Virginia Tech Basketball: Is Brandon Rechsteiner key to success in ACC play?

Sean Pedulla has missed two of the last three Virginia Tech men's basketball games with an injury. Freshman Brandon Rechsteiner has started in his place and could be a key to success for the Hokies once ACC play begins.

American v Virginia Tech
American v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages
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For the second time in two weeks, Virginia Tech starting point guard Sean Pedulla missed a game for the Hokies. After sitting out a win over Valparaiso on Dec. 9, the junior was held out of Virginia Tech's 77-55 non-conference win over American Thursday night with an ankle injury.

In his place, Hokies' head coach Mike Young decided to start freshman Brandon Rechsteiner and the Georgia native had a night for himself. He had 11 assists, six in the second half for Virginia Tech. Truth be told, he has played well in spotting Pedulla some minutes in other games this season, and with him getting better and better, could he be an under-the-radar key to success as ACC play begins in full next week?

Is Brandon Rechsteiner a key to success in ACC play?

Ankle injuries can be difficult to recover from. Sometimes they are a lingering injury that can cause problems for most of the season. Sitting Pedulla against American was the right decision by the Virginia Tech medical staff and Young. As the veteran coach said after the game, there are more important games coming up on the schedule once conference play begins. That's when you're going to need Pedulla as healthy as possible.

However, if he continues to be bothered by the ankle injury, Rechsteiner has done nothing recently but gain the trust of Young, his staff, and more importantly, his teammates. Following his 11-assist night against the Eagles, Young spoke about why his teammates should like playing with him.

"Brandon is fun to play with,'' said Young. "The ball moves and doesn't stick. His teammates know if they're open, they're gonna get it. They know where their shots are going to come from. He doesn't put the ball into the deck. A really good day for him. He was sharp, picked his spots, made some very timely passes. Proud of Brandon Rechsteiner.''

Once conference play begins kicks into high gear in the coming week, it's going to be a grind every single night. Lynn Kidd is turning into a very pleasant surprise and a much-needed inside presence and if Rechsteiner can continue his success, that would be huge for a team that relies on a point guard finding the mismatches and shooters and he can be a big difference-maker.