The Washington Post

Hokies will likely be without senior Victor Davila vs. U-Va.

Virginia Tech will likely be without senior Victor Davila Tuesday when it faces No. 22 Virginia in a rivalry game at Cassell Coliseum Tuesday night. The 6-8 forward has missed the past two games with a groin injury and Coach Seth Greenberg said Monday during the ACC’s weekly teleconference that Davila would be getting an MRI on Tuesday.

“I would think he would be out,” said Greenberg, who described the ailment as “severe” following the Hokies’ dramatic win over Georgia Tech Saturday.

Davila, a starter this year in every game until the injury, is averaging 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds this season. After a mid-season slump, his game had picked up in recent weeks, including a career-high 16-point outburst when the Hokies lost to No. 5 Duke earlier this month.

“I’m not Marcus Welby, but he’s got a severe groin injury,” Greenberg said Saturday. “Last night when I came into the training room, Dr. Beato, that’s the first thing he said, ‘This is pretty bad. It’s pretty bad.’ . . . Time heals, but look how long it’s taken Carmelo Anthony to get back.”

“It’s killing the kid. The kid has given us three and three-quarters unbelievable years. He’s a great kid. Your heart goes out to him, and you’d love for him to finish his career . . . I really don’t know. I don’t have an answer to that. I just know that Dr. Beato was not really optimistic.”

In the short term, Davila’s absence leaves a glaring hole against Virginia. He was instrumental in holding Cavaliers star Mike Scott to just 10 points and six rebounds when Virginia Tech upset Virginia, 47-45, in Charlottesville last month. Scott is averaging 17.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this season, and Greenberg echoed a popular sentiment Monday when he suggested Scott is having a “player of the year-type year.”

“They made his catches hard. They just did a nice job of surrounding him, and smothering him and sometimes coming off of guards. They were just very aware of him and played a very physical game,” Virginia Coach Tony Bennett said. “Mike’s having to work very hard to get good opportunities and that’s to be expected when you’re putting up the numbers he’s putting up. He’s a focus of a lot of defenses, and obviously in that game, Tech did a very good job of making him work.”

Greenberg said stopping Scott has become increasingly difficult in recent weeks with Virginia moving him around the perimeter more on offense, leaving defenses unable to scheme as effectively against him.

For the Hokies, the responsibility of slowing down Scott this time will fall on the shoulders of sophomore Cadarian Raines and freshman C.J. Barksdale, who both filled in admirably for Davila against the Yellow Jackets. Raines, who Greenberg said needed two bags of IV administered before taking the floor to face Georgia Tech, played a season-high 37 minutes and scored a career-high 13 points. Barksdale, meanwhile, tied his career-high with eight points.

But Virginia Tech struggled to contain Georgia Tech’s big men on the defensive end, and Yellow Jackets Coach Brian Gregory said the Hokies’ lack of depth inside was “a point of emphasis.” Forward Kammeon Holsey had 18 points and five rebounds and center Daniel Miller added 11 points and nine rebounds.

The Yellow Jackets got 38 points in the paint and out-rebounded Virginia Tech 32-18, including a 17-6 advantage on the glass in the first half.

Mark Giannotto is a Montgomery County native who covers high school sports for The Washington Post. He previously covered Virginia and Virginia Tech football for five years.


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