Categorized | 2011-12 Season, Game Recaps

Recap | wildcats (5-0) 69, Hokies (5-3) 61

Box Score — The Hokies lost another tough one tonight in similar fashion to their other two losses: they led at the half, but came out flat and sloppy in the second half and lost 69-61 to kansas state.

Freshman Robert Brown came off the bench and played well to lead the Hokies in scoring with 15 points. He didn’t shoot particularly well, just 6/17, but he’s playing with confidence. Junior guard Erick Green was the only other Tech player and the only starter to score in double figures – he has 14 points. Dorenzo Hudson bruised his left knee yesterday and was questionable going into the game, but still played. He struggled, however, contributing only 7 points in 25 minutes.

Marquis Rankin made his first appearance of the season. The 6-1 freshman from Charlotte, N.C., played seven minutes and scored 2 points. Rankin looked solid on defense and has a good handle. He took all of Tyrone Garland’s minutes. Garland did not appear in the game.

The Hokies continue to play agressive and smothering first-half defense, holding the wildcats to just 22 first-half points. k-state took an early 8-4 lead, but the Hokies slowly pulled even after a layup by Brown and a pair of free throws by C.J. Barksdale. The teams traded buckets before the Hokies used a 10-3 run to take a 20-13 lead.

The wilcats closed the game to 26-22 with time winding down, but sophomore Jarrell Eddie buried a jumper with :03 left to give the Hokies a 6-point half-time lead, 28-22. Tech has led at the half of every game this season.

The second half got off to an inauspicious start for VT as freshman Dorian Finney-Smith picked up his third and fourth personal fouls in the first 29 seconds, putting him on the bench for most of the second half. And the Hokies missed his rebounding. After leading the wildcats in rebounding in the first half, 23-21, k-state dominated the boards in the second half, even though VT won the overall rebounding stat.

k-state opened the second half with a 12-2 run to turn a 6-point half-time deficit into a 4-point lead. The Hokies pulled even at 43-43, but another wilcat run, this time a 10-0 burst, gave the visitors a 10-point lead and it was all downhill from there.

Tech made it interesting down the stretch, but came up short, losing its second straight game. Next up for the Hokies is a road game against Rhode Island on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. The game is not on TV, so snuggle up to your radio.

Also, if you’re looking for Niemo’s Emmmy Award-winning narrated highlights, he’ll have those up tomorrow. Patience you must have.

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 TechHoops.com since 2007.

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  • HokieGuru

    Robert Brown needs to start… he has energy that the Hokies need.

    Robert Brown is averaging about 10 points over the last four games… Dorenzo Hudson averaging 5.

    Robert Brown scoring line (last four games): 8 (vs. Ok State), 5 (vs. St. Bonnie), 13 (vs. Minnesota), 15 (vs. Kansas State).

    Dorenzo Hudson scoring line (last four games): 7 (vs. Ok State), 8 (vs. St. Bonnie), 0 (vs. Minnesota), 7 (vs. Kansas State).

    By January 2012 (ACC season play), Robert Brown needs to start… even if it means that we have growing pains this season, he gives us the best chance to win. He is a scorer with a scorer’s mentality. He will lead our team in scoring the next three years.

    In fact, I’m convinced we need to go Erick Green, Robert Brown, Cadarian Ranes, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Jarell Eddie. Have the seniors come off the bench… if you can’t catch a ball in the post as a senior or score on a consistent basis, then you need to come off the bench.

  • Tech Student

    Agreed with starting Brown over Hudson, but disagree about Raines I see him as a bench player who gives quality minutes still.

  • Martin

    Niemo isn’t gonna like those comments. I keed, I keed.. But for real, I like brown and these young guys A LOT. This may be a slow developing season, but I think we have a bright future here. Even Rankin looked poised and promising in his first game action. Doe doe had an off night, but he obviously has skill and great potential. And CJ looks better and better. I think Raines and CJ both showed progress offensively. I’m excited. Oh, and Davila needs to run the point. I’ve never seen the man run the ct like that. Beautiful.

  • HokieGuru

    I just think Davila has hit a plateau there… still gets fouls at the wrong time… picked up his first two really quickly (reminded me of Jeff Allen)… hence, the Raines starting show. The Seniors have hit their plateau.

  • Les

    You may have to start Raines at center and Davila at power forward, simply due to the size of lineups of the competition. Slide Davila over to center some later in the game. It would take the pressure off of him, Finney-Smith, and Eddie by spreading out the fouls early on and let them play fresher against bigger matchups.

    I guess we should find out within a week or so if anyone is going to transfer. He would retain a semester of eligibility for the 2011-2012 season wherever he plays (outside the ACC).

  • Martin

    I agree with Guru – I think Davila should come off the bench. Rebounds and defense are more important right now out of our bigs, as none of them are truly offensive threats (yet). And it seems like CJ/Raines box out better and block more shots. Could be wrong on that, and if so, Davila should remain. But this is the second game in a row where he seemed to get out-rebounded and didn’t play up to par defensively.

  • chuck

    I don’t understand all the Davila talk…for what he is (a big stiff with a couple features), he’s doing an OK job.

    We don’t recruit big men, we don’t coach them up….it’s a Seth Greenberg Joint…you guys know the formula.

    I don’t think we should bench Hudson, we’d get nothing at all out of him then, he’d be crushed emotionally…plus you need some kind of scoring off the bench and that is one of the few things on our checklist we can mark off with Brown…

    I need to see more Barksdale, lest Seth turn him into the second coming of Lewis Witcher (still inexplicable how little he got used as his career progressed)…

  • chuck

    Prediction: 20-11, 9-7 ACC…..first round tourney loss to the 11 or 12 seed…NIT home games….sound familiar?

    Due to the last two games, our fortunes are completely tied to the ACC docket and the strength of the league, and it’s not doing so well.

    The 11-4 non-conf…i predict a home loss to BYU or a loss to OK St, which would completely eliminate our neutral site victory…is going to do us absolutely zero favors, even though we did schedule slightly more rigorously. The Syracuse game was equivalent to the early season K St game last year, but the Purdue game by far trumped the Minnesota game, and OK St is still doo-doo….BYU sans Jimmer will impress nobody….

    I’d be surprised if we have more than 1 top 50 win this year, against a few losses, maybe 1-4, or 1-5….the committee hates us again…

    Groundhog Day is February 2, not March 10, except in Blacksburg….

  • Martin

    You don’t get the davila talk, but in the same post you want to see more CJ. I think the Davila talk is, we (or at least I) want to see more CJ and less Davila.. When Davila was out last night, we went up and looked comfortable. CJ and Raines both played well IMO. When he came back in, offensive rebounds all over the place for Kstate.. I don’t care if Davila is living up to his expectations as a “big stiff,” let’s see if Raines/ CJ can play beyond their expectations. So far, I would say they are. If they can’t, then resort back to Davila.

  • King

    Expecting any more out of Davila is a waste of time. Good to see Rankin debut. Should help Green a lot. I noticed an extended conversation between Frank Martin & Hudson in the handshake line, just as the cameras cut away. I wonder what he told him. Since his 31 point performance, he’s been playing poorly. He’s got all the potential in the world, he just needs to tap into it on a nightly basis. Time to step up & take leadership of this team, if Tech has any hope of playing in the post season. At this point, we look like a team that might make the NIT. They played hard in spurts, but they need to learn to play hard the whole game. Interested to see what they look like a month from now. Still very young.

    • Niemo

      Keep in mind Hudson bruised his left knee late last week. It was actually questionable as to whether he’d play Sunday. While that doesn’t explain his performance against minnesota, it does yesterday. If you watched him during stretching, he could barely do the knee lift. But he’s a gamer and played through it.

  • Martin

    I think Hudson will come around, it’s Davila I’m worried about. What’d everyone think of Rankin? Those 2 missed free throws were a killer but, other than that, I think he played really well.

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

    I think your only two options for guarding opposing centers are Davila and Raines. Barksdale just doesn’t have the beef to be guarding the Jordan Henriquez-Roberts’s of the world (i.e. 7-foot centers coming off the bench). And honestly, Davila does a good job defensively on centers. He might not have great hands in the post, but he (usually, not on Sunday though) has good post moves and can score inside. Raines can’t score unless he’s 2 feet from the basket. Yes, Raines is a much better rebounder, but what happened to DFS in that department? He’s just not attacking loose balls like he was earlier in the season and having Jarell Eddie playing defensively as a power forward is costing us a lot of defensive rebounds.

    Hudson is streaky, and I don’t mean necessarily shot-to-shot but game-to-game. He can have a hot streak of games, then get really cold, and I think it’s all about confidence in his shot. When he’s confident in his shot, he’ll make just about anything, but truthfully I’ve never liked his shot. I don’t like his release and the ball gets zero rotation as it knuckles to the basket. He’s definitely better than what we’ve seen the last two games though.

    But enough of that… I really am impressed with Robert Brown. We only got to see the shooting finesse early in the season, but we’re starting to see him attack the basket more, and when he does that he has a fantastic floater and does a great job of finding teammates for easy baskets. Can’t believe we get him for 3 more years… couldn’t be happier. I was also really excited by the play of Marquis Rankin. He was advertised as a somewhat bigger Ish Smith, and I think that’s a good comparison. He is menacing on defense and does a good job of looking ahead as soon as he gets the ball to see if he can move it up the court to another Hokie. He also seems to have that elbow jumper locked down. I’m much happier with him as the backup point than Ty Garland.

  • Chuck

    I just think Davila is what he is, and that is serviceable in tandem with someone else to help pull the frontcourt load. Who the other guy to step up will be, we have yet to determine. This is where losing Chaney hurts, even JT Thompson.

    I am almost of the opinion DoDo needs to go the pine to start games, as he is a Point Forward, and can help run the offense thru the first 32 minutes so we can get Green some rest….the final 8, they both need to be out there together.

    I’d start Green, Hudson, Eddie, Barksdale, and Davila…with Brown and Finney-Smith off the pine for Eddie/Hudson….Raines in as needed…but i think we need to keep two bigs out there regardless of skill….i mean we’re still suffering massive scoring droughts anyway, and i’d rather rebound and defend the goal better. Particularly once we get to ACC play. I also hope we get the Dutch kid some run during these throwaway games so he can be of some use in the ACC docket.

    This rotation is obviously lacking, and we need to balance the effort more…i’d gladly give up the pretty 7-8 minutes a half we can string together for a more balanced, physical effort with less scoring lag. Sure basketball is a game of spurts, but winning basketball is about minimizing the scoring droughts more than the one-time per game 20-5 run…

  • vtgoad

    All the Hudson not starting talk is very premature. The Davila talk is warranted. We are currently a better team without him in the game than with him, not that that can’t change.

    That said, I thought we played a better game against KState than we did against Minnesota. Our biggest problem was our shooting. Shots just weren’t falling for us, especially behind the arc. That will happen occasionally during a long season. If we continue to play with the intensity we’re displaying, we’re going to have a good year. I’m not going to worry about the tournament yet, and just enjoy watching this amazing young core we have. All 4 are looking excellent! Let’s play the season, do as well as we can, and let where we end up be a pleasant surprise. Go HOKIES!

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

    I like Chuck’s idea. Barksdale is an active rebounder and would be better than Eddie at guarding 4’s. You keep Eddie in the starting lineup for his scoring punch, then when you sub in Brown and DFS for Hudson and Eddie you are probably giving Doe Doe better matchups against backup 3’s, which might help his scoring.

    As far as the Hokies’ NCAA tournament chances, I think there are still too many variables. The only game that would have made a big difference is if VT had beat Syracuse in NYC. A loss at the Barn, even to a weakened Minnesota, is forgiveable. It’ll happen to some decent Big Ten teams as well. The loss to K-State at home sucks, but it’s not a killer. This young team still has plenty of time to turn things around, but even if they don’t it’s still going to be fun watching the young guys and imagining what this team can do next year and the year after.

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2014-2015 Schedule/Results

November

11/14 - Hokies 71, md. eastern shore 46
11/19 - Hokies 73, liberty 63
11/22 - appalachian state 65, Hokies 63
**********
Cancun Classic
11/25 - n. iowa 73, Hokies 54
11/26 - Hokies 78, miami ohio 63
**********
11/30 - morgan state | 3pm, ESPN3

December

12/03 - @ penn state | 7:15pm, ESPNU
12/07 - vs. radford | 3pm, ESPN3
12/14 - vs. alabama a&m | 3pm, ESPN3
12/20 - vs. the citadel | 1pm, ESPN3
12/22 - vs. vmi | 7pm, ESPN3
12/27 - vs. presbyterian | 7pm, ESPN3
12/30 - @ west virginia | 2pm, ESPNU

January

01/03 - vs. syracuse | Noon, RSN
01/06 - @ fsu | 7pm, RSN
01/13 - @ louisville | 7pm, RSN
01/18 - @ unc | 6:30pm, ESPNU
01/22 - vs. notre dame | 7pm, RSN
01/25 - vs. uva | 1pm, ACCN
01/27 - vs. pittsburgh | 7pm, ESPNU
01/31 - @ wake forest | 2pm, RSN

February

02/03 - @ syracuse | 9pm, ESPNU
02/07 - vs. fsu | 3pm, ACCN
02/09 - vs. georgia tech | 9pm, ESPNU
02/14 - @ clemson | Noon, RSN
02/18 - @ miami | 7pm, RSN
02/21 - @ nc state | 6pm, ESPN2
02/25 - vs. duke | 9pm, ESPN2
02/28 - @ uva | 4pm, ACCN

March

03/02 - vs. boston college | 9pm, ESPNU
03/07 - vs. miami | Noon, RSN
**********
ACC Tournament
03/10 - 1st rd.
03/11 - 2nd rd.
03/12 - quarterfinals
03/13 - semifinals
03/14 - championship

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