Virginia Tech finally got that goose egg off of the ACC win column with a gutty 76-70 win @ Wake Forest this afternoon. The Hokies won the game despite missing the services of starters Coleman Collins and Deron Washington, as well as senior reserve Shawn Harris. Wake Forest was playing without their best player, Justin Gray.
The best part of the game was the coming-out party of freshman forward A.D Vassallo who scored a career-high 29 points. The Hokies have desperately needed a third scoring option and may now have found one in the 6'6" 213 lb. Puerto Rican with the sweet outside shot (Vassallo hit 4-5 from 3-point land against Wake).
The win is a big one for Virginia Tech as they have some very winnable games coming up on the ACC schedule. If they can gain a bit of confidence headed into the back stretch of the season, the Hokies still have a chance for a respectable finish in the ACC. In fact if you compare last season's ACC results to this season's, Virginia Tech actually isn't too far behind where they were last year despite the 0-6 start. This year VT has lost @Duke, @MD, @FSU, and at home against UVA, Duke and UNC. In those same six games last season, VT was 2-4 beating both Duke and Virginia at home. Last year VT also played Wake only once, but they lost the game in Blackburg. The two teams will not play again this season, so last year's 2-5 record through those seven games translates to a 1-6 record this year. A win at Charlottesville, where the Hokies lost last year, would make this year's ACC record a wash when compared to last year.
The Hokies remaining schedule looks like this:
GT @ VT
BC @ VT
VT @ Clemson
VT @ UVA
NC State @ VT
VT @ Miami
FSU @ VT
Clemson @ VT
VT @ BC
I think that the Hokies have a good opportunity to make a late run in the conference and possibly finish with 6 or 7 wins headed into the ACC tourney. As a 6-10 record in the ACC would mean an overall record of 16-13, I think that would assure them of an NIT bid. Let's see if Seth Greenberg can parlay their great effort today into future success down the road.
And now let's see if the Hoos can do what VT couldn't by beating Duke in Durham this evening.