Matchup Preview: Syracuse at Va Tech

Syracuse hits the road for the second time this season as they face the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg. takes an in-depth look at the Hokies and previews the matchup inside.

Syracuse hits the road to face the Virginia Tech Hokies in their second ACC game.


Virginia Tech would like to start Devin Wilson and Adam Smith in the backcourt. But Smith's status is in doubt, as he has missed the last two games with a calf injury and may not play against the Orange. In his absence, Ben Emelogu starts and runs the point.

Emelogu is a bigger guard at 6-foot-5, and is a score first point guard. He can shoot from the outside, and is averaging nearly two makes from beyond the arc per game while shooting over 40%. He is, however, prone to turning it over. The true freshman can get sped up and play a bit out of control at times.

Wilson is a solid guard who is a secondary offensive option. He's not a great outside shooter, but is more of a slasher who tries to get in the lane and finish at the rim. Wilson is also a solid defender.

Junior Will Johnston is the primary reserve with Smith's injury. Johnston is a scorer who can also shoot from the outside. He gives the Hokies a better shooting option to Wilson, but is not as strong a defender.


Jarell Eddie starts at small forward for the Hokies, and is their best player. He is a 6-foot-7 wing with a versatile offensive game. He can score from anywhere on the court, including hitting the outside shot and finishing at the rim. Eddie is shooting over 47% from beyond the arc this season. He is also solid on the boards, averaging over six per game.

Marshall Wood starts at the other forward spot, and is a 6-foot-8 forward who can also hit from the outside. He's more of a perimeter oriented forward who is not overly physical inside.

Joey Van Zegeren is the fifth starter at 6-foot-10. He is an average offensive player who is the best low-post threat for the Hokies. He is also their best shot blocker at nearly two per game.

C.J. Barksdale is the key reserve up front, and is a gifted scorer. He can also crash the boards and is a solid defender. He gives the Hokies energy off the bench.

Christian Beyer and Trevor Thompson may get a few minutes off the bench as well, but neither are big factors in their attack on either end, though Thompson is a natural shot blocker.

Defensive System

Virginia Tech plays primarily man on the defensive end of the floor. They mix in zone on occasion, and can press if needed. But they play straight, aggressive man defense a majority of the time.

Team Stats

Virginia Tech is shooting over 42% from beyond the arc as a team. Despite that, they are only 148th in the country in scoring at 74 points per game. They are, however, a strong rebounding team at over 41 boards per game, good enough for 15th in the nation.

Who has the edge?

We take a look at who has the edge at each position HERE.

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