Categorized | 2010-11 Season, Game Recaps, Games

Ocho Stinko | unc (2-0, 12-4) 64, Hokies (1-2, 10-5) 61

Malcolm Delaney’s 28 points, including seven three-pointers, was not enough for the Hokies on the road against ACC rival unc. Especially when Jeff Allen follows a career game with four points and seven rebounds against the heels. Despite a 16-point first-half lead, Tech loses 61-64 to unc.

Erick Green was playing well, but suffered a cramp that took him out of the game. Add to that the Hokies were on the road in Chapel Hill against a healthy unc team with 10 scholarship players and it’s amazing they were even in the game in the final seconds.

It is with great sadness we must report that the six-game winning streak is over. It was a good run, folks. A damn good run…

What can you say about this game other than, “We totally saw that coming.” Look, we’re not naysayers or Debbie Downers, we’ve just been covering the Hokies for a long long time. This is the same script that has played out dozens of times. Stop us if this sounds familiar…

The Hokies are on the road against a more prestigious conference rival, which has more All-Americans on its roster this season than Tech’s had in its entire history. The Hokies explode out of the gate and can’t miss or do anything wrong. Then, the wheels come off. The home team gets the majority of the calls, we get in foul trouble, we can’t hit a shot, we turn it over and we eventually give the lead away.

Sure, we keep it close enough to give us hope, but usually a terrible call by the pro-unc or pro-duke officials, or a stupid play by a veteran ensures a win for the other team.

Look, considering the Hokies had eight scholarship players, two of which are true freshmen, it’s amazing that they played as well as they did. The Hokies sprinted to a 16-point, first-half lead, 31-15, but didn’t score a point in the final 6 minutes and 23 seconds of the first half, allowing the tar heels to go on a 9-0 run to pull within seven at the break.

Jeff Allen was on the bench for most of the first half with a pair of fouls. Green suffered a severe cramp that sat him down for most of the second half. Delaney had three fouls and Terrell Bell had four down the stretch.

The second half was painful to watch. You just knew where the game was headed. And when unc finally took the lead and the 20,000 in the Dean Dome were screaming their damn bloody heads off, you knew there was no way the Hokies were going to win this game.

Mad props to Manny Atkins, who played well off the bench, hitting three of his four three-point attempts for nine points. The sophomore buried two huge treys in the second half to keep the Hokies in the game.

We could right a recap, but it would read just like so many we’ve written before. Hokies started hot. They took the lead. They went cold. They gave up aforementioned lead. They lost. End of story. Roll credits.

The good news is, the Hokies are back home Saturday night against a pretty weak wake forest team. The questions are: 1) Will the Hokies led unc beat them twice (now known as the boise state effect) and 2) will the Hokies have enough healthy players to put a team on the court?

We’ll be there live at the Cassell as the Hokies look to even their ACC record. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.

Niemo’s Notes:

  • Jarell Eddie showed some flashes in the first half.  He had a nice jumper fading to the baseline, and scored 6 points in 12 minutes.  This looked like the Eddie of the first few weeks of the season.
  • Tyrone Garland played about as bad of a game as you could play.  Everything he touched turned to turnover, and unfortunately because of Green’s injury, he had to play a lot a good bit (8 minutes).  He looked like a freshman tonight with 3 turnovers and no points.
  • unc won this game on the glass.  Tech could not get a defensive rebound to save their life.  Up 52-50 coming out of the under-4 timeout, Henson (a 34% foul shooter) bricked two foul shots as you knew he would.  But unc grabbed the rebound, and Barnes hit a jumper to tie the game.  Instead of up 2 with the ball and 3 minutes to go, the game was tied.  Delaney quickly missed a jumper and Barnes drained a 3.  Huge momentum swing.  The heels grabbed 42% of their misses (18 offensive rebounds).  Tech grabbed just 22% of their misses (8 offensive rebounds).
  • Tech had 18 turnovers, their highest total since unlv and 5 more than they had in any of their last 8 games.
  • VT had 13 steals — their third straight game with 10+.
  • Tech’s 11 made three-pointers were a season high.
  • The Hokies led from the 18:05 mark of the first half through the 9:35 mark of the second half.  The final 9:30 minutes were nip and tuck.
  • We need Dorenzo Hudson!  This is the third time this season Delaney has taken a shot at the end of a game in a critical situation and he’s 0/3 (purdue – went to OT, st. bonnie – went to OT, unc – lost).  He settles for tough, long jumpers with a man in his face off the dribble.  Need to try something different like have him come off a screen without the ball or have him drive and and dish.
  • The Hokies this year remind me of one of my buddies when he’s trying to seal the deal with a girl at the bar — he’s pretty good for most of the night and it looks like it’s gonna happen.  Then he falters at the end, can’t close the deal, and goes home empty handed.  As a result, he has no date for the dance.

This post was written by:

- who has written 235 posts on Tech Hoops.

Cope is a Virginia Tech graduate and veteran sports journalist with a career spanning television, radio, and newspapers. He's the recipient of three Virginia Press Association awards for his writing and design, as well as a CASE Gold Award for his feature writing. Cope has covered the Hokies since 1993 for various local and national news organizations. He's been with since 2007.

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24 Responses to “Ocho Stinko | unc (2-0, 12-4) 64, Hokies (1-2, 10-5) 61”

  1. Chris says:

    Think you summed it up perfectly. I really don’t have anything else to add; everything I was gonna say you hit on, including Manny Adkins.

    Just a really tough way to lose.

  2. chicagomaroon says:

    I know Delaney was money, and Seth said he wasn’t mad at Malcolm for the last shot, but to be completely honest that was an all-time bonehead shot. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be the one to take it, it’s hard to argue with that at that point, we’re not even in it without him, but to take THAT shot, even if you’re feeling it is just dumb. And can we run a set? Props to our young players for hanging tough, but we just looked like a bunch of dribblers and jumpshooters out there. One of the reasons our big guys didn’t have any kind of imprint on the game is they didn’t get touches. We didn’t look to post hardly at all, and I know for a fact the UNC D was not so tenacious that we couldn’t at least FEED the post.

  3. Jordan says:

    I was at this game and out of the five or six times I have been to games in the Dean Dome, this was by far the loudest. I think we has Hokie fans should take some pride in knowing that UNC’s fans at least consider beating us some what of an achievement (or maybe it just goes to show how far the tar heels have fallen). I though the effort was great but we need Victor “Stone Hands” Davila and Bell to give us a little more on the offensive end. Both are playing great D right now though.

  4. Greg says:

    The offensive call on Allen with like 1:30 left in the game was the turning point. We make then, convert a 3 point play and we’re leading by 2 as opposed to being down by 4 after it’s called a charge and then UNC goes down and hits a huge 3 pointer. As soon as that happened I looked at my roommate and we both knew that was it for us.

    Another fun fact, looked like Prince Parker dressed out for us at this game. Or it was who I assumed was Prince Parker. He was a big dude, never actually saw his jersey but I’m pretty sure it was Prince.

  5. dave says:

    if this story is typical then leave the blame off the officiating. from my seat the refs were consistently bad for both sides. it was an ugly game, but the VT/UNC games usually are because tech is a physically aggressive team and carolina is traditionally a finesse team (similar to duke’s style of play). that is one reason the hokies will always have a legitimate chance against either team, no matter how good of a year they are having.

    Greenberg has some great talent coming in the next couple of years so it will be interesting to see this matchup for at least the foreseeable future!

    Go Heels!

  6. Fruitpie The Magician says:

    We need to find a way to finish! If Delaney makes that last shot we are heroic! But that’s Basketball – a fine line between stupid and clever. Hokies – you played tough. I was sad in the end (kinda like a Redskins fan), but it wasn’t because of effort. Let’s win Saturday.

  7. Danram says:

    Niemo, I can’t believe that you’d fail to mention the absolutely horrible charging call on Jeff Allen’s dunk with under 2:00 to go. IMHO, that, along with the UNC rebound of Henson’s 2nd missed FT, were the two key plays of the game.

    Zeller was quite clearly standing almost directly underneath the basket. By rule, any contact between an offensive player and a defensive player who’s trying to draw a charge in that area is supposed to automatically be called a block. The basket should have counted and Jeff should have been at the line to try and convert a 3-point play.

    Instead, the ACC officiating crew … as happens with maddening regularity whenever UNC or Duke is involved in a close conference game late … waved off the basket and gave UNC the ball.

    Instead, the refs

    • Niemo says:

      Danram – I hear ya on the ‘charge’ call. To be honest, I’m over blaming officials anymore. They stink and I’ve accepted that. Don’t get me wrong, I was cursing a blue streak in a public forum last night during the game, but I’m not going to blame that. As for the under the basket rule (which Zeller clearly was), has that been adopted in college and they just haven’t painted the half circle yet except for some early season tourneys? Or is that only a NBA rule? I can’t remember.

  8. RK in Roanoke says:

    You got the painful to watch part right. Watching this game it is hard to figure out exactly what a foul is in the ACC. Touching gets called. Hacking sometimes. before the charge it looked like allen got tackled getting a rebound, no call. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming the refs, just bemoaning that there seemed to be a whistle on nearly every possession. Let them play and bang. It is a contact sport. maybe not a collision sport, but definitely a contact one. Way too many fouls and really bad foul shooting on both sides. Very painful.

    VT had too many bad possessions and lack of patience. With 8 guys, they should almost never run. The fact that their not very good on the break really means they should err on the side of patience and running the clock.

    With the foul trouble, cramping and lack of rebounding, why not get the big guy parker at least in the game for physical presence and boxing out.

  9. Goodraisin says:

    I have no idea why Larry Drew II gets so many minutes. Kendall Marshall is a much better player than that guy and Marshall really hurt us yesterday. I was proud of the games by Delaney, Atkins, and Eddie. Tough luck for Erick Green… he was playing pretty well before that cramp derailed him. UNC’s depth was just too much for the Hokies and coupled with the Green injury and Bell foul trouble, you just knew this game was going to end badly. UNC made their big run while Green was nursing his injury and trying to come in and out of the game. I feel bad for the players… a few of the guys didn’t play well but the team deserved the win.

  10. Bryan says:

    Perhaps there were other factors but right now Ben Boggs looks like a bit of an idiot. Do you think he would be getting some playing time now? Instead he essentially loses a year of eligibility. Why didn’t he just ride it out and see how the season went? The timing of his transfer, given that he isn’t enrolling the 2nd semester, didn’t make any sense at all.

  11. Goodraisin says:

    I also have to add this… I can’t even begin to tell you how much it ticked me off to see the referee and Tyler Zeller joking around together immediately after the ref blew the charging call against Jeff Allen when he dunked over Zeller (who was clearly under the basket). I don’t mind familiarity between referees and players before the game, but I don’t want to see any back-slapping and nudging during the game. When you watched it on TV, it was hard to see it as anything other than a favor for a guy who the referee likes.

    • Niemo says:

      Raisin – I think this goes on more than you realize (or get to see). Have you watched 24/7 Caps/Penguins? The refs talk all the time with the players, in hockey at least. And heck, my last 2 years at VT I had first row seats for every game and there were a few of the refs (one of them was Kersey, the guy working last night) that I’d talk with during games. But I agree, the timing of that really ticks you off because that was such a crucial call that killed us and appeared to be a terrible call.

  12. Chris says:

    Let’s be honest, there were bad calls both ways. Some REALLY bad calls. Home teams are always going to get favorable calls but you can’t boil Carolina’s comeback down to ‘Pro-UNC’ refs making pivotal, anti-VT decisions. VT played a bit above themselves in the first half but Carolina, as they always do, crept back in. In fact, I was surprised by UNC’s inability to convert a lot of turnovers and possessions in the first. Credit the Hokies’ strong D (that zone through the Heels for a loop) for sustaining such a significant lead for most of the first. Delaney was a man possessed and his 3-pt heroics kept VT in the game. Regardless of the outcome, VT certainly demonstrated why they are among the two or three favorites to finish 2nd in the ACC. What I’m interested to see moving forward is whether they will take care of business against the conference opponents they SHOULD beat, especially since the ACC is pretty weak. The Hokies seem to rise to the occasion against North Carolina or Duke and then proceed a big W with an unfathomable loss to an ACC bottom-feeder. I expect a bit of revenge will be dealt out when Carolina travels to Blacksburg.

    • Niemo says:

      Chris – unfortunately, unc ain’t coming to B’burg this year. That was their one shot, and another opportunity at a big, tourney boosting win was wasted.

  13. Blue Collar Hokie says:

    They played better than I thought they would. I knew the early lead was meaningless but it was fun while it lasted. We have eight players, two get hurt, three of the remainig six in foul trouble, and we still almost pull it off on the road. Our guys aren’t the most talented but damnit they fight and scrap till the end. They have nothing to be ashamed of. Let’s take it out on Wake.

  14. King says:

    I agree with Blue Collar…couldn’t have been prouder of the toughness Tech exhibited. Time to regroup, rest up & get ready for the next game. Greenberg is doing a solid job coaching this skeleton crew. The charge call on Allen was criminal.

  15. Goodraisin says:

    Niemo, I didn’t catch that documentary, but it sounded pretty interesting from what I’ve heard. I like to think of referees the way I think of doctors… detached and able to make decisions without emotion, but that’s just not the truth I guess.

    That blocking rule is new (I think as of this season?). Basically, there is an invisible box the size of the hoop directly underneath the hoop. If a defender is even partially inside that box, then it’s automatically a blocking foul. It’s just like the NBA, but the box is smaller than the NBA arc area, and they paint a line so you can actually SEE the area on NBA courts. Greenberg seemed pretty annoyed by the whole invisible aspect of that box both before the season and after the UNC game, and I agree. It makes zero sense to leave that call up to imagination when you can easily paint the box and help out the refs.

  16. Danram says:


    The “no charge zone” has now been adopted in college, starting with last season. The difference is that the pros actually have an arc with a radius of four feet from directly beneath the basket painted on the floor to help the refs enforce the rule. As of yet, the college game doesn’t require one.

  17. Kyle says:

    Niemo – I seem to remember the NCAA adopting something similar to the “No-Charge Zone” used in the NBA for either last season or the previous one. I remember there was a fair amount of controversy over it, because the court wasn’t going to have the illustrated arc like the NBA does, so it’d be left entirely to the opinion of the official.

    I found this wording of the rule on a couple blogs:
    Secondary defenders must establish position outside the area between the backboard and the front of the rim to draw a charge call.

    Now, I didn’t see this particular play, but its entirely possible that either the location of the official was such that he thought the defender had established proper position according to the rule, or the official didn’t think that Zeller fit the definition of a “secondary defender.”

    Either way, it’s important to remember that the block/charge call is among the most difficult to make in all officiating – if, for no other reason, than that you have to make the decision much more quickly and decisively than you might have to on a push or a hand-check. You can’t waffle on it – you just have to come up with a call right away and trust yourself to have made the right one. Basketball is among the most difficult games to officiate, if not THE most difficult – if anyone’s expectation is ever a perfect game from the officials, then you’ll never be satisfied. The best you can ever hope for is reasonably consistent judgment with respect to advantage/disadvantage.

  18. chrishokie says:

    Someone may have mentioned it but we hit 8-15 free throws after hitting 34-37 against FSU. If we shoot 70% and hit 10 or 11 the game may have turned out differently.

    • Niemo says:

      Chris – good point. We also missed two front ends of one-and-ones in the first half, so I count that as four points wasted. That really came into play in the second half. Even Delaney missed a front end.

  19. Jonny LaBelle says:

    BTW–I have objectively watched this ballclub since Coach Greenberg took over. Full disclosure–I am not a Hokie fan per se but have watched them play for years as I am a huge ACC Hoops fan so I want to give you an honest and totally unbiased opinion. Your Coach is one of the worst head coaches in D-I hoops without question. What does he actualy do other than rol lthe ball out and let these guys run around? Ridiculous shots, no discipline and no set offense whatsoever. All of this spells LACK of COACHING. The Hokies should have been up by 20 in that game again Carolina if they had any hoops sense at all. First time on this site, too.

  20. Bryan says:

    Jonny LaBelle, Greenberg one of the worst coaches in D-I? I guess that’s why he’s a 2-time ACC coach of the year and why VT is in the top 3rd of the league in conference wins since joining in ’04? All that with less heralded recruits than much of their ACC brothers. He’s clearly doing something right. I don’t think you have the slightest clue what you’re talking about.


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