Virginia Tech Hokies vs VMI Keydets Prediction


Dec 20, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Shane Henry (0) blocks the three point shot of Citadel Bulldogs guard Jake Wright (20) in the closing minute of the second half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies face an old rival tonight as they take on the VMI Keydets in a game that features two schools that have two of the largest on-campus military populations outside of the military academies.

VMI only has one more non-conference game after tonight and will be looking for a signature win, but the Hokies will look to defend their home floor.

This game is going to be an extremely high scoring shootout as VMI has given up an average of 80.5 points per game and scored 88.9 points per game. VMI has allowed 90 or more points five times this season and have only given up less than 70 points in four games against Samford, the Citadel, and two non-Division I programs.

This will be a very up-tempo game that could see multiple Virginia Tech players have career highs in scoring. There will probably be no more than 2 or 3 times that we see the shot clock go inside of 7 or 8 seconds without a shot being attempted. There will also be plenty of fast breaks even off of quick defensive rebounds.

Buzz Williams will likely make lineup changes often to keep his players fresh against the extremely fast-paced Keydets. The Hokies will definitely have the size advantage tonight against a VMI team that does not have a single player taller than 6’7”. This seems like a game where the athletic Shane Henry could get a fair amount of playing time.

One big difference is the fact that Virginia Tech is a lot more efficient on offense as the Hokies are shooting 48.3% from the field and 39.8% from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, VMI is shooting 43.8% from the field and 34.1% from beyond the arc this season.

Ahmed Hill had 7 first-half points last week and will be ready to have a career high in this game with around 14 points while Justin Bibbs will do his fair share of damage with around 15 points in this game.

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Shane Henry will be a difference maker in this matchup as he will play a lot of minutes due to the tempo of VMI. Henry will have 2 to 3 blocks in this game along with 10 to 12 points and 6 to 8 rebounds against VMI. Henry will slow down a lot of VMI drives to the lane and force them to take a few more three-pointers in some cases.

Virginia Tech will need to make sure their perimeter defense is better than against the Citadel and while it seems like it will be, VMI will still get its fair share of three-pointers. Transition defense will also be very important for the Hokies with the up-tempo VMI offense.

This will definitely be an extremely high-scoring game with both teams likely to score over 80 points in this game. VMI will put up plenty of points but the Hokies will win this battle and extend their winning streak to three by a final score of 97-85.

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