Virginia Tech freshman forward Marshall Wood has sustained a significant injury. During a loss to Georgia Southern on Sunday Dec. 15, Wood fractured his left foot and will be out indefinitely.
The 6’8” 210 lb. forward is a valuable role player for the surprising Hokies. Wood has been the top bench player for Head Coach James Johnson playing 18 minutes per game in just his first collegiate season. He’s logged 5.8 points, and 4.5 rebounds per game, although he has struggled from the field shooting just under 31%.
Freshman forward Joey Van Zegeren will have to step up in a huge way if the Hokies are going to continue their success. He is 6’10” and 225 lbs., and is averaging 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game. With boosted minutes his role could be the most significant of any forward for coach Johnson. Van Zegeren is shooting well from the field thus far with a field goal percentage of 57.1%. He is the tallest player on the roster and should see his minutes climb to over 20 each contest until Wood returns. Then Johnson will have some serious decision-making in distributing minutes, depending on how Van Zegeren performs.
Wood’s absence on the court will be felt immediately. The Hokies are already thin in the post with a small forward, junior Jarell Eddie, leading the team in rebounds with 7.2 per game. They have 4 big men that have made an impact this season including Wood and Van Zegeren. Starting in the post are junior Cadarian Raines and sophomore C.J. Barksdale. Raines pulls down 6.4 boards a game while Barksdale gets 5.1. The two starting forwards on a competitive ACC basketball team are only combining for 11.5 rebounds per game. That’s a number you might expect averaged by just a starting center at this level.
Virginia Tech has lost 2 of their last 3 games, but since they started the season on a 7-game winning streak their current record is 8-and-2. Next they face a pretty good Bradley team on Saturday Dec. 22.