Categorized | 2011-12 Season

Breaking Down VT’s Record by Points Scored

Here’s a look at how Virginia Tech, and their opponents, did when reaching a certain points scored range.  Note that the points scored includes overtime (so final total).

Point Range VT’s Record Opp Record vs VT
Scoring 70+ 9-0 6-1*
60-69 5-6 7-9
50-59 1-9 3-4
<50 1-2 1-2
Totals 16-17 17-16

No real surprises here — when you can score the ball, you increase your chances of winning.  In fact, VT was 100% when scoring 70-plus, something they only did once in 2012 and that was with the benefit of an overtime.  And when you can’t score, you lose — Tech was 2-11 in games where they were held under 60 points (amazingly their opponents were 4-6 (that’s a higher percentage of wins than you’d expect), meaning the Hokies were losing close, low scoring games).

*The only game where an opponent scored more than 70 and lost was the georgia tech at VT game, and that went to overtime where neither team had 70 in regulation.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1215 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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  • Chris_atl

    Our offense was struggling for sure for the ACC schedule. I think the scoring level of games is largely a function of pace (number of possessions) although it’s interesting that 70 was kind of our magic number this year. UVA averaged the same amount of ppg in ACC play but won 5 more games than we did. We know they played a slower game. If we had tried to speed the game up we may have scored more points but given up more and not had a better won/loss record. At his last Hokie Hot-Line appearance this year SG addressed this. Here is a summary of his remarks -

    “We didn’t produce enough easy baskets this year. We were not good in transition. We had to earn every basket we scored. We didn’t shoot the ball as well, but that field goal percentage is affected by the lack of easy transition baskets.

    We focused on slowing things down offensively this year. That was our best chance to be in the game in the final minutes. Normally we would rather play a fast-paced game, but slowing things down helped us stay in some games this season.”

    Every basketball team practices transition offense. You need to be good at several things to be effective at it. It’s not a matter of just doing it. There is risk in it – TOs and giving up easy baskets. Rightly or wrongly SG thought speeding up the game would be a net negative for us this year. Hopefully, we will get better at it next year. With so many close losses this year an extra couple of transition baskets could have put many of those in the win column.

    • Niemo

      Chris – I hear ya and understand your point. It is easy to arm-chair quarterback and say, “We lost when we weren’t scoring so we should push things and score more.” In reality, as Seth said, the style of reducing possessions per game might have been what kept us in games. But I don’t think the results merited sticking with it (freezing the ball).
      How many games did we go entire media timeout series without scoring? I bet it happened in practically every ACC game. We had a couple of instances where we went 9+ minutes without a FG. And our end record was 4-12, so was freezing the ball really that successful? Or at some point when you are 1-6 or 3-8 do you say, “what the heck” and throw caution to the wind and try something else? And you don’t have to play up-tempo the whole game, you can pick and choose spots where you press, or run that half court trap, to try and force TOs.
      But we all agree the transition game was just awful. Going games with 0 fastbreak points is pathetic. Simply giving up on it and not taking opportunities when they presented themselves (we’d hold the ball after a steal unless EG had a breakaway) was not the answer. You won’t get any better unless you try in game situations. Again — what’s the risk? We were losing anyway.
      I feel like we give up on things too easily, and then just crawl into a hole of boring bball for the rest of the year. I’ve seen it year after year — every year you hear we’ll push tempo more, and by game 10 we’ve scrapped it. So either our transition game coaching is bad (I know every school works on it but our results are consistently awful), or we just happen to recruit players year after year that cannot execute a fastbreak.

  • Chris_atl

    Niemo, I have to admit that in prior seasons I haven’t watched this issue that closely (winning more often can cover a multitude of sins). So, you are seeing a longer term issue that I am not. Also, I understand you are not advocating an all-game tempo increase.

    I do recall the game (can’t remember which one) where Green had clear opportunities to push and he held up and that seemed like overkill. I also saw a few games in the middle of the year when it looked like we tried to run a few times and the results were disastrous.

    I understand what you are saying about “you are losing anyway, why not try something different.” If you are consistently losing by wider margins then you can say “what the heck” and try something new. But, when you are in every game with a chance to win at the end, you don’t go into games thinking loss is a foregone conclusion. I think the close games against stronger teams may have reinforced to SG that he was doing the right thing. At times it did look like we were on the cusp of turning a corner after some close losses to the better teams in the league.

    When I look at the pieces of transition – solid defensive rebounding, big men who can make quick decisions and accurate passes, solid decision making on the break, good finishers – I just didn’t see those attributes in our players. Whether that is a coaching issue will always be debatable.

    I agree that SG coached very conservatively with and anti-mistake mentality. And maybe players need more freedom to become better. After looking at his team SG determined at some point that this team was not going to be a good transition team. And he made a calculated decision to limit turnovers (which he did), keep the games close (which he did) and work on scoring in the half court. Maybe the fact that we had such strong outside shooting made him see more potential in improving the half court game. Or maybe it was the team’s youth made him prefer the less risky approach.

    SG again commented that he usually sees the most improvement in players in their 2nd year. So he has put the target on himself to make that happen. And we should hold him to it.

    • Niemo

      I have seen year after year that guys seemingly are afraid of making mistakes for fear of getting pulled unless they are the star (Delaney/Green-types). Guys commit 1 turnover and they get yanked. Guys take 1 questionable shot and they are yanked. That creates a fear in players. It can stifle things they do well, and it leads to situations where guys are afraid to thread the needle on a post pass to a big man on the pick-and-roll (‘thread the needle’ is an extreme – often the post player was wide open). I think you have to take risks at times. Otherwise, you end up with a fadeaway 18-footer at the shot clock expiration. A pass with an 75% chance of getting there should be encouraged, instead of guys living in fear of the 25% (and getting yanked when it happens). That’s something that has been a long time trend.

  • Chris_atl

    That’s a pretty heavy indictment. Sounds sort of Bobby Knight-ish (without the chair throw of course. BTW – SG does seem to give the refs a lot of intense grief. I am surprised he doesn’t get more technicals).

    If this has been going on a long time it’s amazing we can recruit anyone to come to VT much less the haul we got last year. Must be the new practice facility. (tongue in cheek)

    Seriously, I can recall instances of all the things you mentioned. I just don’t know what the tradeoff is so I am giving him the benefit of the doubt. Doesn’t mean he isn’t making mistakes in judgement. That’s what separates the good coaches from the great ones. In fairness to SG I have seen him also clapping and encouraging his players after they have messed up if they made the mistake with effort.

    This is where it would be great to talk to former players and get their take on this. Enjoyed the dialogue. I hate that hoops is over.

    • Niemo

      I will admit that what info I do get is from the player and family side of things, not the coaching side. And I’m not bashing Seth’s style. It is what it is. That’s the way he coaches. It has been very successful here, exceding everyone’s expectations for about 6 years. The problem is expectations then rose and now the last 3 years we’ve come up short on expectations. I’ve chosen to call out things I’ve observed, or been told somewhat consistently by people I trust. That’s not to say Seth doesn’t have a lot of great qualities (he does) and that we aren’t thankful for everything he’s done. I just am skeptical now, believing he may have plateaued what he could do here and that this peak doesn’t meet my long term expectations. Next year will be very telling.

  • HipHop_Hokie

    We interested in a 6’9″ 240 pound senior who averaged almost a double-double during UConn’s national championship run 2 seasons ago? Because Alex Oriakhi is going to transfer from there for his senior year since they’re banned from next year’s tournament.

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