BUFFALO, N.Y. (WSLS 10) – On Thursday evening in Buffalo, the East Region games take to the floor.
Virginia Tech and Wisconsin both practiced on Wednesday and the first thing you notice when looking at the Badgers is their size.
Virginia Tech has been lacking in the height department, especially since Chris Clarke has been out with an injury. While looking at Wisconsin’s film and stats, there are three big-time players the Hokies need to keep in check.
Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes are among the three top scorers on the team, both averaging more than 13 points per game. The two post players will make it difficult for the Hokies to defend the paint.
“I think that’s been a challenge all year. Playing big teams in the ACC and now as you know, the Big 10 likes to play two bigs so I think it will be a challenge, but we have been working hard on boxing out and taking up space so I think we should put it to affect and be okay,” said Tech guard Justin Robinson.
“I think we’ll have to do multiple things, both of those guys are better than our guys. Both of those guys can get you in foul trouble, both of them are good one-on-one scorers. They have three really good one-on-one scorers but within 15-16 feet those guys are really good,” explained Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams.
Completing the trifecta of the Badgers big producers is Bronson Koenig, who averages 14 points per game and broke the school record for career 3-pointers.
“We know what he can do. We watched plenty of tape on him, so once again, awareness, we can’t stop great players from doing everything but not letting him have a field day is our goal,” said Hokies guard Ty Outlaw.
Two keys to winning the game for Virginia Tech are rebounding and making shots.
Wisconsin is ninth in the nation is boards.
The Hokies are 12th in the nation in 3-point percentage and they need to be hot behind the line on Thursday night to pull out a win.
Tip-off is schedule for 9:40 p.m.