Saturday, November 20, 2010

#24 Virginia Tech (1-1) @ UNCG (0-2)

When: Sunday, November 21 1 pm
Where: Greensboro Coliseum (7,617/23,500)
TV: Comcast SportsNet/ NESN

Va Tech Athletics
Tech Hoops

Spartan Notes:
- Last time out, UNCG was blitzed by Florida State's press in a game that was basically lost over an 8 minute span the covered some of the 1st and 2nd halves. The Seminoles defeated UNCG 97-73. David Williams led 3 Spartans in double figures
- For the second straight year, UNCG has opened up the season 0-2. Last season the Spartans started 0-3 before defeating USC-Upstate in their 4th game.
- Returning starter Kyle Randall saw his first action against FSU, although it was in a backup role. Randall did not play in the opening game at VCU for unknown reasons. Randall is the leading returning scorer for UNCG.
- Freshman Trevis Simpson (shoulder) and redshirt freshman Taylor Hoffer (ankle) have yet to play this season due to injuries.
- Sunday's game will be the second of 7 UNCG contests against ACC competition. The Spartans still only have 1 win against the ACC (@ Ga Tech 11/9/07).
- Last season, Va Tech needed a late second half charge to defeat UNCG 59-46 in Blacksburg. Kyle Randall led UNCG with 10 points.
- So far this season, Brandon Evans leads the team in scoring (15.5) and David Williams leads the team rebounding (6.5). Drew Parker leads the team in assists (5.5).
- UNCG is shooting 42.2% from the field, 35.5% from behind the arc and 71.4% from the free throw line.

Hokie Notes:
- On Tuesday, #3 Kansas State used an 8-0 run midway through the second half to create some separation from the #21 Hokies. Kansas State went on to win the game 73-57. Malcolm Delaney led VT with 22 points in a game that saw the Hokies shoot only 34.5%.
- Virginia Tech was picked to finish second in the preseason ACC poll by the media. Delaney was selected to the all-ACC 1st team.
- Last season, Delaney led the ACC in scoring and was named to the All-ACC 1st team. He was picked as a 4th team All-American and was named to ths year's watch list for the Wooden Award (given to the best player in the nation).
- For their first 2 games (Kansas State and Campbell) Va Tech is averaging just 12 assists against 18 turnovers.
- Currently, Delaney (21.0 pts and 3.5 assists) and Dorenzo Hudson (11.0 pts) are the only Virginia Tech players averaging in double figures. Jeff Allen leads the team in rebounding (9.5) and assists (4.0).
- For the season, Va Tech is shooting 38.3% from the field, 27.8% from behind the arc and 67.3% from the free throw line.

My Thoughts
Sunday's game will match up 2 teams that have show an inability to take care of the basketball. UNCG is averaging 24 turnovers a game and VT is averaging 18. The only thing the Spartans can say is that the two teams they have played thus far have trapped and pressed all game long. However, UNCG must do a better job of taking care of the ball. They also must force Virginia Tech to make substantial mistakes.

UNCG played the Hokies tough in Blacksburg last season and have showed stretches of promise this season. The defense will need to get better to play with ACC competition. The best chance UNCG has tomorrow is to get Va Tech into a sloppy and fast paced game. The Spartans have been solid on the offensive end when they have been in situations that allowed their athleticism to shine.

As with all quality opponents from the power 6 conferences, UNCG will have to play mistake free basketball to have a chance. I think the quicker pace, coupled with some fortunate boounces, gives the Spartans their best chance to get the program's second win against an ACC opponent.

Go Spartans !!!