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Hokies need fast start vs. N.C. State

In two of its most recent road losses, Virginia Tech has gotten off to sluggish starts and never caught up. The Hokies probably cannot afford a slow start at North Carolina State on Wednesday.

The Hokies have not won in Raleigh, N.C., since 1917, including a 0-3 record there since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004.

"We got to come out real strong against N.C. State because people already have it in their mind because we haven’t beat N.C. State at N.C. State since I've been here," junior guard Dorenzo Hudson said. "It’ll be real important for us to come out real strong against N.C. State."

In general, it is tough for Virginia Tech to fall behind on the road, where conditions are often hostile for visitors. The Hokies simply do not score enough points because they have been offensively challenged all year, so they gets into trouble when they come out looking sluggish.

The Hokies' troubles with starting slowly was evident when they fell behind early in losses at Florida State on Jan. 16 and at Miami on Jan. 31. The Hokies' second-half rallies fell short in both games.

"I think the slow starts kind of kill us," guard Erick Green said. "When we start getting in transition and running, that picks up the pace of the game and that’s where we’re more comfortable out of."

When Virginia Tech is not hitting jump shots early on, Green said the Hokies would look to work inside-out to generate offense with forwards Jeff Allen and Victor Davila. Virginia Tech will also likely aim to get N.C. State forward Tracy Smith (17.6 points per game) into foul trouble early.

Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg said his team needed to play with a sense of urgency from the jump on Wednesday.

In order to help the team get into a better rhythm early on, Greenberg said he would limit the team to only two or three offensive sets for about the first 10 minutes of the game. He hopes that will make it easier and more direct for players to get into sync early and to score points.

"We’re going to try to keep it simple," Greenberg said.

But dating back almost 100 years, trips to Raleigh have rarely been simple for Virginia Tech. The Hokies will look to start quickly against the Wolfpack to help ensure history does not repeat itself.

By Mark Viera  |  February 10, 2010; 12:20 PM ET
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