Virginia Tech beat back Isiah Thomas’ Florida International team with ease Nov. 15, despite losing Erick Green midway through the game.
The junior guard aggravated an Achilles’ tendon that forced him to miss Virginia Tech’s first game of the season, a 64-53 win against East Tennessee State Nov. 12. Green told the Washington Post’s Mark Giannotto after the Florida International game that he would be fine by the time Virginia Tech travels to New York next Wednesday to face Syracuse in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals.
The Hokies will need Green to be at full strength because he’s been hot from long range to start this season, making 4-of-5 3-pointers. Virginia Tech has shot 22-of-52 from deep range as a team this season, and the Hokies will need that sharpshooting to continue to stretch out Syracuse’s 2-3 zone. That would create more room for Dorenzo Hudson to operate off the ball and slash to the hoop. Green would be important in getting Hudson some good looks because he has five assists in 48 minutes.
In addition to Hudson, the Hokies will need Dorian Finney-Smith to continue playing like the ACC’s rookie of the year. The highly touted recruit has been a monster in his first three games, averaging about eight points, 11 rebounds and four assists per game.