The Hokies absolutely pounded their neighbors on Friday afternoon in front of 5,200, woodshedding the radford highlanders 81-56 to move to 5-3 on the season and capture their 2nd straight Bear Fight victory (good thing most people have today off because it is time for some early drinking!!). Tech now leads the all time series 6-1 but the schools hadn’t met in eight years (the Greenbergs didn’t want to play each other so after Brad left VT to be the radford head coach, the series stopped until Brad, and then Seth, were let go).
This is how you do it, this is how you debate! When you play a team from the Big South, you have to come out and smack them in the mouth early and show them they don’t have a chance to win. This game was over by the half, actually, even early than that. With the scored tied 5-5 with 17 minutes to go in the first half, the Hokies went on a near Bear Fight run, outscored ru 18-0 over the next 4 minutes and jumping to a 23-5 lead. Tech created turnovers and got out and ran well to blow the game open. The Hokies were red hot from the field (started 14/21 – 67%) and dominated the glass (had a 16-6 rebound advantage early on). Tech never looked back after that, leading by double-digits the rest of the game.
The Hokies, for once, didn’t do it with 3-point shooting. Tech was 7/15 (47%) from deep on the day, which is remarkable, but that wasn’t the story early. Instead, VT did a beautiful job of beating radford with pick-and-rolls, backdoor passes, and Adam Smith off the pull-up/drive.
Once again it was a balanced offensive attack for VT. They got a Hokie-high 28 points from Adam Smith, 14 from Barksdale, 13 from Eddie, and 10 from Marshall Wood. They also got double-doubles from Jarell Edide and C.J. Barksdale.
Tech shot 50% for the game, the 2nd time they’ve done that this season (52% vs vmi). The Hokies destroyed the smaller highlanders on the glass with a 41-29 advantage overall. VT snagged 81% of ru’s misses, a very impressive number, while getting 25% of their own misses (average).
The Hokies played without freshman captain Ben Emelogu for the second straight game (concussion-like symptoms). Cadarian Raines, who sat the final 37 minutes of Tuesday’s game, did not play at all today. Coach JJ is trying to send another message on effort.
radford made it interesting with 6 minutes to go in the half, using a full court trapping press (VT absolutely has no answer for full court presses right now, even with Devin Wilson in the game). But after the highlanders cut the lead to 13, VT used a 7-0 run to go up 20. Tech led by as many as 22 in the first half and took a 48-28 lead to the break. The Hokies led by a combined 34 points at the half in their two games this week.
VT was 18/31 on FGs (58%) in the first half compared to 10/33 for ru (33%). Adam Smith led VT with 17 and C.J. Barksdale had 10 at the break.
Javonte Green, ru’s leading scorer at 17 ppg, had 11 at the break and 15 for the game. The Hokies don’t seem to worry about stopping their opponent’s best player, they just take everyone else out of their game — radford only had 2 guys with more than 2 points in the first half, and on Tuesday you’ll remember only 3 furman players had scored until the final minute of the game.
- C.J. Barksdale – His effort is fantastic right now. He is really battling on the defensive end to get his hands in passing lanes, deflect balls, body up, and get after tough defensive rebounds (and offensive rebounds, too). Barksdale had his first double-double of the season with 14/10 today. C.J.’s also 14/15 (93%) on FTs on the year after going 4/4 today, although that one miss was critical in the seton hall game.
- Adam Smith – I really like him off the dribble, much more than when he just sits out beyond the arc and chucks (and he loves to chuck). He’s now scored 19+ points in 3 of the last 7 games and he’s reached double-digits in 5 straight. Adam had his Hokie high of 28 points today (2 short of his career high of 32 he had at unc-w vs wake forest).
- Devin Wilson – He can really thread the needle on passes from odd angles. Had a great pass to C.J. for a dunk and later for an easy layup off penetration, throwing the ball almost blindly around a defender.
- Jarell Eddie – He picked up his 3rd straight double-double (13 points and 10 rebounds). He’s averaging over 15 PPG and 10 rebounds in those 3 games, and Eddie’s reached double-digits in points in all 8 games.
- Greg Donlon – The walk-on made his first career field goal as a Hokie at the end! He did have a free throw last year, but this marked his 2nd and 3rd points of his career.
- Up-Tempo – This team looks good when they run. The frustrating thing is after a 10-0 run in 4 minutes, they won’t push the ball for another 10 minutes at times (especially if a team pressures VT and takes them out of their game). The Hokies have to look to run, even if they are forcing it at times. They have good finishers (Wilson, Smith, or Wilson dishing to JvZ or C.J., or kicking to Eddie or Johnston on the wing for a 3).
- After the usc-upstate game I thought this season could be epically bad. But I think if we played usc-u today we’d destroy them. This team has really come together even though we are constantly missing parts. Perhaps Barksdale is the key – he had really good +/- numbers last year and the team has looked a lot better since he came off suspension.
- Tech against the full court press – this has been an issue so far this year, although VT hasn’t seen much of it. Expect teams to start showing more and more of it (and we know vcu will press VT from the time they walk into the Richmond Coliseum in a few weeks).
- That’s it — this was a really nice effort from the Hokies in front of a lot of faculty, family, and a few friends but a very mild environment.
Did You Know: All 7 games in this series have been played in the Cassell but Virginia Tech has played at the Dedmon Center before… as a home game. Back on 1/13/96 the Hokies beat la salle 71-55 at the Dedmon Center in an A-10 conference tilt. Tech was playing there because part of the Cassell roof had collapsed a week earlier, killing a worker (who I believe was removing snow). Because of the issue with the roof, VT played one game at radford and one game at the Roanoke Civic Center before the Cassell was fixed.
HOKIES return to action on Tuesday night vs winthrop at the Cassell at 7 PM.