Image Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

Home sweet home for the Virginia Tech Hokies. 

Mike Young’s team returns home from “Bubbleville” with a 3-0 record, carrying an early resume builder with a win over No. 3 Villanova. 

They’ll look to continue the momentum in a buy game, as the VMI Keydets will travel to Cassell Coliseum to face off against the 16th ranked Hokies. 

Game Day Information 

When: Thursday, Dec. 4, 8 p.m. ET

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

TV: ACC Network 

PXP: Jay Alter

Analyst: Malcolm Huckaby

Series History: Virginia Tech Leads 93-43

Last Meeting: Virginia Tech Won 64-55 on Dec. 21, 2019

Line: Virginia Tech -21.5

A First 

There are some happy Hokies in Blacksburg right now. After returning home from the Mohegan Sun Arena 3-0 with wins over Villanova and South Florida under their belt. Mike Young’s team finds themselves ranked 16th in the country. While it may be too early in the season for this to be a big deal, it’s certainly noteworthy with it being the first time the Hokies have been ranked in the Mike Young era. Virginia Tech last was ranked when the Hokies played Duke in the Sweet 16 back in 2019. 

The ranking is well deserved, as Virginia Tech continues to be led by Wofford Transfer Keve Aluma. Aluma put up 12 points and 4 rebounds against USF after posting a near double double against Villanova. Tyrece Radford led the Hokies in scoring in the win over the Bulls, scoring 21 points to lead Virginia Tech to a 76-58 win. 

What we haven’t seen this season are the young guys – Joseph Bamisile, David N’Guessan, and Darius Mattox – getting involved. The three-headed freshman monster has only put up a combined 3 points this season. A game like this should allow Mike Young to get them more comfortable with the college environment. 

A Familiar Face 

Mike Young’s old Southern Conference foe made a game of it in Blacksburg last year, only falling by 9, 64-55. The Hokies are just as familiar with the Keydets. Virginia Tech and VMI have played 136 times throughout their schools history, as the two schools are separated by just 83 miles. 

This isn’t as highly regarded of a VMI team for 6th year head coach Dan Earl as they’ve had in the past. The Keydets were picked 9th in the SoCon preseason poll, projecting to finish above just The Citadel, another service academy in South Carolina. 

VMI will no doubt want to make this one a game, as playing Virginia Tech always seems to fire up the neighboring Keydets. They come in 2-1 after an 84-71 win over future Hokie opponent Longwood, and will boast plenty of scoring weapons in Blacksburg.

Leading scorer Greg Parham, who averages 18.7 points per game, is a guy to watch out for. Kamdyn Curfman and Sean Conway are also guys that can score.

The Pick

VMI can score, no doubt about it. The Keydets are averaging nearly 80 points per game, but can they stop the Hokies and the big guys such as Aluma and Cordell Pemsl? The Hokies are shooting well, and also return their best shooter in Jalen Cone. Will VMI survive the floor spacing?

No. They won’t.

The Hokies will continue their momentum with a comfortable win in Blacksburg.

Prediction: (16) Virginia Tech 84, VMI 67

Up Next

After tonight’s contest, Virginia Tech will return to the hardwood Tuesday when they host Penn State as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

That game will tip at 9 p.m., and will be aired on ESPNU.