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  1. #1

    MBB: Duke v Virginia Tech (Fri, 12/6, 7:00 pm, ACCN) Pre-Game and In-Game Thread

    The Blue Devils open up ACC play in early December as they take on Virginia Tech and the Hokies in Blacksburg. After dropping Michigan State in the opening matchup in Maui, Virginia Tech dropped the next pair to Dayton and BYU by 13 points each. The hot-shooting Hokies played abysmal defense in those last two games and will look to rebound against the Blue Devils as well as to extract a bit of revenge for the Sweet 16 loss last season.

    This will be the second ACC game for Virginia Tech as they began the season by beating Clemson on the road, 67-60. They then went on to win their next 5 games to start the Mike Young error on a promising note. Speaking of Young, this Hokies team features 6 freshman among its 9 regular rotation players. The holdovers include starting PG JR Wabissa Bede, starting F JR PJ Horne, and SO reserve G Isaiah Wilkins. Besides the inexperience, the Hokies are short, shorter, and shortest. Forwards Landers Nolley (6'7", 230 lbs) and PJ Horne (6'5'", 230 lbs) are about the only size the Hokies have. Both could be accurately described as small forwards playing up in the 5-out offense used by Mike Young. Reserve F FR Jon Ojiako (6'10, 240 lbs) is the only other big they have.

    The offensive attack for Virginia Tech is predicated on shooting. They take 3's often and make a bunch. Nearly half of their FG attempts on the season are from 3 and they are 3rd in the nation in 3P% at 43.1%. Not surprisingly, they do not get blocked very often or take many free throws. Watch out for Nolley. He leads the team in scoring at 20 per game and rebounds at 5 per game. Nolley had to sit out last season for "NCAA Reasons" and has begun his NCAA career with a bang. He's a talented player and is draining better than half his 3-point attempts so far. PJ Horne is going to be a tough matchup as he can stretch the defense as well as Nolley. On the defensive end, the question will be how either Nolley or Horne guard Vernon Carey, Jr. That cuts both ways as the Virginia Tech team is going to force Carey to guard in space a lot. We'll see how that plays out.

    About the only Hokie who can't shoot it is JR PG Wabissa Bede. The tenacious lead guard is just not a good shooter, hitting below 20% from deep on the season. He was better from 3 last season but is a career 56.0% FT shooter. He does run the offense with aplomb, though. Mike Young employs a lot of misdirection on offense where Bede or the other guards will attack the basket from the elbow along the baseline after rejecting a screen. This opens up a one-on-one lane to the hoop or a dump off to a teammate cutting to the rim from the weakside or even a kickout to a shooter off a pindown screen. With as many as 4 or 5 plus shooters on the court, someone is bound to get open for a look.

    The pace of Virginia Tech is deliberate and they prefer a halfcourt offensive affair. Duke is going to have its work cut out for itself grinding out possessions, staying with their man, playing a lot of one-on-one defense, and preventing open cuts to the lane. On offense, Duke should have no problem with either Carey or Hurt posting up their man or shooting over the top. There's no reasons for Carey to shoot worse than 70% on his 2-point attempts at Virginia Tech has neither the size or the shot blocking to bother him down there. Making 3's will go a long way to helping Duke as well, to spread Virginia Tech out and relieve the scoring pressure. I expect that Duke is going to struggle forcing TOs against this team. Let's hope the Blue Devils are up to the task after their thrilling victory on Tuesday night.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Winston’Salem
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post

    This will be the second ACC game for Virginia Tech as they began the season by beating Clemson on the road, 67-60. They then went on to win their next 5 games to start the Mike Young error on a promising note.
    Good opening post, and we can certainly hope the bolded is true.
    "Amazing what a minute can do."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    How well does VT handle the ball? Our defense seems to feast on shaky ballhandling...do the Hokers have a nimble PG?

  4. #4
    Va.Tech always plays us tough up there in Blacksburgh every year. I see this one not being any different. This is a game the Blue devils can win, but I'm thinking it won't be easy. Go Duke!
       

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northwest NC
    I like our chances in Blacksburg this year but I am a bit worried about the team being a little tired and/or underprepared. Does anyone know the travel schedule for the last few days? I'm assuming they flew back to Durham very late Tuesday night / Wednesday morning and would then turn around to leave for Blacksburg late today? That's almost no time to prepare for your first conference game in a hostile environment.
    "The future ain't what it used to be."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Winston’Salem
    Quote Originally Posted by DUKIECB View Post
    I like our chances in Blacksburg this year but I am a bit worried about the team being a little tired and/or underprepared. Does anyone know the travel schedule for the last few days? I'm assuming they flew back to Durham very late Tuesday night / Wednesday morning and would then turn around to leave for Blacksburg late today? That's almost no time to prepare for your first conference game in a hostile environment.
    K noted in his post-Sparty presser that the team would get back to Durham around 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday and turn around and head for B'burg today. And he wasn't happy about it.
    "Amazing what a minute can do."

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    How well does VT handle the ball? Our defense seems to feast on shaky ballhandling...do the Hokers have a nimble PG?
    They are pretty good at protecting the ball. They turn the ball over on 15.4% of possessions, which is good for 15th best in the nation. They also have one of the highest assist rates in the country. This is the profile of a team that likes to spread it out and take a lot of jumpers. and back-door cuts. They don't hound the ball that much and not good at either generating steals or blocks. It's steady, slow, methodical, lots of halfcourt sets, screens, cuts, kick-outs and jump shots.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mount Kisco, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by Tripping William View Post
    K noted in his post-Sparty presser that the team would get back to Durham around 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday and turn around and head for B'burg today. And he wasn't happy about it.
    K from the presser...
    We are placed in a very difficult situation, our conference put us in a situation where we will get back at 4 in the morning and literally, we are in the toughest week of our academic year, the week before exams. Two of our kids took tests last night here and now we got to go back and in the next day, Thursday, we fly to Blacksburg (Virginia). It is really not a good scheduling thing by our conference, and we will see how our guys react.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tripping William View Post
    K noted in his post-Sparty presser that the team would get back to Durham around 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday and turn around and head for B'burg today. And he wasn't happy about it.
    Yes. Saw a picture of the Duke team getting off the bus yesterday morning at Cameron after returning from East Lansing, and it said 4:04am. So Coach Ks prediction was pretty much on the money.

    And he was critical of the ACC for the scheduling. He also noted that this week, the week before exams, is the toughest week academically for the players, and that 2 of the players had even taken tests Monday night while they were in Michigan.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by SavDukeGrad View Post
    Yes. Saw a picture of the Duke team getting off the bus yesterday morning at Cameron after returning from East Lansing, and it said 4:04am. So Coach Ks prediction was pretty much on the money.

    And he was critical of the ACC for the scheduling. He also noted that this week, the week before exams, is the toughest week academically for the players, and that 2 of the players had even taken tests Monday night while they were in Michigan.
    I knew it was the cheats fault. Way to go Swofford. 9F

    GoDuke!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by jv001 View Post
    I knew it was the cheats fault. Way to go Swofford. 9F

    GoDuke!
    Yep-no worries for them about classes/exams.
    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    The offensive attack for Virginia Tech is predicated on shooting. They take 3's often and make a bunch. Nearly half of their FG attempts on the season are from 3 and they are 3rd in the nation in 3P% at 43.1%.
    Thanks for the preview, DBA.

    Duke is going to sell out to stop the Hokies' devastating 3-pt shooting attack, and we're just going to have to live with some layups getting made against us.

    Look at all this motion / screening / cutting in their offense. C'mon, we're not going to be able to stop everything here with limited preparation time. Stop the 3s, make them 2-pt shooters, live with some layups, and hope that our offense can score enough for the win. To reiterate, we can't have a bad offensive day and expect to win. I wouldn't go so far as to say the offense needs to carry us in this game (although that may be true), but hopefully we put up at least 1.1 points per possession in this one. < 1 ppp is a loss.


  13. #13
    How did Dayton and BYU so effectively handle VA Tech in Maui with little or no preparation time?

  14. #14
    Duke has lost 3 straight games to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The last Duke win at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg came February 25, 2015.

    It would be nice to finally get a win in Blacksburg!
       

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronDuke View Post
    Duke has lost 3 straight games to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The last Duke win at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg came February 25, 2015.

    It would be nice to finally get a win in Blacksburg!
    As usual, we will likely be without at least one significant starter against them on the road...
       

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronDuke View Post
    Duke has lost 3 straight games to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The last Duke win at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg came February 25, 2015.

    It would be nice to finally get a win in Blacksburg!
    I was trying to remember if we had won there since 2015.

    I have such terrible memories of our recent games there. Last year, Zion was out, and RJ was sick and running back to the locker room during timeouts.

    The year before, Bagley was trying to put the team on his back while Dan Dakich droned on and on about how selfish he was.

    At least Buzz wont be dancing around on the court. But that gym, omg that gym...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    Thanks for the preview, DBA.

    Duke is going to sell out to stop the Hokies' devastating 3-pt shooting attack, and we're just going to have to live with some layups getting made against us.

    Look at all this motion / screening / cutting in their offense. C'mon, we're not going to be able to stop everything here with limited preparation time. Stop the 3s, make them 2-pt shooters, live with some layups, and hope that our offense can score enough for the win. To reiterate, we can't have a bad offensive day and expect to win. I wouldn't go so far as to say the offense needs to carry us in this game (although that may be true), but hopefully we put up at least 1.1 points per possession in this one. < 1 ppp is a loss.

    Thanks for the video, TM. I know it goes against Coach K's man2man defense, but how do you think a zone would do against the VT 3 point attack. From what little I know, have heard or read, rebounding is tougher when playing zone. Plus the team will not have had time to work on a zone with such a short turnaround. Just a knee jerk reaction from me after looking at the video. I look for Coach K to go 10 deep in this game but will cut that to 8 in the 2nd half and foul trouble could dictate the rotation as well. GoDuke!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by devilseven View Post
    How did Dayton and BYU so effectively handle VA Tech in Maui with little or no preparation time?
    They scored a lot against a porous VT defense. I didn't watch those games like I did VT-MSU but the stats show that VT's defense was very bad.

    Also VT had the same amount of limited preparation time as Dayton/BYU did. VT has significantly more prep time than Duke does before Friday's game
    Coach K on Kyle Singler - "What position does he play? ... He plays winner."

    "Duke is never the underdog" - Quinn Cook

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    The offensive attack for Virginia Tech is predicated on shooting. They take 3's often and make a bunch.
    Va Tech is 10th in the nation for highest percentage of threes taken (48.5% of their shots have been threes). Duke is tied for 2nd in the nation for lowest opponents' percentage of threes taken (only 24.8% of our opponents' shots have been threes). How many threes the Hokies attempt may be the key to the game.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by tbyers11 View Post
    They scored a lot against a porous VT defense. I didn't watch those games like I did VT-MSU but the stats show that VT's defense was very bad.

    Also VT had the same amount of limited preparation time as Dayton/BYU did. VT has significantly more prep time than Duke does before Friday's game
    Maybe VT used the SFA loss to prepare for Duke. I'm always nervous when we have to play the Gobblers in that gym. I love it when we would play them in Roanoke, VA. Not a long drive when I lived in Rockingham County(Mayodan). Got to see one of my non-favorite Duke players there. Dell Curry sure had a sweet shot. I guess his sons got it naturally. GoDuke!

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