2010-11 Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Mount St. Mary’s

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Virginia Tech will look to pick up another victory against a small conference
team on Sunday when Mount St. Mary’s comes to town. The Mountaineers are just
3-11 on the season, and haven’t won a game since December 2. This game isn’t
going to help Tech’s RPI, but it would get them to nine overall wins before
Florida State comes to town January 8th.

Mount St. Mary’s is 3-11 on the season, with three victories over bad teams.
They defeated Savannah State (#331), Florida A&M (#340) and Sacred Heart
(#269). The Mountaineers haven’t been able to beat a team with a .500 record or
better. They have small conference level talent, and they also have some youth
in their starting lineup.

Tech has faced Mount St. Mary’s four times in the past, and although the
Hokies hold a 4-0 advantage, only one game has been a blowout. The Hokies
narrowly won 59-56 in December of 2000, but blew out the Mountaineers 82-59 the
following November. Tech won by 12 in the 2005 meeting, while the 2008-09 squad
squeaked out a 62-57 win.

Mount
St. Mary’s Starting Lineup
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G Lamar Trice 5-11 165 Jr. 12.6 3.9
G David Golladay 6-1 180 r-Fr. 6.5 3
G Julian Norfleet 6-2 165 Fr. 11.1 2.6
F Shawn Atupem 6-7 220 Sr. 10.2 4.7
F Raven Barber 6-8 220 So. 9.6 3.5

Like most small conference teams, Mount St. Mary’s goes with a three-guard
lineup, and they will use eight or nine players in their rotation.

The backcourt combination of Lamar Trice and Julian Norfleet is dangerous,
and they are both given a green light from three-point range. Trice is 21-of-71
(29.6%), while Norfleet is 32-of-103 (31.1%). Neither player shoots a
particularly high percentage, and shot selection is likely an issue for both
guys.

Only two other players have attempted more than one three-pointer for the
Mountaineers. Josh Castellanos (6-1, 170, Fr.) is 2-of-21 (9.5%), while David
Golladay is 1-of-7 (14.3%). As a team, Mount St. Mary’s is only 27.9% from the
outside on the season.

Norfleet is probably Mount St. Mary’s best ball handler, but Lamar Trice has
struggled at times with turnovers, with 43 on the season. That’s been a problem
for the entire Mountaineer team, as they have 195 turnovers on the season and
just 170 assists.

With their lack of size, Mount St. Mary’s has had trouble on the boards this
year. They are -5.5 in rebounding margin this season, and no one on the team is
averaging more than 5.2 rebounds per game. The top rebounder is Danny Thompson
(6-7, 230, Jr.), who comes off the bench to play 23.1 minutes per game. Thompson
also leads the team in blocks, with 19 on the season. He is a decent scorer (5.4
points per game), but he is mainly a defender and rebounder.

This Mount St. Mary’s team has struggled offensively this year, scoring just
60.4 points per game and shooting 41.5% from the field. They have been much
better defensively. Despite playing a decent schedule, they are allowing only
67.1 points per game, and opponents are shooting just 42.1% from the field.

The Mountaineers are coached by John Burke, who is in his first season. He
went to Mount St. Mary’s after one year as an assistant at American. Before
that, he was a long-time staff member of John Thompson III at Georgetown.

Tip-off for Sunday’s game is scheduled for 2pm, and there will be no
television coverage.

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