For the second week in a row, the Virginia Tech Hokies could be getting a key player back on the basketball court.
Head coach Mike Young said Monday that senior guard Hunter Cattoor was “full-go, in practice,” and he believed that Cattoor would play Wednesday against No. 10 Virginia.
#Hokies coach Mike Young expects Hunter Cattoor to be "full go" in practice today and able to play Wednesday at #UVa.— David Teel (@ByDavidTeel) January 16, 2023
The Hokies [11-6, 1-5] have lost five games in a row and badly need to get back on track. However, the schedule is daunting. Starting with Virginia, the Hokies then play No. 19 Clemson [undefeated in the ACC], Duke, Syracuse, at No. 17 Miami and UVA again on Feb. 4 in their next six games.
You can look at this in two ways: First, the Hokies, with Cattoor back, have a chance to pick up some impressive wins. If Virginia Tech can go 4-2, or perhaps 5-1, then the Hokies are back in the conversation. However, if Tech somehow continues to stumble, an NCAA Tournament berth isn’t in the cards this March.
Outside of last week’s loss at Syracuse [82-72], the previous four losses came down to the final seconds. The return of Cattoor and freshman Rodney Rice is good news for the Hokies. A problem all season for Virginia Tech has been outside shooting. The Hokies rely on the outside shot, and when it’s not falling, it puts them in a tough position.
Cattoor, last season’s ACC Tournament MVP, is averaging around 10 points per game. In his first collegiate action last week, Rice played 29 minutes and made only one of his nine attempts from the field. The rust was expected. Rice did contribute four rebounds and three steals.
The Hokies and Hoos tip off at 7:00 p.m. ET Wednesday.