Hokies looking to close out the regular season strong with home tilt against upset-minded Wake Forest
The Virginia Tech Hokies enter Saturday afternoon’s season finale against Wake Forest looking for more of the same results that have littered the schedule over the past couple of weeks.
The Hokies enter the contest as winners of five of their last six games, looking to close out the regular season strong with momentum into next week’s ACC Tournament. Despite losing their do-everything forward, Chris Clarke, to a season-ending torn ACL in the double overtime victory against Virginia, the Hokies have rallied their offense around junior forward Ty Outlaw.
Outlaw cannot miss from three-point range over the last five games, connecting on 21-of-29 of his attempts, which is good for a 72.4% clip over the stretch. In the Hokies’ most recent outing, a 66-61 victory over #25 Miami earlier this week, Outlaw scored a career-high 24 points and made eight of his 10 three point field goals.
The eight threes made in that game set a school record that was previously held by his teammate and Virginia Tech’s all-time three-point percentage leader, Justin Bibbs. Outlaw has proven to be a nice complement to seniors Zach LeDay and Seth Allen, who continue to provide consistency to the Virginia Tech offense.
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Heading into the final home game of their careers on Saturday, LeDay and Allen are averaging 15.3 points and 12.9 points per game, respectively, which are the top two marks on the team.
Wake Forest presents a formidable late season game for Tech, as the Demon Deacons have stormed into the finish in the last few weeks. The Demon Deacons enter play 17-12 and 8-9 in the ACC, sitting squarely on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament following their upset of #8 Louisville earlier this week. Sophomore forward and ACC Player of the Year candidate John Collins scored 25 points and added 11 rebounds in that game, and is averaging a robust 19.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season.
Collins is their most formidable offensive threat, but Danny Manning’s group also trots out sophomore guards Bryant Crawford (15.4 points per game) and Keyshawn Woods (12.7 points per game) to round out their offensive attack.
Players to Watch:
Wake Forest: G Keyshawn Woods
- While the attention will be focused on John Collins, and rightfully so, the Hokies will need to keep an eye on the aforementioned Keyshawn Woods, who scored 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting against Louisville. It was the third time this season that Woods has scored 20 points or more in a game.
Virginia Tech: G/F Ty Outlaw
- I mean….who else? He’s shooting over 72% from three his last five games, and has electrified the Hokies offense in the absence of Chris Clarke.
This game could fly under the radar as one of the most exciting games of the season that the Hokies have played. Wake Forest has a ton to play for since they are fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives, and a win against the Hokies would really help. Despite this, it is tough to envision the Hokies losing on Senior Day, with their two leading scorers playing at home for the final time.
I’ll take the Hokies in a tightly contested game that should get into the 80s
Where to Watch:
Virginia Tech and Wake Forest will tip-off at 4:30 in a sold-out Cassell Coliseum. The game will be televised on local television and can be seen online using ACC Network Extra.