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High-scoring Virginia Tech eager for chance to play in Rupp Arena

John Calipari will have to have his team defend the 3-point shot against Virginia Tech. (Vicky Graff Photo)


Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams watched his team win a seventh straight game Saturday when it blasted Maryland Eastern Shore 93-40 but knows what it coming next will be a lot, lot harder.

Virginia Tech (9-1) will play Kentucky in Rupp Arena Saturday at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.

Kentucky is coming off a win over Monmouth at Madison Square Garden Saturday. Williams said that Virginia Tech was originally trying to play in that game in New York City. But he knows playing in Rupp Arena could be a boost to his team’s NCAA Tournament resume in March.

“If need be, if a committee member were to look at it and there was some level of separation, there would be someone with some sense that said that we did it,” Williams said about playing in Lexington. “So I called [Kentucky coach John Calipari]. We’re very thankful that [he] agreed to do it.”

Virginia Tech hasn’t played the Wildcats since the 1996 NCAA Tournament – and has never played at Rupp.

“I think it’ll be a great experience,” Williams saiid. “I anticipate a lot of good things to learn from it. I anticipate a lot of things that we haven’t seen thus far that we can learn from.

“I think they’re top 20 in offensive efficiency and top 20 in defensive efficiency, and I would say that they’re one or two in number of first-round picks on their roster. It’ll be good for us. Good or bad, it’ll be good for us.”

Virginia Tech guard Chris Clarke was 7-for-9 from the field, and 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, to score a season-best 18 points in Saturday’s win. 

Freshman wing Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 16 points and eight rebounds. His cousin is Kentucky freshman Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. They were high school teammates last year in Tennessee.

The Hokies remain the nation’s highest scoring team, averaging 96 points per game. They have scored 90 or more points seven times this season.

Tech made 15 3-pointers in Saturday’s win and has now hit 10 of more 3’s in five games this year. The Hokies have hit at least six 3-pointers in 20 consecutive games.


  1. VaTech has the highest scoring team in the country as of today, and the 7th most efficient offense at 1.226 points per possession. The most efficient offense is Duke at 1.267 ppp. The Kentucky Offense is 81st at 1.092 ppp.

    On the defensive side of the ball, VaTech is 68th at 0.960 ppp. The most efficient defense is Virginia at 0.827 ppp, and UK’s defense is currently 39th at 0.933 ppp.

    Overall, VaTech’s Adjusted Net Efficiency (ANE) is 14th at 0.265 ppp and UK is #50 at 0.158 ppp.

    This is going to be a huge test at Rupp Arena for this UK team at this stage of its development.

  2. The better the completion the better the cats will learn. Looking forward too it. Go cats!!!

  3. Oops meant competition

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