ON THE maryland GAME:
- Offense – 1st half: The Hokies offense is clicking like I’m never seen since the Dell Curry (maybe Bimbo Coles) days. But they did really struggle with the 3-2 zone maryland went to halfway through the first half. Up until that point, VT had scored 22 points in barely more than 8 minutes. They had 9 assists on 10 FGs and just 1 turnover. The key was attacking the terps – pushing the ball after misses or throwing over the top of the press. After the terps went to the zone, VT had just 3 assists and 6 turnovers the rest of the half. The seemed to forget about pushing the ball.
- Offense – 2nd half: The key was being aggressive again. VT hit 18/24 FTs in the second half, and that was after missing 4 of their first 7 FTs (15/17 the rest of the way). Tech also had better shot selection from 3-point range, hitting 4/7 after going just 5/16 in the first half, most of which were after wasted possessions at the end of the shot clock.
- The Hokies’ 193 points in the last two games is a record under Greenberg. The previous high was 192 back in 2008-09 when VT had 76 in the ACC quarters against unc, and 116 against duquesne (but that was in 2 OTs). Tech had 189 back in 2006-07 to start the season, but that was against coppin state and west florida.
- Turnovers: I mentioned above VT had just 1 turnover in the early part of the first half. But at the half both teams had 7. In the second half, maryland had 8 turnovers to just 2 by Tech (and both of those were in the final minute). That’s how VT won this game.
- Halftime: Last night was the first game in ACC play the Hokies have won where they were NOT up by 10 or more at the half. They had been 0-4 before last night when ahead by <10 or behind. Tech did have a double digit lead in the first half, the 8th time in 11 ACC games they’ve done that. They truly are a quick starting team.
- Young Guards: The maryland guards were not the liability I though they’d be. The three main guys had just 5 turnovers (compared to 9 at maryland). And they notched 39 points.
- Nolan Smith: Yes, I know VT didn’t play duke last night, but did you see the way Terrell Stoglin shredded the VT guards last night? He beat them up the court like they were rented mules. His high (he’s a freshman) before last night was 18… he had 15 at the half. He finished with 25.
- Freebies: The terps came in as the second worst FT shooting team in the ACC at barely over 60%. They hit 21/24 (88%) last night, including 11/11 in the second half. So much for VT’s free throw ‘defense’. Very surprising on the road.
- I gave Delaney crap for not being clutch in the final minute of games after the bc loss. But he was money from the line last night down the stretch, and also had a huge jumper even though it was an otherwise forgettable night from the field.
- I’m going to hold off on talking about Jeff Allen… article coming soon…
- Delaney is 26/28 in the last two games from the line.
- Erick Green has developed a mental block at the foul line (I think he’s holding on to the ball too long and thinking about his shot too much). He was 32/33 from the line from mt. st. mary’s to nc state, but is just 9/17 since then.
- Terrell Bell has shot 50% or better in four straight games. He had made more than 2 3-pointers in just two games before last night (when he hit 5). That surpassed his 4/9 against the canes in the ACC Tournament last year.
- Victor Davila was 13/17 (76%) against the terps this year.
- Manny Atkins is 0 for his last 6 from behind the arc. Even in warm-ups you can see his confidence is off.
- The terps are 0-6 against VT, duke, and bc this year, but 5-0 against the rest of the ACC. They haven’t played unc or fsu yet (beat the noles!).
- Credit Gary Williams. He made key adjustments last night. Their press got shredded early so he went to a 3-2 zone, which is not their game. Yet it rattled the Hokies. Also, they did a great job of attacking the Hokies’ zone which caused the VT foul trouble inside and got maryland back in the game.
- Jordan Williams’ second foul with 6 minutes to go in the first half was key. It took him out of the game and slowed their run.
- Williams does not have a double-double in his last 3 games. He had reached that mark in 16/17 before that.
- The terps are turtle soup in terms of getting an ACC Tournament bye. They would lose tiebreakers to VT and bc, and would have to make up 3 games on Tech with 5 to play to finish ahead of them.
ON THIS STRETCH:
- I said I’d take 3-1 in this stretch of gt, md, @uva, and @wake. But now that VT is 2-0 to start this stretch, will that do? You’d certainly like to win both these games against ACC bottom feeders, but it is NOT easy to win on the road in the ACC, where home teams win around 65-70% of the games.
- Several things are going VT’s way on Saturday at uva: uva plays duke at home on Wednesday night (let’s face it, that game means more to them – they’d love to beat the national champs). They might have a slight hangover Saturday. Also, Mike Scott, the ultimate Hokie-beater, is not playing. He had 21/13 against the Hokies at VT and had regularly own Jeff Allen (well, the old Jeff) in the past. But uva would love to sweep the Hokies and VT will have to be sharp and fired up.
- One thing is going VT’s way against wake: They’re awful. That said, let’s hope the Hokies aren’t looking ahead to duke. wake has looked better lately but that isn’t saying much since they’re 1-10 in ACC play with 9 of those losses by 14 or more.
ON TECH’S PLACE IN THE STANDINGS:
- Tech took firm command of fourth place on Tuesday, and look poised to get their fifth First Round bye in the ACC Tournament in 7 years in the ACC.
- 3-2 the rest of the way should get VT a bye. Should. That said, clemson could easily to 3-1 in their next 4 and be 9-6 heading into their game against VT.
- I predict the eagles will go 2-3 the rest of the regular season which would leave them at 8-8 and out of the race for a bye. But if the eagles win at VT and both finish 9-7, Tech is the odd man out.
- The Hokies have a good shot at 3rd place if they continue to play well. They are just one game behind the noles and fsu is without star Chris Singleton, who has a broken foot. fsu will likely go 3-2 or 2-3 the rest of the way. 2-3 would put them at 10-6 and give the Hokies the tiebreaker if Tech finishes 3-2. The Hokies have the tiebreaker in a two-way tie thanks to VT’s win in Cassell so odds are good… if the Hokies continue to play well.
- The bc and clemson games are the biggest the rest of the way in terms of getting a bye… and yes, I realize the duke game is the biggest in terms of making the Big Dance.
- VT is 6-2 since starting 1-2 in ACC play.