Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Virginia

Akil Mitchell

The Virginia men's basketball team welcome in-state rival Virginia Tech to the John Paul Jones Arena. HooNation previews the battle for state supremacy.

The Virginia men's basketball team looks to move to 6-1 on the season, which would be their best start since 1982-1983, on Saturday with Virginia Tech rolling into town.

Last Time Out

The Cavaliers made it two wins in a row by defeating North Carolina 76-61. The win over UNC only cemented Virginia's great run in the ACC. UVa now has wins over Florida State, Wake Forest, NC State and UNC since their loss to Tennessee in December.

The wins are impressive enough, but it is the matter in which the Cavaliers are winning these games that has garnered some attention. UVa has won these games by at least ten points, for the first time in school history, after some dominating starts. The only game the Cavaliers have not secured a lead right out of the gates, was their loss to Duke.

A lot of the reasons behind the wins, including that stingy defense. The Cavaliers rank fifth in the nation in scoring defense at 56.8 points per game and grabbing 55 percent of rebounds. Coupled with that with some key performances, you have the winning formula.

London Perrantes has had phenomenal start to his Cavalier career. Perrantes notched up a career-best nine assists. Since his first game at UVa, he has tallied 26 assists and only seven turnovers.

Then just look at what Justin Anderson, Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris have added. Anderson is Tony Bennett's main man off the bench with 13 points against UNC, while Harris and Brogdon had 16 points a piece.

The Rivalry

Virginia leads 84-53 all times against Virginia Tech in the series, with the Cavaliers sweeping the Hokies last season. The Cavs will try to make it four straight wins against Tech, and a win on Saturday would mean UVa would have won six out of the last seven contests in the series.

Tony Bennett is 5-3 all time against the Hokies.

Scouting Virginia Tech

(8-10, 1-5)

The Hokies are on a five game-skid scoring 56.8 points per game, shooting 39.5 percent from the field, which is the worst in the ACC, and 32.7 percent from the outside. In short Virginia Tech lacks offensive play, they rank 10th in the assists in the ACC and struggle from the line as well.

Players to Watch Jarrell Eddie- Eddie has been struggling to find consistency in the game. Without Ben Emelogu the last two games, Tech were relying on Eddie, but he just simply has not shown up. he is averaging just under 11 points a game , although he has the ability to score in the 20-30 range. He is shooting 28.8 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from the outside. This is the reason why Tech has been struggling offensively.

Devin Wilson- The freshman point guard has started to pick up the pace for the Hokies. Wilson has scored14,20 and 26 points in the last three games, with only six turnovers in those three games. Wilson is a threat when he attacks the basket and has improved his free throws. He is hitting 54.5 percent from the line, but has made 16 out of the last 21.

Injuries

Adam Smith-(Calf) doubtful

Ben Emelgou- (Sprained Ankle) questionable

Prediction

I am skipping keys to the game this week because if Virginia plays 70 percent of what they are capable of UVa should win this one easily. Virginia Tech lack the depth and the scoring ability needed to rout the Cavaliers. UVa has been doing everything right, and it would shock me if UVa does not reach over 70 points again and did not win this by at least a15 point margin.

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