While last season went sideways after Ian Miller suffered an injury, this season kept hope alive without Ian, at least for one game. The short-handed Hokies came to town to face a Seminoles team with one point guard (who sat out the first 10 minutes for disciplinary reasons) and failed to apply any pressure all night. On every possession Virginia Tech ran 20 seconds off the clock before entering into anything which might be considered an offense, and then - against FSU's stifling defense - they generally settled for a jumper. A good gauge of offensive pressure is how many fouls you draw, and 30 minutes into the game Virginia Tech had drawn three.
The Noles used an 11-0 run to build a double digit lead at halftime, 31-20. VT briefly cut it into single digits before Okaro White scored six straight points, which was followed by back-to-back-to-back 3s by Aaron Thomas. At that point the Noles led by 15, and Virginia Tech finally sped up the tempo, but they weren't able to dent the lead. In the end it was 70-50. FSU scored more than 1.15 per possession, and allowed less than 0.85, which is pretty much domination on both ends.
I thought this might be a game where FSU was forced to play a lot of zone to cover up for their lack of depth in the back court, or at least play the walk-ons. But due to VT's strategy which seemed to be making the game end as quickly as possible, FSU didn't even need to sweat, much less alter their game plan. The walk-ons didn't enter until there were two minutes left in the game, and Marquez White made his debut by quickly draining a three.
For the game FSU's offense was largely fueled by drilling the ball in to Okaro White, who either went to the rim or kicked it out to Aaron Thomas. Thomas made 6-8 3s on his way to 24 points (an ACC high for him), while Okaro had 15 points and 8 boards. Boris Bojanovsky had eight points, while point guard Devon Bookert contributed 7 points and 8 rebounds.
Now FSU (14-8, 5-5) has a couple of days off before traveling to their final ACC matchup with Maryland before they head off to the Big Ten. The two teams are tied right in the middle of the conference in 7th place, and an FSU win will put them back into solid position for the NCAA tourney.