WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | Sports

Hokies Hope to Dictate Tempo Against 'Hoos

Virginia coach Tony Bennett says there's a noticeable difference to the Virginia Tech basketball team this season.

"They're playing very fast this year," Bennett said earlier this week. "That's a change from years past, where they're really trying to get the ball in the open court and push, and score a lot of points. So you're going to have to be ready, like a lot of teams in our league, in terms of making them set up."

Bennett's Cavaliers visit the Hokies Thursday night in Blacksburg. It's the first meeting between the two in-state ACC rivals this season, which means it's the first time Virginia will face new Virginia Tech coach James Johnson.

The Hokies are averaging 75.5 points per game under Johnson, which was good for fourth in the ACC entering Wednesday night. On Thursday, they'll face the second-best scoring defense in the country -- Virginia is only allowing 50.6 points per game.

On Wednesday, Johnson and senior guard Erick Green -- the nation's leading scorer, averaging 24.6 points per game -- both talked about the importance of playing Thursday's game at the Hokies' higher pace.

"I think UVA's main thing is if they hold the ball for 30 seconds upper shot clock and get a nice shot they want and they don't really rush things," Green said. "They want it to be in a low type pace game and we've just got to get out and run, and hold them to a limited one shot."

"It's going to have to start on the defensive end," Johnson said. "We are going to have to try and get some stops and get out in transition and not face their set defense. They're a really good defensive team, and when we have to face all five guys on defense it's going to be a challenge for us."

Both teams enter Thursday's game a 2-2 after wins at home last Saturday. Virginia beat Florida State 56-36 in Charlottesville, while the Hokies beat Wake Forest 66-65 in Blacksburg.

The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.


powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 188150871