As a senior at Edmond Memorial in Oklahoma, Sean Pedulla’s college decision came down to the school 50 minutes from his home — Oklahoma State — or Virginia Tech.
Pedulla opted for Tech and hasn’t looked back. The sophomore leads the Hokies in scoring (17.0 points per game) and assists (3.8) heading into a game he has circled on his calendar: Virginia Tech (9-1) takes on Oklahoma State (6-3) in the Hall of Fame Invitational on Sunday in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Coming off four straight home victories, the Hokies could move into the Top 25 with a victory. Pedulla has keyed the rise, taking over as the primary ball handler for a team that ranks No. 5 in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Tech is in fine form. After wins over Minnesota and North Carolina, the Hokies dominated Dayton 77-49 on Wednesday behind Grant Basile (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Pedulla (19 points).
They won easily even though Justyn Mutts got into early foul trouble against Dayton (he led the Hokies with 27 points three nights earlier against UNC) and didn’t take a shot from the floor in playing just 22 minutes against Dayton. Yet Tech didn’t miss a beat as it handed the Flyers their worst defeat in seven years.
Oklahoma State is coming off a quality win, 65-51, Tuesday at home over Sam Houston, a team that owns victories over major-conference foes Oklahoma and Utah.
The Cowboys were paced by Bryce Thompson (17 points) and inside force Moussa Cisse (six points, 13 rebounds, four blocks). The 7-foot-1 Cisse leads the Big 12 with 30 blocks.
“I think he’s playing at an All-American level,” Cowboys coach Mike Boynton Jr. said. “Guys are going in there looking for him now and not necessarily taking shots they normally would take.”
Cisse and 6-9 Tyreek Smith, who has made 20 of his last 23 shots, give OSU a menacing presence in the frontcourt.
“Goodness gracious, they look like NFL players, they’re so big and strong,” Tech coach Mike Young said. “I’ve never seen anyone look like a man like (Cisse).”
This will be a homecoming for Boynton, a Brooklyn native who played just blocks away from Barclays Center at Bishop Loughlin High.
–Field Level Media