The good news is: Georgia beat this team in Athens last year.
The bad news is: today’s game isn’t in Athens.
UGA (4-2) travels to Virginia Tech (5-1) to take on a Hokie team that finished 18-14 last year and felt somewhat slighted that they were not chosen for the NCAA Tournament. In my opinion, they were not selected to the field because they lacked enough quality wins against non-ACC opponents (lost to Xavier, Seton Hall, Wisconsin & Georgia). That means that they will be not only looking for revenge against the Dawgs, but also will be hoping to use the game as a “resume builder” for this year’s NCAA tournament. What remains to be seen in this young season is if Mark Fox’s team is actually a “resume builder” and not a “resume killer”.
Here is what worries me about the Va Tech starting five:
- Malcolm Delaney (21.2 pts/game) – 6’3″ 190lbs Junior Guard
- Jeff Allen (11.7 pts/game) – 6’7″ 250lbs Junior Forward
- Victor Davila (7.7pts/game) – 6’8″ 245lbs Sophomore Forward
- Terrell Bell (7.2 pts/game) – 6’6″ 205lbs Junior Guard
- Dorenzo Hudson (6.7 pts/game) – 6’5″ 220lbs Junior Guard
There are no misprints there – this team starts four Juniors, and they are all very well-fed. Allen and Davila are both wide space eaters, and two of their guards run 6’5″ & 6’6″…this looks like some big-time match-up problems for Ricky McPhee & Dustin Ware (who will have his hands full trying to limit Delaney from dropping 20+).
Let’s not get too down though…there is some good news. This Hokie team struggles in the shooting department – mustering only 39.8% from the field as a team. In there one loss this year against the Temple Owls, Tech shot a dismal 29.8% from the field.
UGA “Keys to the Game”:
- Full-Court, Full Tempo: Historically, Virginia Tech basketball teams like to play a half-court game and use their big bodies to wear teams down…and this team looks no different. UGA needs to show that same full-court trap press that they used against St. Louis on Wednesday against the Hokies as well to try to create turnovers and speed up the game
- The Price is Right: Teams this year will continue to try to apply double-teams to Trey Thompkins in an attempt to frustrate him offensively. Against St. Louis, Price was able to find himself wide open on several occasions by being active and moving along the baseline. If he continues to do this today, I don’t see why he can’t get more easy buckets with the defense shading towards Thompkins
- Ware ‘Em Down: Malcolm Delaney is a great player – you have to be to average 21.2 points/game in Division I basketball. He is going to score against UGA, there is no doubt about it. However, if Ware can get after him for 40 minutes and make him earn every bucket then he may not score quite so many. Last game, I asked Danny Ware to score points; this game I am asking for lock-down defense.
This game will not be on television…anywhere. Even the local Hokie networks are not showing this potential instant classic. Unless you are making the trip to Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, VA, you will have to put the fourth quarter of the Atlanta Falcons game on mute, tune into 750AM and let Scott Howard be your eyes.