The Hokies are back in the Cassell Wednesday night and will be looking to shake off a tough loss to Clemson where they looked terrible. Despite losing their last game at home to Louisville, this Hokies team is exponentially more comfortable at home than on the road. Hopefully, they can get past this “no Justin Robinson lull” and get back to Virginia Tech basketball. Look at our keys to the game and what to expect from Georgia Tech.
Shooting Slump and Selection:
This is a key we’ve brought up game after game this season, but it’s still huge. The Hokies live and die by their shooting. If they don’t shoot well, their probably going to lose, especially without Robinson. To be fair, this team is very good defensively so they can win without shooting well, but it’ll be extremely tough against any ACC opponent.
The last couple of games the back court for the Hokies has been terrible shooting. Hill has been horrible from the field but continues to shoot, Bede has never been known to score but had zero points in the last two games, and Alexander-Walker was very off last game. Better shots will lead to better percentages, but at the end of the day these guys have to score to give the Hokies a chance.
This Georgia Tech team is better on defense than they are offense, but aren’t great on either. They play good team defense but lack an elite on ball defender. With that being the case, this is the game Nickeil Alexander-Walker has to take over in. He’s shown this season he can take over and be dominant. A big game here for him could getting the ball rolling for him down the stretch.
For once the Hokies may have a size advantage. While the Yellow Jackets have more big guys on their team, they, like Virginia Tech, only have on 6’10” player. Blackshear Jr. has been very good the last couple of games and should be able to get buckets down low and in the pick and roll.
The Justin Robinson-less Hokies have looked bad on offense the last few games. When Bede runs the offense they often don’t get into a play until they’re halfway through the shot clock. In doing so, it forces the Hokies to either rush and turn it over or take a bad shot. If Virginia Tech can get in their offense and not turn it over, it will allow for better looks for the offense. It’s been rough the last few games and it has to change now if the Hokies want to win some games down the stretch.
Georgia Tech Breakdown:
Georgia Tech is gasping right now as they are in the midst of a five game losing streak. As said before, this team is decent on offense and a little better on defense. They only have two guys scoring double digits a game and don’t have one guy that has shown the ability to take over. By the numbers, the Hokies win this one, but this Yellow Jackets squad almost beat Virginia Tech earlier in the year (with Robinson).
Georgia Tech plays with a lot of energy and are very scrappy, so setting the tone early will be important for the Hokies. If this becomes a physical game, foul trouble could be big yet again. They Yellow Jackets are deeper than the Hokies so they have fouls to give. If they get in the head of the Hokies and force mental mistakes, it’ll be bad. Hopefully, Buzz and his staff have them ready to go.
The Hokies should be okay in this one, but this a chance to gain some confidence. This game is a chance at home to get settle down and get back to their game. Yet again, Alexander-Walker has to be big and needs to shake off a bad game. If he gets going, Virginia Tech could run away with it, but we’ll see what happens. In a somewhat close one, I’ll take the Hokies at home 64-55...