Hokies Basketball: VMI at Virginia Tech Preview and Prediction

The day may seem like it’s over, but it isn’t just yet for Virginia Tech athletics as Buzz Williams and the Virginia Tech Hokies take the court in the nightcap of a busy day in Blacksburg against the VMI Keydets. The Hokies picked up their first win against Jacksonville State, and will look to get to 2-1 against an old rival VMI.

VMI had a coaching change this offseason and is no longer the same team that used to play a high-scoring, up-tempo style. Instead, VMI has changed to a more normal team after head coach Duggar Baucom left for The Citadel and was replaced with Navy assistant Dan Earl.

VMI showed in their previous game against a weaker opponent that they can still score, but the Keydets were held to 50 points when they opened the season at Penn State. This is not the same VMI team as in the past, but the Hokies can’t sleep on a VMI team that lost by 12 at Penn State.

Zach LeDay took some time to get going, but had another solid game against Jacksonville State with 15 points and 9 rebounds. LeDay has proven to be a tough, hard working big man that knows how to crash the boards affectively for the Hokies. LeDay is a hard player to contain, and expect him to provide a quality performance once again.

Chris Clarke had a double-double against Jacksonville State, and the Hokies’ freshman guard/small forward has brought toughness and high-energy. Clarke is willing to take the ball right at the rim, and needs to get more consistent with making those close, contested shots. However, Clarke is the type of guy that is easy for fans to cheer for.

Seth Allen hasn’t been bad, but there seems to be a lot more still to come in Allen who has not put up very much effort in his first two games. If that energy doesn’t change, the Hokies’ best course of action is to let freshman point guard Justin Robinson play a lot more.

Tonight, the Hokies seem ready to get above .500, but don’t be surprised if VMI sticks around as Jacksonville State did. Being just up the road in Lexington, VMI likely has had this game on the radar from the time they began practicing ahead of this season.

However, Buzz Williams and the Hokies will get the job done led by toughness inside with Zach LeDay and scoring on the outside from Chris Clarke, Justin Bibbs, and Virginia Tech’s loaded backcourt.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 73, VMI 63

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