Virginia Tech vs. Boston College
Sat, Feb 8, noon, Cassell Coliseum, RSN (affiliate list)
Virginia Tech (14-9, 5-7) will look to break a four-game losing streak when Boston College (11-12, 5-7) visits Cassell Coliseum for a noon game on Saturday. Tech’s current slide began with a 61-56 loss to the Eagles in Chestnut Hill in a game in which the Hokies led for much of the 40 minutes.
Since that game, it’s been all downhill for VT. They followed up that loss with defeats at the hands of Miami, Florida State and Georgia Tech, with the loss to the Yellow Jackets being the worst game the Hokies have played all season.
Tech’s youth is catching up to them, and redshirt freshman Landers Nolley is in a huge shooting slump. Over his last seven games, dating back to the January 14 win at Wake Forest, Nolley is just 39-of-114 (34.2%) from the field and only 13-of-56 (23.2%) from three-point range. The Hokies desperately need him to start playing consistent basketball again.
The Eagles had lost four games in a row before their victory over the Hokies. Things haven’t been great for them after that victory, either. BC has lost two of their last three games, though the two defeats were at the hands of Louisville and Duke. They did manage to defeat North Carolina 71-70 in the Dean Dome last Saturday.
Here’s a look at BC’s projected starting lineup…
G Derryck Thornton (6-3, 195, r-Sr.): 13.1 ppg, 75 assists. Leads the team in scoring and assists. Graduate transfer from USC after starting his career at Duke.
G Jay Heath (6-3, 175, Fr.): 12.4 ppg. Heath has been a bright spot as a freshman, and he’s a capable outside shooter at 38.1%. He had 15 points against the Hokies in the first meeting.
F CJ Felder (6-7, 230, Fr.): 6.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg. Felder has started 14 of BC’s 23 games. He’s only 5-of-30 (16.7%) from three-point range.
F Steffon Mitchell (6-8, 220, Jr.): 6.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg. Mitchell has been BC’s best rebounder on the year, and he plays just over 30 minutes per game. He leads the team with 22 blocks.
F Jairus Hamilton (6-8, 234, So.): 9.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg. Hamilton dropped a game-high 23 points on Virginia Tech in the first meeting. He was 5-of-7 from three-point range, though he’s only 27.6% from the outside on the season. 23.8% of his made three-pointers this season came in that first meeting against the Hokies.
Generally speaking, Boston College has been a solid defensive team this year, ranking No. 77 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Their offense has been rough, ranking No. 253 nationally. However, the Hokies have to get their own offense going back in the right direction. Tech has dropped out of the top 100 in adjusted offensive efficiency and currently stand at No. 107 nationally. Let’s examine Virginia Tech’s shooting over the Hokies’ current four-game losing streak…
FG%: 92-of-227 (40.5%)
3Pt%: 26-of-96 (27.1%)
For comparison’s sake, Virginia Tech’s season numbers are 43.1% and 35.9%, respectively, even with the four-game losing streak added in. The Hokies were a solid offensive team earlier this season, but recently they’ve struggled to get open looks, and when they have gotten good looks they’ve generally missed. They need a good offensive game to get things going back in the right direction.