The Balla Report 1/25/09

The Hokies scored their most impressive victory of the season to date on Wednesday night with their 78-71 victory at #1 wake forest. One thing we learned very quickly after the results were final was that a victory over a #1 ranked deacon team scored nowhere near the publicity points with the media machine known as ESPN as a victory over unc or duke. In the aftermath we heard it all: wake, who maybe wasn’t that good after all, was playing their fourth game in 11 days, so there was no way they possibly could have been up for this game against the Hokies. Not to mention the poor deacs had to play at bc and clemson in the same week. How could they be expected to hang with the unranked Hokies?

Why is it that everyone was unwilling to come out and just say Tech stepped up and simply played a better game and beat wake, in their own building, the team who was the best team I’d personally seen play this year so far going into this game? How about some credit to the Hokies physical defense , especially the inside game led by Cheick Diakite, who played his best game of the season and helped get the wake interior defenders in foul trouble early and often. Credit is also due to little man Hank Thorns — his ball handling and ability to bring the ball up allowed player of the game Malcolm Delaney to grab a quick breather or two on the court and free up for his all important outside J.

Props also go out to Seth for his use of the 2-3 zone which effectively slowed down wake’s high octane transition game. The zone is a work in progress with Greenberg, who has almost exclusively used man to man D as his signature throughout his coaching tenure. It’s no coincidence that our use of the zone coincides with the hiring of former syracuse guard Adrian Autry — who played under zone proprietor Jim Boeheim at the cuse — to the Tech staff. The Hokies ability to mix up their defenses will certainly be key down the stretch this season.

The Hokies get another shot at a quality, resume’-building victory when they take on the miami hurricanes tonight in Coral Gables. The canes currently sit at 28 in the latest RPI and are led by sharp shooting guard Jack McClinton. This will be another stern test for Malcolm Delaney, who’s coming off impressive performances on both ends of the floor against backcourt studs Tyrese Rice and Jeff Teague. Greenberg has consistently preached since the final horn in Winston-Salem that he doesn’t want the Hokies to follow in the footsteps of the bc eagles, who promptly followed up their victory at then #1 unc with four consecutive losses.

Even though the canes have won seven of their previous eight games, don’t expect the crowd in BankUnited Center to be much of a factor. miami is averaging just over 3,500 fans per home game. We’ll see if the fact that students are back on campus and a Sunday night ACC hoops television game will draw more fannies to the seats.

This is by no means a must win game for the Hokies, but it would certainly look like a nice notch in the belt come the second week of March. Let’s hope the Hokies come to play with the same intensity that they showed up with at wake.

Finally, you’ve got to give it up to the clemson tigers, who on Wednesday night continued the most amazing losing streak in all of sports. The tigers are now a perfect 0-54 in Chapel Hill against the unc tar heels following this year’s 94-70 loss. If the economy doesn’t pick up I think the Balla will be trying to make up all his recent losses to his retirement account by betting the house the next time clemson suits it up in the Dean Dome. There’s got to be no surer bet, right? In fact, maybe the Obama administration should take a good hard look at betting a solid portion of the national debt on this baby. Bailouts galore!

This post was written by:

- who has written 52 posts on Tech Hoops.

VT class of '92, B.S. in Finance. Legendary Playground balla from the outdoor courts of Richmond to the courts outside of Lee Hall & N.U.F. Also 2 time captain of Sigma Nu C Team Basketball. We once qualified for the VT Intramural version of the Big Dance & lost our first round game by over 100 points. Not to brag, but I connected on a 4 point play off the opening tip, & we took a 4-zip lead. Things went downhill fast after that. Favorite bball memories as a student (88 - 92) include watching the great Bimbo Coles for a couple of seasons. Other than that, not many. We did beat jmu once when Lefty Driessel was the coach there. Also beat a nationally ranked alabama team when I was a Freshman which led to a mattress battle on the prarie between Pritchard & O'Shag - I still have a t-shirt somewhere. Favorite all time VT basketball moment, the win '07 win over #1 unc goes straight to the top.

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  • vatechhokies50

    I like that last paragraph… I will bet $$$ that Clemson loses to UNC.

    In other news, two great points in the article:

    http://blogs.nfl.com/2009/01/23/are-49ers-angling-for-vick/

    1.) Jimmy Williams signed with the San Francisco 49ers

    2.) Adam Schefter thinks the 49ers will sign Michael Vick.

    If they sign Vick, I am going out there for a game because my aunt lives in Sausalito, CA.

  • vatechhokies50

    For our NCAA chances, I agree, that’s not a must win against Miami… but to show that we want to get to the next level and consistently win as a program, Balla, it is a must win… I don’t want people talking on ESPN about how we “had a let down” after beating Wake Forest, who ESPN is already saying is overrated. We need to beat Miami.

  • vatechhokies50

    Eric Prisbell from the Washington Post agrees with Good Raisin… Prisbell says a 9-7 record in the ACC is enough to get the Hokies into the NCAA tournament:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/24/AR2009012401982.html

  • goodraisin

    Nice! Thanks for the shoutout vt50. I like Vassallo’s chances at having a big night offensively… I don’t think Dequan Jones or Brian Asbury can contain him.

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