Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pack Heads to Hokie-ville

It seems like forever since the Pack last took the floor against an ACC opponent but it's only been a week, albeit a crazy one. State looks to add to the mayhem by taking down the 7th place Hokies in Blacksburg. In the past week #1 Wake was blown out by Miami and Duke was ripped through by Clemson, who later went on to get surprised by FSU. This provides a very peculiar picture in the ACC, as it's now anyone's guess who will finish in the top half of the conference. A win today by the Pack would put them in a position to make a move, but a win today is no guarantee. Leading scorers Malcolm Delaney and AD Vassallo provide VT with a 1-2 punch that, when hot, can outplay any team at any time. But hold down these two (especially Vassallo) and the Hokies can get a little out of wack.
The Pack on the other hand are back to the drawing board as far as the point guard fiasco goes. Degand's knee is acting up and hasn't responded to the situation the way the coaches were hoping, leaving Javi Gonzalez and Julius Mays as the two looking to see most of the minutes Sunday. On the bright side, senior guard Courtney Fells has started to get his swagger back. His confidence and stroke have been turning the corner and he has averaged 20.3 points over the last 3 games. Costner and McCauley both have continued their solid seasons giving the Wolfpack 3 viable scoring options, all of which they will need if they hope to take down the Hokies.
If you feel a sense of confidence about this game it's probably because you remember last season when the Pack downed Tech by 10, or 2 years ago when they ripped through them by nearly 30 points. Sid seems to have a knack for giving Seth Greenberg and company fits, but playing away from home is never a walk in the park. The Pack will need their point guards to handle the ball with confidence and cherish every possession, unlike they did against NCCU. VT is only averaging 13 turnovers a game, so the ability for the Pack to score on the turnovers is vital for a victory. This game will go a long way in predicting the Pack's final resting place. A loss today and it will be hard to climb to that upper tier, but a victory could put the Wolfpack in a very interesting spot with a few weeks left in the season.


1 Response to "Pack Heads to Hokie-ville"
  1. jose said...
    February 9, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    Nice timing on the McAuley tribute. Congrats Big Ben on an outstanding game- no doubt you would have gotten the FT's to win it on any other day with a any avg officiating crew.

    Any all big man coming out of the HS ranks need to play close attention how Coach Lowes utilizes his bigs. Hickson was a first option and McAuley is this year meaning that the message is clear- If you can school your man you will get alot of touches.

    Howell does have a face up game to go along with some solid footwork but hopefully his big contibution is attacking the glass-he and Smith will go Tazmanian devil next year on the offensive glass


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