Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (12-5, 6-2 home) vs Longwood Lancers (7-14, 0-10 road)
When: Saturday, January 22 @ 7:00 p.m.
TV: Hokies All-Access
Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA
The Opponent: The Hokies wrap up their non-conference slate with a visit from the well-traveled Longwood Lancers. One of just six independent teams in Division I, the Lancers have already played 21 games, only nine of which were at home. LU has faced the likes of Kansas, Marquette, Seton Hall, New Mexico, and Colorado and has been outscored by an average of 96-61 in those five games.
Tech leads the series with the Lancers 2-0, with both meetings coming in Blacksburg the last two years. An 85-50 Hokie victory last year was marred by Malcolm Delaney being injured in the game’s first minute. The Hokies won 79-57 back in December of 2008.
Here’s a look at Longwood’s projected lineup:
The first thing that I noticed was the fact that the Lancers are projected to start four guards and their center is only 6-6. However, that center, Antwan Carter, leads the team in scoring with nearly 17 points per game. The junior has eight double-doubles this year and has scored in double figures in all but one game. Jan van der Kooij (6-7, 222) is the only other big man with significant playing time this year. The Netherlands native averages 7.3 ppg and isn’t afraid to move outside, attempting the third-most three-pointers on the team.
The four starting guards might as well be mirror images of each other, as they all average between 9.4 and 12.7 ppg in about 25-30 minutes of playing time. Longwood isn’t afraid to take the three, attempting more than 22 trey’s per contest. Martiz Washington and Durann Neil have attempted more than 100 three’s each this season with Washington leading the team with a 41% success rate.
Since they don’t have much size, the Lancers will attempt to run-and-gun, as they average 76.4 ppg. Only problem is that they’re allowing opponents to shoot 50.1% and score 85.7 ppg. That, plus Longwood turns the ball over 15 times a game and has the worst defensive efficiency in the nation. Yes, the nation.
Keys to VicTory:
- Post Presence
- With Longwood’s starting center being just 6-6, expect a big game from Jeff Allen and Victor Davila. Allen has a combined 32 points and 30 rebounds in two games against the Lancers, so I wouldn’t expect anything less than a 15-point, 12-rebound game from the big man. As for Davila, it will be important for him to stay in the groove that he has found which leads me to my next point...
- Stay the Course
- Tech has to treat this game like its another ACC game. I mean, they treated Wake Forest like an ACC team, and we all saw what happened their. On a side note, the Hokies had more points in the first half Thursday than Wake did in their game against Georgia Tech Wednesday. Yes, really. Anyway, Tech has a good flow going and it would be shame for a non-conference game to get them out of the streak their on.
- Rest the Starters
- This is the middle game of a six-day stretch that has the Hokies playing three games, two on the road. With Georgia Tech in Atlanta looming Tuesday, it will be important for Seth Greenberg to give Atkins, Eddie, and Garland some minutes and rest his starters in preparation for the ACC gauntlet starting Tuesday.
Yes, Longwood (327 RPI) is a terrible team and they’re going to mess up our RPI. That doesn’t give us any excuse to look past them, as UVA did against Seattle. (Look it up, UVA lost to Seattle this year). I’d expect a Wake Forest type of beatdown Saturday night, but that doesn’t allow people not to show up. Hopefully the fans will show up and give the Hokies the support they deserve after the win against Maryland on Thursday.