Friday, December 27, 2013

UNCG (6-7) @ Virginia Tech (7-4)

When: Saturday, December 28 12:00 noon
Where: Cassell Coliseum (10,052)

Virginia Tech Athletics

Preseason Preview

UNCG Stats
Last Game: @ Wake Forest (L 51-59) Recap
PPG: 73.5
RPG: 37.2
APG: 13.8
Leader Points: Kyle Cain (16.0)
Leader Rebounds: Kyle cain (8.5)
Leader Assists: Tevon Saddler (3.5)
FG %: 46.0
3 Pt %: 37.1
FT %: 67.2

Virginia Tech Stats
Last Game: VCU (L 52-82) Recap
PPG: 75.3
RPG: 42.0
APG: 12.9
Leader Points: Jarell Eddie (18.6)
Leader Rebounds: Jarell Eddia (6.5)
Leader Assists: Devin Wilson (5.4)
FG %: 44.7
3 Pt %: 44.0
FT %: 69.6

Well, I hope everyone had a great holiday week. Now it's time for basketball once again. The first game back after the Christmas break is always a "crap shoot". Will the home ACC team see UNCG on the schedule and not bother to show up? Will the Spartans be able to focus after a full week layoff? Will there be any defense played? Offense? See, it's all a guessing game.

Last time out, UNCG didn't play particularly well. However, they still pushed Wake Forest all the way to the final 3 minutes before losing by 8. For the second straight game, the Spartans did a good job of taking care of the basketball. Turnovers have been the real key to how well the team has played this season. In games when they've valued the ball, the outcomes have been favorable. Also, over the last 3 halves of basketball, UNCG has really played some solid defense. This is the other major key to this team. If the Spartans can carry over their defensive intensity to the game in Blacksburg, they can compete with the Hokies.

As for Tech, they don't appear to be a great offensive team. However, they do have some very dangerous shooters. Five VT players are shooting +40% (all with 10+ makes) from behind the arc. Best among the group is wing player Jarell Eddie who leads the team in scoring and rebounding while shooting almost 50% from 3 point land. I expect UNCG to run several defenders at Eddie throughout the day. Look for Paulos, Outlaw, Locke and maybe even Saddler to take turns guarding Eddie.

Can UNCG beat Virginia Tech? Of course. Will it happen? Who knows. With all of games at this time of year, it will require UNCG playing well, Tech napping and the Spartans getting some of favorable breaks. I can't wait to see how UNCG responds after having one ACC team on the ropes and then having a week to think about it. I think they can be very competitive. Hope they can bring the "W" back to Greensboro. Go Spartans !!!