After spending a week in the Big Apple, the Virginia Tech Hokies return home for a matchup this afternoon against St. Bonaventure at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 PM ET. Virginia Tech owns a 10-5 advantage in the all-time series, including a 76-68 overtime win last season in Rochester, N.Y.

In the NCAA basketball odds the home standing Hokies listed as -8.5 point spread favorites with a total of 128.

St. Bonaventure (2-1 SU, 2-0-1 ATS)

The Bonnies, who haven’t played in six days, got back in the win column their last time out, beating Erick GreenSienna 64-58 as a -6 point favorite. Junior guard Eric Mosley scored a career-high 17 points while senior forward Andrew Nicholson added 17 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots and now leads the team in scoring (19.0), rebounding (7.7) and ‘rejections’ (3.3). Overall St. Bonaventure hit just 40 percent of their shots against Siena but kept the game close thanks to their defense which held Siena to 37.5 percent shooting.

St. Bonaventure was picked to finish 7th in the Atlantic 10 this season following a 2010-2011 season in which they went 8-8 in league play and 14-14 overall.

Last add St. Bonaventure. Freshman G Jordan Gathers is the nephew of Loyola Marymount great Hank Gathers, one of only two players in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in both scoring and rebounding. Hank Gathers collapsed on the court during a West Coast Conference quarterfinal game on March 4, 1990 and subsequently died due to a heart condition. Jordan Gathers will wear No. 5 for the Brown and White.

Virginia Tech (4-1 SU, 1-3 ATS)

The Hokies lost in the semifinals of the NIT on Wednesday dropping a 69-58 decision to Syracuse and failing to cover as a +10 point underdog. They came back with a 59-57 win over Oklahoma State in the third-place game but again failed to grab the cash. Erick Green scored 18 points and Dorian Finney-Smith finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds for Va. Tech which was held without a field goal over the final 6 1/2 minutes. To further frustrate ‘financial’ backers, VT went just 10 of 17 from the free throw line over the final 6:01 who saw their chances of a -3.5 point cover go ‘clank’.

Virginia Tech has made its mark on defense. They’re 6th in the nation in guarding the 3-ball (20.7 percent), 26th in field goal percentage (35.9) and 36th in the country in fewest points allowed (57.6 ppg). Va. Tech opponents are shooting just 14 percent from 3-point range at Cassell Coliseum this season.

Offensively, guards Hudson and Green are carrying the load with 15.6 and 13.8 points, respectively while Finney-Smith is the top freshman rebounder in the country with 10.8 boards per game.

Coaches

Seth Greenberg is 158-107 (.596) at Virginia Tech and 371-277 (.573) in his 22nd season as a collegiate head coach. He’s also posted a record of 103-31 (.769) as a head coach in Cassell Coliseum and Greenberg is 62-9 (.873) against non-conference opponents at home.

St. Bonaventure’s Mark Schmidt took over on in 2007, becoming the 19th head coach in school history. Schmidt served as the head coach at Robert Morris for six seasons prior to coming to St. Bonaventure.

Trends

Va. Tech is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 home games. The ‘under’ is 7-3 in the Hokies last 10 games against the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies are 6-2 to the low side as an underdog.

Harvey’s Take; I’ll lay the lumber and put Virginia Tech in my NCAA basketball picks even though this will be their third game in five days. They play in a better conference, their preseason schedule is one of the toughest in the nation and they’ve got the superior athletes and I don’t believe the short turnaround will be a factor.

It’s the Hokies for me and maybe a sprinkle on top with the ‘under’.

Good luck!