The Virginia Tech Hokies went to Cameron Indoor and lost to Duke 82-58. But was the loss as bad as the score shows?
This was actually a perfectly fine game for Virginia Tech to take a beating. Duke has been hot. Freshman Brandon Ingram has been on fire for Duke and that continued against the Hokies, as he put up 16 points. They’ve made easy work of Boston College and Wake Forest before taking on the Hokies. Tech is coming off two huge wins against NC State in overtime and #4 UVA. They have three winnable games coming up that they’re going to have to win two of in order to consider the stretch a success before most likely taking a loss to UNC. So here’s why I think it was okay to roll over against Duke.
The NC State and UVA games were two emotional games. To win in Overtime really takes a chunk out of you. To turn around and beat your in-state rival who, by the way, happened to be ranked fourth in the country, also takes a chunk out of you. Buzz Williams should be focused on trying to win every game in the schedule, but in order to have a successful season and be considered a good ACC team, you have to win almost all your games against unranked ACC teams. I believe that in order to win two of the next three, the Virginia Tech basketball team needed to have a quiet night. In other words, get it out of the way against Duke so it doesn’t happen against Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, or Notre Dame.
Zach LeDay had another great game, despite being overmatched by Marshall Plumlee. He had 18 points and 9 rebounds, leading the Hokies team in both. He has been emerging as one of Buzz Williams biggest weapons. After poor forward play at the beginning of the season, the improvement seen in LeDay is crucial for the continued success of this Virginia Tech basketball team. If we begin to see consistent numbers and play from him, I have faith the Hokies will end up liking how their season goes.
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Perhaps the one disappointing part of the loss, however, was how quickly the Hokies got down. To loss by 24 to Duke, like I’ve said, is fine at this point in the season, but to go down 27 in the first half is pretty rough. It means that the Hokies weren’t there to win. It would have been nice to have seen some more competitiveness early on.
The Hokies take on Wake Forest tomorrow at 9:00 PM. Go Hokies!