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Niemo’s Notes | clemson and Things I’m Thankful For

Stats/ramblings from Tech’s 58-56 loss at clemson, dropping Tech to 1-7 in ACC road games this year:

  • Erick Green was held to single digits in points for the first time all season.  After 30 straight double digit games, he was held to 8.  Last time he missed 10+?  Last year at clemson in the regular season finale.  He barely got to 10 in the game at VT earlier this year.
  • This was the Hokies’ 6th straight game decided by 2 points or less in regulation, or in overtime.  They are 2-4 in those games.
  • In 2012, 13 of Tech’s 16 games have been decided by 4 points or less in regulation, or in overtime.  Tech is 4-9 in those games, 0-3 in blowouts.
  • VT was 8/16 on 3-pointers, clemson 0/10.  Apparently that stat doesn’t matter anymore.
  • clemson dominated the Hokies on Points in the Paint, 38-14.
  • clemson dominated VT on Points off Turnovers, 21-8, even though TOs were pretty close (VT 14, cu 12).
  • clemson dominated Tech on Fastbreak Points, 13-0 (there’s your 13 point difference in Points off Turnovers — seriously, can we please push the ball?)
  • VT went over 6 minutes and 30 seconds without a point in the first half, and over 5:30 in the 2nd half without a point.
  • Was it me or was this game, at least at the end, a carbon copy of the last game?  Road team down 2 with a chance to tie the game from the FT line with a couple of seconds left… and just like McDaniels missing both at VT, Raines missed here at Littlejohn.
  • VT and clemson have now played 6 times in ACC play at Littlejohn.  5 of those 6 have been decided by 3 points or less (clemson won by 9 last year).
  • 10 of the 12 games between the two teams in ACC action have been decided by 5 points or less.

Things I’m thankful for:

  • Not having to write a ‘How Tech Got Screwed’ post after Selection Sunday.
  • The development of Cadarian Raines.
  • That this season and the likely appearance of grey hairs for me is almost over.
  • That we finally ran a play at the end of a game (loved the drive and dish to Raines, too bad it didn’t work out but it was a great call).
  • Not having to go to ABC to stock up on Wild Turkey to make it through these games.
  • The careers of our seniors, Dorenzo Hudson and Victor Davila.  Thanks, guys.  You will be missed.  Check out my highlight videos of both this weekend.  Dorenzo’s will be up Friday.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1221 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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  • HipHop_Hokie

    ANOTHER game under 60.

  • HipHop_Hokie

    …and Paul Hewitt is 23-8 at Mason. He has a better team in VA than we do.

    Haha wow.

    • John

      It’s possible VT could finish 6th best in Virginia (uva, vcu, gmu; richmond and odu are close) using the RPI.

    • Niemo

      HipHop – don’t forget Hewitt took ga tech to the NCAA Championship Game early in his stint at gt. When he has others players, he’s OK. We’ll see in a couple years. Or, maybe he’ll do well in the mid-major arena. He’s a good recruiter, just an awful coach in terms of developing ‘teams’, not individuals. He proved how bad he was in the ACC year after year, and in the ATL no less where it should be easy to win.

    • HipHop_Hokie

      Oh yeah… you know that I am fully aware of Hewitt’s patheticness… just still shocked that we have 11 conference losses and he has a good chance to make the Big Dance. Our general misfortune has been unreal all year long.

      I’m still going to hold out hope that the basketball gods are just toying with us and that we’re about to make a 4-wins-in-4-days run in the ACC tourney to balance out the universe. Not that that ever happens.

  • Chris_atl

    We did cover the spread again.

    The play at the end was well designed but was it smart? If you are Clemson, up two and the ball goes inside you are going to foul and make us earn the points at the line. So, we ran a play for a guy that shoots 55% from the line when you need two free throws just to get to overtime. With our lack of depth and two guys with 4 fouls, I would preferred to go for the 3 pt. To be fair, I don’t know if Green had other options (like to kick it out). (Of course if Green is a TechHoops reader there was no way he was taking the last shot tonight!)

    Cadarian has really played well, offers some excitement for next year. Unfortunately for him, he could have tied the game tonight and won the Duke game had he been clock aware. His energy in the first half tonight was pretty awesome.

    • Niemo

      The play is designed to get a layup. Either Green shoots a layup if there’s no help defense, or Raines gets an easy flush. It just so happened that the post defenders (I know 6’9″ Jennings was one of them) are so athletic they bit on Green but recovered to foul Raines. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. You are right, Raines shooting 2 FTs to tie is not ideal, but what if he is a split second quicker, or the D is a split second later, and Raines flushes that and possibly even gets an and-1 opp? Plus, AT LEAST WE TRIED SOMETHING DIFFERENT than Green dribble dribble dribble fadeaway miss.

      • RK in Roanoke

        Niemo- completely agree with the last comment. It was something different. Actually thought Green should have shot it as Raines was in great position to flush the rebound.
        Love Raines development. He even kicked it back out a couple of times and once I saw a kick out and the ball went back to him.
        Takes us forever to get into any type of set. Is our defense really good or are the low scores just because we use 30+ seconds every time down and total possessions are limited.

        And yes, please push the ball on a turnover and rebound. At least stress the D a little. I am not asking for a return of the Hurryin’ Hokies but take advantage of opportunities.

    • HipHop_Hokie

      I have no issues with the play drawn up at the end. We executed it fairly well, but when Raines didn’t get the bucket to go down, I knew there was no way he was going to drain both FTs. Really sucks too because he is playing with more heart out there right now than anybody else on the squad. He deserved the game-winning and-1. Ah well.

      What I do have issues with is the fact that Greenberg never lets Raines and Barksdale play together on the court. We were getting crushed on the boards (ended up -8 for the game) and I just wish that for once we would go big (not counting Dorian as big since he weighs 115 pounds) and pound the ball inside… or at least play some more inside-out ball.

      • Niemo

        HipHop – we briefly had both CJ and Raines out there in the middle of the 2nd half. The problem is we only have 2 bigs right now, and we know CR’s stamina isn’t the best — I mean, look at his jersey 2 minutes into a game. I know why they call him ‘Raines’ now. And he’s had the cramping. So with VD out, we only have CJ to spell CR. When you don’t have enough bigs in the program, this is the breaks.

        CRAZY STAT: clemson has 33 offensive rebounds in 2 games vs VT (15.5 per game). They only have 126 in their 13 other ACC games (<10 per game). That means 21% of their ACC Off Rebs have come vs VT in 13% of their ACC games.

  • HipHop_Hokie

    Rankin was a ghost out there last night as well. Looking at the boxscore, I am shocked that he played 14 minutes. 0 points, 1 assist, 2 turnovers. That’s a shame too because he’s been playing fairly well of late.

  • H-SCokie

    Things I’m thankful for:

    -ACC Tournament, we can make a run
    -Develop of Raines as well
    -Rankin will be a force and a top PG in the ACC
    -Barksdale’s offensive efficiency
    -Robert Brown’s 3pt. shooting and slashing/creating his own shot game
    -Finney-Smith’s versatility, once he can defend inside and get stronger he is going to be a nightmare for 3’s or 4’s to guard.
    -This team and particularly the freshmen are tight. Tight teams win.

    • Niemo

      Doe Doe has 2 major things to focus on this offseason:
      1. Get stronger
      2. Develop a midrange game — I’m not sure he’s hit a 12-16 foot jumper all year. But that’s common with tall, rangy freshmen – in HS they could shoot the 3, or drive and dunk/shoot over people inside. There was no reason to pull up from 12-feet.

      Also, FTs need to improve for Doe Doe (1/8 at duke, 2/4 last night), Robert Brown (several key, late misses), and Raines. They need whatever FT pill VD started taking in December of this year.

      • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

        I always thought Davila had a really smooth looking shot from the free throw line and never understood why he was so inconsistent there. Too bad his groin quit on him.

  • Martin

    So we all agree that Raines has developed? And that he is a big man? Where’s chuck?

    On a serious note, I think this team will be solid next season. We certainly go through too many scoring droughts, but I think that is something which will be resolved with another season of maturing. I think every one of our players have improved over the course of the season (Raines especially so). The difference in quality of play from the beginning of ACC play till now is apparent. I’m excited to see what an offseason can do for these freshmen.

    • Chris_atl

      I agree with your sentiment Martin. Other than the FSU free throw meltdown I think most of the things that put us on the losing side of so many close games were attributable to our youth. (Yes, I realize many think SG played a part in that.). Next year may be the best 3-point shooting team we have ever had (just guessing, counterfacts welcome) and that should open things up for the inside guys. It is exciting to think about.

      Realistically though, I don’t expect us to blow by the bubble. We went from 4-12 to 10-6 in the ACC in 06/07. I think several ACC teams are on the rise and it may be tough to improve that much. For the “NCAA or bust” TechHoopsters, SG’s fate, in their eyes, may rest in the hands of the NCAA committee yet again. I hope I am wrong. Stock up on Wild Turkey Niemo!!

      Go Hokies!

  • http://www.heyhokie.com Goodraisin

    Some thoughts about next season since this season hurts my feelings:

    1) Is Joey Van Zegeren our backup center next season? Raines is obviously the starting center, but I can’t really tell who is supposed to be his backup. Barksdale has played there some with Davila hurt and actually has done a decent job, but I still see him as a forward. Harrell seems more like a forward as well.

    2) Is JT Thompson coming back for a sixth year? His knees might explode.

    3) Doe Doe is going to put on some good weight in the offseason and I really think that’s going to help his game. Remember John “Beanpole” Henson’s freshman season at UNC? It was pretty brutal. Then he added some muscle mass and turned into a terror. Doe Doe could do the same.

    4) I still think Robert Brown is going to be a star. I don’t know if it happens next year or his junior season after Green graduates, but it’s coming.

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