Categorized | 2009-10 Season, Game Recaps, Games

Recap | VT (1-0) 69, brown (1-1) 55

Box Score

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.

Cope-a-cabana’s Take

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.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1201 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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  • http://firebryanstinespring.blogspot.com Hokieguru

    This kind of performance will cause us problems even against Temple… looking forward to that Techhoops preview… I think Lavoy Allen from Temple will be one of the best big men we face all year (he’s 6’9″ tall, 225lbs, and 1st team all-A10)… and we face him one week from Thursday.

  • vttraveler

    In my opinion I thought the guys had moments. I know it’s taboo to say this on this board but Delaney needs to advance the ball up the court to the open man. Hudson starts the game 2 for 2 and did not take another shot in the first half. He was open you can’t tell me he wasn’t. There was one play where Delaney was so reluctant to throw the ball he double pumped a pass when Hudson was open after coming off a curl clean. I understand this is Delaney’s team this year but he is going to have to get help to make it to the tournament. He was selfish tonight.

  • Niemo

    Cope – I thought Bell had a good game for him. He’s out there for his defense, and the fact he also added 8 pts, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists is a benefit.

    Guru – Yes, Allen could give us fits – our post defense (one of the things we really need to improve on this year) was very poor in the second half. A better big man could eat us up in the paint. Guys were getting the ball too close to the basket and we weren’t boxing out in the second half. We just can’t seem to defend the post for 40 minutes.

    Traveler – I agree on Hudson/Delaney. We saw this some last year – Hudson would be involved early and then completely disappear. One of the problems last year is he couldn’t dribble, so he couldn’t help in terms of bringing the ball up and such or create off the dribble. He is reliant on others, and if Delaney isn’t sharing the rock as you said, there’s no much he can do. It appeared to me Delaney was forcing more shots yesterday. In a way, he has to with Vassallo gone but I agree he might have over done this. We really need Green to step up and be able to get more minutes.

    One other note – JT Thompson still does not have a consistent jump-shot, at least not tonight. I wonder if that is why Bell is getting the nod as the starter. Bell seems to be a better defender and have a better outside shot. Thompson was a better rebounder, but Bell stepped up with 7 tonight. Thompson needs to be able to hit open 12-18 footers if he wants to play.

  • Ben Boggs

    No highlites?

    • Niemo

      Cope handles the videos and since the game wasn’t on TV, I don’t think he has a way to pull them. The game was on Hokies All-Access… or rather the last 15 minutes were… but he didn’t record that. Once we get into the TV games we’ll be able to get that up and running. I’ll see if there’s anything we can do in the mean time.

  • goodraisin

    I was also surprised to see Bell get the start over Thompson, but if the stat line is any indication, it looks like Greenberg knows what he is doing. I think Thompson was also backing up Allen at the 4, which makes sense to me since JT is most effective inside the paint. I’m with everyone else, wondering if our size will hurt us in the ACC this year since so many teams are loaded with tall players. I thought Davila was supposed to be a solid rebounder coming out of high school? He has yet to show it. Ditto for Witcher. Is it too much to ask our center to be tough on the boards? I don’t care if he shoots 0-2 every single game… if Cadarian Raines can help us grab rebounds and block shots, then I want him starting. Also, why only 3 minutes for Green? Was he really looking out of place? I could only watch the end of the game, but if he is even semi-proficient, he needs more time. I don’t want to see Delaney beat up by the time the ACC tourney rolls around (again). All-in-all I am very happy with the win, and 14 points is a decent margin, but I really want to see us improve over the next two games and blow out Campbell.

  • Niemo

    Raines will be a big key. The reports I heard in the preseason weren’t that glowing of him, but like you said, we may have to play him regardless if he can crash the boards and play good post defense. The problem is I was hearing the opposite – he wasn’t showing that toughness and aggression he had in HS but maybe this time off will give him a chance to see how badly we need that.

  • http://stores.ebay.com/hip-hop-heads-vinyl-crates HipHop_Hokie

    I can’t speak to what Raines had been showing the staff since he got on campus, but I saw him play in HS a few times including once when he beat my former HS (George Washington – Danville, VA) in the state quarterfinals of the 2007-2008 season. He was a BEAST then and I know that with his size, his game will translate well into college as long as he stays focused and determined.

    The broken foot setback is awful though… he better realize that it’s only a small setback and that it’ll be up to him to determine how exactly he wants to bounce back from it. Anybody heard how his rehab has been going??

    • Niemo

      HipHop – I agree on Raines. I saw him play last year and figured he would at least as good as Cheick Diakite was as a senior for us. He was aggressive inside. He was limited offensively, but that’s not what this team needs. They just need a guy who sells out on D and the glass.

      Traveler – I think the reason you don’t see more pressure is Delaney. You can’t press if he’s playing 37 minutes a night. And right now he clearly doesn’t have trust in Erick Green running the point or he’d have played him more last night. I agree we have good athletes but Seth’s system is a half court system – on offense and defense. It is tough to coach in a way you aren’t comfortable with, similar to how Purnell struggles to run a half court system.
      As for scheduling, the ACC/big(11)10 set who plays who, so there’s nothing we could do about drawing iowa. And to be fair, we’ve only won once in the challenge (and that was against iowa). But I agree with you on needing to play tougher competition. The issue of late has been we couldn’t beat the good teams OOC and lost to a couple of crappy teams. All I can figure is we are just trying to rack up wins this year, or teams just won’t play us in a home and home.

  • VTTraveler

    Observation:

    As I watch all the excitement around college basketball on the tube on upcoming games it frustrates me a little. Why don’t we have the buzz around our bball program a lot of other universities have? We play in arguably the premier conference in the country. How did we draw Iowa in the ACC Big Ten Challenge. My point is Seth needs to step outside his comfort zone. I know last year we play some “sexy” games and lost. They were close games. In order to grow as a program you have to lose those kind of games, because you can than clinically assess how to win them. If you want the benefit of the doubt on selection sunday you have to build a reputation of being a fighter. Gonzaga his a Mid-Major program but you wouldn’t know it base on their exposure. If you want to be in the conversation with recruits like Harrison Barnes you have to play someone. The other thing looking at our roster and the way we play you would never be able to tell how athletic a team we are. We always play our opponents style. Last night was ridiculous, we should have pressed them to death. We don’t run at all. Kids like to score the ball. That half court style will not put your program over the top. And don’t tell me we don’t have the personnel to run, last nights starting five play well above the rim and including JT who we know what he can do in the open court we can do better. Im done just an observation.

  • vttraveler

    Niemo:

    I am noticing a few upsets early in the college Basketball season. Mississippi State to Iona, UCLA loss to Cal State, Kentucky pushed by Miami of Ohio, and Carolina struggles against Valpo. Which proves early in the season is not indicative of long term outcomes. I employ the fans to be patient we are a work in progress.

  • Niemo

    True. The only difference is three of those teams you mention (ucla, ky-kentucky, and unc) are very young. ucla has a couple of solid seniors but a lot of sophomores and a freshman that play a lot. kentucky was an average team the last few years and are adjusting to a new coach with a lot of new faces like John Wall. And unc lost all their contributors from last year. VT has more experience.

    Also, the talent gap between the big boys and mid-majors has narrowed a lot with guys going to the NBA so early.

    BUT, at the end of the day, it was just one game. We’ll see how things go in the next few weeks. It just appeared all too much like the past after one game. But Beamer always says you improve the most between Game #1 and #2, so we’ll see if that applies to basketball too.

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