Virginia Tech Basketball: 3 improvements needed against Florida State

Coming off an 86-63 loss at Wake Forest on Dec. 30, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team will have seven days in between ACC games when they travel to Florida State on Saturday. Here are three improvements from the Hokies we need to see if they are going to get back in the win column.
American v Virginia Tech
American v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

After beating Louisville, 75-68, on Dec. 3 to kick off ACC play, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team was looking to improve to 2-0 in conference play at Wake Forest on Dec. 30. Instead of picking up a big win on the road, the Hokies were blown out, 86-63, by the Demon Deacons who played as well as they could in all aspects of the game.

Now with seven days off in between, Virginia Tech coach Mike Young has his team's full attention this week before heading to Tallahassee to face Florida State. If the Hokies are going to head south to get back into the win column, there are some improvements needed. Here are three improvements we need to see if they are going to pick a game that they should and really, must win.

1. Play with a purpose on the defensive end

Mike Young
American University v Virginia Tech / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

If there was one area Young wanted to see improvement in this season, it was with his team's defense. It didn't happen against Wake. They allowed too many offensive rebounds for second-chance points and failed to get out and challenge shooters with a hand-up. Life was too easy for the Demon Deacons and it needs to be better. Their defense was been either good or not good this season, there's no in-between for far for Virginia Tech.

2. Get Hunter Cattoor early looks on offense

Hunter Cattoor
American University v Virginia Tech / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Each team's game plan is clearly to focus and Cattoor and rightfully so. He's the Hokies best 3-pointer and once he gets going, he can fill up the basket as evident as him being the school's all-time 3-pointer leader in made 3's. Wake Forest ran him off the 3-point line early and never let him get a rhythm. Young needs to get creative on offense to get him some shots coming off screens. He can set the tone for a game early on.

3. Rebound, rebound, rebound

Lynn Kidd, Jarkel Joiner
Virginia Tech v NC State / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Rebounding against Wake Forest was, well, not good. Too many offensive rebounds led to baskets for the Demon Deacons and in the second half, they were able to build on their lead with some offensive rebounds and kickouts for 3-pointers. There needs to be more of an effort on the defensive end rebounding.

This is about as close to a must-win game for Virginia Tech at Florida State if they even want to be in the conversation for a tournament spot in March. A loss here would be devastating for them in the long run, to say the least.