Duke will return to action for the first time since walloping Michigan State when they travel to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils will be looking to extend their latest win to three while the Hokies will try to avoid their third consecutive loss since their upset of Michigan State.
Both teams feature explosive offenses, but they use different methods to put points on the board. One one hand, Virginia Tech (76.2 points per game ) lives by the three-pointer and supplements their outside attack with effective cuts to the basket by point guard Wabissa Bede and 6’7” shooting guard Landers Nolley II. On the other hand, Duke (84.1 points per game) has a number of shooters, including Tre Jones and Matthew Hunt, but showcases an effective inside-out approach with the ever-improving freshman center Vernon Carey, Junior.
In addition to their offensive attacks, both the Blue Devils and Hokies have smothering defenses that pose difficulties to opponents night in and night out. So, this early-season should feature plenty of steals, picked off passes, and points in transition.
Look for the Hokies to put up a good fight but fall a bit short as they will struggle to find an answer to Duke’s size, variety of shooters, and Carey in the paint.
What To Watch For:
- The battle between the point guards, Duke’s Trey Jones and Virginia Tech’s Wabissa Bede will go far in determining the outcome of the game. Bede is the most exciting guard you haven’t heard of and Jones is arguably the best defensive guard in the nation.
- Vernon Carey, Junior, who is becoming an all-time great big man for Duke, is worth the price of admission. He is averaging 19.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game, and he has only played in 9 college games. No one has had an answer for him yet.
- Can Virginia Tech, whose tallest starter is the 6’7” Nolley, a guard, find a reliable inside offense against larger, quality opponents? Their one-sided losses to Dayton and BYU suggest that they cannot. Maybe things will change tonight.