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Va. Tech basketball looking for offense

Before the season, Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg said he wanted his team to play with a defense-first mentality. But five games into the year, the Hokies have not developed an offensive presence.

With the Hokies (4-1) playing at Iowa (2-4) on Tuesday in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, they will be looking to find their stroke.

Virginia Tech has shot worse than 38 percent from the field three times already this season, the latest example coming in a 35.4 percent shooting effort in Saturday’s 74-66 overtime win against Delaware. Although the Hokies have limited opponents with their defense, they have not reached 75 points in any game.

Guard Malcolm Delaney is Virginia Tech’s only consistent scoring threat, averaging 21.8 points per game.

The Hokies seem to be missing the offensive presence of last year’s leading scorer, swingman A.D. Vassallo, who averaged 19.1 points per game. So far, forward Jeff Allen has been an erratic scorer, averaging 12 points per game, and no third option has stepped up for the Hokies.

But on Tuesday, Virginia Tech will meet an Iowa team beleaguered by apparently worse offensive woes. The Hawkeyes are averaging 59.7 points per game and shooting 39.8 percent from the field. They have no scorers averaging at least 12 points per game.

Atkins gets a chance

Before Saturday’s game, small forward Manny Atkins had played only one minute this season. But in the win over Delaware, he scored five points and had two steals in 19 minutes off the bench. Atkins, a 6-foot-7 freshman, missed practice time during the preseason because of an illness.

By Mark Viera  |  December 1, 2009; 10:51 AM ET
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