2011-12 Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. North Florida

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Only two more games stand between the Hokies and Winter Break. The first is
tonight when Virginia Tech hosts the North Florida Ospreys, a scrappy team that
has faced a very challenging non-conference schedule.

North Florida is 5-6 on the season. They don’t have a great win, with
victories over Savannah State (#209), Wright State (#157), Jackson State (#214),
Bethune-Cookman (#326) and Jacksonville (#288). However, their losses have come
to Alabama (#26), Florida (#38), Miami (#74), Ohio State (#28), Kansas State
(#19) and Auburn (#119). The Ospreys too Kansas State to overtime before falling
79-68.

With only 10 players on their roster, North Florida doesn’t sound like a deep
team. However, all 10 players are in the rotation, and everyone plays at least
10 minutes per game. Since minutes are divided up so evenly, we’ll just list the
entire roster.

North
Florida Rotation
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. PPG RPG
G Will Wilson 5-11 175 Jr. 1.8 1.7
G Jerron Granberry 6-4 225 Jr. 10.5 3.1
G Charles McRoy 6-5 190 So. 5.2 3.4
F Andy Diaz 6-7 230 Jr. 10.5 5.1
F David Jeune 6-6 225 Jr. 3.5 4.1
G Parker Smith 6-3 150 Jr. 10.6 1.7
F Travis Wallace 6-6 230 So. 8.8 5.2
G Jimmy Williams 6-3 210 Sr. 5.9 3.6
F Matt Sauey 6-7 195 Sr. 4.3 2.8
F Fred Landers 6-4 195 Fr. 2.6 1.6

The first five players listed are the regular starters for North Florida. With
no one over 6-7, they don’t have great height, and as a result they have
struggled on the boards for most of the season. They are getting outrebounded by
nearly two boards per game. Of course, quite a bit of that has to do with the
tough schedule they have faced in the first part of the season.

The Ospreys aren’t a great shooting team, with marks of 43% overall and 33.3%
from three-point range. Watch out for Jerron Granberry (25-of-61, 41%) and
Parker Smith (21-of-58, 36.2%) as the top three-point shooters for North
Florida. None one else has made more than five three-pointers on the seasons.

North Florida struggles with turnovers. Many of their players have terrible
assist-to-turnover rations on the season, and that’s something Virginia Tech
should be able to take advantage of in this game.

Parker Smith: 9 assists, 24 turnovers
Andy Diaz: 8 assists, 26 turnovers
Jerron Granberry: 7 assists, 12 turnovers
Travis Wallace: 10 assists, 16 turnovers
Charles McRoy: 4 assists, 21 turnovers

Again, North Florida’s level of competition has been very impressive, but
those numbers are still bad. If they want any chance of upsetting Virginia Tech
on the road, they are going to have to do a much better job of protecting the
basketball.

North Florida is very bad in a few other statistical categories as well …

288th in assists
280th in scoring
292nd in defensive rebounds
302nd in turnovers
318th in free throw percentage

Based on this numbers, this doesn’t appear to be a team that is going to be
able to hang with Virginia Tech in Cassell Coliseum.

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