ACC Power Poll and the Ocho Stay Undefeated | Niemo’s Notes | 1.9.11

Hokie ramblings…

  • Props to the Prof: Kudos to Head Coach Seth Greenberg for running zone the whole game Saturday.  He’ll tell you he’s not a zone guy, but with the VT situation of having just 8 players, he had to find a way to not wear them down on defense and to keep our 2 bigs out of foul trouble.  The zone works great for that.  Just exposes you to giving up offensive rebounds.  And kudos on working in that 3/4-court 1-3-1 trap on Saturday, too.  That forced the noles into a couple of turnovers and kept them from getting comfortable.  Seth has done a great job mixing things up defensively this year.
  • Viva El Ocho!: Tech’s Elite 8 moved to 4-0 with their win over florida state.  Tech had been just 2-6 against the noles in ACC play, including 3 straight losses.  But the Hokies found a way to win ugly against a team that also likes to win ugly.  I guess we out-uglied them.  Tech is now 3-1 at home against the noles in league play, 0-5 in tallahassee.
  • The Big Donut: Big props to Mr. Jeff Allen.  I called him out in my fsu preview, mentioning that of his 34 career double-doubles, just 11 were against ACC opponents.  He could look like an All-American against the mount’s and campbell’s of the world, only to seem very average in ACC games.  Well, Jeff gave me a warm glass of shut-the-heck-up on Saturday.  Allen, despite a groin that has been listed as 75%, scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against the noles, including 16 second half points.  And 10/12 from the line?   Who was that guy?
  • The Big Donut (continued): Jeff Allen now has five double-doubles in his last six games.  But let’s go beyond that.  In the last eight games, Jeff has scored at least 11 points and snagged 9 boards in every contest. So he’s missed a double-double by just 1 rebound in those three other games.  He’s averaged 15.1 points and 11.0 rebounds over that stretch.  This is the Jeff Allen we’ve been waiting for.  The light has gone on.
  • Can the Big Donut Stay Fresh?: Obviously Jeff is vital to the Hokies for the rest of the season considering they have just two true big men on the roster left.  You know Allen will be hyped for the game at unc, but how will he respond Saturday?  Tech has to play wake forest less than 45 hours after the unc game ends.  Will he be able to play like he has with such a short turnaround?  We shall see — and Tech needs him.  While the deacons are flat out awful (I’ll save you some time… they are #12 in my Power Poll), they have bigs and VT needs Allen to defend and rebound inside.
  • Paging M.D.: I don’t want to say I’m concerned about Malcolm Delaney, but he seems lost.  Ever since moving to the 2-guard, his production has faded more and more with each game.  In his first game at the off-guard spot, he scored 18 points on 6/9 shooting (5/7 on 3s) against penn state.  And while he played well in the four following games, he just seems to be invisible at times now on the court.  With 8 minutes to go Saturday, he had just four points.  Malcolm answered with 9 down the stretch, including a critical three-point play, but he is has not looked like a “star” lately.  Clearly it wasn’t working earlier in the year when he was scoring half of Tech’s points and no one else was involved, but the Hokies need him to be a bigger factor than he was Saturday down the stretch.  While it is great Allen is playing so well, Malcolm needs to be the man again.
  • Sharing the Wealth: On another note about Delaney, after his 3 assist, 0 turnover performance Saturday, he now has 30 assists and just 11 giveaways since moving to the 2-guard.  Malcolm had 26 assists to 42 turnovers in the first 8 games.  Clearly he is a much better distributor when he doesn’t have to handle the ball as much.
  • Erick’s Errors: After going more than 200 minutes without a turnover (over 7 games), Erick Green has 6 giveaways in the last 2 games, including 4 on Saturday.  To be fair, one of those turnovers should have gone to Delaney (he threw the ball into the corner and basically led Erick out of bounds).  Believe me, I’m not dogging Erick here.  His run was amazing over that stretch where he had zero turnovers.   Just thought I’d point out he is finally looking human at the point.
  • Erick’s Errors (The Other Way): With Green’s 4 steals Saturday against fsu, he has 17 steals in the last 5 games.  He had just 7 steals in the first 7 games he played (though obviously that was in less time per game).  Erick is now third in the ACC in steals per game at 2.0 despite not starting the first 6 games he appeared in, and playing just 2 minutes against cal state-northridge.
  • Hokies of the Lost Arc: Tech did very well from 3-point range during a 4 game stretch from uva to st. bonnie.  The Hokies were 29/75 (39%) over that span.  Since then, Tech is 9/37 (24%), including 2/14 versus usc-upstate and 1/8 against fsu. Malcolm did not hit a three in the game against fsu, just the second time that has happened (okie state was the other — so Tech won both — hmm…).
  • Eye on RPI: Trust me, it is too early to start worrying about the RPI.  But what the heck, this is a blog after all…  Tech has dropped to around 61 from around 40 a few weeks ago.  This is because usc-upstate and the mount really messed up VT’s strength of schedule, which is now around 60 (it had been top 20).  But some of VT’s wins really stepped up this weekend — okie state beat kansas state and are #35 (Tech’s best win) and penn state beat michigan state and are in the top 70 now.  florida state and st. bonaventure are also in the top 100, though barely.  VT is 1-3 against the top 50, and 3-3 against the top 100.
  • ACC Wins: How many wins in the league will it take to make the Big Dance?  I have no idea.  Tech was just the second ACC team ever to win 9 and not make it 3 years ago, and became the first to not make the NCAA Tournament last year with 10 league wins.  Tech just needs to focus on winning one game at a time, which leads me to…
  • This Week: The Hokies should do no worse than 1-1 this week.  It will be very tough to win at chapel heel on Thursday, but then the Hokies get wake at home Saturday.  This is a must win considering how bad the deacons are.  But the ACC didn’t do VT any favors having the short turnaround.  Let’s hope Allen holds up.  And if Tech can steal a win against the powder blue, this could be a great week.

Hokies of Note in the ACC Statistical Leaders (per game):

  • Delaney is 3rd in the ACC in scoring at 18.6
  • Allen is 13th in scoring at 13.4
  • Allen is 2nd in rebounding at 9.8
  • Bell is 14th at 6.0
  • Allen is 4th in FG% at 50%
  • Delaney is 5th in assists at 4.0
  • Delaney is 4th in FT% at 87%
  • Green is 3rd in steals at 2.0
  • Delaney is 5th in steals at 1.6
  • Delaney is 5th in 3-Pt% at 42%
  • Delaney is 4th in 3-Ptrs Made at 2.4
  • Green is #1 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.7
  • Allen is 2nd in defensive rebounds at 7.4
  • Delaney is #1 in minutes played at 38.0
  • VT is 10th in scoring but #1 in scoring defense
  • VT is 8th in FT% even with their 34/37 effort
  • VT is 4th in FG% and FG% defense
  • VT is 11th in 3-PT% and 5th in 3-PT% defense (I find the latter hard to believe, thought it would be worse)
  • VT is 9th in blocks
  • VT is 6th in steals
  • VT is 3rd in turnover margin (this has improved a lot lately)
  • VT is 7th in defensive rebound % (68%) and 9th in offensive rebound % (31%)
  • VT is 10th in 3-Point FGs Made per game (5.0)

ACC Power Poll (1.9.11) — this promises to be very fluid this year:

  1. duke (2-0, 15-0): Struggled against maryland at home, but they are the clear cut #1 in the nation.  And that’s without Kyrie Irving who may not need surgery.  They struggle in transition D and can be beat up by a talented big this year (calling Jeff Allen).
  2. unc (1-0, 11-4): The heels had looked really good over the last month beating #11 k-y kentucky and losing to texas by just 2 while going 7 of 8.  But that was before Saturday.  They looked like crap at uva against a struggling hoos squad and trailed by as many as 11 in the second half.  But they found a way to win and I haven’t seen anyone better than them (other than duke).
  3. Nobody (though I’m counting bc here – 2-0, 12-4): Seriously, no one deserves this slot.  If I was going to put someone here, I’d put boston college since they are 2-0 in the league including a win at maryland and a win over a terrible georgia tech team.  And as you loyal readers know, ga tech never wins on the road so no props for that.  Lucky for the eagles, they aren’t in the Ivy League, where they’d be 0-2 after losses to yale and harvard.  That’s why I can’t really put them here.
  4. VIRGINIA TECH (1-1, 10-4): Do I really think Tech is the fourth best team in the ACC?  Not really.  But they finish in the top four pretty much every year (4 of 6).  And they’ve won 6 in a row.  And they just beat a decent fsu team that had owned them historically.  Thursday night will be a real test.
  5. florida state (1-1, 11-5): They looked like crap against the Hokies, except for Singleton.  But the noles play great defense, which will keep them in games, and they have veteran leadership.  And if they get 6’11” Gibson back sooner than later, they’ll look like the team that beat clemson and baylor, and played butler tough.
  6. nc state (1-0, 11-4): It pains me to have a Sidney Lowe team this high, but the ACC is that bad this year.  They’ll find a way to suck, trust me, but Tracy Smith is great and now that he is back, they have as much of a shot as anyone to finish in the top four.  But I’m not going to go ape after they beat an awful wake team.  Let’s see how they do at boston college this week (prediction: they lose… come on Sidney!).
  7. clemson (1-1, 12-4): clemson is not good.  But they beat miami, who I thought was pretty good.  So I’ll put them ahead of miami.  The tigers do have two good guards, which helps.  And they will be georgia tech this week since the jackets NEVER win on the road (I’m being serious; see below).
  8. miami (0-2, 11-5): The canes would have been much higher if they had won at clemson Saturday, but they didn’t.  They played duke tough last weekend, but lost.  They are 0-2 in the ACC, but both were on the road so I’ll put them ahead of maryland.
  9. maryland (0-2, 10-5): The terps also played duke tough at duke, but like the canes, they lost.  And their home loss to bc drops them below the canes.  They have a star in Jordan Williams but no one else scares me.  They do play well as a team and their role players have bought into working hard on defense, but will that last when they aren’t playing duke?  And they can’t shoot.  This is not the team of a year ago.
  10. uva (1-1, 10-6): How in the world did they beat the Hokies?  How did they lead unc by 11 in the second half without Mike Scott?  I have no idea.  But they did.  But then the heels woke up and won.  Will Mike Scott play again this year or take a medical hardship?  If it is the latter, they are in real trouble.
  11. georgia tech (0-1, 7-7): Hey, they were tied with bc at the half!  But then a 14-1 run put that game away.  Perhaps georgia tech remembered they were on the road — they are 1-16 over the last 3 seasons in ACC road games. The jackets have lost to unc-charlotte, siena, northwestern, and kennesaw state.  Not good.  Paul Hewitt’s days are numbered and they’d be 12th if it weren’t for…
  12. wake forest (0-1, 7-9): PLEASE let the Hokies beat them Saturday.  Ugh, the deacons are awful.  About the only thing they do well is block shots — they are 11th in the nation.  But they’s lost to presbyterian, unc-wilmington, winthrop, and stetson among others.  And they just lost by 21 to Sidney Lowe and nc state!

This post was written by:

- who has written 1284 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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4 Responses to “ACC Power Poll and the Ocho Stay Undefeated | Niemo’s Notes | 1.9.11”

  1. Goodraisin says:

    Agreed, a loss to Wake Forest would look TERRIBLE on our tourney resume. I have faith that our boys will get it done, though probably in a closer game than we’d like. I think Tony Bennett is a fantastic coach, and as much as it pains me to say it, I think UVA will overachieve in the ACC this season. Bennett is kind of like Seth Greenberg… he’s a defense-first coach whose teams have a way of hanging around in games where they shouldn’t. I think they will do this even without Mike Scott, but any other injuries to that squad and I might have to go back on my word here. I am also assuming that Sammy Zeglinski eventually remembers how to shoot a basketball.

  2. HipHop_Hokie says:

    We’re back in the “others receiving votes” of the AP poll. Woohoo!! Free ice cream for everybody!!

    • Niemo says:

      I used to make fun of uva for living in the “others receiving votes” category, so I can’t really say anything here. Although uva’s days of even being competitive for that minor distinction are long gone.

      It is good to see us getting some, albeit minor, recognition for our improved play. A win Thursday night would really get us back on the scene (assuming we didn’t poop the bed Saturday).

  3. HipHop_Hokie says:

    Yeah I was being super facetious about our ORV status, obviously. We started in the top-25 and that’s where this team belongs… so hopefully we are on our way back.

    I’m very proud of this team. Early on I was quite disappointed by how lackadasical and out of sorts they seemed… not what I was expecting at all from a senior-laden bunch. And then when the news came down that Hudson and Raines were BOTH gone – on top of the already crappy news from preseason that Thompson was out – I had scary visions of a team that should have been one of our best ending up sinking to the bottom of the ACC like the remains of an El Paso burrito down at the bottom of my toilet bowl.

    BUT NO!! Ever since that time, Erick Green has shocked the crap out of me with his amazing displays of control and command over games, and Jeff Allen has quite possibly made the biggest strides of anybody in the country… certainly the ACC. Those two in particular have gone from zeros to heroes almost overnight, and the maturity that really the entire team is playing with despite the struggles of only having 8 scholly players left has been absolutely inspiring.

    Keep it up, fellas… I definitely like what I see.


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