The Hokies have a chance to redeem themselves after a bad loss Wednesday night, as they take on the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Unlike the Hokies, Jacksonville State has already played three games this season, having won two of them. They have shown the ability to be potent on offense, scoring an impressive 86.7 PPG, including a 96 point outburst in in a blowout against Oakwood. However, the Gamecocks defense isn’t as impressive. They’ve given up 72.3 PPG over three games against weak competition, and the Hokies should be able to take advantage of that.
Zach LeDay’s performance against Alabama State was a huge positive to take away from the loss. On Wednesday, he will have an opportunity to repeat that performance against a small Gamecocks squad. Jacksonville State’s top MPG leaders are essentially all guards, and they lack depth in the frontcourt. If they can take advantage, the Hokies can dominate both the glass and the paint. However, it won’t be that easy. Jacksonville State leads the country in offensive rebounds and ranks third in total rebounds, despite their lack of size, meaning the Gamecocks work tirelessly to chase down loose balls.
With their length, Kerry Blackshear Jr. and LeDay are capable of creating second opportunities for the Hokies’ offense by crashing the offensive glass. But they will have to match the Gamecocks’ intensity to create an advantage for the Hokies. The big men of Virginia Tech figure to be in the spotlight in this matchup.