Saturday the Hokies look to get back on track against Notre Dame in South Bend. Virginia Tech is coming off of a loss to UVA where they shot 11% from three and couldn’t buy a bucket. Hopefully, Tech can shake off their shooting slump and regain momentum.
In the Hokies previous meeting with Notre Dame this year, the Hokies took down the Irish on New Year’s Day by a comfortable margin. In the game, Tech shot right around 60% from the field and from the three point line. In addition to a hot shooting day, the Hokies had great ball movement with a limited number of turnovers. If Tech can repeat that performance, they should be able to take down the Fighting Irish again.
Taking a deeper look at the Irish, they have a couple of big guys that are capable on offense and will look to dominate the boards. Despite going against an undersized Hokies team, winning the battle of the paint will still be a huge challenge for the Irish (last time Kerry Blackshear had 21 points and 7 rebounds).
For the Irish’s back-court, they have two guys that score a combined 25 points per game, but don’t shoot particularly well from beyond the arc. Both guards are capable of knocking down the three ball, but neither are huge threats to consistently make them.
For the Hokies, this game is going to come down to shooting and ball movement. Having Alexander-Walker at the point guard limits his scoring opportunities so guys like Ahmed Hill and Outlaw have to make shots when the defense collapses on Walker. If those guys can make shots, Walker can score when he gets his looks, and Blackshear keeps us his recent level of play, the Hokies should walk out with an ACC road win.
Tech has to be unhappy following a 6 point loss to UVA in which they shot 11% from three. I’m expecting them to come out with a chip on their shoulder and play with some intensity. As long as Tech shoots somewhat decently, they should grab a win against the Irish. I take the Hokies 73-61.