The Virginia Tech Hokies entered today as the lowest seed in the ACC Tournament, but hoping to win their first game in the ACC Tournament since 2012. However, the Hokies were definitely not the favorites in this game against a Wake Forest team that beat the Hokies earlier this season.
Some players seem to step up their games on a big stage like the ACC Tournament. For the Hokies, that was Jalen “Tyrone” Hudson.
Hudson had the best game of his career as he basically took over for the Hokies and became a force that Wake Forest was unable to stop. Hudson set a Virginia Tech record for the most points in an ACC Tournament game with 32 against a Wake Forest team that didn’t make it easy for Hudson.
The biggest reason for Hudson’s success was the fact that the freshman guard came out with a very high level of energy similar to how he played against Duke two weeks ago. This level of energy has been something that Hudson hasn’t brought out consistently, but he has been dominant when he has.
Jalen Hudson was aggressive and assertive on the offensive end whether that meant taking a three-pointer, attacking the rim but pulling up for a mid-range jumper, or getting right to the rim for a layup or a dunk.
Hudson got to the free throw line multiple times in this game, and was quite successful making all 10 of his free throw attempts. Hudson entered the game shooting under 60% from the free throw line so this type of success from the free throw line is impressive.
Hudson proved that he was the most talented player on the floor in this game as he showed not only a great aggression and attack mindset, but also had the finishing touch to help him be 10 of 18 on his field goal attempts in this game. When Hudson is being aggressive, he is not only dominant around the rim but he also seems to shoot the basketball much better from the outside.
Hudson was the star of this game for the Hokies, but the question remains whether he can put that effort together consistently. Buzz Williams’s comments about Hudson being the Hokies’ most talented player were proved right today, but questions about Hudson’s work ethic in games have been proven right previously.
Jalen Hudson had arguably the best single-game postseason tournament performance for a Hokie in program history, but can Hudson consistently replicate this high level of effort? If he does, the Hokies will have a very good chance of pulling off an upset over Miami.