It was the fourth time in its last six meetings with a top-3 team that Virginia Tech pulled an upset. Last November in the Maui Invitational, the Hokies stunned Michigan State.
South Florida coach Brian Gregory is a former coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference at Georgia Tech, so he has had teams match up with Virginia Tech in the past.
Gregory said playing high-caliber opponents should be beneficial.
“Obviously, we’re going to get tested early,” he said. “We’re going to have to play well. We’re going have to kind of dig down a little deeper on the defensive end and on the rebounding. It’s going be good for us.”
Both teams are continuing to adjust to the awkward atmosphere without crowds. That can be jarring.
“Just really different,” Young said. “It’s not going to be what we’re accustomed to.”
But Young is familiar with junior forward Keve Aluma, who posted 19 points – at the time a career-high total — in his debut with the Hokies. He erased that with another career-best mark with 23 points against Villanova. He’s a transfer from Wofford, where Young was the coach prior to taking the Virginia Tech job in the spring of 2019.
This will be the first South Florida-Virginia Tech game in 25 years. For four seasons in the early 1990s, they were members of the Metro Conference. The series record is even at 4-4, though Sunday night’s meeting will be the first at a neutral site.
–Field Level Media