Virginia Tech Hokies (13-2, 1-1) at Florida State Seminoles (13-4, 1-2)
What to Watch: Terrell Bell and Dorenzo Hudson have been on fire of late and need to provide secondary scoring for the Hokies to take pressure off Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen ... FSU's Derwin Kitchen is a good perimeter defender who could give Delaney fits ... he helped hold Delaney to 4-for-12 from the field last year in Tally ... however, in the loss in Blacksburg Delaney got hot from behind the 3-point line and helped the Hokies nearly knock off the Noles ... FSU also defends well inside the paint, averaging over seven blocks per game ... it will be tough for the 6-7 Allen to score against the 6-9 Chris Singleton and 7-1 Solomon Alabi ... similarly, Allen and Victor Davila have to find a way to slow down Singleton and Alabi when the Noles have the ball ... points will be at a premium since both teams are in the Top 15 in defensive efficiency according to KenPom ... both teams need this win ... FSU is trying to avoid a three-game conference losing streak and the Hokies need a big conference win away from home.
Florida State: The Seminoles have lost their last two games after winning seven consecutive games ... FSU's last game was an 88-81 loss at home to NC State, its first home loss of the season ... the Noles are 8-1 at home this season, including a win over Auburn ... the Noles are led by sophomore center Solomon Alabi, who averages 12.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg ... he also has 46 blocks this season ... FSU averages over seven blocked shots per game.
History Lesson: Virginia Tech is 17-24 all-time against Florida State and 5-14 in Tallahassee ... Tech is 2-5 against the Noles and 0-4 in Tallahassee since joining the ACC in 2004 ... the Hokies last won at FSU in 1990 and have lost six consecutive games there ... in 1980 the Hokies won in Tallahassee, 79-77 when this happened ...
... Henson's foot was probably out of bounds, but hey, who's counting ... Virginia Tech and FSU were both members of the Metro Conference in basketball from 1979-1991.
Score Prediction: Florida State 61, Virginia Tech 59
Game Thread: Use the comments section of this post to discuss the game.
For Hokies guard Bell, focus is paying off (Mark Viera)
"Bell has started every game this season for Virginia Tech. While he is not relied upon to be a scorer, Bell has played regular minutes (24.7 per game) and has been an asset defensively. Although he went through a stretch when he struggled, Bell said he has focused better and, in return, has felt more comfortable in his role."
More on Virginia Tech vs. Florida State (Darryl Slater)
"Up next: a road trip to Florida State, where the Hokies are 0-4 as an ACC member. Tech is 2-5 overall as an ACC member against Florida State, including two losses last season. The Seminoles are ranked 25th, but they won’t be ranked when the polls come out next week, because they lost their first two games this week—77-68 Sunday at Maryland and 88-81 at home Tuesday to North Carolina State. The Seminoles (1-2, 13-4) have beaten Georgia Tech, 66-59 on Dec. 20."
VT @ #25 fsu Preview (Tech Hoops)
"Blocks can lead to run-outs. The way this team struggles to score in the half court, do not let them get any fast break points. Turn them into a half court team and it is a big advantage for VT (on defense, at least). On offense, the Hokies do have to find chances to run and score in transition before the bigs can set up inside."
Virginia Tech at #25 Florida State (Tech Sideline)
"FSU hasn't played since Tuesday, so they've had one more day than the Hokies to get ready for this game. You can bet that Leonard Hamilton will have his team getting back to their defensive principles. This was the #1 team in the country in field goal percentage defense (before the NC State game; national rankings have not been updated on the NCAA's website since then), but they haven't played like it in the last two games."