Virginia Tech is coming off of a heartbreaking loss against #2 UVA on Sunday afternoon by hosting former Big East foe, the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Hokies (8-11, 0-6) are still in search of their first ACC victory as they end a four game stretch in which they faced four top-15 teams. The Pitt Panthers (13-7, 3-4) enter this evening's game looking to get back on track after having lost two straight against Duke and Louisville.
Hokies conclude homestand with Panthers: Tech, Pitt meet in Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night http://t.co/FgO3HQUAdJ— VT Men's Basketball (@VT_MBBall) January 26, 2015
Sunday against UVA, Virginia Tech played extremely well on the defensive end, while also shooting the ball efficiently from the floor. In the end #2 UVA was too much to handle for this young basketball team, especially when the Hokies made too many mistakes (turning the ball over) down the stretch. One huge takeaway for HokieNation was to see Cassel Coliseum packed, which undoubtedly helped the Hokies sustain their energy throughout the contest.
Pittsburgh comes into tonight's game wanting to play with a since of urgency and their typical physical nature as they face a wounded Hokies team who will be without leading scorer Justin Bibbs who is still recovering from a concussion he suffered in practice ~2 weeks ago. The Panthers are led by Sophomore forward Michael Young who is averaging 13.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Young's running mate is Jamel Artis another Sophomore forward who is averaging over 10 points and 5 rebounds per game.
Both of these players will look to take advantage of a depleted Hokies front-court as it was announced VT forward Joey Van Zegeren is no longer with the team. This means that Junior Shane Henry, Freshman Satchel Pierce and former walk-on Christian Beyer are left to defend against this physical duo from Pitt.
Keys to the game for VT:
- Rebound the ball on the defensive end in hopes of getting easy points in transition (Devin Wilson take over)
- Reverse the ball on the offensive end to get Adam Smith, Ahmed Hill and Jalen Hudson going from the floor. (Make open shots and free throws)
- Play with the same defensive intensity as you did against UVA. This Pitt team is talented, but nowhere near as efficient as UVA is, generally speaking.
The ACC Network - Tom Hart & Dino Gaudio