Virginia Tech will be without veteran starting guard Hunter Cattoor against Syracuse as was apparent through shootaround photos showing Cattoor in street clothes and confirmed by Virginia Tech upon request for comment.
This is the fourth-straight game that the Hokies have been without Cattoor with it being unclear whether the Hokies will start MJ Collins as they did against NC State or Lynn Kidd as they did against Wake Forest and Clemson. One player we wouldn't expect to start in Cattoor's place is Rodney Rice as though he will play tonight, Mike Young said earlier this week that his plan is to bring Rice in after the first media timeout.
Cattoor's absence remains significant even as the return of Rice gives the Hokies some much-needed depth in the backcourt with four healthy guards.
Part of the loss with Cattoor is the fact that he is Tech's best backcourt defender who would have definitely matched up on either Joseph Girard III or Judah Mintz, Syracuse's 2 leading scorers. Tech will need Darius Maddox and Sean Pedulla to step up defensively in the absence of Cattoor along with Collins and Rice when Maddox and Pedulla get breaks in this game.
Offensively, Cattoor had been Tech's most consistent three-point shooter which is something you could use for getting Syracuse's zone off balance. Darius Maddox showed signs of finding his form and Tech will need that to continue along with Grant Basile and Sean Pedulla both getting out of some of their recent shooting slumps.