This has been not such a good week for the Virginia Tech basketball team. Earlier in the week, the Hokies lost their first conference game against a North Carolina State team that embarrassed them. Today, the game did not get easier as they looked to get back into the win column against the 12th-ranked Florida State Seminoles.
Once again, the Hokies were going to be short handed to start the game, and once again it cost them. Florida State defeated the Hokies 93-78 to drop the Hokies to 1-2 in the conference.
Senior guard Seth Allen was ruled out of the game with a concussion, and freshman big man Khadim Sy was still hobbled, but available. Florida State came into the game boasting a number 12 ranking as well as one of the deepest teams in the conference. The Seminoles used this depth to wear the Hokies down. Buzz Williams was forced to play a 7-man rotation against what seemed like a 12-man platoon from the Seminoles.
The game started well enough with the Hokies racing out to an early lead behind the sharp shooting of Ahmed Hill and the playmaking of Justin Robinson. However, the size and depth of the Seminoles would keep them close enough to make a run later in the half to take control of the game. FSU’s three 7 footers made it extremely hard for the Hokies to get any offense going to the basket, a main part of what they like to do. The Seminoles were also relentless on the defensive end, playing with extreme energy the whole game. FSU is able to play so hard on the defensive end because of the depth they possess, ans the eight Hokies who played just couldn’t match the effort today.
The major reason for the outcome of the game was the lack of effectiveness of the guards of the Hokies on defense. For the most part, the Hokies guards were unable to keep the Seminole guards in front of them, or rotate properly to the weak side because of the energy they were expending on the offensive end just to run a play. The starting guards for the Seminoles, Terrance Mann and Dwayne Bacon, led the team in points with 22 and 17 respectively. Depth is going to be a problem all year long for the Hokies, and it is the one thing Buzz Williams cant improve on the practice court. However, it can be said the Hokies never quit on this game, competing to the final whistle.
Chris Clarke continued his stellar play for the Hokies, leading the way with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Zach LeDay and Ahmed Hill also chipped in 19 points each in the losing effort. The Hokies will look to regroup, and get healthy quickly as another tough ACC foe comes to town in the form of the Syracuse Orange. Hopefully, Allen and Sy will be back to form to give the Hokies a much needed lift.
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