Nov 14, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Joey van Zegeren (2) shoots against the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks in the first half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
Last Friday, the Buzz Williams era started off in a great way with the Virginia Tech Hokies easily defeating the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks 71-46. Tonight, the Hokies are looking to go 2-0 in a home game that is a part of the Cancun Challenge against a school that is within two hours of Blacksburg, the Liberty Flames.
Liberty is 2-0 currently but the Flames only beat Delaware by six in their second game after beating Division III Randolph College. The Flames have not really been challenged much but will come in to this game with a chip on their shoulder hoping to get a big win against an in-state school.
The focal point of Liberty is senior big man Tomasz Gielo who had 23 points and 10 rebounds in Liberty’s victory over Delaware. Throughout much of this game, Joey Van Zegeren will likely be going against Gielo and the Hokies with hope the Dutch big man will avoid foul trouble. I expect that Gielo will do some damage but Van Zegeren will slow him down some and stay out of foul trouble.
Virginia Tech will look to go up-tempo against a Liberty team that does not seem that strong in the backcourt. Liberty has issues with turnovers as they are averaging 15 per game through their first two games.
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The Hokies forced 15 tunrovers against UMES and I expect that Virginia Tech will force their fair share of turnovers tonight which will allow the Hokies to take advantage of their speed and do a lot of damage on the fast break.
Justin Bibbs and Ahmed Hill both were in double figures in their collegiate debuts and they will do that again tonight against Liberty. Devin Wilson will not score a lot tonight but he will have his fair share of assists while Van Zegeren and Satchel Pierce will have a few blocks. The Hokies will find their rhythm tonight and comfortably win this game 79-58.