Virginia Tech (10-16, 2-11) travels to NC State (15-11, 6-7) for a 6:00pm tip-off, which will air on ESPN2. The Hokies are looking for their first ACC road win under Coach Buzz Williams and a way to build some momentum before playing back-to-back games against top-5 opponents, Duke and Virginia.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Make sure you catch the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hokies?src=hash">#Hokies</a> tonight at NC State. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoHokies?src=hash">#GoHokies</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/VTvsNCSU?src=hash">#VTvsNCSU</a> <a href="http://t.co/WXkgZbgg8R">pic.twitter.com/WXkgZbgg8R</a></p>— VT Men's Basketball (@VT_MBBall) <a href="https://twitter.com/VT_MBBall/status/569201975394492416">February 21, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The Wolfpack are led by three players who are scoring in double figures, Trevor Lacey-16.5 ppg, Ralston Turner- 12.6 ppg, and Anthony "Cat" Barber- 11.8 ppg. Overall, the Wolfpack will not overwhelm you from the perimeter, but are very good at attacking the basket off the dribble and then let their size inside go to work. On the season the Wolfpack are averaging 38.2 rebounds per contest, with ~12 coming on the offensive end. As a team, NC State plays a physical brand of basketball that is a tough matchup for the undersized Hokies.
Virginia Tech is coming off of a tough road loss to Miami where they never really go it going on the offensive or defensive end. For Justin Bibbs, Adam Smith and Malik Muller to get going Saturday night they will need to get to stops on the defensive end so that they can attack in transition. If VT can limit NC State on the offensive glass they will be able to get run out, which is where they are most dangerous with Muller, Bibbs and Hudson who are good at attacking the rim.
Keys to the game (these are familiar because they really are key to VT winning any time out):
- Take care of the basketball (limit turnovers).
- Offensively, play towards the basket and from inside-out (drive to the basket and kick it to the perimeter).
- Defensively, limit second chance opportunities by having all five players attack the glass.
- Also, force the Wolfpack players to shoot contested outside jump shots as Cat Barber is at his best when attacking the middle of the paint.