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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Appalachian St. at Virginia Tech
When: 1:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 22, 2014
Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Virginia

Virginia Tech is opening the season with a flourish, especially on the defensive end. The Hokies hope to make it a 3-0 start when they host Appalachian State on Saturday. Virginia Tech is one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country in the early going, shooting 56.3 percent, and is keeping the pressure up on the defensive end while holding its first two opponents to an average of 54.5 points.

The Hokies brought in a new backcourt pairing for 2014-15, and freshmen guards Justin Bibbs and Malik Muller are making an immediate impact. The sharpshooting duo average a combined 24.5 points while knocking down 7-of-11 from 3-point range. The Mountaineers are not quite as hot to begin the campaign and fell to Ohio and Furman while averaging 56 points on 36 percent shooting, though senior forward Tommy Spagnolo is off to a strong start with 12 points and 9.5 rebounds.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, ESPN3

ABOUT APPALACHIAN STATE (0-2): The Mountaineers are leaning on guard Frank Eaves but the 6-2 junior is having trouble finding his shot. Eaves, who struggled to 31.6 percent shooting as a sophomore, is 7-of-28 from the field through the first two games. Eaves made up for the inaccuracy by attacking the basket against Furman and went 8-of-12 from the foul line en route to a team-high 20 points.

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (2-0): Bibbs and Muller are getting open looks in part because of the attention being paid to forward Joey Van Zegeren, who collected 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 73-63 win over Liberty on Wednesday. “My teammates went to the basket and got good attempts,” Van Zegeren told the school’s website. “…It was just playing our own game and playing in the flow that we like to play.” The Hokies shot 61 percent in the win after starting the season off at 52.2 percent in a 71-46 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.

TIP-INS

1. Virginia Tech G Adam Smith joins Muller and Bibbs as a long-range option and is 4-of-8 from 3-point range.

2. Mountaineers F Jacob Lawson sat out Wednesday due to a violation of team rules and there is no timetable for his return.

3. The Hokies will broadcast the school’s football game at Wake Forest in the concourse of the arena, hoping that fans will come to enjoy both events.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 81, Appalachian State 58
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Appalachian St. 0-2 L2 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-1 0-1 0-0
Virginia Tech 2-0 W2 2-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 2-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Appalachian St. Virginia Tech
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/23/12 APP 76 VT 87 76 32 46.7 87 25 50.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Appalachian St. J. Canty 21 50.0 3
Virginia Tech E. Green 27 50.0 11
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Appalachian St. J. Canty 7 1 6
Virginia Tech M. Wood 8 2 6
Assists Player  
Appalachian St. T. Spagnolo 2
Virginia Tech R. Brown 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Appalachian St. F. Eaves 26 25.0 10
Virginia Tech J. Bibbs 25 58.8 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Appalachian St. T. Spagnolo 19 7 12
Virginia Tech J. Van Zegeren 14 6 8
Assists Player  
Appalachian St. C. Burgess 5
Virginia Tech D. Wilson 15
Quickchart Matchup
Appalachian St. Off vs  Virginia Tech Defense
56.0 Points For
54.5 Points Against
36.0 FG%
35.9 FG%
29.5 Reb
30.5 Reb
Virginia Tech Off vs  Appalachian St. Defense
72.0 Points For
78.5 Points Against
56.3 FG%
50.9 FG%
30.5 Reb
37.5 Reb