It has certainly been a roller coaster few weeks. Between knocking off a then ranked Heels squad, a last second game winner against State and the road lows... I don't know how much more I can handle. Anyways, tonight the Deacs travel to Blacksburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Hokies are currently 1-4 in ACC play and are coming off a 70-63 loss to Notre Dame in South Bend.
|Categories||Wake Forest||Virginia Tech|
|Effective FG% Defense||44.9%||45.3%|
Effective Field Goal %
Offensively, neither team has put up staggering numbers nor been very efficient. However, Tech appears to have the advantage in this category. One reason being the Hokies ability to shoot the three, which makes up 34.4% of their scoring (23rd). Senior forward Jarell Eddie has been lights out from behind the arc, taking nearly a third of the teams three-point attempts and making of 43% his. Eddie also plays 32 minutes per game and boasts an eFG% of 49.3%, all while taking 29.3% of the teams shots.
Guarding against effective field goals is where both teams flourish, both being among the nations' top 50. Wake Forest has been able to have success by limiting damage from deep, as teams are scoring just 21.4% of their points. Though teams are scoring nearly 33% of their points from deep, Tech does a great job at limiting efficiency by holding opponents shooting to 32.2% from three and 43.4% from inside the arc.
Turnovers have been an Achilles heel for the Hokies as they do so on 19.6% of possessions. Tech features an extremely young back court made up of the "invisible hand" Adam Smith, Ben Emelogu and Devin Wilson. Of the three guards, Wilson tends to get the majority of the minutes (79.3%) and has turned the ball over on 28.9% of possessions! Turnover defense also kills the Hokies as they are dead last in turnovers forced at just 13.1%. If Wake Forest is going to win this game they MUST win the turnover battle.
The Deacs and Hokies are slightly above average at rebounding the ball, which is fairly surprising considering VPI is 21st in effective height and 14th in average height. Virgina Tech has two very solid rebounders in 6'10 sophomore Joey van Zergeren and 6'11 frosh Trevor Thompson. Of the two, van Zegeren is the better offensive rebounder snagging boards on 13.2% of opportunities, while Thompson grabs defensive rebounds on 21.3% of opportunities. The battle on the glass is always important, and the play of Bill Moto will be huge in this game as he is gathering offensive boards on nearly 13% of opportunities and defensive rebounds on 22.2% of chances. #BillMotoGang and Devin Thomas will certainly have their hands full with Tech's big and athletic front court.
Free Throws Attempted per Field Goals Attempted
Perhaps the biggest difference between these two teams is their ability (or lack) of getting to the foul line. The Deacs are second in the ACC at getting to the charity stripe, as they boast a free throw rate of 53.3, while Virginia Tech is dead last at just 43.9. Though Wake has been one of the best in the country at getting to foul line they only managed to get to the free throw line 10 times against Clemson. Clemson's ability to block (10 blocks) and alter shots clearly contributed to this drop in free throw rate. Virginia Tech may not get to the line very often but they do a great job of keeping their opponents off of the line, one way being their ability to block shots, which they do on 14.7% of possessions (26th).
I think this will be a hard-nosed and fast paced battle that will be determined by a few possessions. This game will be a battle of will, as both teams have strengths that parallel one another. If this was at the Joel I think the Deacs would run away with this one, but being on the road tilts the scale in Tech's favor. I think the Hokies size and athleticism is too much for the Deacs, and it may not be a popular pick but until I see an ACC road win (it has been two years) I am going to have to pick against the Deacs.
Wake Forest: 63
Virginia Tech: 65