Since it has only been a few days since we played Syracuse, I thought I would just update this post. I have updated the tables and made a few corrections in the text. New text is bold; revised text is strike through.
The Hokies play Syracuse at noon
9PM in the Cassell Carrier Dome. The game will be on the Regional Sports Network ACC Network. Syracuse is 10-7 8-6 with losses at home to UVA to start the season and also at home to Penn State (no 21) and Iowa (no 23). They also lost at home to Oklahoma St and Notre Dame. They also lost at Georgetown(receiving votes). Syracuse is not the dominant team we have seen in some years; but they are still very good and they still play that suffocating zone defense. All the teams they lost to have dropped out of the Top 25 and into the others receiving votes category, including VT. Since our game they beat UVA at UVA in OT and Boston College.
As usual the Hokies will be facing a taller team.
Syracuse is also a very good 3 pt shooting team. They shoot 42%
41% overall and 38% 37% from 3 in ACC games. But they have allowed 38% 41% overall and 28% 34% from 3. Their defense has gotten better.
Surprisingly, given their height, Syracuse has been out-rebounded by none
4 per game.
The Hokies have the talent to win this game; but they have the youth to play tight and lose. Hopefully, they can recover from their experience at UVA and shoot closer to their average. If they score from 3, they should win this one. But to do that, they need to solve the Syracuse zone. Keeping the ball moving and some inside presence will be important.
Good defense is going to be a challenge against this tall team that also shoots the 3 very well. if Tech tries to collapse and help against the bigs, Boeheim and Girard may shoot a lot of easy 3's. They need to be very careful not to leave too many easy 3 pt shots if they want to stay in this game.
There is probably more concern about our offense, though. Another big game in a historic setting. Hope the lights are not too bright for our young players to relax and play their game. If Cone and Radford continue to shoot well, the offense should be ok against the Syracuse zone. Radford has become the guy who can play behind that zone and force them back from the 3 point line.
Stats for the stats guys: