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VT vs Syracuse Preview

Virginia Tech and Syracuse will tip-off from the Carrier Dome at 9pm on ESPNU.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech (9-12, 1-7) looks to avenge a two-point loss to the Syracuse Orange (14-7, 5-3) that they suffered back in January. This time the Hokies have had to weather the snow storm affecting most of the NE to battle the Syracuse zone in a hostile environment. This will be the 9th meeting all-time against the Orange who hold a 6-2 advantage over the Hokies.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The <a href="">#Hokies</a> head to the Carrier Dome for practice tonight before gameday tomorrow. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; VT Men&#39;s Basketball (@VT_MBBall) <a href="">February 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Virginia Tech is coming off of a tough 73-70 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday that was probably the best offensive team performance the Hokies have played all season. The Hokies had six players in double figures, but could not overcome lapses on the defensive end to earn the victory.

Syracuse has had a week to prepare for Virginia Tech after losing back-to-back games to the hands of UNC and Miami. Overall, this season has been up and down for the Orange who are still looking for a signature victory to avenge several losses to less heralded teams.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>5 things to watch as Syracuse basketball faces Virginia Tech for the 2nd time <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Virginia Tech Daily (@VirgiTechDaily) <a href="">February 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The Orange are led by Senior Rakeem Christmas and Junior Trevor Cooney who combine for approximately 30 points per game. On the season the Orange are averaging 69 points, 38 rebounds and nearly 16 assists per game, which is expected of a Jim Boeheim coached team. This squad, however, is not as sharp as many of his teams in the past when it comes to defensive intensity and transition basketball.

The Hokies will look to attack Syracuse in transition in hopes of beating the zone back down the court, but more importantly Virginia Tech will need to hit open, outside shots because points in the paint will be tough to come by. Virginia Tech will look for the continued shooting success of Adam Smith, Malik Muller and Ahmed Hill in order to curb any defensive lapses they have against a much bigger Syracuse team.  On the defensive end, Virginia Tech will look to limit second chance opportunities and force the Orange to shoot over the top of the defense as they are only shooting 43% from the field.

Justin Bibbs return to the lineup should help the Hokies on the offensive end as well as put another long-bodied rebounder on the floor to limit those second chance opportunities.

Go Hokies!


ESPNU - Tom Hart & Tim Welsh


Virginia Tech IMG Sports Network - Bill RothMike Burnop