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Hokies get a test of tempo vs. VMI

With Virginia Military Institute coming to Blacksburg on Wednesday evening, Virginia Tech will be tested to see if its defense can slow the Keydets' blazing style. But its offense might receive a boost from the Keydets' non-existent defense.

VMI (4-3) practices with a 12-second shot clock (as opposed to a 35-second shot clock), so it plays with an uptempo, run-the-floor style. VMI averaged 93.8 points per game last year to lead Division I in scoring for the third season in a row.

The Keydets have scored more than 100 points three times this season, including a season-high 111 in a win over Division II West Virginia Wesleyan. The Keydets average 95.1 points per game. But while VMI scores often, it is playing slack defense. Rather, it is missing a defense. Opponents are averaging 98.7 against VMI, and shooting 53.8 percent.

This season, the Hokies (6-1) have shored up their defense but have sputtered offensively, averaging 66.7 points per game. Virginia Tech has shot worse than 38 percent in three games this season. It has also not scored at least 75 points in a game this season.

In its win Sunday over Georgia, Virginia Tech shot a season-high 47.2 percent. With guard Malcolm Delaney reclaiming his shooting touch in a 31-point effort, the Hokies had a nice offensive showing with their highest point total in a 74-62 win.

On Wednesday against VMI's absent defense, the Hokies might be able to put up even more points. In fact, if Virginia Tech shoots well, it should score plenty. But it will also need to slow up with the Keydets' mile-a-minute attack.

By Mark Viera  |  December 9, 2009; 9:44 AM ET
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