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NC State hopes to start a winning streak at Virginia Tech

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Virginia Tech Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

NC State can pull back even in league play and pick up another win against an NCAA-caliber opponent in Blacksburg on Saturday night. Virginia Tech comes into this one 11-4 (1-3), riding a three-game losing streak that coincides with an injury to starting guard Hunter Cattoor, who has missed two straight games.

Mike Young’s Hokies, solid as usual

VT in '23 Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% 2FG% 3FG%
VT in '23 Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% 2FG% 3FG%
Offense 111.3 (33) 53.3 (56) 14.6 (10) 28.3 (202) 53.9 (50) 34.9 (110)
Defense 95.2 (53) 46.1 (40) 17.5 (249) 27.0 (115) 45.7 (55) 31.2 (85)

Virginia Tech doesn’t have much guard depth and hasn’t being going deep into the bench in general, so Cattoor’s absence is definitely a problem for as long as it lasts. He might be back tonight; I can’t find any definitive news on his status.

Cattoor gives Tech a 40% three-point shooter when he’s healthy, though he is not one of the team’s top three scorers.

Leading the way is second-year point guard Sean Pedulla (6’1, 195), who is scoring 17.1 per game. He’s a good outside shooter and has been surprisingly effective inside the arc, where he’s shooting 52%. He’s been able to keep his efficiency up despite assuming a larger workload this year.

The Hokies also lean heavily on transfer big man Grant Basile (6’9, 235). Basile is shooting over 58% on twos and nearly 41% on threes, he rebounds well and he his a good shot-blocker. If there were questions about how he’d handle the transition from Wright State, he’s answered them.

And there’s Justyn Mutts (6’7, 220), who is in the midst of a career year shooting the ball. Good passer, good defender; does a little bit of everything, as usual. He’s willing to take the occasional three but does most of his work inside the arc, where this season he’s at almost 60% shooting.

We’ll find out tonight if NC State can show some consistency and actually put together a complete game on the road. KenPom likes Tech by four.