In the first ever meeting between the two schools, Virginia Tech will play host to in-state school Norfolk State on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. The Hokies are coming off a 78-67 win over Rhode Island in which they snapped a two game losing streak. Junior guard Erick Green led the way for the team with 24 points off the bench while forward Jarell Eddie added 15. The Hokies continue to look for improved play from it's two seniors in Victor Davila and Dorenzo Hudson as both have struggled recently and caused trouble for Seth Greenberg's squad.
Virginia Tech Hokies: 6-3 overall, 0-0 in the ACC
Opponent: Norfolk State (6-3, 0-0 MEAC)
When: Sunday, December 11, 2011. 4:00 p.m
Where: Cassell Coliseum. Blacksburg, Va
Series: First ever meeting.
Who to watch on the Hokies- PG Erick Green: After battling with some early season injuries, Green busted out and had the game everyone has been waiting for against Minnesota. However, in the following games, he was benched by coach Seth Greenberg for what was considered, "not fulfilling his leadership responsibilities." Green has played with a chip on his shoulder since including his 24 point performance against Rhode Island on Wednesday. It will be a game-time decision as to whether Green is finally inserted back in the starting lineup but no matter what, his play will be key to the Hokies success against NSU.
Who to watch on the Spartans- C Kyle O'Quinn: O'Quinn is the reigning defensive player of the year in the MEAC and he continues to be the Spartans most important player to their success this season. The 6-10, 240-pound center is averaging a double double per game with 17 points and 10 rebounds each outing. With Davila struggling down low and a lack of a true defensive post presence, O'Quinn could have a big day against the Hokies. The ability of Davila and Raines to stop O'Quin on both the boards and scoring the basketball will be vital.
Keys to the game: The key for the Hokies will be to get improved play out of their senior leaders Dorenzo Hudson and Victor Davila. Both veterans have been relatively quiet thus far this season and with a team full of young inexperienced players, the play of these two will be key and especially come time for conference play.
For the Spartans, the ability of O'Quinn to get going down low and dominate the post game could lead to an upset in Blacksburg. O'Quinn has a body frame that Tech hasn't quite seen this year and he should be able to use his size for both rebounds and scoring in the paint.
Analysis: Norfolk State comes in as a MEAC team but is very legitimate in every aspect of the game. They have beaten TCU this season and only lost to Marquette by two. They are a Top 50 RPI team and will give the Hokies a lot of trouble. Seth Greenberg's squad is clearly going through the transition for a lot of the freshmen and has appeared extremely sloppy at times this season. In order to have any shot at an NCAA tournament this season, the team can not afford to lose anymore non-conference games. Sunday is a huge game for the Hokies as they look to gain their seventh win of the season.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 62, Norfolk State 53