Virginia Tech posted a 14-3 overall record so far this season, but things are going to get a lot tougher.
The out of conference schedule wasn’t particularly difficult. Tech lost just one game to the No. 16 Temple Owls.
The early ACC slate has shown Tech is once again a team to be feared in conference play. A tough 14-point loss to the reeling ninth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels gave way to a resounding 81-66 win over No. 23 Miami.
The Hokies didn’t play particularly well at No. 25 Florida State, but showed the grit and determination that have become trademarks of Seth Greenberg’s Tech squads.
Trailing by 10 points with just over a minute remaining, the Hokies mounted a furious comeback started by a Dorenzo Hudson layup, and continued with three-pointers by Terrell Bell, Malcolm Delaney, and Hudson.
While the loss stings, it proved this team has the ability to turn things on when they have to. Circle this game on the schedule; it’s the kind of loss that pays dividends in February and March.
After three ranked opponents to open ACC play and one final non-conference mismatch in favor of Tech, the Hokies face a series of winnable games against difficult conference foes.
The Hokies may or may not be pleased with their nearly successful comeback against FSU, but there’s no question Tech’s next opponent Boston College is absolutely ecstatic about their recent late-game exploits.
With center Josh Southern out most of the game against Miami with foul trouble, it was up to forward Joe Trapani and guard Reggie Jackson to lead the charge.
Trapani, a junior transfer from Vermont, has blossomed in his second season at BC becoming the team’s leading scorer and tying for the lead in rebounding (15.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG).
Against Miami, Trapani tallied a career-high 31 points including 5-10 from three-point range. Jackson chipped in 17 points in a dramatic 79-75 victory over the Hurricanes.
Both teams come in off a win in this one, but the Hokies are very much in need of a winnable ACC game at home where they are 9-0 this season.
In a wide open ACC, there’s no question you have to win games like this at home. For the Hokies to be successful in conference play, this one is a must.
The Henson Heave
This has literally nothing to do with this Saturday's game, but it certainly deserves a mention.
January 21st marks the 30th anniversary of what is known in Hokie lore as the "Henson Heave"
In a game at Florida State (playing in the old Metro conference) the Hokies led late, but the Seminoles rallied to take the late lead. It was then that Henson picked up the ball and tossed it the full length of the court to win.
There are two crazy things about it, the first being it only counted for two points as there was no three-point line yet.
Second, Henson threw the ball with his right hand and he normally shot left-handed. To be fair, I've heard Les was ambidextrous aside from his basketball shot.
Here's the actual video , and no, he wasn't out of bounds if you account for the fact the camera is shooting from mid-court. There are angles and math involved far too complicated for a sports column, but there was also an official right there.