Categorized | 2013-14, 2013-14 Season

boston college 62 (1-2, 5-11), HOKIES 59 (1-2, 8-7)

Boxscore

In front of fewer than 4,000 fans, the Hokies dropped fourth game out of their last five, losing at home to the previously 4-11/0-2 boston college eagles by a 62-59 score at the Cassell.  Tech has now lost 6 of their last 7 against the eagles, a head-scratching number given bc has been at the bottom of the ACC the last several years.  Between football and basketball, the eagles really seem to be our kryptonite.

This game featured two teams expected to finish in the lower third of the ACC and this game could not have been closer.  The eagles, the most unathletic team in the ACC, had lost 7 games in a row against Division I opponents, but they were ready today.  Neither team led by more than 5 points in the game which feature 15 lead changes.  The last of which came on a Lonnie Jackson 3-pointer, his 5th of the game, with 27 seconds left to put bc up 61-59.  The Hokies advanced the ball past half court and took a timeout with 22 seconds left.  That’s when your…

JJ Head-Scratchers of the Game Happened…

  • JJ took C.J. Barksdale out of the game with 22 seconds left for that critical possession… he had been Tech’s best offensive threat in the 2nd half including hit two 3-pointers.  No idea what the thinking was here, Adam Smith needed to come in but for someone else (like JvZ).
  • After the timeout, Tech bled the clock until inside of 5 seconds were left, instead of trying to score quickly and, if unable to, fouling to extend the game.  Not sure if that’s what JJ drew up, but that’s what happened.

With 2 seconds left Adam Smith shot a fadeaway baseline jumper that bounced high off the rim and out.  bc gathered the rebound and hit 1 of 2 free throws.  Jarell Eddie grabbed the miss and launched a full court shot that actually hit the back rim, but like most of his shots on the day, was just off.  Jarell was just 3/14 on the day and 1/6 on 3-pointers.

Several things did in the Hokies in this contest:

  • Free Throws: Devin Wilson was 2/8 from the line.  Ouch.  And by the 2nd half is was mental, clearly getting in his head.  The rest of the team was pretty good (10/13) but 12/21 (57%) overall just won’t win you games.
  • Abysmal 2nd half shooting: The Hokies were 8/28 from the field (29%) in the 2nd half.
  • Worse than normal 3-point shooting: Tech was just 7/22 from deep (32%) for the game.  They started the 2nd half 1/7 from deep.
  • Pathetic Paint Shooting in the 2nd half: The Hokies started the 2nd half 1/9 (11%) on shots in the paint.  Let me repeat that — ONE for NINE!  These are layups, people!  They missed 2 dunks.  DUNKS!  For the 2nd half Tech was just 3/12 on shots in the paint.
  • Tech also seemed to lose a lot of 50/50 balls and several times in the first half did not stop the ball in transition, leading to easy buckets for bc (who also had 21 points from behind the arc in the first half on 14 3-point attempts).
  • The Hokies haven’t reached 60 points in any of their 3 ACC games this season (averaging 57 points).  But that’s what happens when you can’t shoot; and Tech has just 10 fast break points in their last 2 ACC games.

Just to double up, here’s how bad Tech was shooting the ball in every facet Saturday:

  • All Field Goals: 20/57 (35%)
  • Shots in the Paint: 9/24 (38% — these are layups, people!!!)
  • Midrange Jumpers: 4/11 (36% — Tech just doesn’t have midrange shooters on this team and that creates a huge hole, allowing the defense to flash out on 3-point shooters and then pack it in the lane to defend the drive.  Oh, and one of them was banked in (that’s 3 banks in 2 games))
  • 3-Pointers: 7/22 (32% — not terrible but this team has to do better from deep to win)
  • Free Throws: 12/21 (57% — awful, just awful)

Adam Smith had 12 points to lead the Hokies, but just 2 in the 2nd half.  C.J. Barksdale tallied 11 and Eddie had 10.

Oh, and in the next chapter of the When It Raines It Pours soap opera, Cadarian didn’t play at all today.

The Hokies led 34-32 at the break despite bc’s 50% 3-point shooting.

And there were some positives in this game:

  • 6 turnovers: That’s a season low.  The Hokies, worst in the ACC in turnovers coming into today, have not committed just 22 combined turnovers in their last 3 games.  The problem is that’s translated to a 1-2 record.
  • Block Party: Joey van Zegeren had 5 blocks for the game, tying his career high.
  • 2nd half defense: While the Hokies couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat on offense in the final 20, their defense did get much better — after bc went 7/14 from deep in the first half, they were just 3/12 in the 2nd half. And Lonnie Jackson, who had 14 points in the first 17 minutes, didn’t score for the first 19:30 of the 2nd half… the problem is Tech let him get open off a screen and hit the game-winning 3-pointer.
  • Devin Wilson was very aggressive on offense early in the game, which was great to see.  And as a result he got to the line a bunch.  The problem was… well, you know.  He did have 4 assists on the day and 3 steals.  He even hit a 3-pointer, just his 3rd on the season.

Yes, bc was 4-11 coming in.  But they had a murderous schedule.  Still, this is a game Tech had to win at home if they want to avoid the ACC cellar, and they found a way to lose at the end.  This team continues to struggle to finish close games.  That’s about all I can say.  This was a tough loss, and obviously the fans are fed up.  This game marked the third time this season fewer than 4,000 have passed the gates and 7th time in the last 8 home games fewer than 5,000 fans showed up (radford drew 5,200).

Tech returns to action Wednesday night against clemson at the Cassell.  See about 3,900 of you then!

This post was written by:

- who has written 1231 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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  • disappointed hokie

    Why no Raines!!? Don’t understand it and Coach JJ does something worse every game

    • RKinRoanoke

      This was going to be my comment. raines does not even get off the bench? Really?! Whatever he has done it better be way more than not hustling in practice.

  • King

    I’ve seen enough. Time for change. Let’s start the rebuilding process sooner than later.

  • 69Hokie

    Any word on the new AD? The sooner he/she makes a change the better.

  • Slam Dunk

    Niemo, once again you have out done yourself. Excellent write up.
    – we need to learn to “play to win”… not play “not to lose”
    – 57%… geesh!!!
    – where were we picked to finish in the ACC? last!
    – where are we after today? ahead of the NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS 0-3!!!

  • Ryan

    Why aint the Rain man play?

  • Ryan

    is he taking JJs daughter out for ice cream?

  • Chris

    You can’t really blame the fans for not showing up… the product they would be paying to see is terrible.

    That said, I’m all for coming out and supporting these young Hokies… just saying I can understand why nobody is showing up.

    I was confident JJ would get at least one more year coming into this season, but I’m not so sure now. This is bad. Ricky Stokes bad, as you like to say, Niemo.

    • Niemo

      Chris – I agree with you 100% on fans not showing up and understanding it. Heck, I can’t make as many games as I’d like to (or used to). The baby is the main reason but I’m also not begging my wife to let me drive 8 hours round trip to see these guys given the condition our program is in, other than when I can easily make it.

    • Niemo

      Chris – I wouldn’t say this is “ricky program bomb stokes” bad yet. I mean, that’s really, really bad and I don’t think we’ve hit that melt down.

      I agree with you 100% on fans not showing up and understanding it. Heck, I can’t make as many games as I’d like to (or used to). The baby is the main reason but I’m also not begging my wife to let me drive 8 hours round trip to see these guys given the condition our program is in, other than when I can easily make it.

  • Drew

    I agree that 9/24 in the paint is terrible. If only we had an experienced post player, say 6’9 240 that could get some easy buckets down there with a couple of post moves. It’s too bad VT doesn’t have anyone like that just sitting around…

    • Niemo

      Yeah, that’s a shame we don’t have anyone like that.

    • Niemo

      Hmm, if only such a person existed.

  • Ryan

    Wood and Raines should be getting substantial minutes…. it makes no sense for a team without depth (especially no front court depth) to not be playing these guys… a good coach can get the most out of his guys and knows how to adapt to different personalities and make the most of the situation…. Not playing a pair of your more talented players is not getting the most out of your team…. It’s wasting energy and possibilities… A good coach doesn’t waste his players, he gets the most out of them…. With them producing on the court! It’s kind of like when Shanahan didn’t pull RGIII out of that playoff game, you look at it, and just don’t understand… I look at this and don’t understand… and the results speak for themselves…. We need a coach that can lift his players up, not knock them down… Damn!

    • Pat Leonard

      The reduced role of both players sends a mixed message, in my opinion. The lack of playing time for Raines tells me that JJ is punting on this season and is trying to get a talented big man some more minutes as it will help the team out next year and beyond. However, playing Beyer over Wood seems to be doing the opposite. Beyer is a very limited player who can play some decent defense and can rebound the basketball. My best guess is that JJ wasn’t getting those two things from Wood, so he made a change, but I can’t see how that helps for the future of the team.

  • Pat Leonard

    The biggest head-scratcher for me is how our coaching staff can’t teach these players to get a shooter open versus the 2-3 zone. Teams that rarely run a 2-3 zone are able to implement one in a matter of days and shut down Virginia Tech both inside (expected) and out (WTF?). VT has 5 solid 3-point shooters and Barksdale has recently been hitting them as well, yet they can’t figure out how to get open shots against the 2-3 zone. You know, that one zone that has a huge weakness around the 3-point line. This team should be shooting everyone short of the Syracuse Orange right out of their makeshift 2-3 zone. Every freaking time. The fact that they can’t is on the coaches, in my opinion. Not sure if I need to see another season of JJ to know that he can’t coach up his players, but I guess I’m willing to wait and see if he can learn a thing or two.

    • Niemo

      To me, our zone struggles are because we stand around so much on offense. That makes it very easy to guard us. We are dependent on guards that can penetrate and finish (or, on rare occasions, kick it out for a 3 or dish inside). You can beat zones on the perimeter by overloading a side and then sliding to the open areas as long as you maintain good spacing (3 guys to one side with one on the baseline, one at the elbow extended, and one at the top of the key creates issues for the defense about who to guard).
      The other way is have someone at the high post that can break you down, via jumpshot, or pumpfake/dribble drive, or quick passes to the perimeter (using the overload) as the defense collapses on you). JvZ offers none of those things, and you saw the result. At least C.J. can shoot from there, and occasionally drive, but he’s limited on passing. Jeff Allen was a true triple threat there.
      But it all comes down to lack of movement. Even with the high post, you need guys flashing there, not just standing there.
      We ran a double baseline screen once Saturday and it got (Emelogu?) an open jumper that he drilled. Where was that the rest of the game, for example on the last play? We just stand still way too much.

      • Pat Leonard

        I agree, there is not nearly enough motion, and when there is, it is often out of sync with what the other players are doing on offense. For example, the ball moves right, the player catches it on the wing, then the big moves towards him on the baseline… the big needs to be moving w/ the pass.
        It’s screening as well… the Hokies are pretty bad at setting screens, and they always have been even under Greenberg. It’s hard to get a shooter an open look when the defender isn’t being held up by the screen. This is sometimes on the shooter too, if they don’t take a sharp enough cut around the screen. It can also be on the passer if they don’t pass the ball immediately while the player is clearing the screen. The Eagles’ final basket of the game was a clinic as far as setting a good screen and getting an open shot for a shooter.

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2014-2015 Schedule/Results

November

11/14 - Hokies 71, md. eastern shore 46
11/19 - vs. liberty | 7pm, ESPN3
11/22 - vs. appalachian state | 1pm, ESPN3
**********
Cancun Classic
11/25 - vs. n. iowa | 7pm, CBSSN
11/26 - championship/consolation game | TBA, CBSSN
**********
11/30 - morgan state | 3pm, ESPN3

December

12/03 - @ penn state | 7:15pm, ESPNU
12/07 - vs. radford | 3pm, ESPN3
12/14 - vs. alabama a&m | 3pm, ESPN3
12/20 - vs. the citadel | 1pm, ESPN3
12/22 - vs. vmi | 7pm, ESPN3
12/27 - vs. presbyterian | 7pm, ESPN3
12/30 - @ west virginia | 2pm, ESPNU

January

01/03 - vs. syracuse | Noon, RSN
01/06 - @ fsu | 7pm, RSN
01/13 - @ louisville | 7pm, RSN
01/18 - @ unc | 6:30pm, ESPNU
01/22 - vs. notre dame | 7pm, RSN
01/25 - vs. uva | 1pm, ACCN
01/27 - vs. pittsburgh | 7pm, ESPNU
01/31 - @ wake forest | 2pm, RSN

February

02/03 - @ syracuse | 9pm, ESPNU
02/07 - vs. fsu | 3pm, ACCN
02/09 - vs. georgia tech | 9pm, ESPNU
02/14 - @ clemson | Noon, RSN
02/18 - @ miami | 7pm, RSN
02/21 - @ nc state | 6pm, ESPN2
02/25 - vs. duke | 9pm, ESPN2
02/28 - @ uva | 4pm, ACCN

March

03/02 - vs. boston college | 9pm, ESPNU
03/07 - vs. miami | Noon, RSN
**********
ACC Tournament
03/10 - 1st rd.
03/11 - 2nd rd.
03/12 - quarterfinals
03/13 - semifinals
03/14 - championship

Photos on flickr