The theme in many college basketball games this time of year is the hammer versus the nail. But it’s rare for a team to be cast in the differing roles in consecutive games.
That’s the storyline William & Mary faces however after its 116-40 destruction of Mid-Atlantic Christian. Next up for the Tribe (1-1) on Sunday is a trip across Virginia to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech (2-0).
Coming off a 5-27 season and an opening-game loss to Navy, William & Mary enjoyed its role reversal on Thursday as it shot 61.9 percent overall and 61.5 percent from 3-point range.
The Tribe’s output was the second-most in a game in program history and the victory margin was its largest since 1943. And how about this for a rebounding edge? 61-13.
The romp allowed Miguel Ayesa (23 points) and Jake Milkereit (21 points) to score their respective career highs. Ayesa drained 7 of 9 shots from beyond the arc.
“One of the best things about this game is that those guys get some real actual minutes,” William & Mary coach Dane Fischer said. “There’s a lot of value in just getting out on the floor with the lights on.”
William & Mary’s top scorer from last year, Ben Wight, is back. The Tribe lost three rotation players to transfer but restocked with transfers in Chris Mullins (Rice), Gabe Dorsey (Vanderbilt) and Noah Collier (Pitt), who is averaging 12.5 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Virginia Tech is off to a strong start behind Wright State transfer Grant Basile, who is averaging 20.5 points and nine rebounds per game. Point guard Sean Pedulla has averages of 19 points and five assists.
“I’ve not watched Virginia Tech play yet, but I know how good they are,” Fischer told reporters after Thursday’s game. “(Coach) Mike Young has done an unbelievable job everywhere he’s been. That will be a significant challenge for us.”
After sitting out Virginia Tech’s opener while serving a one-game suspension, Justyn Mutts tallied 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in Thursday’s 78-52 win over Lehigh.
“Every time the ball’s in his hands, something positive happens,” Young said.
The Hokies, the third-best 3-point shooting team in the nation last year, are off to a hot start making 41.3 percent of their tries behind Basile, who has made 7 of 12 and Pedulla, who has hit 6 of 13.
–Field Level Media