Virginia Tech faces #2 UVA

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Date: Saturday, February 28
Time: 4pm
TV: The ACC Network

Virginia Tech heads to Charlottesville to take on #2 UVA on Saturday at 4pm. The Hokies (10-18, 2-13) nearly knocked off the Hoos (26-1, 14-1) in Blacksburg on January 25. Can they play well this time on the road?

We don’t know whether starting UVA point guard London Perrantes will play or not. He is a game time decision. That would be a big loss. The sophomore point guard is currently the best London on the UVA campus … er, Grounds. The Hoos list the following starting lineup in their game notes…

G Malcolm Brogdon (6-5, 215, r-Jr.): 13.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg. Brogdon will be forced into more of a ball handling role if London Perrantes can’t play. He is a very good scorer from inside and outside.

G Marial Shayok (6-5, 207, Fr.): 3.9 ppg, 2 rpg. Shayok originally signed with Buzz Williams at Marquette. He could be pushed into a starting role if Perrantes can’t play. He started and played 26 minutes in Wednesday’s win at Wake Forest.

F Evan Nolte (6-8, 224, Jr.): 2.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg. Nolte played 30 minutes against Wake, when he normally plays 15 minutes per game.

F Darion Atkins (6-8, 241, Sr.): 7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg. Atkins is a veteran player, and he has more experience in Tony Bennett’s system than anybody else on the roster.

F Anthony Gill (6-8, 230, r-Jr): 11.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg. Gill is UVA’s best post scorer and rebounder, and he’ll be perhaps the toughest matchup for the Hokies on Saturday.

Without Perrantes and Justin Anderson, UVA lacks depth. However, the pace of their games means that their lack of depth doesn’t affect them as much as it would hurt other teams.

With Anderson on the shelf, the Hoos are a very limited offensive team. However, their defensive numbers really can’t get any better. Check out the points they’ve allowed in their last six games…

Louisville: 47
NC State: 47
Wake: 60
Pitt: 49
FSU: 41
Wake: 34

Only one team has cracked 50 points on them, and that was Wake Forest. When those teams met again less than two weeks later, the Hoos held the Deacons to 34 points. Their defense is as good as you’ll see from anybody in college basketball. Earlier this year they held Georgia Tech to 28 points.

Buzz Williams had a very good offensive game plan in the first meeting against UVA, yet Tech could still manage just 47 points. The Hokies will have a chance in this one, though they’ll have to play better on the road than they have all year. In the first meeting, Tech didn’t have Justin Bibbs (concussion). If the Hoos are without Perrantes and Anderson, they’ll lose two major contributors from that January 25 matchup. Here are their numbers from the first meeting in Blacksburg:

Anderson: 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Perrantes: 6 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists

Here are the advanced stats…

Offensive efficiency: VT #178, UVA #23
Defensive efficiency: VT #264, UVA #2
Rebounding rate: VT #342, UVA #4
Turnovers per possession: VT #143, UVA #7
Opp. Turnovers per possession: VT #147, UVA #280

Virginia is awesome defensively, and they are excellent on the boards. They don’t turn the basketball over, and despite being boring offensively they are one of the most efficient teams in the country on that end of the court.

The Hokies haven’t played well on the road this year. In fact, they haven’t won a road game all season. It will take a great effort to beat the Hoos on the road, but if London Perrantes doesn’t play and Tech can keep the game in the 40s, they will have a shot.

I originally typed “Tech will have to keep UVA in the 50s to have a shot.” However, when you consider that five of UVA’s last six opponents have failed to break 50 points, that’s probably not true. If the Hokies win this game, it’s probably going to be 47-45, or some other low score.

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11 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. “Despite being boring offensively…” is a strange comment coming from a VT site. UVa and VT both score exactly 66 points per game, UVa is just much more efficient. So are you suggesting more missed shots and turnovers would be more exciting to watch? Sloppy play is better than team ball? I get it, it’s a dig at a rival, but considering the source here it’s a weak one.

    1. Well, 70 points for you guys against Wake was considered a ton of points, right? No doubt that UVA is much better offensively than Tech. Nobody ever denied that. But the style is pretty boring to a lot of people that aren’t UVA fans.

      That said, if VT was 26-1 with that style of play, I’d think it was the most beautiful thing of all time.

      1. Really? Who are these “lots of people” of whom you speak? Myron Medcalf? Some USAT blogger no one’s ever heard of? Casual basketball fans? UVA opponents? OK, I guess that is a lot of people.

        But I’d argue, based on, you know, actual numbers and not my subjective opinion, that more people appreciate the beauty inherent in the way the Hoos play.

        Like these people (I hear they know a little something about basketball): http://www.aseaofblue.com/2015/2/17/8050847/college-basketball-myron-metcalf-worries-about-the-casual-fan

        Or this guy: http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/25083573/observations-virginia-basketball-somethin-to-appreciate

        Or this guy (I’ve heard his power rankings are the most powerful): https://twitter.com/clubtrillion/status/568069881624702976

        Or this guy (I hear he’s a Hall-of-Famer): https://twitter.com/dcwahoo/status/568070639837454336/photo/1

        Or the JMU fans who sold out the Convocation Center for the first time in school history for the UVA game, or the VT fans who sold out Cassell Coliseum for the first time since 2012 for the UVA game, or the VCU fans who sold out the Siegel Center for the UVA game, or the Notre Dame fans who sold out Purcell Pavilion for the UVA game, or the 3.49 million people who tuned in to watch UVA-Duke (the second largest TV viewership for a mens basketball game this season, trailing only Kentucky-Louisville), or the more than 2 million people who tuned in to watch UVA-Louisville. You can type UVA is boring til your fingers bleed, but those numbers speak volumes that UVA draws a crowd.

        It’s just odd to use a subjective description based on a personal taste in style to make a definitive statement about the way a team plays.

        P.S. 26-1 doesn’t make the style beautiful. The fact that UVA plays fundamentally sound, efficient, team basketball makes it beautiful. Loved it when we were 16-15, 22-10, 23-12, and 30-7 … 26-1 is pure gravy.

        1. Other than the use of the tired “boring” comment, I enjoyed the article. Buzz has the team playing with fire, and when they’re on, the Hokies have really nice ball movement on the offensive end and clearly are capable of lighting it up from outside. It’ll be interesting to see which coach/team makes more of the right adjustments throughout the game.

            1. You know what’s boring? Being 2-13 in the ACC. I hate UVa with a passion, but you gotta give it up to them. They took what they had and made it work. There’s nothing boring about winning.

          1. @anchorsteam88: Cool. My gripe isn’t whether or not you personally find it boring; honestly couldn’t care less. In fact, I’m all for making sure one’s body is well rested. My gripe is when personal taste is used to make an overarching, definitive statement about a team’s style as though it were fact. You watch it as a sleep aid; I watch it because I enjoy good, smart, exciting basketball. Fact is, it’s boring to you. Not everyone.

    2. If VT scores 66 pts, I like our chances! VT exposed Duke’s inability to guard, and dribble penetrated and passed outside all night for 3’s. If we can do that Saturday, it will be our game, if not it’s all UVA. Somehow, against Duke, Pierce remained eligible into overtime, but I’m not expecting that again. If Pierce has a game similar to Duke game, it may be close down the stretch!

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