The Men's Team
I don't really know how to begin. The team just isn't winning games. The most painful part is that in the last 6 ACC losses, the margins of defeat were 3, 4, 8, 10, 8, 8. These were not blowouts. Yet the W/L record doesn't lie.
Only two Hokies, SG Hunter Cattoor and PG Sean Pedulla, averaged in double figures (17.3 and 15.3, respectively). Mylyjael Poteat was the #3 scorer at 8.7 ppg, followed closely by Robbie Beran's 8.3. Behind them Lynn Kidd was 5th, with 6.7. Rounding out the scorers were Collins and Nickel with 6.3, apiece. Neither Jaydon Young nor Brandon Rechsteiner hit on any of their shots over this window.
For the first time in a long time, I can't sophomorically say, "nice" after seeing the number 69. That's all we averaged. Down from almost 80 ppg last window, and below the previous low of 70 over a 4 game window, back in the Boise, Iowa St, FAU, Auburn window. All of those teams are either ranked or RV in the most recent AP poll. Only Duke was in this window.
Where have you gone KBJ?
The 3 post players on the roster combined for a total of 15.7 rebounds per game. Do they need to stop watching their games and start watching the women play to learn how to rebound? Kitley and Summiel both have more rebounds than any of the men's players, through the same number of games, with Kitley having more than the top 2 rebounders on the men's squad. The guards only combined for a total of 8.7.
Yes, you read that right. The men's team averaged 22.3 rebounds per game.
Finally, something good to write about, and the most confounding. The Hokies put up 46 assists to just 25 turnovers. Only Poteat had an ATO of worse than 1:1. Factoring in steals, 5 Hokies had adjusted ATOs of n:1, n:0, or better. Twelve team steals meant that the adjusted team ratio was 46:13.
But for the fourth edition this season, PG Sean Pedulla failed to accrue an ATO of greater than 1:1, with a minimum of 14 assists.
Twice he was in the red.
In his last 18 games, he's gone 73:76. Remove those first 3 games this season, where he went 20:5, and you can clearly see he is not cut out to be trying to pass the ball.
Cattoor, Pedulla, and Collins lead the way with minutes, at 37.3, 36, and 34.3 respectively. Beran led the post players with 31, followed by Kidd's 21 mpg. Nickel and Poteat were the only other significant minute earners, at 20 and 17, respectively. Rechsteiner and Young combined for the remaining 10 total minutes.
It's not looking much better, going forward.
FSU is gonna start things off, coming in at 13-9 on the season as of this writing, but 7-4 in conference, somehow, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. They're not particularly good at anything except steals, and are middle of the pack in everything. Either they've played the softest of conference schedules, or they've gotten lucky so many times.
Then we will head on down to Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels are big, fast, athletic, and are in position to compete for a national championship.
UVA comes to Blacksburg next, and as we've already ad nauseum, across many threads through the years, they play a stifling defense.
Going up to Pitt presents a nightmare scenario for VT. This is a team that plays, consistently, only 3 guards, but 6 post players averaging 6-6 to 7-0, averaging at least 10 minutes per game. There will be no inside drives from our guards. Oh, and who is going to guard the 6-8 Blake Hinson who is currently draining his nearly 200 3 pointers on the season at a 41% clip?
Pain and not in a good way.
Maybe our men's team can do what the women did and knock off a #3 ranked team in the Research Triangle. Maybe we can even the series with UVA. Maybe we can expose FSU. Maybe we can actually dominate an opponent with a bunch of bigs.
But I strongly doubt it.
The Women's Team.
A lethal Virginia Tech just went 3-0 on the road against ranked opponents, knocking off the #3, #4, and #6 ranked teams in the ACC in their own buildings.
Nobody came within 9. The highest allowed score was 63.
Oh, and we beat UVA in the Cassell.
By less than a point a game, Georgia Amoore has dethroned Liz Kitley for the top scorer of the window, averaging 20.5. Kitley falls just short of 20, averaging 19.75 per. Matilda Ekh raked in another 13.75, while Cayla King just missed out on double figures at 9.25 per. After that, scoring got sparse, with Wenzel leading the way with 3.75 off the bench; and followed by Strack/Summiel at 2.5 per, and Baker rounding out all scorers with 1.25 per.
Kitley retains her top spot in rebounding (3 straight double doubles helps that) with 13.75 boards per game. Summiel earned her keep on the starting lineup with 7.25, Ekh and Strack tied for 5.25 rpg, and Amoore and King tied with 4.5. Also pulling down one rebound per half was Carleigh Wenzel, and the last rebounds were pulled down by Baker (0.75 per)
Even with the daunting road schedule, Georgia Amoore fell 2 assists shy of a double-double average, having dished out 38 assists. Wenzel and Summiel both added 8 apiece (to just 2 turnovers). As a team, the Hokies went 69(nice):45, with Kitley and Amoore both losing 13 turnovers apiece. Factoring in the team's 18 steals, the margin gets ridiculous at 69:27; nearly 3 to 1.
Micheaux is no longer in rotation, as the team appears to be settling into an 8 player rotation, but the minutes are starting to add up for the rest of the roster, thanks, in no small part, to the OT game in Chapel Hill. Kitley saw the most minutes, averaging 38.75 minutes, followed closely by Amoore's 38.25 mpg, Ekh's 36.25 mpg, King's 32.5 mpg, and Summiel's 27.75. First off the bench is Clara Strack with 15 mpg, then Wenzel's 12.75 mpg. The last 4.5 minutes were recorded by Carys Baker.
The next four will see three home games, starting with Boston College. The Eagles are 3-9 on the season, riding a 6 game losing streak. They are 9th in the conference in scoring, but 13th in points allowed. They are middle of the road in shooting percentage, but dead last in shooting percentage defense. Beyond the arc, they are dead last in the conference in shooting, and 13th in 3pt defense. They don't hit their FT, are 14th in rebounding. The big thing for them is their active defense, leading the conference in steals. They have 2 x 6-1 forwards providing most of their post minutes, which should have Kitley and Strack chomping at the bit. The defense will need to keep their patience with PG Kayla Ivey who doles out 5.6 assists per game to just 1.8 turnovers. It will be important to keep T'Yana Todd covered when she is standing beyond the arc, as she is the only player who is their only accurate shooter from beyond the arc (31 of 93). If it comes down to a foul game, 4 of the 6 players who average at least 20 minutes per game shoot worse than 66%, meanwhile the Hokies only have one player on the entire roster who shoots worse than 65% from the line. In short, what we do well, they counter poorly, what they do well, we counter well.
Next, the Hokies welcome Duke, who held the Hokies to their season low 46 points in Durham earlier this season. At 15-7 and 7-4 in conference, the Blue Devils are 3 and 2 since the last meeting. Duke held the Hokies 13% under their season average, and 10% under their 3pt%. Keeping some tabs on the guards for Duke will be critical for a victory, as, while none are putting up Kitley/Amoore scoring numbers, all 4 starters average between 9 and 11.6 ppg.
The lone road trip of this frame is third, as the Hokies travel to Louisville. The Cardinals are currently a half game behind the Hokies in the ACC, and like the Hokies, are the only two teams with a perfect home record remaining in the conference. Louisville 6th in the conference in scoring and scoring defense. They are the 2nd best shooting team, but 12th in shooting defense. They're also not great from beyond the arc in either offense or defense. Louisville is also poorer in rebounding than most of the conference, but they are the only team who allows fewer rebounds than the Hokies. This will also, likely be the largest attendance the Hokies will see outside of Cassell in a true road game. This will be a 3-guard lineup where everybody is averaging at least 9 per game, led by Kiki Jefferson's 13.4. The two forwards are not expected to be 3 point shooters as neither have made any on the four attempts they have tried. They have one volume shooter from range, who is hitting just shy of 30% on the year.
Sadly, we end this edition with Senior Night, welcoming North Carolina. Having just played them, I think we can safely say their abilities are fresh in our mind. It is entirely possible that a win here, coupled with a continued winning streak from today will clinch the ACC regular season crown for the Hokies.
BC should be a decisive win, followed by a close revenge win over Duke. Louisville is going to be a tough out, but doable. MMW, We will win the ACC on Senior Night.