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Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Miami Hurricanes: Preview

Another year, another trip to Miami to take on the hated Hurricanes. Despite a shaky season by Miami, they’re always tough at home so Tech better be sharp on the road.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Virginia Tech
Ahmed Hill throws it down on the fast break against Syracuse on Saturday night.
Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at this Miami team this season, I shouldn’t be worried about this game, but here we are. The Hurricanes are 9-10 on the year and 8-5 when at home, but Virginia Tech has been bad on the road. On paper, the Hokies should be able to take it the Canes and get out with a convincing win, but let’s take a deeper look...

Hokies Road Struggles:

At home, Virginia Tech scores 76 ppg and shoots about 49% from the field. When the Hokies are on the road (not including neutral sight games), they shoot about 40% from the field and only score 63 ppg. Tech is 1-3 on the road and haven’t looked the same. This is a must win, and a must dominate game for the Hokies. They go to a hostile NC State court on Saturday and must shake off the shooting issues they’ve had outside the Cassell.

Miami Notes:

Chris Lykes is their main scoring threat, but he shoots 32% from beyond the arc. As a team, Miami shoots 35% from three and only puts up 75 ppg. On the other side of the ball, Miami’s defense isn’t terrible, but not great. Tech should be able to push the tempo and score some points.

Also, I thought I’d throw one concern in here. Miami has five players 6’10” or taller compared to Tech’s one. Boxing out and smart defense will be a key for Tech. So watch for how size impacts the game.

Keys to Win:

Plain and simple: shoot decently...for the entire game. Tech was hot against UNC before quickly cooling down and was decent in the second half at UVA. If Tech can shoot to their average for the entire game, they should be able to run away with this game. The defense has been good all season and looked phenomenal against a good Syracuse team. Tech has to show up and win this game.

Quick Outlook for the Week:

12 Virginia Tech at Miami: Wednesday 7:00p.m. on ESPN2

12 Virginia Tech at 23 NC State: Saturday 12:00p.m. on ACC Network

15 Lousivlle at 12 Virginia Tech: Monday 7:00p.m. ESPN

This is a big stretch for the Hokies. They need to win all three of these games. Beating NC State will give me a lot of confidence going into future road games and the Louisville game will be another big home game (first ranked matchup at home).