2008 NIT Capsule: Virginia Tech

March 16th, 2008
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Virginia Tech Hokies

Atlantic Coast Conference (19-13, 9-7)

Seed: #1


RPI: 56

Big Wins: 1/29 Florida State (89-80), 2/20 at Maryland (69-65), 2/23 Georgia Tech (92-84)

Bad Losses: 11/28 at Penn State (61-66), 12/16 at Old Dominion (69-72), 1/3 at Richmond (49-52)

Coach: Seth Greenberg


Probable Starters:

Malcolm Delaney, Freshman, Guard, 9.1 ppg, 3.0 apg

A.D. Vassallo, Junior, Guard, 16.6 ppg, 2.0 apg, 4.8 rpg

Deron Washington, Senior, Forward, 12.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg

Lewis Witcher, Sophomore, Forward, 2.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg

Jeff Allen, Freshman, Forward, 12.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.2 bpg


Key Roleplayers:

Hank Thorns, Freshman, Guard, 4.8 ppg, 3.4 apg

Dorenzo Hudson, Freshman, Guard, 3.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg

J.T. Thompson, Freshman, Forward, 5.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg

Cheick Diakite, Junior, Forward, 2.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg


Why They Can Surprise:

Virginia Tech can be offensively challenged at times, so Coach Seth Greenberg’s squad will have to depend on defense to win in March. The opposition only shoots 40.8 percent against the Hokies and that is in large part due to the team’s five blocks per game. Freshman forward Jeff Allen is good for one block a game and Cheick Diakite, while not nearly the scorer that Allen has become, is a big time presence under the basket.


Wing Deron Washington will help out the forwards on the glass and put up some decent numbers in the scoring column as well. He can hit the three-pointer, but Washington is much more effective getting to the basket. Even if Washington is struggling to score, he is a good passer, a solid defender and will do all the little things.


Why They Can Disappoint:

This is a young team and there is no worse place to have youth than at the point guard position. Certainly Malcolm Delaney and Hank Thorns have performed admirably this season, but their inexperience has led to some problems. The turnover numbers are understandably high, but the bigger concern might just be what the effect has been on leading scorer A.D. Vassallo.


Who To Watch:

Delaney and Thorns might be the most important players on the team as far as success in the postseason goes, but Vassallo will be the biggest beneficiary if those two play well. Without the penetration ability compared to what Virginia Tech had last year, Vassallo’s shooting numbers have gone down quite a bit. Last year Vassallo got a ton of open looks and this year the opposing defenses key in on him. Still Vassallo is a prolific long range shooter when he can get open, but he is the only option on the team from beyond the arc.


By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 69.5 (157th in nation, 11th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 65.2 (90, 1)

Field-Goal Percentage: 43.5 (197, 10)

Field-Goal Defense: 40.8 (46, 3)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.1 (293, 5)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.4 (256, 11)

Free-Throw Percentage: 68.3 (184, 10)

Rebound Margin: 4.5 (42, 3)

Assists Per Game: 13.2 (170, 10)

Turnovers Per Game: 15.1 (220, 8)


Joel’s Bracket Says: Second Round loss to VCU




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