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Virginia Tech Hokies Bench Sneaks by the VMI Keydets just before the Holiday

So, the Hokies get ready to close out the end of the year “preseason” mostly non-conference game schedule (one more to go with Maryland Eastern Shore). At 64-55 it was too tight, but a win is a win, and the Bench shined.

NCAA Basketball: VMI at Virginia Tech
The Bench won this one.
Michael Thomas Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Oddball Corps of Cadets History

So, back in the day, the VMI vs, Virginia Tech Game was the day that the Rats got a chance to lose their ‘sails’. We ate in Schultz in our own bay, Rats (Freshmen), ate at a brace, on the first 1/3rd of the chair.. squaring corners... and asking permission at the tops of their lungs for nearly everything... we had rest at lunch so that’s when we ate in peace.... well we all wore a napkin/handkerchief tucked into our necks to protect our uniforms from falling food... no sail, no food... It also looked a bit silly to the outside world. Well, the day that the Virginia Tech Hokies defeated the VMI Keydets “Kangaroos” was the day we were liberated from being forced to wear our sails. It was a big deal.. even if the thing actually did some good. The second chance was when we played VMI in basketball.

The Keydets Came to Play

Well, yesterday the VMI basketball team hit I-81 south for the 90 minute trip to Blacksburg. It was supposed to be a relatively easy put away. A nice non-con bench clearing sort of contest where the coach can get valuable court time offered to younger players.

As it was, the former didn’t happen, and the latter was very necessary. The winning difference was less than 10 points, (64-55) the shooting percentages were disappointing, and there were a few first half performances that several players might have wanted back.

The Bench Saves the Evening

The top scoring player for the game was Hunter Cattoor (See HokieSports for the Stats) with 14, Isaiah Wilkins was right behind him at 13. The odd reality is that the bench players contributed most of the winning points. Landers Nolley was pulled from the game around halftime, and never generated too much offensive steam. He’s learning. It’s better to have a rough game now, then in January-March.

Overall the lid was on in this game. The Hokies shot poorly from the field, and even had problems getting balls to drop from the charity stripe, making only 2/3rd of those.

A win is a win, but this team really needs to figure out how to get the fires lit and the points rolling when the outside game isn’t hitting the hole. It is encouraging to see the bench step up, take control, and win the game, anyway, though.

It’s always important to remember that winning teams have surprise tough games. Grabbing the ‘W’ in those situations can be a better learning experience running away with them.

What’s Coming

There is one last game with that particular characteristic coming up on December 29th. Maryland Eastern Shore is coming to the Cassell for the Hokies’ final game of the 2019 half of the season. Then it’s up to Hooville to face the Wahoos in the JPJA. That starts the deluge, because it’s all ACC from that point on.

Hopefully Tech will be 10-3 with the chance to build a Big Show case. To do that, games like last night need to be left to “yesterday”.