Maryland Starts ACC Play: Previewing Virginia Tech
Having gone 12-1 in their Out-of-Conference schedule, the University of Maryland Terrapins begin their Atlantic Coast Conference season vs. Virginia Tech this Saturday.
Virginia Tech will arrive in College Park sporting a 9-4 record. After winning their initial 7 games, they have gone just 2-4 in their next 6.
In November, they beat Iowa (11-3) 95-79 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. In that game, Virginia Tech got to the foul line 30 times, and converted 27 times. Erick Green led the Hokies with 24 points. He was one of six Virgina Tech players that scored at-least 9 points in the game. The Hokies won a close battle (32-30) on the boards vs. the Hawkeyes.
Several days later, Virgina Tech beat then #15 Oklahoma State (10-2, now #22) 81-71, also at home in Blacksburg. Green was again the leading scorer, finishing with 28 points, and adding 7 boards. His performance led Oklahoma State’s Travis Ford to say, “He’s one of the best guards in the country, one of the best point guards in the county, bar none.”
In that game, Virginia Tech got to the line 33 times, making 27 of their shots. They beat the Cowboys on the boards 37-29, with Jarrell Eddie claiming 12 rebounds.
After those games, the Hokies were feeling pretty good about themselves. Picked to finish 10th in the ACC, they were 7-0. A week later, they suffered their first loss, a 1 point loss at West Virginia. The Mountaineers dominated on the glass (46-33), and the Hokies only had 10 foul shots.
They would crush Mississippi Valley State, before losing to Georgia Southern (Southern Conference) 78-73 at home. Virginia Tech rebounded from that loss, to beat Bradley by 1.
The last two games have been ugly. A 36 point loss (88-52) vs. Colorado State in Las Vegas, followed by a 26 point loss (97-71) in Salt Lake City against BYU. Against the Cougars, Virginia Tech got the line 38 times – but made just 21 of their FT attempts. They were also 2 of 20 from beyond the arc.
The starting lineup has been the same for each of their 13 games:
Green (Sr, 6’3 185lbs, Guard): 24.4 ppg, 32.2% from 3 (4.5 attempts per), 85.5% FT, 4.6 assists, 4.5 boards, 1.6 steals.
Eddie (Jr, 6’7 218lbs, Forward): 14.8 ppg, 6.8 boards, 41.2% from 3 (5.2 attempts per), 86.7% FT.
Robert Brown (Soph, 6’5 190lbs, Guard): 10.6 ppg, 27.5% from 3 (3.9 attempts per), 63% FT, 2.3 turnovers.
Cadarian Raines (Jr, 6’9 238lbs, Forward): 6.9 ppg, 6.3 boards.
C.J. Barksdale (Soph, 6’8 232lbs, Forward): 5.2 ppg, 4.4 boards.
Nationally, the Hokies are:
41st Points Per Game (77.1)
50th Rebounds Per Game (39.2)
244th Assists Per Game (11.9)
154th FG % (.440)
248th Scoring Defense (70)
191st Turnover Margin (.2)
The Head Coach is James Johnson, who replaced Seth Greenberg. Johnson spent the previous 5 years as part of Greenberg’s staff at Virginia Tech, serving last year as the Associate Head Coach.