Jan 25, 2015; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies students yell while holding signs for Virginia Tech
After getting blown out by the #8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Virginia Tech Hokies took on the undefeated Virginia Cavaliers. The Hokies were huge underdogs entering the game, but outworked Virginia and were up by 10 at one point in the second half before the talent of the Cavaliers helped them make a comeback and barely beat the Hokies 50-47.
However, that game has given fans the belief that this season will not be the third straight season that the Hokies finish last in the ACC.
Tonight, the Hokies take on the Pittsburgh Panthers in what is a good chance for the Hokies to finally get their first ACC win of the season. The Hokies will be without leading scorer Justin Bibbs for the fourth-straight game due to his concussion. Not having Bibbs does hurt a lot, but this is definitely a game that the Hokies can win without Bibbs especially since this game is at home.
Shane Henry and Satchel Pierce will have a tough challenge going against Pittsburgh big man Michael Young. Young is averaging 13.6 points and 7.7 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game which is quite good. Pittsburgh does not have much frontcourt depth or size after Young, and if the Hokies get him in foul trouble early, Pittsburgh could struggle some.
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Satchel Pierce is showing some improvement every single game and should be able to do better though Young will definitely do some damage. Shane Henry will also have a better game than he had and get a couple of blocks tonight.
The Virginia Tech 2-3 zone defense has been getting better and against a Pittsburgh game team that is shooting under 33% from beyond the arc and only has one good big man, this zone defense could really shine. The Hokies also need to put in the great effort that they did against Virginia, and I expect that these guys will do exactly that.
This is Virginia Tech’s weakest opponent since they played Florida State, and Adam Smith will be ready to shine. Smith has a lot of confidence even after his long three at the end went in and out. Smith will be ready to shine and have a big game with 15-20 points against the Panthers.
Pittsburgh will want to avoid a loss on the road in Cassell Coliseum, but this Virginia Tech team is a lot better than the teams that the Hokies have had the past few seasons. Buzz Williams has done a tremendous coaching job, and the Hokies will finally get Williams his first ACC win by a final score of 62-56.
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