Categorized | 2013-14, Game Recaps

clemson 56 (3-1, 12-4), HOKIES 49 (1-3, 8-8)

Boxscore

Well, I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted, because tonight was probably the last time all season the Hokies will step on the floor with a winning record.  Tonight Tech lost their third straight game, all at home, to the team picked to finish 14th in the ACC.  c-l-e-m-s-ohhh-n defeated Tech 56-49 fueled by a 7-0 run to finish the game in the final 90 seconds.

Hey!  We broke the 4,000 attendance mark with 4,022 fans!  Seriously, though, major props to the fans going to the games.  (Joke: What’s the difference between a VT basketball crowd and an opera crowd… An opera crowd cheers at the end.)

I will say this, the Hokies (whom I predicted to win this game by a score of 5X to 4X instead of vice versa) actually played pretty well against the #1 defense in the nation in terms of points per game allowed (53 per coming in).  Tech shot over 40% for the game, well above their average in ACC contests.  And they fought back from a 49-43 deficit to tie the game at 49 on a Ben Emelogu 3-pointer with 1:49 to play.  But on the ensuing possession Adonis Filer-of-fish converted a controversial 3-point play (why controversial, you ask?  Well, Rod Hall caught the inbounds with both feet in the front court and then leaped into the back court to start the possession, then the refs gave Filer 2 steps of continuation on the 3-point play — JvZ’s 5th foul of the game).  But that’s besides the point — once again this JJ led team found a way to lose late… at home.

The Hokies are now just 7-5 in the Cassell this season.  While that may not sound that bad, keep this in mind — in the 50+ years of the Cassell, Tech has had a losing record at home just once.  ONCE.  And Tech just lost to a 4-11 team at home and the team picked to finish 14th.  With 6 home games to go, that doesn’t bode well for the Hokies to finish on the plus side of .500 (need 3 more wins) or even at .500 (need to go 2-4).

Anyway, back to this game.  How did we lose, you ask?  Well, here you go:

  • Devin Wilson: Swimming through a pool of sharks would be easier for him than hitting a free throw right now.  He went 2/8 from the line tonight… for the 2nd straight game.  Yep, he’s 4/16 (25%) from the line in the last two games… Games VT lost by 3 and 7 respectively.
  • Free Throws, Part 2: Tech was 4/14 from the line tonight, and one of them was banked in.  If I need to clarify why that’s bad then…
  • 3-Pointers: Tech was 2/8 from deep in the 2nd half and 5/16 (31%) for the game.  So much for #1 in the nation.
  • Did Senior Night already happen?  No Raines tonight (again) and Jarell Eddie was 1/6 (including 1/5 on 3s) for 3 points.  Jarell is now 6/29 (21%) on FGs and 3/16 (19%) on 3s for 19 points in his last 3 games (he was averaging 17 ppg before this stretch).
  • Speed Limit 59: Tech has yet to eclipse the 60 point mark in regulation in an ACC game.
  • Droughts:
    • After scoring 10 points in a span of 3:04 in the first half, the Hokies went more than 6 minutes and 30 seconds without a point (0/9 FGs).  A 9-0 run put clemson up 16-10.
    • In the 2nd half with Tech up 36-30, the Hokies went 5 minutes without a field goal (and just 1 point total) as clemson went on a 10-0 run to go up 40-36.  VT never led after that point.
  • Raines: 0 minutes; Wood: 0 minutes

Here are your shooting stats for the game:

  • In the Paint:
    • 1st half: 6/12 (started out 2/8)
    • 2nd half: 6/8 (at one point made 9 in a row!)
    • Total: 12/20 (60%)
  • Midrange Jumpers:
    • 1st half: 1/6
    • 2nd half: 2/6
    • Total: 3/12 (25% — that’s, um, not good)
  • 3-Pointers:
    • 1st half: 3/8
    • 2nd half: 2/8
    • Total: 5/16 (31% — you live by the 3, you die…)
  • FREE Throws (emphasis on the free):
    • 1st half: 1/2
    • 2nd half: 3/12
    • Total: 4/14 (29% — THIS is why we are the worst team in the ACC.  IT’S A FREE THROW, PEOPLE!)
    • Tech is 16/35 from the line (46%) in their last 2 games.
  • In short, last game we couldn’t make a layup to save our life.  Today, it was a free throw.  You become the worst team in the league by finding ways to lose by [stinking] at very simple things, like layups and free throws.

It wasn’t all bad, though:

  • Turnovers: just 9 total — 4th straight game with less than 10!!!
  • JvZ tied a career high with 11 points (8 in the first half) and showed the ability to hit a hook shot and create off the dribble!  But he was 1/4 on FTs and the one was a bank… the other 3 hit the back iron — maybe step back a foot?)
  • Love the ‘Logu: I really like Ben Emelogu more and more each game.  Now, K.J. McDaniels stripped him twice tonight, but that guy is the Dominique Wilkins of this conference.  He is a FREAK athlete.  On offense, it looked like K.J. was on a T1 and Jarell Eddie was on dial-up (nerd humor).
  • Beyer really contributes when he’s out there — he had 4 points and 7 rebounds in 26 minutes tonight but it is the 50/50 balls he helps Tech get that means the most.  Love this guy.

Devin Wilson led the Hokies with 14 points, including his 4th and 5th 3-pointer of the season.  Ben Emelogu and Joey van Zegeren added 11 each.

This was a very cleanly played game for the most part between two evenly matched terrible teams.  Neither team led by more than 6 (both led by that amount at some point), until the final margin when clemson went up 7.  And at one point in the 2nd half the game went 5 minutes and 30 seconds without a whistle.  The under-12 timeout in the 2nd half didn’t come until 6:37 to go in the game.

And, last but not least… JJ’s Head-Scratchers:

  • JJ called a timeout with 1:30 left in the 1st half and 15 on the shot clock.  What did VT do afterwards?  Smith dribbled until clemson knocked it out of bounds.  Then… he dribbled it some more until clemson forced a jumpball with 2 on the shot clock.  And Tech had to huck up a shot on the inbounds to beat the shot clock.  Great play design!
  • The Hokies, down 3, fouled clemson’s best foul shooter, K.J. McDaniels, 80-feet from the hoop with 55 seconds to go.  Uh, pressure and make him pass?

That said, I did like the 2-3 zone from JJ to start the 2nd half.  It seemed to throw off clemson a bit.  But let’s face it, losses are losses.  We aren’t at rock bottom yet… that could come next Wednesday.  In the mean time, see you at South Bend, IN on Sunday at 6 PM on ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Hoops!

This post was written by:

- who has written 1221 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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  • RKinRoanoke

    you may love beyer; but seriously, no woods OR raines. Does anyone covering tech sports actually ask JJ why?

    • Niemo

      I think I saw somewhere that he had talked about it, but to me, it is all talk. Raines should be on the court. Wood had the flu last week, but does he have eBola? It can’t still be affecting him.

      I agree that Beyer is not the solution and there is no way he should be playing 26 minutes a game. But that guy really does battle and does some good things when he’s in there… that just should be for 5-10 minutes per game, not 26.

    • Will Stewart

      Sure they do:

      http://www.roanoke.com/sports/aaron_mcfarling/article_6e1642a6-7e66-11e3-9c81-001a4bcf6878.html

      “Raines is probably what, a four-point-a-game career guy?” Johnson said, when pressed on the issue of his forgotten center. “He’s going to be in the mix. He’s going to get an opportunity at some point. He has to be ready to go. But right now, the way those other guys are playing I’m
      going to go with them. But he’s ready to go if his name is called.”

      • Drew

        That comes off fairly disrespectful if you ask me. He basically called him a scrub not worth his time. But that totally ignores the facts that contribute to his career average. You know, like how VT never bothers to run post plays or how Raines didn’t get many minutes early his career. If you look at his advanced stats, it shows what we all know, if given the chance he’s a serviceable player. And that’s what we need. No disrepect to Beyer, but you’re telling me he’s better? Using JJ’s logic, he’s a career 1 point a game player so why’s he getting minutes?

        This is all more proof that JJ is not ready to be a head coach. This was a bad hire from Day 1

    • Les

      Van Zegeren would benefit from a big guy next to him on defense to hold his ground, be it Raines or Kirby, so he can come over to block shots from the weak side and avoid fouls.
      Eddie isn’t getting the points he did earlier in the season. There should be 10 more points to spread around for everyone else

  • King

    Any updates on the search for a new AD?

    • Niemo

      I haven’t heard any rumors lately but it needs to happen ASAP. I’m sure it has consequences on football, too, like hiring a new OL Coach so the sooner they do it the better.

  • Da Ref

    I didn’t get a chance to see the controversial play in question, but if the first part of it played out as you discuss (an inbound in the frontcourt caught in the air by a player with frontcourt status who subsequently lands in the backcourt), this is not actually a violation. In fact, that’s a specific exception to the backcourt rule and it applies only to an inbounds play – the player who catches the ball is permitted to have his momentum carry him into the backcourt.

    If the player had, say, been standing in the frontcourt when he caught the ball and THEN stepped into the backcourt, there would have been a violation.

    With respect to continuation, the number of steps actually isn’t relevant – the relevant question is whether the player had begun his “habitual act of shooting,” which actually starts when the player collects the ball to begin his attempt. Again, I haven’t seen a clip of the play (I’ll try to find one late this morning).

    • Niemo

      Both were very close calls and could have gone either way, and both, of course, went against the Hokies. They may have been the right call, my point was more that when it Raines it pours, and it has been pouring on the Hokies lately.

      • Da Ref

        Oh, no argument from me on that front. I’m just pointing out that the rules seem to have been applied correctly in this situation.

  • Will Stewart

    God bless you, Niemo … you cover the hell out of what is a difficult team to cover.

    • Niemo

      I’m hoping God blesses me with a better team to cover real, real soon. This has been a rough sports year for me other than the Braves… Falcons, Sabres, Hokies FB and BB have been pretty rough. At least Arsenal is doing well! Go Gunners!

  • capitolhokiewizzardterp

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