I’ll do a more complete ‘End of Semester’ report card next week after our out of conference schedule is all but complete (after the game at oklahoma state on Saturday, Tech will have just one out of conference game left — on 1/25/12 vs byu).
In the mean time, here are some things of note:
- 3-Pt Shooting: Tech is 35th in the nation in 3-Pt %, and 4th in the ACC, at 38.8%! Who saw that coming? Not me. This has been a very pleasant surprise. Tech is even 4th in the league in makes per game at 6.5, so it isn’t just quality, it is also quantity. The Hokies don’t have anyone that qualifies for the ACC 3-Pt % category though because they have a ridiculous rule that you have to average 2-made 3-pointers per game to qualify (which only 6 guys in all of the ACC qualify for). That said, check out these numbers from deep:
- Jarell Eddie: 20/38 – 53%
- Erick Green: 18/39 – 46%
- Dorian Finney-Smith: 12/28 – 43%
- Robert Brown: 20/54 – 37%
- 3-Pt Defense: The Hokies are #1 in the US of A in 3-Pt % Defense at 22.8%. I can’t explain this one other than to say our perimeter help defenders must really be flashing out well, and our length helps, too.
- FT Shooting: VT is also 35th in the land in FT%, and 2nd in the ACC (behind uva) at 74%. Even Victor Davila has gotten into the act. After starting 4/13 from the line, he’s hit 12 of his last 16 FTs!
- Bleeding Green: The ACC leaders stat sheet bleeds Green, as in Erick Green. The Winchester Rifle is in the top 10 in the ACC in:
- Scoring: 15.4 (7th)
- FG%: 51.2% (8th) – this is incredible for a guard
- Assists: 3.3 per game (7th)
- FT%: 85.4% (5th – tied with Dorenzo Hudson — both are exactly 41/48 on the season)
- Steals: 16 pg (5th)
- Assist to Turnover Ratio: 2.0 (5th)
- Book It: Speaking of Erick, he’s scored in double digits in every game he’s played in this year (12). And he’s scored exactly 12 points in 4 straight games. The only bad thing is he’s just 1 for his last 5 from deep over those 4 games.
- Doe Doe is not Extinct: Dorian Finney-Smith isn’t just the top freshman rebounder in the ACC, he’s the top underclassman. At 8.1 rebounds per game, he’s 7th in the league with everyone above him a Jr or Sr. Doe Doe is also the only freshman in the top 10 in the ACC in assists at 2.8 per game (10th).
- Old Man River: As much crap as Dorenzo Hudson has taken so far this year, he has scored at least 7 points in all but one game this year (his goose egg vs minnesota). Hudson’s 24% 3-Pt % isn’t far off from his 28% career %. He is also the only Hokie to get ACC honors so far this year – being named Co-ACC PotW on 11/21. He hasn’t looked like the 2nd Team All-ACC player of two years ago this year, but Zo has been productive, and he’s averaged 13 ppg in his last 3 games.
- Don’t Preserve the Reserves:Tech only has 1 guy in the top 10 in the ACC in minutes per game, and that’s Green who is 9th at 32 mpg. That’s refreshing compared to past years when VT’s starting lineup basically lived in the top 10.
In all honesty, there’s nothing ‘really bad’ about the way Tech has played so far that are huge concerns. Tech has, for the most part, fixed their issue with rebounding missed free throws and turning the ball over. The Hokies are near the bottom of the league in both of those stats, though the turnover issue has improved greatly of late. We’ll see if rebounding holds up in league play.
The only other disappointment for me is Possessions Per Game. Tech averages just 64.2 per game, right around 300th in the country (out of 345). That tells you the Hokies haven’t been pushing the ball much and getting out in transition. But again, we have seen improvements here. Tech has actually learned it is legal to pass the ball on a fast break, and the full court press the Hokies have employed of late has worked into some turnovers and fast break points. VT is averaging almost 18 fast break points per game in their last 3 games, while that number was around 9 or 10 earlier in the year.
I guess the one real bad thing you could say is the transfer of Tyrone Garland. While Marquis Rankin was taking his minutes, no one wanted to see Ty go, though it is likely best for him long term. Farewell, Predator, we’ll miss your banked 3s.
The other bad thing I’ll mention is the attendance. I guess the novelty of being in the ACC, along with 4 straight NIT appearances, has gotten to the Hokie fan base. Tech is averaging just 7100 fans per home game, barely above 70% of capacity. Tech had sold more than 90% of their season tickets coming into this year. It could be worse, though. bc, gt, and miami are averaging less than 4000 per home game.
- Jimmy Graham – seriously, he may have turned into an All-Pro tight end for the saints after being a goon on the miami basketball team, but dude is powerful ugly.