TV: ESPN3, internet only
Place: Cassell Coliseum
The Hokies will go for their third consecutive win tonight when North Carolina A&T comes to town. After losing to Alabama State to start the season, Tech has played better in their last two games. They are hoping to continue to improve as they head into their Thanksgiving weekend tournament in Destin, Florida.
Unlike most low-major teams, the Aggies actually have decent size. They aren’t playing small forwards at center, unlike the first three teams the Hokies faced. They also have a lot of experience, with three seniors and a junior in their projected starting lineup.
G Sam Hunt (6-2, 175, r-So.): 9.5 ppg, 11 assists, 11 turnovers
G Joshea Singleton (6-4, 211, r-Sr.): 6 ppg
F Ede Egharevba (6-6, 210, r-Sr.): 5.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg
F Bruce Beckford (6-7, 215, Sr.): 18.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 8 steals
C Steven Burrough (6-9, 245, Jr.): 5.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Despite their experience, there is only one real threat in the North Carolina A&T lineup. Bruce Beckford has been very productive this season. He’s a good rebounder and score, and he can step out to the three-point line and make shots (6-of-13, 46.2%). Zach LeDay could get the assignment of guarding Beckford.
The Aggies are coached by Cy Alexander, a long-time veteran. He has a 381-374 career record in three different stops. He was most successful at South Carolina State, where he made five NCAA Tournaments in 16 seasons. He also made the Big Dance at North Carolina A&T in his first season (2012-13), but his most recent teams haven’t been as successful.
It’s been a tough start for the Aggies. Here’s a look at their games so far…
81-40 L vs. Purdue
104-54 L vs. Florida
94-87 L vs. Roanoke College
86-68 L vs. Buffalo
73-72 L vs. Niagara
The blowout losses to Purdue and Florida were understandable. However, the loss to Division III Roanoke College was embarrassing. It took place on North Carolina A&T’s home floor, and the game was only an exhibition for Roanoke College. Nevertheless, it counts as a real game for the Aggies, and they were defeated.
Based on the results of North Carolina A&T’s first five games, tonight should be a very easy win for Virginia Tech. Though the Hokies can’t match the Aggies in experience, they are a much more talented basketball team. A&T hasn’t played defense all season, so Virginia Tech should be able to have a big night on the offensive end of the floor.