Hokies Host Florida State

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Time: 3pm
TV: The ACC Network

Virginia Tech will get a much-needed home game tomorrow when they host Florida State in Cassell Coliseum at 3pm.  The Hokies are just 0.5 games behind the Seminoles in the ACC standings, and this game is huge for potential ACC Tournament seeding.

Florida State is 16-10 overall, with a 6-8 record in conference play.  Like the Hokies they beat UVA at home, but they are now in the middle of a three-game losing streak.  They’ve been knocked off the NCAA Tournament bubble for the time being, and they need to go on a winning streak to get themselves back in the picture.  Here’s how their remaining schedule looks…

at Virginia Tech
at Duke
vs. Notre Dame
vs. Syracuse

Needless to say, tomorrow’s game is a must-win for the Seminoles considering who they play in their final three contests.

Florida State is a very mediocre team statistically.

Offensive Efficiency: #92
Defensive Efficiency: #125
Offensive Rebound Rate: #63
Total Rebound Rate: #89
Turnovers per Possession: #176
Opp. Turnovers per Possession: #98

Here’s how the Hokies compare…

Offensive Efficiency: #185
Defensive Efficiency: #137
Offensive Rebound Rate: #143
Total Rebound Rate: #192
Turnovers per Possession: #198
Opp. Turnovers per Possession: #156

Tech’s numbers have been nose diving recently, with the exception of defense.  The Hokies were #146 in defensive efficiency on February 1, and they’ve been improving since then.  However, their offensive production is dropping, and their rebounding numbers have dropped quite a bit since they started playing bigger, more athletic teams.

That being said, from a statistical standpoint, this is the best matchup Virginia Tech has had in a long time.  The Seminoles are mediocre offensively, and their defense hasn’t been nearly as good as it normally is despite their size.  They’ve also turned the ball over almost as much as the Hokies.

Florida State has an odd home/road split.  The Seminoles have a very good mark of 3-4 on the road in the ACC.  However, they are also just 3-4 at home.  That’s not common.  Here’s what they’ve done on the road against conference foes…

L at Clemson 84-75
L at Miami 72-59
W at NC State 85-78
L at Louisville 84-65
W at Boston College 72-62
W at Wake Forest 91-71
L at Syracuse 85-72

Now that we’ve seen who they’ve beaten on the road, that number is easier to digest.  NC State, Boston College and Wake Forest have combined to go 4-36 in conference play this year.  The Hokies have won five ACC games by themselves, four of which have come at home.

For once the Hokies won’t have be at a huge disadvantage in experience.  The Seminoles start two freshmen and a sophomore.

G Xavier Rathan-Mayes (6-4, 208, So.): 11.7 ppg, 122 assists
G Malik Beasley (6-5, 196, Fr.): 16.4 ppg, 39.6% 3-Pt. range
G Dwayne Bacon (6-7, 221, Fr.): 15.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg
F Montay Brandon (6-8, 229, Sr.): 3.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg
C Boris Bojanovsky (7-3, 248, Sr.): 6.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 44 blocks

As you can see, Florida State has a very big starting lineup.  They’ll bring other big guys off the bench as well, including Chris Koumadje (7-4, 233, Fr.) and Jarquez Smith (6-9, 236, Jr.).  Leonard Hamilton always likes long, lengthy lineups for defensive purposes.  This year’s Florida State team is no different.

Virginia Tech will have to overcome a major size disadvantage to win this game.  It’s true that the Hokies are generally smaller than almost every team they play, but this time the disadvantage is even greater.

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