Virginia Tech Still Undefeated; Are They For Real?

By Brian Swanson
Peter Casey-US Presswire

Virginia Tech is still undefeated through six games, and the only other undefeated team in the ACC is Duke. To be fair, the only decent opponent the Hokies have played is Iowa, but they will get a chance to validate themselves in an upcoming contest against No. 15 Oklahoma State.

First-year head coach James Johnson has one of the best scorers in the country, Erick Green, leading his squad. In his senior year the 6’3” guard is averaging over 24 points and five assists per game. Green is also swiping two steals on the defensive end sparking transitional plays for the athletic Hokies.

Green isn’t the only stud in Blacksburg, Virginia. Junior forward Jarell Eddie and sophomore guard Robert Brown are the other two top contributors. Both players are thriving from downtown, but especially Eddie who is shooting over 50% from 3-point range. Eddie is scoring 17.5 points with 6.7 rebounds per game. He is a defensive playmaker as well rejecting 1 shot and pick pocketing one steal each game. Eddie does allow opposing defenders to bully him a bit too though, as he turns the ball over almost 3 times per game.

Brown is also scoring over 10 points per game and is a great complementary piece to Green on the perimeter. Between the two of them they get 9.2 assists per game utilizing great point guard and swing man play.

Also contributing significantly are junior forward Cadarian Raines, who averages nine points and seven rebounds per game, sophomore forward C.J. Barksdale, and freshmen forwards Joey Van Zegeren and Marshall Wood. It is the contribution of these four players that needs to continue for the Hokies to see success in 2012-13.

Having one of the best scorers in the NCAA is great, but one man doesn’t win games. The supporting role players will dictate this season’s outcome. Barksdale and Wood are each giving six points and five rebounds on average. The 6’10” Van Zegeren will also need to supply valuable minutes filling the paint. He will continue to develop as the season progresses and see his playing time increased.

Green, Eddie, and Brown will play over 30 minutes every game, so the perimeter depth isn’t a major issue. It is the four role-playing forwards who will need to perform at a high level for Virginia Tech to be a formidable opponent all season.

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