Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS, 2-0 O/U) vs. St. Louis Billikens (2-0 SU)
Madison Square Garden, 2K Classic, New York.
Line: Virginia Tech -13.5
Virginia Tech returns four starters from a 22-11 team that finished 10-8 in the ACC. The Hokies beat Detroit (111-79) last Friday and The Citadel (132-93) on Sunday. They’ll face a St. Louis team that will hope to slow down that Hokies’ offense. The Billikens return four starters from a 12-21 team. They beat Seattle in their opener (62-46) and Division II Rockhurst (74-50) on Nov. 13.
Hokies erupt against Bulldogs
Most NBA teams struggled to score 132 points and there is a very little defense being played in the pro’s. The Citadel is an up-tempo team that loves to score but struggles on the other end. On Sunday, their struggle became epic as Virginia Tech scored their second-most points in school history in their 132-93 win over the Bulldogs. Freshman shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker led the way with 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while junior center Kerry Blackshear added 22 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. Shooting guard Ahmed Hill contributed 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The Hokies produced a ridiculous 36 assists on 68.6 percent shooting. The shot 12-of-22 from beyond the arc and held The Citadel to 42.3 percent from the field (14-32 3pt). Imagine how many points they would score if they hadn’t turned the ball over 19 times?
This is a team with a very balanced attack. They did lose their leading scorer Zach LeDay (16.5ppg, 7.3rpg). Junior Chris Clarke (11.4ppg, 78.3rpg) and Hill (11.4ppg) are certainly capable of replacing his production and increase their own from last season.
Billikens will get first test
St. Louis should beat a Division II team by 24 points. They’ll take any win after winning 34 games over their last three seasons. They did have five players score in double digits against the Hawks of Rockhurst. Jake Johnson led the way with 14 points, while transfer D.J. Foreman added 10 points five rebounds off the bench in 18 minutes. Hasahn French contributed 13 points and eight boards, while Jordan Goodwin led the way with eight assists and eight points. The Billikens shot 56.8 percent from the field and made 6 of 14 3-pointers.
Foreman (6-8, 240) could be a good fit here for two seasons. The former Rutgers big man averaged 7.9 points and 6.0 rebounds in 2015-16 for the Scarlet Knights. French is a 6-7, 235-pound freshman power forward, who has looked good so far. The Billikens could also use a healthy Jermaine Bishop (11.6ppg, 4.7apg), a 6-1 redshirt sophomore, who played in just nine games due to a foot injury last season.
Virginia Tech is:
- 6-2 ATS last 8 neutral site games.
- 21-8-1 ATS last 30 after an ATS win.
St. Louis is:
- 0-3-1 ATS last 4 vs. ACC.
This is a total mismatch, even if Justin Bibbs (suspension) doesn’t play for Virginia Tech. St. Louis is still in rebuilding mode under second-year coach Travis Ford. They need to some better luck to come close to competing against very good teams like the Hokies.