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#19 Virginia Tech travels to Notre Dame for ACC Wednesday Night Hoops

VMI at Virginia Tech
Tyrece Radford goes up for a jumper against the defense of Sean Conway. Photo courtesy Virginia Tech Athletics.

Virginia Tech coach Mike Young has some figuring to do as he prepares for his first game without star guard Tyrece Radford.

The Hokies (11-3, 5-2 ACC) travel to South Bend to face Notre Dame (5-8, 2-5 ACC) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The game will be broadcast on RSN – MASN for those of us in Virginia with a subscription – with Evan Lepler and Brian Oliver on the call.

The Radford issue came to a head on Monday, when the Tech program announced that the redshirt sophomore had been suspended indefinitely, without saying why.

Details then emerged that Radford had been arrested the day before, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, on DUI and weapons charges.

Message board speculation has incongruously focused on whether Radford could be back in the lineup in time for the Hokies’ matchup with #8 Virginia this weekend.

It would seem that the bigger issue for Radford would be his Feb. 9 court date.

Both charges carry the possibility of up to 12 months in jail, though decent legal representation would likely be able to help reduce that exposure, assuming Radford handles himself well between now and final dispensation.

That’s the young man’s life. Which we have to hope doesn’t get derailed because he did something stupid that, fortunately, didn’t end up with anybody hurt.

To the relatively insignificant part of the story involving Tech basketball, Radford has been what makes the Hokies a tough out.

The team’s second-leading scorer (11.1 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (6.2 rebs/g), Radford, keep in mind, is 6’2”.

The damage he does is because of what he gets at the rim – per Synergy Sports, averaging 1.105 points per possession as the ball-handler on pick-and-rolls, 1.281 PPP in transition and 1.25 PPP on offensive rebounds.

Per, Radford gets more than half (54.1 percent) of his shots at the rim, and he shoots a team-best 71.7 percent on those shots.

What that does for opposing coaches with their game plans is, you try to put somebody bigger on him to deal with his strength, and he gets around them, or you put somebody smaller who can keep up, and he overpowers them.

Imagine how good he’ll be when he finally starts hitting threes (he’s shooting 25 percent from behind the arc this season).

Young noted the obvious in his Monday Zoom with ACC beat writers – next man up.

Mike Brey’s game-planning just got a little narrower in focus.

Story by Chris Graham

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