Virginia Tech will look to get back on track when they host Jacksonville State on Wednesday night. Upset by Alabama State on Saturday night, the Hokies are looking for their first win of the season.
Jacksonville State is 2-1, with wins over Oakwood and Fort Valley State. Oakwood is not an an NCAA school, nor are they an NAIA program. They are members of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. Fort Valley State is a Division 2 program. Jacksonville State’s only loss came at the hands of Central Michigan 89-83 on the road.
The Gamecocks are a small team, much like the Alabama State team that beat Tech. Here’s a look at their projected starting lineup…
G JaQuail Townser (6-3, 195, Sr.): 13.3 ppg
G Malcolm Drumwright (6-2, 165, So.): 17.0 ppg
G Erik Durham (6-4, 190, Jr.): 11.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg
G/F Jared Mamilton (6-4, 190, Fr.): 14 ppg, 9.3 rpg
F Christian Cunningham (6-6, 200, Fr.): 7 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Jacksonville State only has one player taller than 6-7 coming off their bench, and that’s Ousmane Ba (6-11, 227, Jr.). Ba, however, has not scored a single point this season.
The Gamecocks play in the Ohio Valley Conference, and they’ve gone 22-40 over the last two seasons. Buzz Williams says they are a better team than Alabama State, though he could be using that as motivation for his team.
Jacksonville State is coached by James Green, a veteran who has been a head coach since 1996. First he guided the Southern Miss program, where he went 116-111 and made two NITs. Next he went to Mississippi Valley State, where he made the NCAA Tournament in 2007-08. At Jacksonville State, he’s achieved just one winning record in seven seasons.
Virginia Tech will have a huge size advantage in this game. Zach LeDay certainly took advantage of that against Alabama State, scoring 26 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Buzz Williams said LeDay played well on both ends of the floor. Freshman center Kerry Blackshear also had eight rebonds in 25 minutes. Other than that, Tech’s rebounding production was poor against a small, outmatched team, particularly from the wings…
Jalen Hudson: 1 rebound in 15 minutes
Justin Bibbs: 2 rebounds in 32 minutes
If the Hokies want to get back on track, they have to play much better defense than they did in Saturday’s 85-82 loss, and they also need to dominate a smaller team on the glass.