Syracuse will travel to Virginia to play the Hokies on Tuesday evening. Here is a quick look at the game:
EARLY SEASON DIFFICULTIES: Virginia Tech has had a rash of injuries and personnel problems to start the year. Before the season started, freshman Malik Mueller was ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA. Junior point guard Marquis Rankin, who had not played a game this season, announced he was leaving the team for personal reasons at the end of December. Freshman Ben Emelogu suffered a concussion in practice in late November which kept him out of three games. Guard Adam Smith (13.1 ppg) is still fighting through a calf injury that has limited him in three out of the last five games. And now, CJ Barksdale, who was suspended for three games earlier in the year because of a violation of team rules, has the flu. The Hokies have been wildly inconsistent as a result, with wins over Miami and West Virginia, but losses to UNC Greensboro and USC Upstate.
SCOUTING THE HOKIES: Virginia Tech is one of the better outside shooting teams in the ACC, shooting 42 percent collectively from downtown. Leading scorer Jarell Eddie averages 17.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, and has already canned 42 shots from beyond the arc this season. Behind him are a slew of young players including Smith, a sophomore, and freshmen Devin Wilson (5.2 apg) and Emelogu (12.2 ppg).
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: The last time Syracuse played Virginia Tech was in the 2011 season with the Orange winning 69-58. Kris Joseph scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds as SU moved on to the Preseason NIT Finals. Syracuse leads the all-time series 4-2, with the teams meeting as conference foes for the first time since 2004.
GAME INFORMATION: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 at 9 p.m. at the Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. TV: ACC Network.