BLACKSBURG, Va. (HokieSports.com) – Heading back home with a 3-0 record, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team seeks to defend Cassell Coliseum on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET against VMI on ACC Network.
The Hokies will go up against the Keydets for the third straight season, following Tech's nine-point win last year, 64-55, thanks to 14 points from Hunter Cattoor. Tech, which is 93-43 in the all-time series with VMI, has won eight games in a row over VMI, dating back to 2009.
Tech coach Mike Young has seen VMI plenty of times during his Wofford days and is a perfect 13-0 versus the Keydets, including a 1-0 mark at Tech. Young is 10-0 versus VMI's Dan Earl.
The matchup will be broadcast on ACC Network, with Jay Alter (play-by-play) and Malcolm Huckbay (analyst) on the call, while Jon Laaser (play-by-play) and Mike Burnop (analyst) will broadcast on Virginia Tech Sports Network.
Not coming out flat following its upset ranked win the night before, Tech got out to a seven-point lead at the 11-minute mark in the first half and never looked back on its way to an 18-point win, 76-58, over USF (1-2) to wrap up its time in Bubbleville.
Putting together his fourth career 20-point game, Tyrece Radford tallied his first one of the season with 21 points vs. USF Sunday. Doing it on 9-of-12 shooting, the guard did so in 26 minutes and chipped in three rebounds and a block as well.
Starting to figure out his role off the bench, Cordell Pemsl had his best outing yet as a Hokie, posting season highs in points (10) and rebounds (6). His 10 points marked his most in 30 games, dating back to Nov. 24, 2019 versus Cal Poly when he was at Iowa.
• VMI is coming off a 13-point win at home over Longwood (0-2) on Tuesday night, defeating the Lancers 84-71 behind 22 points from Greg Parham and 19 points from Sean Conway. The Keydets were also lights out from the charity stripe, making 20 of 23 (87%).
• Dan Earl enters his sixth season as the head coach in Lexington, following his stint at Navy as an associate head coach. A former player at Penn State, Earl coached in State College from 2006-11 with the Nittany Lions. Since his arrival to VMI, Earl has led the Keydets to 46 victories so far in his tenure, including a season-best 11 wins in 2018-19.
• VMI is paced by Greg Parham, who is averaging 18.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, and Kamdyn Curfman, who is averaging 13 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
• Similar to the Hokies last year, the Keydets rely heavily on the 3, ranking 27th nationally and second in the SoCon in 3-point field-goal attempts with 85 so far.