Sizing up this year's Hoos with the Hokies

In what will hopefully be one of the more exciting games to watch this season, Virginia Tech will travel to Charlottesville to take on the LOLUVA Cavaliers. Much has been made on the advanced statistics. CarrolltonHokie went into great detail in his debut post. Taking a look at some of the more matchup specific stats, this is what I've been able to find out.

Hokies are willing to go deeper into their bench

Eight Hokies players (NAW, 5, Hill, KBJ, Outlaw, Bede, Horne, and Wilkins) are averaging ~15 or more minutes per game, with the first six of those getting ~20 or more. The Cavaliers have seven players getting ~18 or more. After that, only two more have seen double digit appearances, but still haven't racked up major minutes in those appearances. All in all, I would expect the Hokies to have fresher legs late in the game.

Carnage on the Post

Looking at the top 3 players from each team, the average Rebounds per game is a wash (KBJ, Outlaw, NAW = 15.4, Key, Hunter, Salt = 15.3) Overall the difference between the two teams is 1 board, favoring the Cavaliers.

Perimeter D

We've heard how much improved the Hokies are defensively than last year's squad. UVA is known for their defensive tenacity. Surprisingly, at this point, it is the Hokies squad that has the advantage in steals per game (7-6). This is going to be interesting with the advantage UVA has in turnover rate (11-9 tpg). My best guess at the Hokie's likely starting 5 also averages 14 assists, while UVA's only get about 12.3. All this considering NAW missed one game.

Roster Measurables

Stop me if you've heard this one before, the Hokies are undersized and short of depth in the post. 6-10 Kerry Blackshear, 6-6 Ty Outlaw, and 6-5 PJ Horne represent the post for the Hokies, while they'll be up against 6-10 Jack Salt, 6-9 Mamadi Diakite, and occasionally 7-1 Jay Huff.

Perimeter-wise, the Hokies rotate 6-5 Hill, 6-5 NAW, 6-3 Wilkins, 6-2 Robinson, and 6-1 Bede against the Hoo's 6-8 Key, 6-7 Hunter, 6-5 Jerome, 6-2 Manbun, and 5-9 Clark.

Scoring Threats

Five Hokies have had 20 point games this season: 7 by NAW, 3 by Hill, 2 by KBJ, 1 by JRob and Wilkins.
All 8 have scored in double figures, totalling 59 double figure games.

Kyle Guy did have a 30 point game.
Four Wahoos combined for 10 20 point games with 3 by Jerome, Guy, and Hunter, and 1 by Key.
Only 7 Cavaliers have had double figure games, for a combined 44 games.

Based on that, the Hokies have more players who be a significant scoring threat.

Go Hokies

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


Great post. One addition I might add is just the situation. UVA hasn't been challenged in recent weeks, but played on the road today while the Hokies got to rest. The Hokies are coming off one of their worst offensive performances, but still pulled out the win.

Oddly enough I think the situation gives an edge to the Hokies. VT will be motivated after their performance (particularly NWA), have nothing to lose as the dog, and UVA is due for a game where they relax a little.

I think it will be a competitive close game.

We beat them at their place last year, their only home loss. I highly doubt they'll relax when they place us.

I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them!

Not my point. Every team loses their edge in basketball or teams would go undefeated.. uva is due for a letdown - even if small

We beat them at their place last year, their only home loss. I highly doubt they'll relax when they place us.

No, we didn't


.and Whit puts on his batting gloves and steps up to the plate....

Dang. I was positive. And wrong.


.and Whit puts on his batting gloves and steps up to the plate....

My feel for the game - WRONG! Lol

They are really good on O right now while still being great on D. This team has far exceeded my expectations but UVA is on another level at this point. UVA by 10.

I think this is what I'm seeing as well.

LOLUVA is seriously in another world right now from a basketball standpoint. I've seen most of their games, and outside of Wisconsin they haven't really been challenged at all.

But, VT is the type of team that has historically given Tony Bennett's teams trouble. If we can penetrate and move the ball, we have a pretty good chance at making a game of it. I think a lot of how the game goes will depend on #5 and how well he can control himself and protect the ball.

Is it basketball season yet?

And can Hill be a factor from 3.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

Yeah, I think we are a bad matchup for them. If there is a bad matchup for them.

UMBC says hello

If we shoot 12-24 from three while they go 4-22 I like our odds too.

Yup, that's where I'm at as well. UVA will always be elite on defense. Last year they were good on offense. This season they're great on offense. Kyle Guy seems to be seeing a gigantic basket at the moment, and that scares me.

Really surprised with the loss of Hall and Wilkins they are this much better on O. All they added was Key and that little dude.

I think this will be the first game where we really miss Clarke. His athleticism was key to breaking up the pack line D, helping the Hokies get out and run to push the pace in transition. If uva controls the pace, it will be tough sledding.

If we win we'll be a Top 5 team when the next rankings come out and we'll have long national thinkpiece articles written about the emergence of VT basketball under Buzz.

So, you know... Let's win this thing

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

The hell with national press. All you had to say was "If we win, we beat the Hoos."

Click here to destroy wall.

I'm more looking at it like this....

We beat UVa we get the national press writings and the high ranking. That legitimizes what we have going here, and essentially stands as our official introduction to the basketball world on the national scene. Those press pieces, and the validation they'll give Buzz and Blacksburg will go a very long way on the recruiting trail when we're looking to land some of these top guys, and potentially open the door to higher quality guys than we think we can land now.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Can't realliy figure how this one will break. We tend to get smacked in the first matchup then get them on the second leg. I would say I'd be ok with us losing, but looking good in the process, however, as I get older my hate for them ages like a fine wine.

It's kind of a weird paradox because I really don't care about wins/losses like I used to. I think my issue with uva is the way their fans think & treat people. It's rare that I come across one that isn't a smug asshole and it's kind of fucked up to base your identity as a fanbase on thinking you're better than an entire group of people.

I'm fired up now. Fuck them. Hokies win 73-65.

"They'd rather win football games, you'd rather be sophisticated. Go like baseball loser."
-Colin Cowherd


We can win this game if we hit our stride early and hit enough threes to pull their defense out and open up the inside, but I'm worried we won't. I've watched most of their games this year, and even wide open threes against them seem not to fall. I do believe our defense will bother them more than most have so far, but their offense has improved a lot since last year and unless we're firing on all of 'em and actually hitting our lay up drives, we're not winning. Can't look for fouls to be called, we actually have to put that ball in the basket when we successfully penetrate that pack. Can we? Yes, I believe so. We're better than we were last year also, but will we? I have my doubts. Ouch, that physically hurt me to say that.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

One of my biggest concerns about this game is the location. So far it seems we have had some difficulty competing with the same efficiency and intensity on the road.

No doubt, let's hope they take a page out of last seasons squad's book. The Hokies were the only team in the 2017-2018 season to beat them in JPJ.

UMBC's upset over UVA wasn't every possible piece falling into place. The Retrievers had a gameplan and executed it to perfection. This video really highlights how they did it. If you have 10 minutes at any point, I would definitely recommend watching it and then see if we try anything similar tomorrow night.

Last year they killed us with the pindowns highlighted in the video when we played them in Blacksburg. Buzz adjusted the next time we played them and they shot horrible because Bennett doesn't make any adjustments. You couple that defensive gameplan with an offensive gameplan similar to what UMBC ran, and these guys aren't world beaters.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

That is amazing. Always joking that someone is going to crack the code. Really cool breakdown. As analytical as Buzz is, has me hopeful he's on to it.

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

That lays out a really, really good reasoning on why we are just a bad, bad matchup for the Hoos. They allow middle penetration on defense and we use their ability to clamp down against them by having a team that can shoot insanely well from 3. And offensively, they neutralize any advantage they might have in size by pretty much just sitting their bigs on the blocks as permanent screeners for their guards, and the game becomes a shooters battle. Against most teams, this will be ok, but we're one of the better shooting teams in the country.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Pretty good summary of their defense. It's similar to the reason Boeheim's zone is obnoxious, they play off the fact that most college players aren't very good shooters. So just make them do what they're not great at, luckily we are great at that.

Tempo is also what makes them tough, because fewer possessions makes kids try to do too much on the other end. Luckily, we're actually a pretty slow team ourselves.

Rip his freaking head off!

Yup, LOLUVA 353 out of 353 in KenPom pace.... we're 327 believe it or not. I think that has a lot to do with our D this year causing so many long possessions for opponents and not that we don't like to run.

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

It's actually the latter. Our defense has gotten better efficiency-wise, but the average possession length against is only .3 seconds longer this year. Offensively though we've gone from 50th (16.1 seconds/possession) to 271st (18.1). Sure we have the capability to go fast, but they've wisely realized that we're more efficient than other teams and should make that an advantage.

Rip his freaking head off!

It is that extra pass to go from a great shot to a perfect shot slowing us down.

digging into the archives of that Youtube channel, here's a neat interview with Coach Buzz from 3 years ago, on playing the ICE defense vs the pick and roll, plus some other things about his approach.



It's an ACC road game. I expect to be frustrated by officiating heavily favoring the home team. LOLUVa will get to the line a lot more than the Hokies. Still, I am cautiously optimistic.

Does anyone know who the refs will be for the game?

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Teddy plz