Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics
It’s been five days since Virginia Tech’s last basketball game. The hype however, still surrounds the Hokies big time.
Mike Young finds his squad at 10-2 overall and 4-1 in ACC play, becoming the first team in the ACC to get to 10 wins. He’ll look for his team to continue their sharp play this evening in Winston-Salem against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Game Day Information
When: Sunday, Jan. 17, 6 p.m. ET
Where: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC
TV: ACC Network
PXP: Anish Shroff
Analyst: Debbie Antonelli
Series History: Virginia Tech Leads 36-31
Last Meeting: Virginia Tech Won 80-70 on Jan. 14, 2020
Line: Virginia Tech -6.5
The Heat Is On
The heat is on for the 20th-ranked Hokies, and not in a bad way. Virginia Tech is on absolute fire right now, and there is no sign of anyone on the schedule in the near future stopping it.
We’ll see how long that lasts, but here’s some stats that make Hokie fans sleep well at night.
Last time out, Virginia Tech took down the Duke Blue Devils at Cassell Coliseum, 74-67 in a top-20 match-up, continuing to prove itself as a contender in the ACC.
How about 6-foot-2 Tyrece Radford? “Boots” recorded a double-double for the Hokies on Tuesday night, tallying 18 points and 12 boards. Keve Aluma bounced back from a couple rough games with 17 points, while Jalen Cone continued his hot streak, putting up 14 points in just 20 minutes of play.
We can’t just look at those few guys though. Hunter Cattoor, Nahiem Alleyne, Justyn Mutts, and Wabissa Bede were all major contributors against Duke. Those guys help make the Hokies nine deep each and every outing – the deepest they’ve been in recent memory.
Now, the Hokies will make a short drive to Winston-Salem, hoping to keep the train moving against a rebuilding Wake team.
New Look Deacs
The Demon Deacons (3-4, 0-4 ACC) are led by first-year head coach Steve Forbes. Forbes has a similar background to Young, building East Tennessee State into a mid-major power before leaving for Wake Forest this past April. Young built fellow Southern Conference member Wofford into a position similar when he left for Blacksburg.
As far as statistics go for Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons aren’t entirely all that impressive. They’ve been more competitive recently in the ACC, but the Deacs still don’t possess that true star.
Daivien Williamson is the guy for Hokie fans to keep an eye out for. It’s funny, the Hokies’ star player Keve Aluma followed Young from Wofford to Virginia Tech. Wake Forest’s best player took the same route.
Williamson transferred over from East Tennessee State this past offseason, and what has he done since he arrived? He leads the team in both scoring and assists at 11.4 points, and three dimes per contest.
Isaiah Mucius can be a threat down low for the Deacs, while former Hokie Isaiah Wilkins can also help out down there. Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t really gotten going in a Wake uniform. He’s only averaging 2.6 points per game in just about 16 minutes per contest.
It’s no secret that the Deacs have struggled this season. Virginia Tech has not.
Common logic? Probably, but too easy to not overlook.
The Hokies will continue to prove why they belong in the conversation to compete for an ACC title, moving into the top 15 and taking down the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at “The Joel” in Winston-Salem.
Prediction: (20) Virginia Tech 82, Wake Forest 68
After the Hokies return home Sunday night and begin preparing for spring semester classes starting this Tuesday, they’ll play host to another struggling team in the Boston College Eagles on Wednesday.
The game will tip at 5 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.