Following their 77-67 loss to Duke at home Monday night, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team officially hit the halfway point of the ACC schedule for the 2023-24 season. The Hokies sit at 5-5 and 13-8 overall with a tough final 10 games remaining on the schedule before the ACC Tournament begins in March.
Here are five thoughts on Virginia Tech at the halfway mark of the season in the ACC.
1. Lynn Kidd continues to impress
Head coach Mike Young knew what he was getting with his guard play going into the season, the biggest surprise has been Lynn Kidd in the post. His game on the offensive end has gotten better and better as the season has gone along and when he scoring and getting touches in the post, that’s when the Hokies offense is flowing.
2. Sean Pedulla has been the MVP so far
Say what you will about the turnovers that Sean Pedulla has had this season, but he has been the team MVP this season. He has put the team on his back offensively in some games to win them and on the defensive end, he has taken some timely charges. He has been doing a good job getting downhill and finishing at the basket or setting up Kidd or Mylyjael Poteat. It makes you wonder where Tech would be this season without Pedulla.
3. Virginia Tech has its work cut out to reach the NCAA Tournament
Are the Hokies an NCAA Tournament team? Probably in the end, they aren’t, but they certainly have some opportunities to build their resume. A road game at Miami on Saturday afternoon is a Quad 1 opportunity and they still have a road game at North Carolina and home games against Virginia, Florida State, and Wake Forest. The chances are there, but it feels like they missed a real chance at a big win at home against Duke.
4. Is the real MJ Collins starting to show?
Against Duke, the only reason the Hokies were down six at halftime was because of the play of MJ Collins. The sophomore scored 13 of Virginia Tech’s 29 first-half points and hit the only three 3-pointers of the half. In the second half, Duke took him out of the game and only allowed two baskets, but he has been more aggressive lately. If he could get around 10 points a night, that would be a nice boost to the offense.
5. The defense struggles to get stops at key times
One area Young was hoping his team would approve of this season was on the defensive end. For the most part, they have, but when they need to get stops late in a game, they have yet to string some together. That was the case in home losses to Miami and Duke recently. Even in their road win at North Carolina State, they built a big lead in the second half and barely held off the Wolfpack who made a late charge by forcing turnovers and getting baskets off of offensive rebounds. If they have any chance of making the big dance, getting stops consistently is a must.