The Balla Report 2/19/10

• Seth Greenberg has preached for the past several weeks about the Hokies needing to “define the way” they win ballgames. Simply put, do the little things. Some examples: 1) Dorenzo Hudson made all the Sports Center highlights with his spectacular fast break jam over two wake players, but it wouldn’t have been possible if freshman Cadarian Raines hadn’t blocked David Weaver’s layup attempt at the other end which led to the fast break. 2) Midway through the second half with Tech trailing by five and the shot clock running down, JT Thompson kept alive a key Hokie possession with a nice save of an errant pass from Malcolm Delaney just as the ball was headed out of bounds. JT somehow got the ball to Zo who drove the middle of the lane and connected on a scoop shot which cut the wake lead to 63-60. 3) Terrell Bell atoned for turning the ball over by chasing down wake’s C.J. Harris to swat away his transition shot. This led to Malcolm’s twisting and-one at the other end, which cut the wake lead to one and eliminated deac big man Chas McFarland in the process with his fifth foul.

• How did the Hokies outrebound the much larger deacons, who go 7-0, 6-11, 6-11 and 6-9 along their frontline, 47-38 you wonder? Greenberg knew Tech’s big men – Allen, Thompson, Davila and Raines – would have to get a body on each wake tree and hope that the guards and wings could get some boards. I’d say they succeeded as Delaney grabbed 9, matching his career high, to go along with his sensational 31 points, Hudson had 7 rebounds from his guard position, and Bell was simply huge with his 14 rebounds which included 7 on the offensive end alone.

• Speaking of T Bell, the Hokies new rebounding machine as of late with his 14 boards against wake which followed recent 9 and 11 rebound efforts versus uva and unc respectively. With his length on defense and nose for the ball off the rim, does Bell remind anyone of a young Dennis Rodman, just without the bleached do, piercings and tattoos (to this point)?

• The key moment of this season could very well turn out to be the opening minutes of the December 30 game against longwood. This is where the season took a dramatic turn for Dorenzo Hudson as Delaney left the game with a sprained ankle. Zo finished the longwood game with 11 points but then took his game to a whole new level with 41 against seton hall three nights later with Malcolm unable to go. Hudson hasn’t looked back since and has become the second go to scorer the Hokies desperately needed, now averaging 14 ppg and 16.6 in ACC play. Would Zo have had the break through season he’s had if he weren’t forced into the scorer role with Delaney out of the lineup? Who knows. But I do know this – you can go ahead and start engraving Dorenzo’s name on the trophy for the ACC’s most improved player.

• Jeff Allen and JT Thompson played much of the second half against wake forest with four fouls and Malcolm Delaney actually fouled out of a game for the first time since his freshman season. JT’s defense on wake future lottery pick Al-Farouq Aminu, even after being saddled with his fourth foul, was vital to the Hokies comeback. Experience playing effectively while in foul trouble could be huge going into Cameron Indoor, where as we all know, duke tends to get the nod from the refs on anything resembling a close call. How the Hokies react when certain call don’t go their way, which inevitably they all won’t, could be a key factor in this Sunday night’s battle for first place in the ACC.

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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  • Les

    Interest revelation in SI. I bet it was the UVA game.

    “Malcolm Delaney has become notorious in the Atlantic Coast Conference for trying hard to draw fouls. So much so that even he was stunned earlier this month when game officials told him to “stop flopping.”

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/ncaa/wires/02/18/2060.ap.bkc.virginia.tech.s.leading.man.0885/

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

    That’s a good point… we are going to get absolutely JOBBED by the referees in this game at Cameron, so Hokie fans should go into the evening knowing that (it might save you some heartache if you understand and get comfortable with the fact that it’s going to happen). The only way VT will win is if they beat both Duke and the refs, which will not be easy.

  • Danram

    For VT to win this game, we are simply going to have to shoot the ball well. If we are shooting less than 50% from the floor, we aren’t gonna win this one. We simply have to hit our open looks when we get ‘em. Likewise, we’re gonna need to be north of 80% from the FT line.

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