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Previewing Virginia Tech: Hokies and Pirates look to avoid winless trip to Brooklyn

UNC-Wilmington transfer Adam Smith (14 ppg, 8-19 3PT) has been economical for Va. Tech.
UNC-Wilmington transfer Adam Smith (14 ppg, 8-19 3PT) has been economical for Va. Tech.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

2012-13 Virginia Tech (13-19, 4-14; KenPom: 166; RPI: 176)

2013-14 Virginia Tech (3-2; KenPom: 141; RPI: 81)

The Hokies have lost standout senior Erick Green (25 ppg, 17.2 shots per game), who signed a pro-contract to play in Italy over the summer, and rising junior Robert Brown (8.3 ppg), who left the program for UAB via transfer, since last season.

Green and Brown have been replaced by senior Jarell Eddie (17.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and a combination of several underclassmen on a 3-2 Virginia Tech team picked to finish last in the ACC. Guards Adam Smith (So., 14 ppg), Ben Emelogu (Fr., 13.6 ppg), and Devin Wilson (Fr., 8ppg, 4rpg, 4apg) are all featured in second-year head coach James Johnson's rotation. Smith is a transfer from UNC-Wilmington, where he averaged 13.7 ppg as a freshman.

Only Eddie, Smith, and Emelogu are threats from long range (36/73, 49%), but they all shoot very accurately. Virginia Tech's overall 3-point percentage (45%) is 14th in the country. Devin Wilson (4 apg) is Virginia Tech's main assist man along with Adam Smith (3 apg). Wilson is also Tech's lock-down defender, he will likely guard Sterling Gibbs tonight. Wilson held West Virginia guard Juwan Staten to 10 points on 3-12 shooting last week.

6-foot-8 junior post-man C.J. Barksdale scored 16 points against VMI and 8 last night versus Michigan State since serving a 3-game suspension to start the season. 6-foot-11 Trevor Thompson (Fr., 7 ppg, 6 rpg), 6-foot-8 Marshall Wood (So., 4.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg), and 6-foot-9 Cadarian Raines (RS Sr., 7 ppg, 4.4 rpg) see time at forward along with Barksdale. Redshirt sophomore Joey Van Zegeren (3.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg), is a product of the Canarias Basketball Academy, but is usually buried on Virginia Tech's bench (13.2 mpg).

Virginia Tech has the 32nd best defensive block percentage (15.8%) in the country due to lock-down tin-guarding from Trevor Thompson (2.3 bpg), Cadarian Raines (1.4 bpg) and C.J. Barksdale (1 bpg). Joey Van Zegeren is actually tied for the team lead in blocks with 9, he averages a block every 7.3 minutes of play. Van Zegeren had 5 blocks in a season opening loss to USC Upstate with 3 coming in the final 3:23 of play in a 1-possession game.

After losing to USC Upstate, Virginia Tech beat West Virginia, Western Carolina, and VMI before losing to Michigan State last night. They looked comfortable playing uptempo with Michigan State during the first half before Sparty really started rolling. Eddie and Smith will be threats from 3-point range all night.

KenPom says: No. 85 Seton Hall - 76, No. 141 Virginia Tech - 71 (70%)
Projected Virginia Tech starters:

Fr., G - Devin Wilson

So., G - Adam Smith - 27 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists against Michigan St.

Sr., G/F - Jarell Eddie - 23 points (6-9 3pt) against Michigan St.

So., F - Marshall Wood

RS Sr., C - Cadarian Raines

Time: 7 p.m.

TV: truTV (DirecTV: 246, Verizon: 183, Comcast: 187)

Radio: AM 970