What To Watch For With VT-UVa

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Mike Scott and the Hoos open ACC play with VT.

With the first Virginia-Virginia Tech men’s basketball match-up coming early on the ACC calendar, the Cavaliers and Hokies will have to be in league battle mode the first weekend of December this time around. How will Seth Greenberg and Tony Bennett prepare their teams for the in-state showdown? Here are some things to watch for during the basketball game on Sunday.

Schemes

Last season I thought Seth Greenberg was as well prepared for UVa’s personnel and tendencies as any coach the Cavaliers faced all season. Greenberg threw out a number of different offensive looks that forced Virginia to adjust match-ups; it was a smart strategy, particularly against a new coach who was still learning his personnel and trying to implement his system. I don’t think Greenberg will throw as many different things at the Cavalier defense this season but I do think that he’ll try to get at least one or two out-of-the-ordinary looks see how Bennett responds.

One look that I definitely expect to see is a return to the tight flex. Virginia Tech had a lot of success with the flex offense as a set against UVa last season and physically the Hokies are probably better suited to attack the Cavaliers with it this season. The freshman guards need to come prepared to fight because Greenberg is going to make them play some post defense at some point in this game.

Another interesting dynamic to this game and Virginia Tech’s preparation is that the Hokies haven’t really faced a team packing in a man-to-man defense, the Hokies have faced a lot of zone and have faced some up-tempo man defenses but not one that will sit back the way Bennett likes to do. The Hokies are going to need to be patient and work through their sets in halfcourt situations. The advantage for VT is that it makes it a little harder to scout what Greenberg’s game plan for this game will be; last season’s tapes might be the best film study Tony Bennett can do.

I don’t think it’ll happen but if I were advising Tony Bennett this week I would tell him to have a zone defense

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