[4:30 PM] New Mexico v. Virginia Tech

Who will WIN this matchup?

New Mexico Lobos (3-0)

Virginia Tech Hokies (3-0)


Virginia Tech has shown one of the most productive benches in the nation so far this season, and the Hokies will likely try to use that to their advantage again Thursday when they meet New Mexico in the first round of the Wooden Legacy at Cal State Fullerton. Zach LeDay averages a team-high 18.3 points and fellow reserve Seth Allen is averaging 13.3, with both shooting better than 62 percent from the floor this season.

New Mexico is led by forward Tim Williams, who earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors after averaging 25.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two games last week.

Elijah Brown led the Lobos in scoring last season at 21.7 points a game, which was also 14th in the FBS, and he should be eager to play well in this tournament after spending his final two years of high school about 10 miles away at Mater Dei. Brown, the son of former Lakers head coach Mike Brown, is also off to a slow start, shooting 31.6 percent from the floor and 2-for-18 from 3-point range while averaging 13 points. He has more turnovers (12) than assists (11) and hasn’t stepped to the free throw line at the rate he did last season, when he averaged eight attempts a game.

The Lobos had to contend with 7-2, 285-pound Tanveer Bhullar of New Mexico State in their last game, but they won’t have such obstacles against the Hokies, who start four guards and 6-10 freshman Khadim Sy up front. LeDay, at 6-7, usually replaces Sy a few minutes after the tip, giving the Hokies a small lineup that can move in a hurry. Chris Clarke, a 6-6 sophomore guard, is counted on to help on the boards when Virginia Tech goes small and he’s done a solid job this season, averaging seven rebounds through the first three games.

Virginia Tech has accumulated at least 19 assists in the last two games, the first time the Hokies have reached that number in back-to-back games since the 2010-11 season.


StreakSmarts Pick: Virginia Tech Hokies

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick