Iowa Game Showcases Tech’s Plusses and Minuses

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VT’s
victory over Iowa was a solid win over an Iowa squad that went 25-9 last year
and won the Big Ten Conference tournament. This year’s Iowa team doesn’t boast a
lot of talent and won’t likely repeat that feat, but nonetheless, a victory over
a team from a BCS conference is much more enjoyable than pummeling a directional
school (no Western Michigan comments here!) or a small school with
“state” in its name.

Six games into the season, the Hokies are 4-2, and at this point, they’re
looking more like an NIT team than an NCAA team. The Iowa game is in many ways a
microcosm of the strengths that will carry VT through the season and the
weaknesses that will hold them back.

If you’ve had your head in football for a while and need a quick start to
basketball, here’s your guide for the rest of the season.

Plus: The Hokies have depth. For the first time in Seth Greenberg’s
tenure, Tech has 10-12 guys that Greenberg can put on the floor that all look
like they belong there. Last night, Robert Krabbendam was coming off a bout with
food poisoning and was only available for spot minutes. Chris Tucker pulled a
hamstring in practice — a “bad pull”, Greenberg called it — and
was not available. In the past, losing two post players would gut the inside
depth, but in this case, Greenberg had three guys he could go to: Coleman
Collins, Cheick Diakite, and freshman Lewis Witcher. The trio combined for 23
points and six rebounds. Not a lights-out night, but in a more telling stat, not
one of the three players logged more than 30 minutes.

Eight players played 13 minutes or more, and only two, Zabian Dowdell (36
minutes) and Jamon Gordon (34 minutes) played more than Witcher’s 30. If this
keeps up, the Hokies won’t get worn down as the season progresses, like they
have in the past.

Minus: The Hokies can’t shoot free throws. 17-of-33

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