The Virginia Tech Hokies’ long regular season has finally reach its final game with the Miami Hurricanes coming to Blacksburg for Senior Day. Christian Beyer and Will Johnston both had solid basketball careers and are two of the best walk-ons that the Hokies have had in recent memory.
Now, the Hokies will look to get Johnston and Beyer a win in their final home game.
7-foot center Tonye Jekiri gaves the Hokies fits in the first game with Jekiri putting up 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks in that game. The Hokies will need Satchel Pierce to step up in this game as the only Hokie that has the size to match Jekiri. If Pierce can play with the same type of energy that he did against Duke, Jekiri will not have nearly as good of a game as he did the first time.
Miami is a very good free-throw shooting team and the Hokies will need to try to limit the number of times the Hurricanes go to the free throw line. The Hokies have had some games with high foul totals as a team, and will need to limit how much Miami gets to the line.
Sheldon McClellan has been the main guy in Miami’s offensive attack averaging 15.1 points per game and shooting 50.6% from the field along with shooting 38.3% from three. Meanwhile, the Hokies have Adam Smith averaging 14.1 points a game but shooting a much better 43.6% from beyond the arc.
The first time these two teams met, McClellan put up 21 points while Smith had 15 points. Smith has been playing quite well over the last few games and will be ready to shine today. Expect Smith to have a big game with at least 20+ points and 3 or 4 threes in this game though McClellan will also do a lot of damage.
The player who could be the x-factor is Jalen Hudson. Hudson has been extremely inconsistent this season, but when he is aggressive on the offensive end, he has been tough to stop. Hudson was aggressive against Duke and it showed with the freshman guard having 23 points against the Blue Devils. However, Hudson has only had 1 point in the last two games and has not been nearly as assertive or hard working on the offensive end.
If Hudson is working hard and being aggressive on the offensive end, then the Hokies will have a much better chance of taking down the Hurricanes.
Miami will come out with a very high level of effort knowing that a loss today will most likely end their hopes of making the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies will also be pushing hard not to finish alone in last place, but the Hurricanes will come out desperate and leave Cassell Coliseum with a close win over Virginia Tech.
Prediction: Miami 71, Virginia Tech 68