Feb 28, 2015; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Adam Smith (3) dribbles the ball as Virginia Cavaliers guard Malcolm Brogdon (15) defends in the first half at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
It has been a rough season for the Hokies, there is no doubt about it. Not only have the boys from Blacksburg lost more than their fair share of games this year, but they have done so in gut wrenching fashion. The Hokies were on the verge of pulling off a stunning upset over a 4th ranked Duke Blue Devil team less than a week ago, but it didn’t quite work out. On Saturday the Hokies had another chance for a stunning upset, however this didn’t work out either. The Hokies were defeated by their in state rivals, the 2nd ranked Virginia Cavaliers. It was apparent the same spark the Hokies had against Duke did not travel with them to Charlottesville.
With two losses over ranked opponents still fresh in their minds the Hokies welcome in a team in a similar situation as themselves. Boston College travels to Blacksburg with an overall record of 10-18 and 2-14 in conference. The Hokies share a similar record with the Eagles. The Eagles are on a serious skid, losing 9 out of their last 10 games. However, they did get a win in their last game versus a very pesky NC State team.
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Boston College has a very talented player as their leading scorer. Olivier Hanlan, is quickly being added to most people’s short list for player of the year in the ACC. Hanlan is averaging just over 19 points per game, which is the highest average of any ACC player. The Eagles lean heavily on Hanlan, and it will be up the Hokies to find a way to keep this talented offensive player in check.
Hanlan also is the leader in assists for the Eagles as well. However, Hanlan is not the only Eagle averaging double figures for the Eagles. Aaron Brown is averaging just over 15 points a game as well, which gives the Hokies another scorer to worry about. One thing the Hokies might not have to worry as much about is the rebounding game.
Boston College ranks near the bottom of the nation in rebounding, as do the Hokies. The rebounding numbers have steadily improved for the Hokies over the last few games. These has led to better defensive numbers, and even a few second chance point opportunities. Look for the Hokies to get defensive rebounds and use their speed to create fast break points.
Fast break offense has been the most consistent type of offense for the Hokies all year long. Adam Smith is really the only Virginia Tech player to be a consistent threat on the offensive end. Smith has been a tough matchup for teams, as his ability to create his own shot, combined with a deadly three point touch has created a true go to player. Buzz Williams cannot be happy with the fact he only has one offensive player he can count on every game. Malik Mueller and Justin Bibbs need to get back to their scoring ways, and help shoulder the offensive load.
If there was a conference game the Hokies should win it would be this one. The Hokies have been playing extremely hard all season, they just need a few more breaks in games to manufacture a win. After a long season a win in one of your last couple of games can go a long way to help the morale of a team. The Hokies toughness, combined with the fact they are at home propel the Hokies to a late season conference win. Virginia Tech takes this one 76-69. LET’S GO HOKIES!!!!!