s a look at Virginia Tech’s projected starting lineup, for now.

Projected
VT Starters
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G
Malcolm Delaney
6-3 190 Jr. 18.1 4
W
Dorenzo Hudson
6-5 220 Jr. 4.6 1.9
W
Terrell Bell
6-6 205 Jr. 2.3 2.7
P
Jeff Allen
6-7 230 Jr. 13.7 8.4
P
Victor Davila
6-8 245 So. 3.1 2

Malcolm Delaney headlines the group as the ACC’s leading returning scorer. He
and Jeff Allen are the ACC’s second leading returning scoring combo, behind
Duke’s Kyle Singler and Jon Schyer.

It’s very important that Delaney and Allen stay out of foul trouble this
year. The Hokies have just two proven scorers, and they aren’t going to win many
games if either Delaney or Allen has to sit with fouls. That’s why we probably
won’t see Seth Greenberg go with many small lineups this year. If Tech goes
small, that means Jeff Allen would be guarding the opponent’s biggest player,
and that’s an easy way to get in foul trouble.

Tech might be somewhat sluggish in this game, considering the team never got
to practice together as a whole during the preseason. Some of these guys just
aren’t used to playing with each other yet, especially when you throw freshmen
Ben Boggs, Erick Green and Manny Atkins into the mix.

Nevertheless, the Hokies are the more talented team. They can’t lose this
game unless they beat themselves.

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