HOKIES HOOPS CENTRAL: Wofford (2-1) vs Virginia Tech (2-1) 5PM ACCNX/ESPN+
'Tis the season for giving 🎁Fans are encouraged to bring new toys to Sunday's game vs. Wofford for donation to the Montgomery County Christmas Store.There will be bins located along the concourse upon entry to Cassell Coliseum. pic.twitter.com/quk2cZk9co— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) November 19, 2023
vs. Virginia Tech (2-1)
November 19, 2023
5 p.m. ET
Virginia Tech Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Evan Hughes
Analyst: Mack McCarthy
Virginia Tech Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Zach Mackey
Analyst: Mike Burnop
Current Spread: Hokies -18.5
Woof Woof, Young plays his old dogs....
The Hokies continue at home after a 60-44 win over Campbell. They face the Wofford Terriers squad that comes in 2-1 after an 17-16 season last year. The Hokies are 1-1 against Wofford all time with the last meeting in 2002, a 79-77 loss where the Terriers got Coach Mike Young his very first D1 victory in his first season as Wofford head coach.
The Terriers are coached by Dwight Perry, who is in his second season at Wofford. The Terriers are 14-13 under Perry. This is his first head coaching job after assistant stops at Furman and Wofford. He was promoted to head coach after being the associate head coach for three years. The Terriers opened their season with wins over DIII Brevard and High Point while losing 82-61 to #7 Tennessee on Tuesday.
The big changes in the roster saw BJ Mack depart to South Carolina to help beat the Hokies. Jackson Paveletzke transferred to Iowa State and four others entered the transfer portal. They had two players transfer in. Chase Cormier transferred in from Northeastern and Dillon Bailey comes in from Northeastern State. Both are starters this season averaging double figure scoring. Freshmen Belal El Shakery and Quentin Meza also signed with the Terriers. Both are seeing about 15 mpg and contributing a combined 12 points per game.
The Terriers have seven players averaging more than 20 mpg and nine average more than 10 mpg. Wofford seems to balance the players on the floor to maintain productivity by spacing their skilled players' time. The starting five in each game has been Tripp, Bailey, Filewich, Sivils and Martin. The first three are in the team's top five scorers but off the bench Cormier and Lorenz lead bench scoring with a combined 22.4 ppg. The bench contributes 34.4ppg or about 42% of the team's production.
Defensively, Wofford plays primarily man-to-man. Active hands and great positioning both to prevent shots but also to create rebounds. They force about 10 turnovers per game and are rebounding to a one rebound advantage over three games. Tennessee only outrebounded Wofford by four rebounds. That's the same rebounding edge Tennessee had over Wisconsin in the second game.
Offensively, the Terriers are a perimeter focused offense running a 4 guard 1 big set most of the game. They are averaging nearly 30 perimeter shots per game (roughly 48% of their total shots) and are shooting 34% from outside. One area they do focus on that could be an issue for the Hokies is rebounding on both ends. They created fourteen second chances against #7 Tennessee keeping themselves close until about midway through the second half. While they run four guard sets, their three bigs contribute 23 points and 13 rebounds per game so they still get solid production inside.
#10 JR G 6-2 195 lbs
16.7 Pts, 4.3 Reb, 4.3 Ast
#1 SO G 6-2 166 lbs
12.7 Pts, 1.7 Reb, 1.0 Ast
#2 JR G 6-2 185 lbs
11.7 Pts, 2.3 Reb, 2.3 Ast
#11 FR G 6-0 173 lbs
6.7 Pts, 3.0 Reb, 2.3 Ast
#0 JR G 6-6 200 lbs
5.3 Pts, 4.7 Reb, 1.0 Ast
#5 SO G 6-5 210 lbs
4.7 Pts, 3.0 Reb, 2.0 Ast
#32 FR F 6-8 220 lbs
9.7 Pts, 6.0 Reb, 0.7 Ast
#14 SR C 6-9 250 lbs
9.0 Pts, 5.7 Reb, 1.7 Ast
Belal El Shakery
#24 FR F 6-8 230 lbs
5.3 Pts, 1.3 Reb, 1.7 Ast
What to expect from Wofford?
The Terriers come in focused on shooting outside, most of their first shots will be from the perimeter with second chance shots coming inside on put backs. The Terriers will fight for the ball on both ends on every possession. This is a big concern considering the Hokies seemingly allow opponents open looks from outside at will. This was especially true against South Carolina.
Wofford is weak at the free throw line, shooting 65% from the stripe so far. They also have sent opponents to the line at a high rate, averaging 27.7 attempts per game possibly giving the Hokies a way to separate themselves.
Don't sleep on their bigs, Lorenz and Filewich so far are shooting nearly 60% from the floor so the Hokies need solid defense from Kidd and Poteat.
One other area the Terriers excel is ball movement. They will make it extremely hard on the Hokies man to man defense by crisp passing to take advantage of a slip in coverage. They run screens underneath to free guards from trailers. This will be another game that I would really like to see Coach Young show some flexibility in terms of defensive strategy but I doubt it will happen.
Hunter Cattoor comes in trailing A.D. Vassalo by six treys for the Hokies All-Time Record for made Three Pointers. He could break that record tonight. If Cattoor does it tonight it will have been in ten less games than Vassalo. Cattoor also has about a 3% edge on career 3pt%.
H🙌nt is closing in on history 🏹Program Career 3FG Record1️⃣ A.D. Vassallo: 2672️⃣ Malcolm Delaney: 2643️⃣ @CattoorHunter: 261👌 » https://t.co/qBjYUpwFm2#StoneByStone pic.twitter.com/pxL4ztmeac— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) November 17, 2023
The Hokies have kind of regressed the last two games. South Carolina was tough but the Hokies even were outrebounded by Campbell. Seeing that and seeing the focus Wofford puts on getting the ball we have to hope the Hokies can adjust their rebounding tendencies, especially on the offensive end. Its been an unfortunate trend under Coach Young so I doubt we will see much change. Fire and forget reared its head early and often last year and already has been a problem this season.
Lynn Kidd continues to impress while his teammates struggle around him. Kidd put up 24 points and 15 rebounds and without him the Hokies might have been in real trouble against Campbell.
Its hard this early to understand the player rotations we are seeing. Pedulla getting in foul trouble made it even more difficult to determine what we should expect. Collins either has to find his shot or find a seat even with his slight edge on the defensive end. Outside of Kidd and Poteat, (80% and 83% from the floor) the Hokies really are struggling. The comical part is that three Hokies are shooting better from outside than in. Cattoor, Young and Rechsteiner all are better outside.
Getting 15 points from Long, Beran and Nickel on about 50 minutes per game is just not going to cut it. Part of the problem there though is that none of them seem to get consistent minutes so far.
The Hokies are shooting 80% from the line and hopefully that continues. If that happens against Wofford and the Terriers send them to the line at their average that would be 21-22 points for the Hokies from the stripe.
Highlight of Last Game
The Hokies per the announcers at the end of the Campbell game "have a big challenge" and a "big game" against Wofford which unfortunately seems to be true. Can the Hokies come out and do what they are expected to by winning by 20? Or do they come out, get their teeth kicked in on the boards and let Wofford hang around all night?
The Hokies really need a big win before being away from Cassell until December 3rd. They have the ESPN Events Invitational starting with Boise State and then either VCU or Iowa State depending on results. The other bracket sees Penn State against Texas A&M and Florida Atlantic going up against Butler. The Hokies will get a third game from one of these teams depending on results.
After the ESPN Events Invitational the Hokies head to the inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge at Auburn. Auburn already thrashed Notre Dame 83-59 on Thursday so Hokies have some challenges coming up.