The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team will look to further shock the Atlantic Coast Conference with a win tonight against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at 7 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum.
Both the Deacons and Hokies enter Tuesday’s game on four-game winning streaks, sitting second and third, respectively, behind the first-place Duke Blue Devils in the ACC standings.
Wake (18-5, 8-3) has climbed to second, thanks to big wins at the University of Virginia on Feb. 6 and at Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Hokies (20-4, 7-3) sit in third, with one more win than fourth-place Maryland.
But the season and the two teams’ destinies are far from determined.
“We still have to keep playing,” Tech junior guard Malcolm Delaney said. “We’ve got some games left and we have a chance to win the ACC if we keep playing the way we’ve been playing.”
Fresh off an impressive 75-64 win over Georgia Tech, the Deacons come to Blacksburg tonight. Monday, they became ranked for the first time this season (No. 23 in the Associated Press Poll, No. 25 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll).
Meanwhile, the pollsters continue to remain untrustworthy of the Hokies for such honors.
Tech, fresh off a season-sweep of the Virginia Cavaliers, will have to rely on guard Dorenzo Hudson and forward Jeff Allen to maintain its high level of play against the Deacons.
If Allen can play smart defense, he can be effective. If he can stay out of foul trouble, he can be a force.
Against Virginia, the junior forward picked up two quick fouls and sat for nearly 18 minutes of the first half. When he returned in the second half, he played with more aggressiveness than he has all season and played the main role in the Hokies’ comeback
“(Jeff is) playing with confidence,” Hokies’ head coach Seth Greenberg said. “He was hot in the last couple minutes of the game. We kept getting him the ball and he kept delivering for us.”
Greenberg noted Tech’s ability to take advantage of the “hot” man, a common theme in some of the Hokies’ bigger wins against Seton Hall, a game in which Hudson scored 41 points, and at home against Clemson, when Delaney scored 30, en-route to a 70-59 win.
“That’s how our team is: Whoever is the hot man, we keep going to him,” he said.
Hudson will be counted on for a big game scoring against the Deacons.
Ever since his explosive 41-point performance against Seton Hall, Hudson has become a regular name in Hokie Nation and someone the team can seem to rely on in clutch situations.
Alongside junior guard Malcolm Delaney, who leads the conference in scoring but has recently been struggling to find a rhythm, Hudson’s combined ability to shoot long-range and finish drives to the basket makes him just the scoring threat that the Hokies need.