Miami Hurricanes Basketball Game 26 Preview: Virginia Tech Hokies


Location: BankUnited Center

Time: 7:00 PM

TV: Sun Sports

Line: Miami -12

The Miami Hurricanes basketball team evened up its ACC record with a necessary victory at Boston College. Miami (16-9, 6-6) has a quick turnaround as they play host to the Virginia Tech Hokies (10-15, 2-10) on Wednesday evening. With the ‘Canes placed firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble, each game becomes a must-win.

Virginia Tech Scouting Report

The Hurricanes just finished off a last place Boston College team, and Virginia Tech is not much better. The Hokies’ 2-10 conference record is good for second from the bottom in the ACC. VT holds victories over Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. Since Virginia Tech nearly pulled off the upset against #2 Virginia a few weeks ago, they have played at a much higher level. VT is 2-4 since then, but 3 of those losses came by a narrow margin.

The Hokies rank 207th in the country in points allowed and 174th in defensive efficiency. Over Virginia Tech’s last 5 games, they have surrendered an average of 71.6 points per game. I expect the ‘Canes to go for about 70 points on Wednesday, so limiting VT on the other end of the floor is key.

Virginia Tech does not shoot an excessive amount of 3-pointers, but they do shoot it at an efficient rate. The Hokies shoot about 39% from beyond the arc (30th in the country) and 45% from the field. These are respectable numbers for a team that wins very few games.

Similar to Miami’s previous opponent, the Hokies play an undersized lineup and will look to stretch the floor. Shane Henry, 6’8”, has gotten the starts at the five lately. This lack of size provides an opportunity for Tonye Jekiri and the ‘Canes to outrebound Virginia Tech. Although James Palmer did not play particularly well after getting the start versus Boston College, we may see a similar lineup in order to match VT.

Adam Smith, 6’1” guard, leads Virginia Tech on the offensive end. He has hit the double-digit mark in 10 of Virginia Tech’s 12 ACC games, including 26 in a win over Pittsburgh. Smith does most of his damage from behind the 3-point line. He shoots 42.8% from deep.

Malik Mueller, a 6’3” freshman out of Germany, has proven himself as an offensive weapon recently. He has averaged 13.5 points per game over Virginia Tech’s last 6 contests. Mueller is shooting just under 50% from 3-point range during that stretch. Hopefully he does not catch fire as Wake Forest’s Konstantinos Mitoglou did.


Virginia Tech: 66 – Miami: 71

The Miami Hurricanes should beat the Virginia Tech Hokies on Wednesday. VT will create mismatches with their undersized lineup, and that may give Miami some trouble. With Miami in the hunt for a NCAA Tournament berth, I think the ‘Canes will come out motivated and provide more defensive effort than they previously have.

Angel Rodriguez should be able to take advantage of Virginia Tech’s weak defensive backcourt. He did the same versus Wake Forest and played his best game in weeks. Sheldon McClellan and Davon Reed each played well in Miami’s last game. At least one of them will need to keep it up on Wednesday, especially from 3-point range.

Miami has been shuffling through multiple different lineups recently, and perhaps Coach L will throw Deandre Burnett into the mix. After accumulating 8 minutes of playing time in the Hurricanes’ last 7 games, Burnett made the most of his opportunity against Boston College. He played 18 minutes, all of which came in crunch time, and essentially put the team on his back down the stretch.

A win over Virginia Tech should get the ‘Canes on the good part of the NCAA Tournament bubble, while a loss may burst said bubble. Needless to say the Hurricanes cannot overlook another subpar opponent.