Three days before they host West Virginia in their final non-conference game before the start of ACC play, Virginia Tech announced that it will be without one of its best rebounders.
Freshman forward Chris Clarke is out indefinitely after fracturing the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. Clarke, who’s averaging 10.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, will undergo surgery to repair the fracture this week and at that point there will be some kind of idea as to how long he could be out of the lineup.
Head coach Buzz Williams has four other players averaging at least ten points per game, but where Clarke will be missed is on the glass. Zach LeDay, who is also Virginia Tech’s leading scorer, is averaging a team-best 9.4 rebounds per game and will remain the focal point in the paint for the Hokies.
Clarke’s absence means more opportunities for freshman Kerry Blackshear Jr., who’s averaging 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, and junior 7-footer Johnny Hamilton (3.6 rpg) should see more minutes as well.
Wednesday’s game against West Virginia was already going to be tough. But to go into that contest a man down in the paint against a rotation that includes Devin Williams, Jonathan Holton and Elijah Macon makes that matchup even more difficult for the Hokies.