The James Johnson Era got off to a great start as the Hokies woodsheded the east tennessee state bucs 80-62 (not quite a Bear Fight) on Saturday at the Cassell.
My player of the game was Jarell Eddie. While Erick Green led Tech with 21 points, Eddie chipped in a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. With Tech’s never ending depth issues inside, additional rebounding support will be key, and Eddie provided that today.
Green got his senior year off to a solid start with 6/11 shooting and 8/12 from the line to tally those 21 points. He also had 6 assists.
Robert Brown looked great from the outside, hitting 4/7 three-pointers and scoring 16 points of his own, and added 5 assists. Raines added 9 points but his post moves looked rusty, as he was just 3/9 from the field. But he did pass the ball well in the post.
The Hokies did push the ball more on offense as promised. They had 9 fast break points. While that may not sound like much, they didn’t get any in their final 2 home games last year. The biggest thing I noticed was Tech never came close to a shot clock violation until late in the game. They took the first good shot they got, and continually moved the ball to get a shot until seemingly bleeding the shot clock until a forced shot was required.
Tech trailed 8-7 early but used a 13-4 run to pull away. Brown, Eddie, and Brown again hit three-pointers in a 75 second span that put the Hokies up 37-22, and etsu never got within 10 after that.
VT led 43-28 at the break and led by as many as 25 in the 2nd half before the bucs closed the gap in garbage time.
Marquis Rankin did not play due to deaths in his family (our thoughts go out to him and his family). Four walk-ons played for VT (Marcus Patrick, Christian Beyer, Joey Racer, and Will Johnston). Racer and Johnston scored, and freshmen Marshall Wood and Joey van Zegeren (redshirted last year) scored their first collegiate points.
Tech returns to action Monday night at the Cassell against rhode island at 7 PM
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