A week ago, freshman Jarell Eddie was sitting in a jail cell wondering how his future will play out with Virginia Tech basketball.
Tuesday night, Eddie broke out with career highs in points and rebounds.
Eddie was arrested Feb. 15 for possession of marijuana. The freshman forward was released from jail and disciplined by Seth Greenburg by not playing in Saturday’s loss to UVA. Reports came out Monday of Eddie’s arrest but the freshman insisted that he passed a drug test and that the marijuana was not his.
Eddie was cleared to play and Greenburg was forced to play his highly touted freshman early when his team got into foul trouble.
Eager to prove that he was grateful for the playing time, Eddie responded by going 6-for-6 from the field with 17 points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes of playing time—all career highs.
Eddie tied Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen for a team high of 17 points as Virginia Tech (18-8, 8-5 ACC) beat Wake Forest (8-20, 1-12 ACC) 76-62.
Sloppy play by the Hokies kept the Demon Deacons in the game early. Allen picked up three fouls and Erick Green had two before halftime. Add a few sloppy turnovers and Virginia Tech was lucky to have a 23-20 lead with 5:09 left in the first half. Eddie and Delaney helped spark a 15-7 run to close out the the half and give the Hokies a 38-27 lead.
Delaney finished the game with 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting. The senior guard hit key shots and went 3-for-4 from behind the arc.
Allen also finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. His double-double streak ended at seven games.
The Hokies made a point to feed the ball to Allen and Victor Davila early and often. The two big men got involved in the offense early, but foul trouble forced them to be less aggressive and even see more time on the bench. Allen had three fouls before halftime and Davila played most of the second half with four fouls.
Virginia Tech didn’t let its foot off the accelerator after halftime. The Hokies jumped out opened with a 22-12 run to take a commanding 60-39 lead with 11:32.
Wake Forest made things interesting at the end of the game with a 10-6 run to close out the game, but the damage had already been done and the Hokies had a comfortable lead.
Virginia Tech made up for its foul trouble and turnover problems by shooting 60-percent from the field. The Hokies also dominated the glass, outrebounding Wake Forrest, 33-19.
Most encouraging for the Hokies is that they shot 67-percent from behind the arc while holding the Demon Deacons to just 17-percent.
Next up for Virginia Tech is Duke Saturday night at 9 p.m. ESPN’s College Game Day will air from Blacksburg as the Hokies try to take down the No. 1 team in the nation.