Dec 7, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Buzz Williams instructs his team during a time out in the first half against the Radford Highlanders at Cassell Coliseum. Radford defeated Virginia Tech 68-66. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies take on the 17th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers in their final non-conference game of the 2014-2015 season. The Hokies have only played one traditional road non-conference game at Penn State while Virginia Tech has also played against one current top 25 team, Northern Iowa.
This is most likely the Hokies’ toughest game on the non-conference schedule, but are a lot better team than the one that was blown out by Northern Iowa just over a month ago.
The Mountaineers are led by star point guard Juwan Staten who is most effective when he can attack the rim, and get easy buckets or get to the free throw line where he is shooting 82.1% at. The Hokies need to force Staten to take outside shots, and not let him get opportunities to either get easy layups or get to the free throw line.
Staten also seems to be a big game player and Devin Wilson will be the main guy to guard him. Wilson will need to play tough defense that makes it difficult for Staten to get a lane to attack the rim. Staten and West Virginia will likely use some pick and rolls in this game, and the Hokies’ will have to play strong defense on those plays.
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West Virginia is no a great defensive rebounding team, but are incredibly good on the offensive glass averaging 18.3 offensive rebounds per game which leads the nation. It will be interesting to see if Buzz Williams decides to go with a bigger lineup in this game.
Both of these teams also like to attack in transition, but Virginia Tech will have to be careful in this game with holding on to the basketball. West Virginia leads the nation in steals per game and ball handling will be critical for the Hokies today. Buzz Williams will likely have focused a lot on making sure this Virginia Tech team holds on to the basketball.
Dec 22, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Justin Bibbs (10) shoots over Virginia Military Keydets guard Tim Marshall (23) in the first half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
Virginia Tech is shooting 49.2% from the field which is significantly better than the Mountaineers who are shooting 42.3% from the field. West Virginia is also shooting 30.1% from beyond the arc which is significantly worse than the Hokies who are shooting 41.5% from beyond the arc.
Justin Bibbs has the potential to be an x-factor in this game. Bibbs has shot over 50% from the field and beyond the arc this season, and is definitely a player who has the ability to go off for a big game of 20 points or potentially more. If Bibbs has a big game, the Hokies could have a lot better chance.
Buzz Williams will definitely make sure that his team is ready for this game, but Bob Huggins has one of his best teams at West Virginia. The Mountaineers are definitely one of the top teams in a talented Big 12 conference, and will not want to take an upset loss to the Hokies.
Virginia Tech will put in a great effort, but West Virginia is the better basketball team and will cruise to victory over the Hokies 82-70.
Fans what do you think. Do you think the Mountaineers will win as predicted or do you think the Hokies will take down West Virginia as we all want to see? Tell us what you think below.
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