Late addition Virginia Tech looks to upset No. 3 Villanova

Robinson-Earl had 18 points and 10 rebounds against Boston College and then was dominant against Arizona State.

“We’re kind of a new team in a way with Saddiq leaving,” Robinson-Earl said. “Guys from last year are getting new roles, so we’re just learning as we’re going.”

Virginia Tech won its season opener 77-62 over Radford on Wednesday.

Keve Aluma scored a career-high 19 points and Nahiem Alleyne contributed 14 for the Hokies, who pulled away after leading by just six points at halftime.

“It was just good to get back out there,” Aluma, a transfer from Wofford, said after playing in his first career game at Virginia Tech. “I wasn’t too worried about points. I just wanted to get the win.”

Some of the choppy play can be attributed to the lack of practices and scrimmages. Issues with COVID-19 have affected every team throughout the country.

“We tried to simulate a game-day experience last Saturday with the noise, the distanced bench, you know, all that sort of thing,” Virginia Tech coach Mike Young said. “I probably did not handle that very well. Shot selection was not very good at all the first 10 minutes. I take a lot of responsibility there.”

Aluma almost certainly will be the key to Virginia Tech’s success this season. He will look to continue his solid play against the Wildcats and beyond this season.

“I can tell you right now, if you think he’s going to average 16 points in the ACC this year, you’re wrong,” Young said. “He’s not that kind of guy. But his toughness and his athleticism, his second jump … he’s a really good shot-blocker, and his work on the glass — I thought when I brought him here, he’s another piece of the puzzle. He was a piece of the puzzle down there, and he’ll be the same here.”

–Field Level Media

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