Categorized | 2013-14 Season, Game Recaps

usc-upstate (1-0) 64, HOKIES (0-1) 63


In the Coaches vs Cancer “these games don’t really matter because VT is advancing to the semis anyway” Classic, the Hokies lost to usc-upstate by a 64-63 score at the Cassell.  It is going to be a loooooooooong season, Hokie fans.

The announcer said it best, “These are two evenly matched teams.”  And they were.  usc-upstate was above VT in the KenPom rankings (#130 vs #155).  Tech, picked to finish dead last out of 15 teams in the ACC, and usc-upstate, picked to finish 3rd in the Atlantic Sun, were similarly talented teams.  That in itself tells you all you need to know about the Hokies. There were 6 ties and 14 lead changes.  VT and usc-u shot 39% and 37.5% from the field respectively, had 12 and 14 offensive rebounds each, and had 10 and 9 turnovers.  Like I said, even steven.  Tech was a little better from 3-point range (8/22 36% vs 5/16 31%) while VT was just 9/18 from the foul line (usc-u was 11/16).

Both teams stunk down the stretch – the game was tied 62-62 with 4 minutes to go.  usc-u made just one basket while VT could muster just one free throw (Eddie had a critical miss from the line with 90 seconds to go).

The Hokies got 18 points from Jarell Eddie but 15 were in the first half, he was just 6/21 from the field, and 2/9 from 3-point range.

Cadarian Raines added a career high 17 points, all in the 2nd half (in fact, he had just one field goal attempt in the first half).  Tech made a point of going to him in the 2nd stanza, but it wasn’t enough.

Transfer Adam Smith added 7 points on 3/10 shooting (he’s a chucker).  Freshman Ben Emelogu came in and hit two quick 3s but foul trouble forced him to play just 12 minutes and scored just those 6 points.

Both C.J. Barksdale (suspension) and Marquis Rankin (what now?) did not play for VT, but I’m not sure it would have mattered.

Coach JJ swore VT would push the ball this year but Tech had just 5 fastbreak points.  And we saw no press or trapping.  The refs are supposed to call hand-checks much tighter this year, but why not try and force the tempo?  The result – this was a half court game like every other VT game and Coach JJ has already backed off of his supposed system he wants to run.  At the risk of being brash, in my opinion, we are just playing out the games until we get a new AD who will bring in an ACC-caliber coach who knows what he is doing and isn’t learning on the job.  Until then, expect to lose to schools you’ve never heard of.  Welcome to ricky stokes, the sequel.

Tech plays wvu on Tuesday at 1 PM (not a typo) on ESPN at the Cassell.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1284 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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10 Responses to “usc-upstate (1-0) 64, HOKIES (0-1) 63”

  1. Chris says:

    “It’s going to be a long season” — understatement of the year! No wonder nobody showed up… sigh. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I long for the Greenberg/getting-screwed-on-Selection-Sunday days…

  2. Drew says:

    I know its just one game but after watching all of last year and this game, I’m beginning to wonder if JJ’s so called “system” is just a myth that only exist in interviews. He took the job saying he wanted to play up tempo but I’ve yet to see anything resembling a fast paced offense

  3. Rich Roberts says:

    At least year we could beat the UNC Upstates of the world before being raped in ACC play. Is Ricky Stokes coaching our team again???

  4. FruitpietheMagician says:

    Well guys…I haven’t commented here in a long, long time. I said that I was an SG fan from the beginning. He gave us excitement in being in the middle of the ACC. He got us to the NIT every year – a post season birth. Yes the NCAA’s would be nice, but I was happy then just to see our guys continue to play. I told you 2 years ago that firing SG was a BIG mistake, and now our program is a waste. I am as big as a VT basketball fan as anyone, but if you don’t have a colorful coach, than you don’t have a chance. AND I mean coach, not just a guy on sidelines…Seth – we all miss you. You put us on the basketball map, you built a world-class training facility, and somehow we are worse off every minute you are gone. It is a real pisser people!

    • Niemo says:

      Fruitpie – I can’t argue with anything you said. The only thing I’d say is at some point you have to be held accountable for not making the NCAAs in the ACC while everyone else is. BUT, as an AD, you then need to go out and get a guy that can get you there, not hire a guy with as much college head coaching experience as me (that’s 0 for those of you that haven’t read my resume). It was a cost-cutting, emotional decision/hire and put a lame duck coach in place until our new AD comes and hopefully opens up the wallet.

  5. Slam Dunk says:

    If both teams make between 75% and 80% on their foul shots… Tech wins 68 – 65!

    • Niemo says:

      Slam – you are dead-on. Make FTs, win games. The problem is historically our best foul shooter has also been the guy that got to the line for us a lot (Green, Delaney, Dowdell…). Now, we don’t have guards that are going to draw a lot of fouls. Instead, you have bigs going to the line more and the result is poor foul shooting. Plus, we don’t have an icer for the end of games (maybe Eddie, but he missed a critical free throw with 90 seconds to go that kept us from tying the game).

  6. Vindictive_Pat says:

    It’s a shame SG had to make himself a nuisance in the athletic dept and wear out his assistant coaches like he did. I agree with you 100% Niemo… this is our latest rebranding of the Rickie Stokes era. I just don’t have a lot of faith that JJ has any clue what he’s doing as a head coach.

    I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that we won’t see Marquis Rankin suit up this season. It was apparently his choice not to play on Saturday. Devin Wilson looked outmatched and JJ shouldn’t need him to contribute 34 minutes per game… that’s not a recipe for success for a freshman PG. Jarell Eddie shooting off the dribble and trying to create his own shot… not a pretty sight. I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out how Adam Smith averaged 15 points per game as a freshman. Marshall Wood looked exactly the same as he did in his freshman season… he’s got to step it up. (Walk-on) Christian Beyer may be the best rebounder on the team. (Former Walk-on) Will Johnston may be the best shooter.

    The silver lining: VT was able to shut down USC-Upstate’s NBA-caliber guy, Torrey Craig. He was only 5-20 and 0-5 from the 3-pt line. JVZ had 5 blocks and 7 rebounds (4 offensive) in 22 minutes. Emelogu looks like a nice player if he can keep out of foul trouble… has a really nice handle, which I didn’t know about him. He could run the point if necessary. Raines was a monster on offense in the second half, which VT will need as he doesn’t look to be the rebounder or rim protector that the team needs (that’s JVZ).

    • Niemo says:

      Freshman PGs are a recipe for disaster in a conference like the ACC. You can count on one hand the ACC PGs that were ready for this league as a freshman in the last 20 years. So having a 2/3 star guy in that role is not going to be pretty. It will pay off down the line when he’s older and has that experience, though (as we saw with Jamon Gordon).

  7. Blue Collar Hokie says:

    some guy i work with asked me if sc state had beaten tech because he has a buddy who went there. i dont know if he meant sc upstate but i didnt even bother to correct him. my face is still in my palm.
    on a brighter note, i know it’s been a nightmarish offseason in morgantown so who knows, maybe we can put a win together.


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