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Stat of Affairs | Start Quick or Bust

The other day I posted about how Virginia Tech was struggling early in games recently, falling behind by double-digits in the first half of four of their last six games. But I didn’t realize how important a fast start has been this season until I dug a little deeper.

OK, Mr. Cope, are you ready for this one??? Drum roll please…

In Tech’s nine ACC games, the team ahead at the first media timeout* is 8-0. Yep, a perfect 8-0. In the duke game, the score was tied at 6 at the first media timeout.

Keep in mind, almost 90% of the game is left to be played after the first media timeout. And since VT has played three overtime games this season, even more than 90% of the game was left. Yet that stat has a better record than the Patriots.

As I said in the other article, this has a lot to do with teams putting themselves in early holes that just cannot be overcome. Or a lack of effort early is hard to turn around. Sluggish is as sluggish does. But somehow even in the close games, this stat has held true. It has been a much better measuring stick than who leads at the half. VT is an impressive 3-4 when trailing at the half in ACC play, and 2-0 when leading. So the halftime leader is just 6-3.

So let’s all hope the Hokies have the lead when that whistle blows with 15:xx left in the first half on Saturday against the canes. Otherwise, you might want to head for the exits to save yourself the torture.^

* Occurs at the first deadball after the clock goes under 16:00 left in the first half
^ Yes, I realize that since I’ve pointed this stat out, it will no longer hold true, similar to my “VT wins when committing under 20 turnovers, and loses when over 20″ stat. But hey, I had to get it in while I could.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1284 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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