It was the type of season opener that might have been expected for Virginia Tech on Monday night. Five players scored in double figures during a 100-55 rout of Coppin State in Blacksburg, Va.
Virginia Tech steps up a few levels in class on Friday night when it travels to Charlotte for a nonconference game with South Carolina that is part of the Hall of Fame Series.
Junior Sean Pedulla led the Hokies in scoring Monday with 15 points and 10 assists, his first double-double. Senior Lynn Kidd also had his first double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Hunter Cattoor scored 13 points, while North Carolina transfer Tyler Nickel and Brandon Rechsteiner each netted 12.
The Hokies’ unselfishness is what most impressed coach Mike Young.
“I thought we shared the ball well with 29 assists on 32 made baskets,” he said. “We were a little shaky offensively to begin the game, missing some shots we normally get down. There are more boxes to check defensively as we move forward.”
The Gamecocks are also coming off an easy win in the season opener, an 82-53 blowout of South Carolina Upstate on Monday. Meechie Johnson and Minnesota transfer Ta’Lon Cooper each scored 15 points to lead a balanced attack.
Wofford transfer B.J. Mack added 13 points and Vanderbilt transfer Myles Stute hit for 10. In his second year with the program, coach Lamont Paris restocked South Carolina’s roster through the transfer portal, adding four players who have combined to start 299 career games. The Gamecocks’ roster has a combined 480 career starts, third in the Southeastern Conference behind Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
“It’s such a different team in terms of a lot of things — basketball ability, overall maturity, experience,” Paris said. “Certainly we are closer, much, much closer to being what I want to see.”
South Carolina owns an 18-13 lead in the all-time series, but the former Metro Conference rivals haven’t met since Dec. 5, 1997, when the nationally ranked Gamecocks pulled out a 74-73 win in Charlotte.
–Field Level Media
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