The halfway* point of the season has now arrived. The Hokies now sit 12-4 and 3-2 in conference, with two of those conference wins coming on the road, including a unicorn in northern New York. So far, each of these installments has seen the Hokies with a surprising performance, first a win over Clemson to start the year, then one against Michigan State in Maui, then forcing Duke to sit their all-world freshman and alter their game plan to beat us, and now the back to back ACC wins. Don't look now, and I know it's early but CMYBall is tied for the elusive double bye.
Lots of posts on this site have discussed the scoring output of this year's Hokie bunch, and rightfully so.
|Landers Nolley II||r-Fresh||G/F||17.9|
Nolley has picked up the tempo from the last quartet, bigdogging it for 19.5 ppg against some stiff defenses. Jalen Cone has also come on strong of late, now sitting as the #6 scorer at 6.8 ppg.
The Hokies will not be graduating any scorers if current scoring trends hold.
Once again, the top rebounder for the Hokies is Tyrece Radford, who's 97 rebounds puts him at 6.1 for the year, followed by Nolley's 93 (5.8).
The announcers during the NC State game were right. Bede has been sacrificing his scoring chances in order to make the offense run, and it works. Bede may only be getting a bucket or two a half, but he's making up for it with a perfect 100 assists on the year (6.25 per game), Top 20 in the country, Top 10 in P5, Top 3 in the ACC. When I say perfect 100, I mean it. #100 was that dish to Alleyne for 3 where he had his back turned after the pass, holding up 3.
CMYBall continues to play a nine-man game rotation, with no Hokie being on the court for 30 minutes (Nolley is 2 total minutes shy of 30 mpg). Six Hokies are averaging more than 20 minutes of playing time, while Wilkins, Cone, and Ojiako are all averaging greater than 11 minutes.
Talking about youth, the Hokies are getting 125.8 of a possible 200 mpg from their freshmen alone.
ACC season is coming hard and fast with four games over the next two weeks. First the Hokies will take the short drive down to Wake Forest on Tuesday. The Deacs will likely be treading water at 8-7/1-4 and tied for worst in the ACC when these two teams meet. Wake scores about the same as the Hokies, and have three scoring threats, led by senior point guard Brandon Childress who's getting about 16 points and 4.6 assists a game. On the boards, the Hokies will have their hands full with 7-0 Jr Center Oliver Sarr (about 9 rebounds a game). This will be a much harder game than you would think, given the records.
The Hokies will return home next Saturday to face a Syracuse team they edged out in the previous quartet. Same scoring threats, same rebounders, same Boeheims.
The following Tuesday, the Hokies will welcome a surprisingly underachieving (re: dead last in the ACC) North Carolina team that just allowed Clemson to win it's first ever game in Chapel Hill. I'm putting it out there that this game could be dangerous if they wind up losing at Pitt next Saturday, as Roy Williams will be on his third attempt to pass Dean Smith as UNC's winningest coach. It's possible that UNC will be getting their top scorer in points per game, in time for the game. The Tar Heels score at around 70 points per game, led by Jr Guard Garrison Brooks in total scoring, but Fr Guard Cole Anthony is the one we'd have to keep an eye on at 19.1 ppg. UNC rebounds very well, led by Brooks and 6-10 Fr Center Armando Bacot.
Finally, the Hokies will be shipping off to Boston for what should be a grueling match against a Boston College team that, like the Hokies, are surprisingly tied for the double bye. The Eagles don't score particularly well, at around 66 ppg, and they hit the boards at a little under what the Hokies have done so far, despite having two 6-10+ imports from the former Yugoslavia.
I don't know how this quartet is going to go. The average so far is 3-1, but I feel like this could go literally anywhere from 4-0 to 0-4. If it's the former, clear your schedule for the next four Marches. If it's the latter, It'll be a disappointment, but probably where we were expecting before the season began.