Virginia Tech Hosts No. 5 Florida State

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Leonard Hamilton, Virginia Tech, Florida State
Leonard Hamilton has another strong team at Florida State. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech (14-7, 5-5) faces a stiff challenge when they host No. 5 Florida State (17-3, 7-2) in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.  The Seminoles had won 10 games in a row until their defeat at the hands of UVA in Charlottesville on Tuesday.

Florida State under Leonard Hamilton is known for size.  In fact, the Seminoles rank No. 1 in the country this year in average height, while the Hokies rank No. 343 out of 353 teams.  If there were ever a game where Virginia Tech needed to get very hot from the outside to have a chance to win, this is it.

Here’s the starting lineup that Hamilton used against UVA…

G Trent Forrest (6-4, 210, Sr.): 11.5 ppg, 84 assists, 38 steals
G MJ Walker (6-5, 213, Jr.): 11.1 ppg
G Devin Vessel (6-7, 194, So.): 13.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 21 blocks
F Malik Osborne (6-9, 225, r-So.): 5.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg
F RaiQuan Gray (6-8, 260, r-So.): 6.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg

Florida State, as usual, also has a deep bench, with Hamilton using 10 different players in the rotation against UVA.  Balsa Kopriva (7-1, 260, Fr.) will come off the bench, and his height could give the Hokies plenty of trouble.  Dominik Olejniczak (7-0, 260, r-Sr.) is another 7-footer who comes off the bench.  Most Leonard Hamilton teams look the same, and this one is no different.

Florida State’s length makes them very difficult to play against, and they are especially sound on the defensive end of the court.  Here are some of their important metrics, per Ken Pomeroy…

Adjusted Def. Efficiency: No. 26
Effective FG% Defense: No. 87
Opp. Turnover %: No. 4
Block %: No. 1
Steal %: No. 4

The Seminoles length and overall athleticism allow them to force a ton of turnovers, and the Hokies haven’t been strong with the ball over the last two games.

Here are some FSU numbers on the offensive end…

Adj. Off. Efficiency: No. 44
Effective FG%: No. 64
3-Pt. %: No. 73
FT%: No. 25

The Seminoles aren’t dominant offensively, but they are balanced.  However, they are only No. 153 in turnover percentage, so if the Hokies want an opportunity to pull the upset, they need to win the turnover battle.  Tech is coming off consecutive road losses to Boston College and Miami, and have lost three out of four games overall. 

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17 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I hope the optimistic folks are right but, other than Michigan State, we haven’t fared well at all against upper echelon teams. Lost badly in fact. I’ve already scratched off Duke, Louisville, and FSU but am optimistic we will win several home games from here out. But, maybe we have a break out game left in us against FSU. Amazed we are only 3.5 pt. underdogs. So, some of confidence in us to be in the game.

    Too bad they are coming off a loss. That’s been a pattern lately, playing teams coming off 1 or several losses.

  2. I originally thought that FSU would win by twenty or more but, I have a strange feeling that the young guns are going to let it rip from 3 and keep it close or steal a big win. This whole season has been odd. Hopefully the great shooting Hokies will show up in this game. It would be epic!

  3. Given the fact that the Hokies “should” have won their last two games against BC and UM, but came up short, I am predicting a home upset by the team Saturday in a matchup that we have no business in winning. GO HOKIES!

  4. I noticed that Chris Clarke had 2 pts (1-2 FG), 7 assists, 6 rebs in TTU’s win over WVU. Earlier this week, during the podcast, CC commended Radford for embracing his role while saying Bede can’t shoot in the next breath. I wish Bede would embrace a non-shooting roll and use his vision and strength to focus on facilitating/passing & rebounding. He should strive for Clarke’s box score.

    Too many players have the green light to shoot right now. We’ve been shooting ourselves out of games during this recent slide. The team needs to feed the hot hand to get us out of this slump, whether that’s Nolley, Cone, Alleyne, PJ, Cattoor, Radford, or Wilkins because it always seems to vary from game to game.

    Have a terrible feeling about this matchup. Gonna be like big kids playing keep away from a bunch of elementary school kids.

    1. The Clarke comment is really interesting. I had not been following him until I read your post. His stats are strikingly similar to Bede’s. Both score little. Clarke gets more rebounds (but he is 6’6″ and more athletic than Bede) and less assists but not by much. I am surprised at Clarke’s assists. He averaged around 3 a game with us. Is he playing the point? His turnovers are higher than Bede’s although 2.4 is not bad.

      I recall the consensus thinking at this site was that Clarke would not play another year of college ball.

    1. Agree. Our best chance to make a statement was in the last 2 games and we blew it. We are back to where most people thought we would be. We need another 2-3 years with good recruiting to get back to the top 5 of the acc.

    2. Done 🤷‍♂️…. never win another game done …. gave up done … have given up done …..won’t watch them anymore done….or I’m just frustrated with va tech done…or ??????

      1. Not sure what “done” means either. Just an emotional phrase of frustration? A lot like the “done” sentiment after the Duke football game. “Done” can’t mean no more wins because that’s a foolish prediction that no sane person would make. It can’t mean 4 or more wins because that’s a likely post season tournament of some sort which is a long way from “done”. So, I am guessing “done” as TH and 134435 intend means 1,2 or 3 wins (and even 3 wins gives as un 8-12 ACC record which isn’t terrible), a first round loss in the ACC tournament and no post season tournament which I think is possible but overly pessimistic at this point. That would be disappointing given where we were at 14-5 but not far off from the expectations before the season started.

  5. This does not look like a good matchup for VT. Our best rebounder is 6’1″ vs. FSU’s giants. This would be a huge upset if VT wins.

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