While the record at the quarter* point of the season isn't as impressive as the one at the 1/8th* point, I think the majority of Hokie fans are happy with the progress made this season. A key victory against what should be a national contender under their belt, CMYball is sitting at 6-2 with a road conference win and that Maui upset of Michigan State.
The Hokies have improved over their last four games by 1.25 ppg, now averaging 76.25, still lead by r-Fr G/F Landers Nolley II who has cooled off (down 2.75 ppg to 20.0). Where Nolley has reduced his scoring, somewhat, Fr G Naheim Alleyne, Fr G Hunter Cattoor, and Jr PG Wabissa Bede have made up the difference, now averaging 11.8, 7.3, and 6.8 respectively. Jr F PJ Horne still leads post players in scoring, recording nearly 10 ppg, even considering the increase in difficulty among opponents. Five of the top seven scorers are either Fr or r-Fr, totalling 51.6 ppg. All told, Freshmen account for 54 of the 76.25 ppg.
The tallest starter for the Hokies now leads the team in rebounds, as 6'7 Nolley has taken the lead in rebounding from 6'1 r-Fr G Tyrece Radford 5.1-5.0 rpg. Third on the list is 6'1 Bede with 4.5. Starting PF 6'6? Horne is 4th with 4.4.
PG Wabissa Bede has registered 7.25 assists per game, good for 3rd among all players who have played 8 games; 1st in the ACC, and 1st among major conference players who have played 8 games.
The trend of starters continues, with G/F Nolley, PG Bede, and PF Horne starting in every game. SG Alleyne (7) and SG Radford (6) have started most of the games, with SG Wilkins (2) and SG Cattoor (1) also seeing their numbers called to start the game. As expected, Fr F John Ojiako comes in every game to spell Horne while Fr G Jalen Cone has also seen action in every game. r-Sr PF Branden Johnson has appeared only once since my last update, to minimal effect.
Significant minute totals now stand at: Nolley - 30.3 mpg, Bede 28.8, Alleyne 28.0, Horne 26.6, Cattoor 24.9, Radford 18.8, Wilkins 17.3, Ojiako 12.0, and Cone 11.5. The only other two Hokies who have entered a game (Johnson and WO So G Brendan Palmer) have combined to average 2 mpg over the eight games.
Hokies return to ACC action, hosting #1 Duke at the Cassell, followed by more non-conference action against Chattanooga, Garnder-Webb, and VMI.
Duke is led in scoring and rebounding by 6-10 Fr C Vernon Carey Jr (18.4 ppg and 9.5 rpg). "Veteran" So PG Tre Jones leads the team in assists with 6.8 and is second on the team in scoring, with 15.1 ppg. The Blue Devils will be shorthanded following an injury to their #3 scorer and #2 rebounder, Fr G Cassius Stanley., who will be out indefinitely. This isn't the crispest Blue Devil team, with a 15.5-15.3 ATO margin. For reference, the Hokies are at 17.3-10.5. They aren't a particularly good 3-pt shooting team 35.2%, so expect them to attack the Hokies on the post, where Duke will have an advantage, regularly playing 5 players 6-7 or taller, compared to the Hokies' 2.
Chattanooga is led in scoring by 6'7 Sr SG Matt Ryan, whom we hopefully wont add an F to the front of his name., at 14.3 ppg; and 6'1 Jr G David Jean-Baptiste, at 13.9 ppg. The Mocs have three Forwards averaging 5 or more rebounds a game, but they don't have a significant height advantage over the Hokies, as they are 6'7, 6'8, and 6'9. As a team their ATO is <1, which should benefit the Hokies, significantly.
G-W's have no scorers averaging more than 12.5 ppg. Their best rebounder is a 6'5 So G. The Bulldogs also have an ATO of <1.
VMI also has no major shooting presence, with their top scorer only getting 12.1 ppg and also is led in rebounding by a G, instead of a post player. Unlike the other two non-conference games in this preview, they do have a good ATO ratio of 17.4-11.