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Grant Basile Leads Virginia Tech to 77-49 Rout of Dayton

Grant Basile 1 VT Dayton 2022 From VT
Will Locklin | @locklin_will
Writer/Basketball Analyst

Decked out in a silky smooth all-black uniform, Grant Basile was positioned in the thick of one of Virginia Tech’s core sets. Basile was the screener in a pindown into dribble handoff play. Justyn Mutts handed the ball off to Darius Maddox who then pitched it back to Basile for an isolation. Basile jab stepped to his right and drove two dribbles into the lane. With his defender still draped onto him, Basile forced himself into an off balance shot that ripped the chords of the net.

A few possessions later, Basile knocked down a three from the right wing, his first of four in the game. Basile’s seven timely points guided the Hokies to a roaring 11-2 run that countered Dayton’s early push.

The Flyers gave the Hokies a test in the first few minutes but were quickly dispensed of once Basile & company broke through the door offensively. Virginia Tech handled Dayton in convincing 77-49 fashion. Wednesday night marked the Hokies fourth straight home game and their fourth consecutive win to match it.

Grant Basile was Tech’s head honcho with a double double against the Flyers, pouring in 23 points (20 in the first half), 10 rebounds and four blocks. It was Basile’s second game of 20 or more points and his sixth multi-block game of the season.

“He had a great look about him where seemingly everything he throws in the air is going in the basket,” Mike Young said. “Grant Basile is a very good basketball player, needless to say he’s helping our team.”

Even though Basile’s scoring output has dipped from his 30 bomb to open the season, he’s still making a major impact as the Hokies do-it-all stretch five big man. He showed once again his offensive versatility through a picture perfect jump shot from three point range. Basile also did work down low, scoring in the paint off offensive rebounds and post up isolations. Additionally, Basile’s rim protection has thrived as he’s posted multiple blocks in four of the last six games.

“Just trusting myself more and going in to make some more plays,” Basile stated. “Being more aggressive and trusting myself to go make a play are the biggest things.”

Guided by the defensive brilliance of Basile, Tech allowed their lowest point total of the young season. The Flyers shot an ugly 18-60 from the floor and 3-15 from three. Dayton’s 30% shooting from the floor and 20% from three were the results of great preparation on the part of the Hokies.

“They disguise a lot of coverages that can be very disruptive, you’re never standing and it’s hard to get a look at what’s coming at you,” Young said. “That was a really sound effort from our bunch, a great scouting report from our coaches, and those kids executed it on the floor.”

In addition to Virginia Tech’s stellar defense, the Hokies offense was plenty good enough in the 28-point win. Tech recorded three double-digit scorers with Pedulla notching 19 points & Maddox’s clean dozen to go along with Basile’s game-leading 23 points. Tech shot it well in all areas, shooting 49% from the field, 32% from distance, and 86% from the free throw line.

“Moving the ball, setting screens, guys knocking down shots and getting downhill and making different impacts offensively,” Maddox said. “I feel like that’s who we are.”

Darius Maddox was the Hokies third leading scorer with 12 points off 5-13 shooting and 2-5 from three. More than that however, Maddox played a terrific overall game. He recorded five rebounds, three assists and numerous hustle plays on both ends.

“It’s a decision at the end of the day. If you see a loose ball or offensive rebound chance go get it,” Maddox said. “It’s a switch of my mindset, especially when my shot isn’t falling.”

Another key factor to the Hokies' more than solid offensive performance was Sean Pedulla. Tech’s leading scorer remains at 17 points per game on the season after scoring 19 Wednesday night vs Dayton. Pedulla scored the ball at an efficient 61% clip off 8-13 from the floor but did foul out in the second half.

“It comes with the pace of the game, adjusting to how the defense is playing you and your matchup,” Pedulla said. “After that, you get going and we just took off from there.”

As the second half rolled on, the game slowed down and both teams' scoring opportunities were limited. But with a comfortable 20+ point lead, Virginia Tech remained in the driver's seat the entire way through.

Of the Hokies other contributors, MJ Collins continues to be a bulldog on defense. Lynn Kidd tacked on six points, two rebounds, and two assists. Hunter Cattoor went 1-6 from long range but still scored seven points overall. He also came away with the highlight play of the night, punching down a nasty poster dunk on the head of a Flyer and igniting Cassell ablaze.

“He’s good, he’s really good. Coaches around our league recognize that,” Young stated. “He’s awesome and what a blessing it’s been for this good ole boy to coach him, I love it.”

After their largest margin of victory since the opener, Virginia Tech will travel back to a familiar location. One where Young and company took home some hardware in Brooklyn, NY after their championship efforts in the 2021 ACC Tournament. Tech will travel back to Brooklyn and play in the Barclays Center versus a 6-3 Oklahoma State squad this Sunday afternoon.

“I can’t wait, we played six games in that building last year,” Young said. “That experience in March was pretty cool and I can’t wait to get back.”

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