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Niemo’s Notes

“Bad morning boss?”
“They usually follow good nights, Dwight.” -Dodgeball
Ah, yes, it was a great night to be a Hokie! But my old friend W. Turkey is sure making this a painful morning. Anyway, let’s look back at the uconn win…

Nobody, and I mean nobody brings you more video coverage of Hokie games than TechHoops.com!  You want three different videos of the exact same highlights?  Well, you’ve got it right here!

  • Pretty amazing to think VT beat uconn with just 12 points from Allen and Delaney combined (they average over 32).
  • I said VT had to hold uconn to an Offensive Rebounding Percentage of around 33%.  uconn finished at 43% (16/37).  That’s not good at all by the Hokies.  They were dominated on the glass on defense.  But VT managed to grab 41% of their misses (14/34) which helped cancel that out.  Still, wouldn’t it be nice to have a team that could get stops by methods other than creating turnovers?
  • I said before the game uconn was a lousy three-point shooting team.  Of course, they came out and hit 4/9 in the first half (they only average 4 makes per game).  But then statistics got the best of them – they went 0/7 from behind the arc in the second half.
  • Tech has to find some guards that can defend opponents’ guards on the perimeter.  Yes, Walker and Dyson are really good, but Delaney and even Hudson (maybe due to his foot) have been beaten like a rented mule off the dribble of late.  Other teams’ guards have an easy time getting past them and into the key with open looks.  We were spoiled with Gordon and Dowdell, but I still feel like these guys right now look average at best defending on the ball.
  • The VT 2-3 zone was a great change of pace by Greenberg (helps with guards that are struggling to defend).  No, we aren’t a zone team but it really rattled the huskies, who were driving at ease on the Hokies early in the game.  Dare uconn to beat you from deep.  It didn’t work at first but eventually uconn got cold.  The zone really is what got the Hokies back in the game.
  • VT held quinnipiac to just 2 fast break points last week.  I said they couldn’t equal that against uconn.  I was wrong.  VT had an 8-2 advantage in fast break points and are 35-4 in this category for the NIT.  They forced uconn to beat them in the half court which is not their strength.
  • While turnovers were just 13-10 in favor of VT, the Hokies did enjoy a 19-9 advantage in points off turnovers.  Tech has dominated that stat all year.
  • Is it me or is Zo Hudson our best player now?  His jumpshot is automatic and he’s able to finish runners near the hoop, something Delaney hasn’t been able to do for the last several months. 
  • Yes, Malcolm has had three games in his last five (nc state, georgia tech, and quinnipiac), but he’s also had some real shooting stinkers sandwiched around those.  He’s shooting just 37% from the field since ACC play started and just 26% on 3-pointers.
  • Meanwhile, Dorenzo has shot 44% from the floor over that same span.  Like I said, his jumpshot from about 12-18 feet is automatic.  Zo is hitting just 29% of his threes over those games though.  In other words, neither guard has been lighting it up from behind the arc.
  • Delaney did have 9 assists last night, and 29 in his last four games.  He has been doing a much better job of sharing the ball, especially on the break.  He made some nice unselfish passes to Zo in transition (and a really bad one but hey, he’s trying).
  • Zo hit 12/20 last night.  Tech hit just 24 shots as a team.  Yep, Hudson made half of VT’s field goals.  Only one other Hokie made more than two shots, and that was JT Thompson who made just three.  You could say the Hokies had a balanced attack last night.  Or you could say they were equally bad.  Outside of Zo, they hit just 12/37 (32%).
  • Terrell Bell has hit 8 of his last 17 three-point shots over the last four games.  Add in the fact that JT is 20/35 over the last six games and you have some great signs for next year!  Thompson is consistently knocking down his midrange jumpers and that three last night was huge in my book, cutting the halftime deficit to just five.  If Bell and Thompson can continue to hit their open looks next year, it will mean Delaney, Allen, or Hudson can have an off night and VT can still win, as they did against the huskies.
  • As Cope mentioned, 25 wins ties a school record.  I believe the 17 home wins establishes a new high but I’ll have to double check that.
  • Just three ACC teams are still playing basketball: duke (NCAA), unc (NIT), and VT (NIT).
  • Mike Patrick of ESPN said last night was the loudest NIT crowd he had ever heard… until Wednesday!

Cope-acabana’s Additional Notes:

  • Hudson led the Hokies in scoring and rebounding last night (27/7). It was the second time this season Hudson has accomplished the feat. In fact, he and Jeff Allen are the only Hokies to lead the team in scoring and rebounding this season. Allen also did it twice.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1198 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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  • Danram

    Great comments, Niemo. I agree with all of them. We do indeed appear to have a bit of a “quickness deficit” on the perimeter against elite level guards. Granted, someone as quick as Kemba Walker is going to give just about anybody problems. He has the quickest feet of any player I’ve seen this season. But I hope that we work more on zone defenses in the off-season so that we can play them more next year with confidence.

    I really couldn’t understand why Seth stayed in the man-to-man for as long as he did. Seemed like when we were playing man, UConn would move ahead. When we switched to a zone, VT went back out in front. As you say, Walker was beating Delaney like a rented mule off the dribble from about the 5:00 minute mark to the 2:00 minute mark of the 2nd half. But maybe Seth wanted to wait until the last two minutes of the game to go back into the zone so that it would have maximum effect. Also, if you haven’t played a lot of zone before, it’s easy to lose track of who you’re supposed to be blocking out for rebounds on the defensive end. But hey, we don’t do a particularly good job of boxing out anyway, so I don’t see that as really all that much of a detriment.

    All in all, it was a terrific win over an obviously talented UConn team. We’re one more win away from a trip to Madison Square Garden and a school-record 26 wins. I really hope we can pull it off against URI tomorrow night. These guys deserve it.

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