The opportunity was there for the mid tier ACC teams to collect some pelts this weekend but coming off an impressive performance in the ACC/B10 challenge you could almost feel a small let down on the horizon. Syracuse took their shot at Kansas in Miami and Louisville hosted Seton Hall but neither team was able to collect the W. I was impressed with Syracuse in the first half against the Jayhawks though, the Orange really gave them trouble in the first half.
One team that continues to impress me however is the Hokies from Virginia Tech, who traveled to Oxford, MS on Saturday and took some hard body shots from the Rebels before persevering and earning a nice win on the road. On an afternoon when both Ahmed Hill and NAW weren’t at their best, going a combined 6-16 and 2-8 from deep for 18 points, the Hokies still put up 83 points. Chris Clarke looks like he is all the way back, logging 35 minutes and putting up a double double of 16 and 12. Justin Robinson was absolutely huge in this game, burying a deep 3 to tie the game at the 3:31 mark in the second half and then assisted on VT’s next basket to tie the game again on their next possession. He also made two free throws and had another assist with around a minute left. I thought he was fouled on that last play when Ole Miss tied it to go to overtime, but that was still a good hustle play by Shuler. Robinson then logged 5 points and an assist in overtime where the Hokies squeaked out the win.
To touch on Ole Miss for a moment, they are a really fun team to watch play basketball. They get up and down, they have really athletic wings that can shoot the shit out of the ball including Terrance Davis who is one of the most exciting players in the country. Deandre Burnett, Markel Crawford and Breein Tyree are all capable players that, if they catch fire, Ole Miss can play with just about anyone. The Rebs don’t have much of an inside threat but they have a ton of fire power on the perimeter.
Kerry Blackshear continues to impress for VT, logging 17 points before eventually fouling out. If he can get to a place where he can play 28 minutes a game, which is a long shot, Virginia Tech is going to be that much harder to beat.
This Hokies team is deep, athletic and resilient. I am really looking forward to 12/16 when they travel to Lexington to play an equally athletic Kentucky team that can really defend.