Syracuse comes to Cassell…finally

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

Time: 9pm
TV: The ACC Network (click here for affiliate list)

Despite playing in the Big East together for four years, Syracuse has visited Cassell Coliseum just once…way back in 1978.  The Hokies defeated the Orange (then Orangemen) that night, though tonight’s matchup will be a much bigger challenge.

Syracuse is 14-0 and ranked #2 in both polls, and they are determined to win the ACC in their first year in the league.  The Hokies are 8-5, they lost 96-77 to the only elite team they have faced (Michigan State), and they were defeated at home by UNC Greensboro.  These two teams have three things in common…

1: They play in the ACC.
2: They used to play in the Big East
3: The color orange

Let’s take a quick look at the team Jim Boeheim will (finally) bring to Cassell Coliseum tonight…

G Tyler Ennis (6-2, 180, Fr.): Ennis is averaging 11.6 points per game, and he leads his team with 77 assists.  He scored 28 points against Cal.  He was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school, and he is a projected first round pick in June’s draft.

G Trevor Cooney (6-4, 195, r-So.): Cooney averages 14.1 points per game for the Orange.  He is a terrific shooter, making 45 of his 98 three-point attempts this season (45.9%).  Virginia Tech has had trouble defending the perimeter this season, so this is a guy to keep your eye on.

F C.J. Fair (6-8, 215, Sr.): Fair leads Syracuse with 17.2 points per game, and he also averages 5.6 rebounds per game.  The senior is projected to be a second round pick in the NBA Draft.  He can step out and knock down the outside jumper, though in general he’s much better from inside the arc.

F Rakeem Christmas (6-9, 250, Jr.): Christmas averages 5.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.  He leads the team with 18 blocks.

C DaJuan Coleman (6-9, 280, So.): Coleman averages 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds, and he is the heaviest Syracuse player on the roster.  He and Coleman will try to push around Virginia Tech’s frontcourt, which has been somewhat soft through the first half of the season.

That’s the Syracuse starting lineup, though arguably their most talented player comes off the bench.  Jerami Grant (6-8, 210, So.) averages 12.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.  He is a potential lottery pick in the NBA Draft.

Out of those top six players for Syracuse, one is a projected lottery pick who comes off the bench, another could sneak into the lottery, and one is a possible second round selection.  Think about that for a second…Jim Beoheim has the luxury of bringing a lottery pick off the bench.

Meanwhile, the Hokies will counter with a team ravaged by injuries and the flu.  C.J. Barksdale still isn’t 100% with knee and ankle injuries, and Adam Smith is still questionable with his calf injury.  To make matters worse, Barksdale has the flu, as does fellow power forward Marshall Wood.  All three of those guys are questionable for tonight’s game.  No ACC team has seen it’s players miss more games due to injury than Virginia Tech.

“I’m not sure what this team is really capable of yet because we haven’t had everybody together yet,” James Johnson noted on Monday.  “And I rarely have everyone together in practice.”

In other words, it’s a typical Virginia Tech basketball season, isn’t it?

To add insult to injury, I’m not sure how well-attended tonight’s game will be.  It’s freezing cold in Blacksburg, in case you haven’t heard, and that will keep some people away.  Also, school doesn’t start until next week, which means Cassell Coliseum will be missing it’s rowdiest cheering section.

The Hokies will have to play good defense, limit their turnovers, and keep the score low.  Miami nearly upset Syracuse this past weekend by keeping the score in the 40s (Syracuse eventually won 49-44).  Tech will have to employ a similar strategy, and figure out away to get some points against the vaunted Syracuse 2-3 zone.

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

20 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I’M 58 and have never had the flu.I took the flu shot for two years only. several years ago.I have had a few bad chest colds in the past but vitamins and OJ and hand washing seem to do the trick for me.

  2. Any chance we can give the ‘Cuse a case of flu, dysentery, or the pox a few minutes before the game?

  3. Think we are in some serious trouble, and NO…based on their performance THIS entire yr (amd outside of one fluke run to the final 4 when they shouldnt have made the tournament) VCU is not elite….are they even top 25?

  4. I got the flu shot & still got sick on Xmas, had a 103 fever, went to doc the next day with a 102 temp. Had all the flu symptoms but tested neg. for flu. Probably had a nasty virus, might be what the players have. Took 24 hrs to feel better after taking an antibiotic & Tamiflu.
    It would be nice if our team to go thru a season without injuries or illness.

  5. I say we just throw up a bunch of 3s and hope it’s just one of those nights when they are falling. 🙂

  6. I was in the Cassell for the last Syracuse game….seem to recall Marshall Ashford had a good game. Headed to the Hokie House after the win. I’m hoping for a respectable showing tonight. Go Hokies!

  7. So VCUis not an elite team? Coulda fooled me. This game may be one that proves the adage, “be careful what you wish for.” 😉

  8. It’s warmed up… Now 10 degrees up from -3 this AM…why wouldn’t people come…it’s #2 and it’s indoors

  9. Why does the athletic department not insist (to the extent allowed) on our athletes getting the flu shot each year? There’s really no excuse for missing games due to the flu.

      1. That’s just silly. Each year there is a predominant strain and each year’s flu shot is designed to address that strain. Flu shots are very effective; if they weren’t, no one would bother with them.

          1. Brought to you by the Dept of Health and Human Services run by Kathlene Silbelius. You believe that psychobable?

        1. Typical flushot efficacy is between 65-80%. This year, since the predominantly circulating strains are covered in this year’s vaccine, efficacy is close to 80%. Get your flu shot!

          1. Two people in my family have just gotten over the flu (tested positive) even though they got the flu shot months ago. It looks like they whiffed on the major strain this year.

    1. They’re offered, but 1) you can’t force anyone to take the shot, it’s illegal &
      2) it’s not 100% effective. Some people JJ included probably say “flu” when someone has a severe cold/infection or stomach bug

  10. I’m debating making the trip from Richmond. The trip out there is fine…it’s the trip back that hurts…and tomorrow on little sleep.

    1. Couldn’t pull the trigger. Couldn’t find anyone crazy enough to ride with me. Now I’m sad. 🙁

Comments are closed.