Saturday, January 10, 2009

game preview: Virginia Tech

Virginia Cavaliers (7-5, 1-0) at Virginia Tech Hokies (9-5, 0-1)

Possible starters;


PG: Sammy Zeglinski (12.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 3.8 apg)
SG: Calvin Baker (7.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.8 apg)
SF: Sylven Landesberg (18.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.4 apg)
PF: Mike Scott (11.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 0.9 apg)
C: Assane Sene (3.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.8 apg)


PG: Malcolm Delaney (16.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.1 apg)
SG: Dorenzo Hudson (3.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.5 apg)
SF: A.D. Vassallo (18.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.4 apg)
PF: Jeff Allen (13.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.7 apg)
C: Cheick Diakite (3.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.3 apg)

As linked to yesterday, we have a chance here to do something we haven't done since 1995: start an ACC season 2-0. Which probably means we'll lose, but hey. VT looks a lot like we do only with hideous uniforms. You might notice just by the stats above where the good players play, where the bad ones play, and where the tall skinny African guy plays.

By the stats, Tech's big three are collectively better than ours. They're also older, of course: Vassallo is a senior and we aren't too sure what happens when you reach four years of eligibility because not a whole lot of guys on this team have got that far. They have to be better though: Calvin Baker might not exactly be the best 2 guard in the ACC, but Dorenzo Hudson is almost assuredly the worst, and the Hokies get very little help from the bench.

Which happens to be our biggest advantage. Tech gets mainly token contributions from the subs, whereas we have guys who are reasonably useful. Jamil Tucker and Mustapha Farrakhan have mostly responded when given the minutes, and Mamadi Diane might just be heating up. Leitao must bring a game plan that includes repeatedly attacking the rim and getting the Hokies in foul trouble to force them to use their bench. Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen are rather prone to foul trouble - the Hokies might very well have upset Wisconsin in the Challenge if Allen hadn't fouled out. On defense, I don't care if they have to invent a basketball magnet and surreptitiously stick it to Dorenzo Hudson, but do what it takes to give him as many shots as possible. The more shots he takes, the better our chances at winning, because only like one in every four actually go in.

This is probably our last crack at a team roughly at our level on the road, except maybe late in February at NC State. It looks like Dave Leitao has done a pretty good job of finally erasing the culture of awful basketball away from Charlottesville, and this would be a great chance to prove it.

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