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After three games this season, the Hokies remain perfect. Of course, you have to keep in mind who the Hokies have played in their first three games and keep that in context. Still, in a year where you’re replacing an entire coaching staff and only have eight scholarship players at your disposal; any win is a good win. So far, the Hokies have looked efficient both offensively and defensively. If that continues as the season rolls along, good things are in-store for this group.
Last night’s 95-80 win over VMI was impressive for numerous reasons. First, the game was nowhere near as close as the final score indicated. Tech led 75-50 halfway through the second half before a big run against Tech’s all-walk-on unit allowed VMI to creep back into the game. Second, Erick Green and the rest of our starting lineup were absolutely phenomenal.
Through three games, Green is shooting 59% (23-39) from the floor including 50% (6-12) from 3-point land. Those are incredible numbers. On top of that, he’s averaging five assists and three rebounds a game while turning it over just five times total. He’s also added seven steals. The only blemish on Green’s otherwise near flawless start to this season is his 17-24 performance from the free throw line. Those missed free throws will be more costly as this season unfolds.
Green’s performance is impressive but it’s not even the most surprising storyline this season. How about the play of Joey Van Zegeren, the Hokies redshirt freshman at center. Last night, Van Zegeren played 18 minutes at the center position. His final stats: eight rebounds, four points, one assist, and one block. Those are not All-American numbers but they’re exactly what Virginia Tech needs this season.
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In fact, JVZ is playing well enough that he’ll give Tech another option in their starting rotation going forward. Of course, you do have to worry about foul trouble with him. He’s averaging three per game in just 16 minutes of play. But, against a bigger more physical ACC team, starting JVZ at the “5” position is an option. I never thought I’d say that this year.
Overall, I’m pleased with Tech’s performance through three games. But, I still want to see how this group plays against a team of equal skill before I start mentioning the “P” word. With a tough stretch of games coming up after Thanksgiving, we’ll have a pretty good understanding of just how good this team is after their game against West Virginia in Morgantown on December 8th.
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