Jeff Allen, Junior, Forward, 12.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Victor Davila, Sophomore, Forward, 5.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Key Virginia Tech Roleplayers:
Erick Green, Freshman, Guard, 2.8 ppg
J.T. Thompson, Junior, Forward, 7.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Why The Hokies Can Surprise: Virginia Tech wins games by playing stellar defense, hitting the glass hard and keeping the turnovers down. The first two can be credited to a talented, albeit underrated, frontcourt. Junior Jeff Allen is the most productive on both ends of the floor. He is one of many decent shot blockers on the team, but is also the most effective scorer of all the big men. He tries to extend his outside shot a little too much, but he is an effective shooter as well as player who will use his 6-7, 230 pound frame to battle in the paint.
Victor Davila is the other starter in the frontcourt and has enough size at 6-8 and 245 pounds to make an impact on the defensive end of the floor. J.T. Thompson has proven to be a more effective scorer than Davila, but Coach Seth Greenberg needs Davila on the floor as often as possible for his size. However, Thompson is not a bad replacement forward. While he is not a shot blocking threat, Thompson is occasionally a potent scorer and a solid defender. Terrell Bell is a 6-6 wing, but his athleticism makes him more of a small forward than a guard. He is a tenacious rebounder and a big shot blocking threat.
Why The Hokies Can Disappoint: The frontcourt may spur the defensive efforts, but the backcourt has the Hokies top scorers in Malcolm Delaney and Dorenzo Hudson. Delaney has emerged as one of the best scoring point guards in the nation and averages an impressive 20.4 points and 4.3 assists per game. The problem lies in their outside shooting. Both hit under 31 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc and nobody else on the team is much of a threat to hit the long ball either. Delaney will do plenty of scoring in other ways when his shot is not falling and Hudson can do the same, albeit less effectively. However, there will be times when Virginia Tech needs some three-pointers and if Delaney and Hudson are not hot, there will be trouble.
Who To Watch for Virginia Tech: Bell and Erick Green could be those shooters, but both of them struggle to consistently hit their shots from beyond the arc. The good news is Virginia Tech will not take too many three-pointers since they know most of them will not go in, but this team is so much more difficult to defend when one has to worry about the outside shot. Otherwise the opposition can just pack it in and stop the slashers and the big guys under the basket.
Virginia Tech By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.0 (88th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.7 (83, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.6 (212, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.5 (21, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.6 (302, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.5 (54, 3)
Rebound Margin: 1.6 (133, 9)
Assists Per Game: 11.8 (249, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.6 (75, 4)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Finals loss to Illinois
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer