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Scouting Virginia Tech

Prior to the past week, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team was sailing down the stretch of ACC play and directly toward an NCAA tournament berth. The Hokies possessed a stingy defense, one of the top scorers in the conference and a five-game winning streak (including a victory over a ranked Wake Forest squad).

But in the past week, much of Virginia Tech's momentum has diminished. The Hokies' sputtering offense and inability to keep up on the boards hampered them in losses at Duke and at Boston College. Now, Virginia Tech (21-6, 8-5) enters Saturday's matchup against Maryland in Blacksburg in need of a quality win to boost its NCAA tournament resume. Given the way the Terrapins are playing, a victory over Maryland would be just that: a feather in the Hokies' collective hat.

Junior guard Malcolm Delaney (6 feet 3, 190 pounds) is one of the major reasons why seventh-year coach Seth Greenberg's squad has yet to lose at home this season. Delaney is averaging 21.8 points per game in conference play. A big part of Delaney's game is his ability to get to the free throw line, where he is shooting 84.7 percent since the start of Virginia Tech's ACC slate. He is shooting 36.1 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from three-point range. He also is chipping in 4.2 rebounds per contest.

The Hokies, as a whole, do not appear to be a great passing team, though Delaney is averaging 4.8 assists per game and owns a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. Virginia Tech averages 10.1 assists per game, which ranks last in the ACC in conference play.

Pairing up with Delaney in the Virginia Tech back court is junior guard Dorenzo Hudson (6-5, 220 pounds). Hudson is averaging 16.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in conference play, while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 30.9 percent from three-point range. Hudson is the team's most accurate shooter.

On the wing, the Hokies start junior swingman Terrell Bell (6-6, 205 pounds), who is averaging 6.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in conference play. He is shooting 46.8 percent from the field and leads the team in conference play with 18 blocks.

Spelling Delaney and Hudson off the bench for the Hokies is freshman guard Erick Green (6-4, 185 pounds), who is averaging 1.8 points and 1.1 rebounds per game in conference play.

Virginia Tech does not possess much quality depth in the post, which has proven to be an issue due to junior forward Jeff Allen's persistent foul trouble. When Allen (6-7, 230 pounds) is in the game, he typically perfoms well. He is averaging 10.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in ACC play, while shooting 44.9 percent from the field. He also has recorded 23 steals and 17 blocks.

But Allen has struggled to remain on the court for long stretches because he lacks the discipline to stay out of foul trouble. He leads the team in personal fouls.

Sophomore forward Victor Davila (6-8, 245 pounds) lines up opposite Allen in the Virginia Tech frontcourt. Davila is averaging 3.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in ACC play, while shooting 36.4 percent.

Junior forward JT Thompson (6-6, 210 pounds) is Virginia Tech's primary front-court reserve. In conference play, he is averaging 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest, while shooting 48.2 percent from the field.

Greenberg also brings freshman forward Cadarian Raines (6-9, 238 pounds) and senior forward Lewis Witcher (6-9, 218 pounds) off the bench. Raines is averaging 0.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in ACC play, while Witcher is averaging 0.2 points and 0.5 rebounds per conference contest.

The Hokies are not a strong rebounding team. They own a minus-4.1 rebounding margin in ACC play, which ranks last in the conference.

But Virginia Tech attempts to make up for that by typically playing strong defense. The Hokies rank first in the ACC in turnover margin (plus-3.6) and second in steals (7.6 per game) in conference play.

Defense usually has to be a strong point for Virginia Tech because while the Hokies are a strong free throw shooting squad (75.7 percent; No. 2 in the ACC in conference play), they do not shoot the ball particularly well from the field (39.4 percent; No. 11 in ACC play) or from three-point range (27.3 percent; No. 12 in ACC play).

By Steve Yanda  |  February 26, 2010; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Terps prepare to head to Blacksburg

Comments

Trust me. This is going to be a tough game:

The castrated turkeys (Hokies) are undefeated at home this year.

They foul a lot and play physical...think 1996 New York Knicks..which could fluster the more finesse-oriented Terps.

They play down to competition (losing to BC by 20) and up to competition (they will be ready to play MD)

Posted by: larry31 | February 26, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

It seems like we match up with them pretty well. Someone needs to handle Delaney, or some two people, but otherwise we can take 'em.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | February 26, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Va Tech fans and players are going to be amped when MD visits. Check out this letter from (I think) Seth Greenberg to the Hokie fans:

http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/15123/support-hokies-basketball

Also, they will be hyping the competition between Delaney and GV for ACC POY.

Also, we have never won at Va Tech, ever.

And the Hokies are desperate, having lost two in a row.

Posted by: larry31 | February 26, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Ok, when was the last time GW sent a letter asking fans to show up and support the team? Ever? Even during the inherited NCAA sanctions? If anything, he has asked the student section to behave with a bit more civility.

The big risk for the Terps is looking ahead to Duk. If they truly are focused on the game at hand, then I believe they'll pull this one out. GV WILL GET HIS as will JW - who actually has been really good at managing his foul situation as a freshman. And if VT chooses the NC State route, he may pop off for 30. The question is, who else is ready to step up in an hostile environment? 7 of their 8 ACC wins were at home. A MD win would be painful, though not post-season threatening, for them.

If MD wins, we will be ranked - the media will want to see MD and Duke ranked heading into Wednesday's game as much as MD flat out deserves to be ranked win or lose.

If MD loses, our unofficial ACC regular season title (either outright or shared) hopes are dashed, with opportunity to restore the higher seed at the dance we have been talking about.

The above said, I think MD wants this win in the worst way and will take it to the Hokies in their 3rd world home. Look to a return to form for LM.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

what does 3rd world home mean?

14-0 in Cassell?

Posted by: follybeach | February 26, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Dig at Blacksburg - worst road trip taken during 4 years at MD. Middle of nowhere, nothing to do whatsoever. Made Charlottesville seem cosmopolitan. Made State College, PA seem exciting.

No doubt Cassell itself is a hostile environment. Suspect the students will take the NC State rout in terms of taunting GV - especially since their guy and GV (with Scheyer) are frontrunners for POY. Hope thye show more class than that since most of the VT grads I've met are intelligent and quite nice (except when it comes to talking football!).

14-1 at Casssell after Saturday. Still a geat home record.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'll be there in the front row across from the MD bench... wearing all red!! Go terps!!!

Posted by: jarad2112 | February 26, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I hate VT. Always have, even before they were in the ACC. From there smug, arrogant, obnoxious alumni to there stupid nickame and ridiculous choice in team colors.

Blacksburg is a friggin' hole and that gym they play in is a cage for cryin' out loud.

It is a tough place to win and unfortunately, I don't see it happening.

But man, would it be Sweet to beat them in their house and put a major blow to their tourny hopes. The Hokies non-conference schedule is awful and they may need 10 ACC wins to get in.

GO TERPS!

Posted by: Section505203 | February 26, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@Section505203 - Typical Maryland'er comment - condescending

Yes, we're so smug - give me a break. I've met so many obnoxius MD people it gives me a headache.

The truly sad thing here is Hokies basketball is just getting started uphill while Maryland hasn't done much lately. I think you're just jealous because obviously UMD can't beat us at football and this is all you've got left to fall back on.

Posted by: get_it_straight | February 26, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Section505203 -

disagree, I think this one is a Terps win. I agree VT has played an absolutely soft schedule OOC. Note that the game is a "white-out" with a knit hat giveaway per their schedule. This is a great match-up. Losing to BC is indicative of an underachieving team...(which I am familiar with as I am a Redskins fan) call it a trap game; BC just isn't that good. No animosity towards the school - really UVA is still the enemy. Let VT deal with bubble drama this year.

regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

get_it_straight -

I have no animosity towards VT. Lots of nice folks I know went there. Do not care to discuss football as it is bball season, but the one knock on Hokies is that they never seem to let football go. Does one penny of the athletic department budget go towards improving the bball facilities at VT?

btw - a heartfelt congratulations on Michael Vick returning to the NFL. I think that he will do wonderfully with the wildcat offense. Will we be seeing him on any ASPCA PSAs during the game?

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

The difference b/w MD and VT regarding this game will be if MD loses, we will immediately start working out how to improve our seeding. if VT loses, they will point back to their dominance in ACC football.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

get it straight, don't worry about section3403040303, he's just mad because they've been showing alot re-runs of Bill O'Reilly lately and that's basically porn to him.

As for VT, I'm just glad the old lady didn't decide to go to school there or else we'd be living there now. No need to live in an area where a large portion of people are both someone's father and brother.

I say we win but it'll take alot of effort.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 26, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The only worry about this game for me is that it's an away game. Hayes tends to disappear during away games and is not nearly as aggressive as he is at home. This puts a lot more pressure on the rest of the offense with the defense being able to sag into the middle. Otherwise, I'm not scared of VT. They can't out-rebound us nor can they shoot us out of the gym. The only reason they've beaten teams is because they get to the line. I think Maryland would have beaten Wake as well if the Terps were awarded 47 free throws. I wouldn't be surprised if Gary threw some zone at them. As long as the Terps hit a few 3 pointers early and get a lead from the start they shouldn't have too many problems.

Posted by: andreic | February 26, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Gary Williams usually finds a way to win these games. Plus, Gary seems to have Seth Greenbergs number. I expect Maryland to win this game.

First don't turn the ball over. The Terps play well when they don't turn the ball over!

Next, work the ball into JW. He's turning out to be a beast and should be able to take advantage of VTs front line.

Continue to work in Bowie and Tucker off the bench. I think the Terps win this game but it won't be easy. And as mentioned don't look ahead to Duk.

Go Terps!

Posted by: Jaymand | February 26, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Whew, luckily thanks to afternoon rush-hour traffic I couldn't make it to either Morongo or Pechanga Casino. Had I been able to make it to either I would've taken the above advice and bet the house (literally) on UNC to win.

Whew!! One time I'm happy to have So-Cal's traffic situation, which prevented said bet from being placed.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 25, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the UNC prediction was off...but at least I can hang my hat on my pick for MD to contend for the ACC title this season while some people (you) said we'd struggle just to get to 8 wins.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 26, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Also poopy, this is how I know you are insane. Gianna Michaels?? She is both fat and ugly. A tough feat for a famous porn star.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 26, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

Are you sure it wasn't the dreaded hyphen Poop (Poopy-McPoop) who predicted that the terps would struggle to get eight wins? I don't save any posts, but I sometimes have a RainMan-like memory...it fluctuates.

Jaymand,

I am not sure GW has Seth Greenberg's number since we have never won at Va Tech. Ever.

Posted by: larry31 | February 26, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe GW won't have the team focused on this game. Just can't imagine they will be looking ahead to Duke. To many seniors. Too few big road wins. The difference in a 7 and a 5 seed is huge. In Eric's bracket as a 7 we would be playing UConn in the first round. This game stacks up like so many others. Take care of the ball because they force a lot of turnovers. Figure out a way to cover Delaney and Hudson and avoid getting into foul trouble in covering Delaney. And... HIT OUR FREE THROWS. JW will get his free throws and he will need to make them. As for the silly POY poll, I refuse to vote at this point. But no way does Delaney have the numbers and his team hasn't done anything great. It is a two-man race but I will not ay more about that at this point.

Posted by: petecard | February 26, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

This is a big trap game especially with Duke coming up and it being senior night. We've made it through this stuff this year so far and overcame our short comings at the beginning of the season so I'm not as concerned as in years past but this game will most likely come down to the wire with Tech needing it so badly.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | February 26, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Pete,

This is unsettling. I feel more pessimistic about the Terps chances than you. I need a cranky post from RestonHoops for the TI bloggerworld to feel normal again...or at least an irreverent post from Poop.

Posted by: larry31 | February 26, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@Hugh @Poopy - Thank you for wonderfully illustrating my point of how condescending you guys can be:

Hugh "btw - a heartfelt congratulations on Michael Vick returning to the NFL. I think that he will do wonderfully with the wildcat offense. Will we be seeing him on any ASPCA PSAs during the game?"

Poopy "As for VT, I'm just glad the old lady didn't decide to go to school there or else we'd be living there now. No need to live in an area where a large portion of people are both someone's father and brother."

Simply unnecessary. What's really sad is that I personally will root for UMD and UVA if VT isn't "in" whether it be football/basketball/lacrosse etc etc. Rather have a home team win rather than a USC/Gonzaga/Duke etc. Sad to see you guys are such haters.

And yes, Michael Vick's torture of innocent animals is truly sad and that's a telling example of how power, fame, and money corrupt. And yes, schools are enablers to this behavior yet we all know VT is not the only institution guilty of this.

May the best team win. Have a nice weekend.

Posted by: get_it_straight | February 26, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Larry,

Don't think I'm not nervous. We could play well and lose. I do think they will be ready and focused. But even GW says the homecourt in the ACC is worth 7-15 points. That's a lot. In Blacksburg it might be more toward the 15.

I was plaenty scared against Clemson. When we got down by 15 in the first half I thought about flipping it off. Glad I didn't, but I am not a good loser.

I am not one to bash VTech as a community. That doesn't mean I don't "hate" them in a comptetitive sense. Blacksburg seems a lot like State College, PA. Rather isolated and if you're not from there it's an awful place to be. Two football schools and not much else. Clemson is similar for that matter.

Posted by: petecard | February 26, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

Are you sure it wasn't the dreaded hyphen Poop (Poopy-McPoop) who predicted that the terps would struggle to get eight wins? I don't save any posts, but I sometimes have a RainMan-like memory...it fluctuates

Posted by: larry31 | February 26, 2010 3:09 PM

Terps will finish around .500 in the ACC and come selection sunday we'll all be watching and waiting as the Terps, for yet another year post-championship, are a bubble team.

But NEXT year is the real year when our "stud" recruits come in. Oh wait, wasn't that supposed to be this year? Or last year? Or the year before that?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 24, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse


I'm sure all you guys are pitching major wood in your shorts right now but we'll see how you all are feeling come late Feb '10 when .500-Gary and the Terps are struggling to stay a .500 in the ACC.

For all of Vasquez's antics how many NCAA titles has he helped bring to College Park?

Exactly!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | June 15, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't hyphen Poopy...who hasn't been around lately, though OG_Barno is still at it, posting weird comemnts all over Redskins Insider and Prisbell's blog as we speak.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 26, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

VT is one of the few schools in the ACC (along with Miami, BC, and obviously UMD) that I don't hate...well, no more than any other opponent. I much prefer it to UVA, which i hate more than any other school except dook. It must suck to live way the hell out there in middle-of-nowhere B'burg though. It takes about 30 min. longer to get to B'burg (travelling through 1 state) than to get to New York from DC (travelling throught 4 states)!

It's no wonder they're obsessed with f'ball, since there's literally nothing else to do on Sat. Even State College or 'inhabited-by-trailer-park-hicks' Morgantown aren't as rural. A big plus to living here in the NE is that the most of the states are small and densely populated.

Posted by: TheMarylander | February 26, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

get_it_straight -

Just busting your chops a bit on the Michael Vick comment. I usually root for VT (certainly not against MD) and its not like we have beaten VT in football in recent memory. In all honesty, no condescension on the academics or graduates...I reserve that for UVA. no hatred for VT whatsoever in my book.

To be fair, I loved Michael Vick as a college player - he almost singlehandedly won the NC and was exciting. Since I am a fan of dogs, as are Poopy and Barno, the sad nature of his recreational activities will always disturb me...but they had nothing to do with VT. for years, when certain folks found out I went to MD they would ask "Brian Tribble's school?" as a backhanded slam. Expect Vick comments when in the competition's territory. Moreover, Blacksburg is an easy, easy target.

I remain happy that VT and Miami are part of the ACC (where it always rightfully belonged) yet wish BC would go back to the BE where they belong.

The above said, I hope to see the Hokies sad Saturday evening and Terp nation celebrating a crucial road win against a quality opponent. Thats exactly what this game is - quality opponents looking for a crucial win. Welcome to our board (I believe the WaPo has a VT board, though I've never visited).

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Poopy, Barno,

Now I NEVER have taken sides in your ongoing battle, but THIS TIME I have a F*()ing opinion. Sorry Poops, but I gotta agree with Barno - Gianna Michaels is foul. (I just searched her on xvideos, I had no idea who Poopy was referring to at the time...after my ignorance about Glen Beck, was not gonna ask...thanks for the hint Barno).

Otherwise, continue as usual guys. Good to see you both on the board.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad you guys took the gianna michaels part of that one post seriously.

Now, why, in a list of 3 would I have 3 serious answers? Obviously The Simpsons and Good Eats (hell or anything else Alton Brown is on) were to be taking serious, but gianna michaels, c'mon now. I thought you all would get it.

There is a reason why I picked one of the skaniest porn actresses around. Hell, now-a-days I couldn't name any porn star other than Jenna Jameson (is she even still doing it)? And even she's looking HORRIBLE with all of her latest surgery. But I digress.

Larry, I hope this post is irrelevant enough for you. If not I can step up my game more.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 26, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone here post on the Baltimore Sun's Terp blog?

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/college/maryland_terps/blog/2010/02/looking_at_va_tech_and_duke.html

lotsa animosity towards a poster named mclean.

regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

y'know, I was tempted to log on under a new screen name - hgr_terp_fan - or something innocuous like that but just could not be bothered. I think I'll just stick with you fellas.

Wish I could undo my last post.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Larry is this irreverent enough:

I just ordered me 2 tickets to see Mastodon play out here in May.

Should be an awesome show. Saw 'em once before back in 2006 or so at the 9:30 club. Completely melted my face.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 26, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The VT board here on WaPo is bereft of comments. sad. You would think that their community would be all over this upcoming game.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 26, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Pete,

Yea, GW made some nice half time adjustments in defending Trevor Booker. Were you impressed with MD's confident patience in chipping away at Clemson's lead for most of the 2nd half, and then, once it was tied, they ripped off 12 straight points. that's the sign of a mature team.

I don't like our chances against Va Tech just becasue the Hokies seem like a different team at home. In some respects, Va Tech away is more difficult than Duke at home.

Posted by: larry31 | February 26, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Poop,

Thanks you. TI bloggerworld is normal again.

That'll do, pig.

You need to tell me BOTH movies in which that line was used.

Posted by: larry31 | February 26, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

"Good Eats (hell or anything else Alton Brown is on) were to be taking serious."

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 26, 2010 5:44 PM

Poopy, Can't believe you actually like Alton Brown. I can't flip the channel fast enough when he is on. That guy is just what I imagine Garo is like!

Larry,

Our methodical comeback against Clemson was a sight to behold. That was clearly GW. We need to start the game much better this PM. Especially on defense.

Posted by: petecard | February 27, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

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