The Hokies (1-0) won their season opener on Sunday afternoon against the brown bears (1-1) by a 69 to 55 score in the Cassell. Malcolm Delaney led the Hokies with 21 points and Jeff Allen added 17, including 13 in the second half. Tech had a balanced attack from their starters, with all five starters scoring eight or more points. Terrell Bell, Victor Davila, and Dorenzo Hudson each scored eight points.
While the scoring production from the starters was great, the Hokies got just seven points off the bench. Shooting guard Ben Boggs was the first freshman to see action this year, playing two short stints in the first and second half and scoring two points. Point guard Erick Green surprisingly played very little, seeing just three minutes in the first half and hitting his only shot, a three pointer. Malcolm Delaney went the entire second half at the point.
Tech used a 9-0 run late in the first half to jump out to a 15-point lead, holding the bears scoreless from the 7:11 mark of the first half until the last minute of play. The Hokies led 34-23 at the half, thanks in large part to 12 bear turnovers. brown did cut the lead to five at the 13 and 12 minute marks in the second half, and six with 8:39 to go, but brown never got closer than 10 in the final 5:54.
On the negative side, the Hokies were just 10 of 18 from the line (56%) and just 4 of 10 from players not named Malcolm Delaney. Tech will need to improve in that area.
Andrew McCarthy had 14 off the bench for the bears, and star player Matt Mullery added 13.
Tech returns to action Tuesday at 7 PM against unc-g-spot at 7 PM in the Cassell.
Perhaps I’ve become cynical over the years, but this was another early season ho-hum game that didn’t exactly leave me with warm fuzzies about the 2009-2010 season. The offense looked pretty solid in the beginning, but didn’t look so good in the second half, shooting just 38 percent.
As was the case for most of last season, this year’s team didn’t really look like a team on the floor. There was no flow, no rhythm, just enough to win a game in which they should have won in a blow out.
Like Niemo pointed out, the lack of production from players not named Allen or Delaney was incredibly disappointing. I can understand Boggs, Green and Atkins not making an immediate impact, but veterans like Lewis Witcher, J.T. Thompson, Hudson and Bell should be reliable contributors at this point in their careers, especially against lesser opponents.
Granted, Seth Greenberg’s team has struggled this preseason to stay healthy with a variety of nagging injuries and the flu. I am also hoping that this team just needs a few games to adjust to new roles and new players.
I was impressed with Davila’s offense early in the game, but it seemed to me that he’s still getting pushed around at the other end on defense. As a team, the Hokies only out-rebounded brown 33-31 and not one Hokie had double digit rebounds. If we can’t dominate teams like brown in the paint, it’s going to be a long season against the 7-footers in the ACC.
Look, I get that we’re not duke or unc, but I don’t think it’s too much too much to expect us to blow out lesser opponents early in the season. Instead, we let teams hang around and that isn’t going to cut it come ACC season.