The Virginia Tech Hokies have taken care of business in their first two games against Maine and High Point with neither opponent having a chance to win in the final several minutes of the game. Tonight, the Hokies have their final tune-up before heading out west for the Wooden Legacy with VMI coming to town at 1-1 with their loss coming by three points at Richmond in their season opener before a blowout victory over Division III Southern Virginia earlier this week.
VMI no longer plays the unique style that made them consistently one of the highest scoring teams in the country but the Keydets still have a couple of talented scorers in their star backcourt duo of Julian Eleby and QJ Peterson who have averaged over 40 points per game so far with Eleby shooting over 47% from beyond the arc.
For the Hokies, it will be important for them to step up against this talented backcourt duo, but the Hokies have plenty of talent led by Ahmed Hill who leds the Hokies averaging 17 points through Virginia Tech’s first two games and is arguably the best defender on this team. Hill has been a star making his fair share of threes as he was one away from tying the single-game school record against High Point, and will be ready to be a big threat on the outside again.
Meanwhile, Justin Bibbs has struggled this season especially from beyond the arc, but the junior was one of the ACC’s best three-point shooters and it’s a matter of time before he gets things going. Seth Allen has looked fairly sharp so far and the senior point guard will do what he normally does with getting to the rim while also showing signs of improvement from beyond the arc.
VMI is averaging over 44 rebounds per game as a team through two games, but the Hokies don’t have a size disadvantage here with VMI only having one player over 6’7”. Zach LeDay has been reliable for the Hokies once again and definitely could have his second double-double against the Keydets while Khadim Sy is likely to play over 20 minutes after averaging 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks in only 16 minutes per game in Virginia Tech’s first two games.
Virginia Tech hasn’t made a decision yet as to whether they will redshirt freshman point guard Tyrie Jackson and if the Hokies have a big lead late, it will be interesting to see if the Hokies bring in the Georgia native. If not, it will be another sign that Virginia Tech is leaning towards redshirting Jackson and going with only two true point guards in Allen and Justin Robinson.
Virginia Tech is the better team and while VMI will make it interesting for a little bit, the Hokies will open it up over time in this game led by another strong performance from Ahmed Hill plus veteran guys like Seth Allen, Zach LeDay, and Justin Bibbs making things happen. Virginia Tech will get a comfortable and head west as a possible favorite to reach the final of the Wooden Legacy over Texas A&M.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 83, VMI 67
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