Categorized | 2013-14 Season, Game Recaps, Home

nc state 71 (7-7), HOKIES 64 (2-12)

Boxscore

It was the T.J. Warren Show at Saturday at Cassell Coliseum as the nc state wolfpack evened their record in ACC play at 7-7 behind 31 points from the ACC’s leading scorer.  state was simply too athletic for the short-handed Hokies.

With the loss in front of 5,268 at the Cassell (VT’s 2nd largest crowd in ACC play), Tech is now 8-9 at home on the season with one game to go next Saturday versus the red hot unc tar heels.  The Hokies have now clinched not having a winning record at home for just the 3rd time in the 53 year history of the Cassell.  One other time they finished .500, which they could do with an upset next Saturday, or they’ll produce their 2nd ever losing season at home with a loss, matching the 2000-01 Hokies.

KEY STATS:

ncsu VT
FGs 26/64 (41%) 18/42 (43%)
3-Ptrs 4/24 (17%) 6/18 (33%)
FTs 15/25 (60%) 22/37 (60%)
Leading Scorer Warren – 31 Wilson/Eddie – 14
Longest FG Drought 8:08
Pts Per Possession 1.02 0.99

T.J. Warren, a sophomore and former 5-star recruit that was a bit of a disappointment last year, came in leading the ACC in PPG at 23 per contest (almost 4 points ahead of #2) and he was too much for Tech to guard.  After hitting two early 3-pointers, he shredded the Tech 2-3 zone with runner after runner from 6-12′ on his way to 31 points on 12/21 shooting, 3 short of his career high 34 he had at home vs (shocker) wake forest.

Warren was the recipient of many of Tyler Lewis’s 11 assists (he had 9 assists just in the first half).  Lewis looks like he belongs on The Big Bang Theory more than an ACC basketball court, but beat the defensively challenged Hokies off the dribble easily today.

The Hokies came in having playing three great games in a row, but winning just one.  Today was not a fourth straight great effort.  We should note that Tech was without Adam Smith as usual, but also Ben Emelogu and Cadarian Raines were out with ankle issues.  That left Tech with just one scholarship guard available today.  Will Johnston had to play the off-guard and logged 33 minutes (he’d sit whenever he got as red as the state uniforms).  Jarell Eddie ran point for the 1 minute Devin Wilson sat today.

Don’t let the final score fool you — nc state was in control of this game for the entire 25 minutes, usually leading by 8 to 12 points.  The Hokies never got closer than 6 after the 5-minute mark of the first half until the final minute of the game, with state leading by as many as 15 with 7:23 to go.  Tech simply didn’t have the energy they had on Tuesday versus uva and played pretty lethargic basketball (JJ included who on at least two occasions should have either gotten a T or let the refs know they made a bad call).  While the final margin was just 7, nc state simply is not a good team outside of T.J. Warren.  They have some athletes but they are not very skilled.  They have almost no shooters — after Warren hit his first two 3-pointers, state went 2/22 from deep the rest of the game and were just 4/24 (17%) overall from deep).  Tech simply had no one who could guard the 6’8″ Warren (who is basically a ’3/wing’).

Tech did scrap until the end, though, but just couldn’t take advantage of late chances.  They missed a layup under the basket down 7 with 2:30 to go, then after getting an offensive rebound the next possession, missed a 3 that would have cut the lead to 3 with 1:40 to go.  Barksdale had an open look at a 3 with Tech down 5 and 30 seconds to go, but again, the Hokies couldn’t hit and state put the game away from the line.

Tech lost for a few key reasons:

  • No one athletic enough to guard T.J. Warren.  Devin Wilson was on him a lot when Tech wasn’t in the zone, but Devin gives up several inches and just is not a good on-ball defender (no one is on VT).
  • Tech was just 22/37 (59.5%) from the foul line.  Even worst, their bigs were a combined 7/17 including 3/9 by van Zegeren.  Eddie and Wilson were 14/17 while everyone else was 8/20.
  • The Hokies committed 17 turnovers.  It marked just the 2nd time they’ve had more than 14 in their last 8 games.
  • Tech shot very poorly outside the charge circle in the paint for the first 29 minutes…

Tech did not shoot well early today.  Here are a few (not so) fun facts:

  • With 11 minutes to go in the game, Tech had just 3 made FGs outside of the paint for 8 total points.
  • Tech went more than 8 minutes without a field from the final 6 minutes of the first half through the first 2 minutes of the 2nd half.
  • The Hokies went more than 11-and-a-half minutes without a field goal that wasn’t a dunk in that same span.

Here is the scoring breakdown for VT:

  • Free Throws: 22
  • 3-pointers: 6 for 18 points
  • Dunks: 4
  • Tip-ins/layups: 5
  • Other shots in the paint: 2
  • (Total points in the paint: 11 FGs for 22)
  • Midrange shots: 1 for 2 points

Some bright spots for Tech:

  • Devin Wilson had 14 points and 9 assists.  For the 3 game home stand he had 39 points and 23 assists (13/8 per game — pretty darn good).  He already owns the VT freshmen record for assists in a season.  He did have 5 turnovers though.
  • Trevor Thompson had 9 points and 9 rebounds, including a couple of monster dunks over nc state defenders (one 2-handed, one 1-handed).  Unfortunately, he added 4 turnovers.
  • Jarell Eddie hit 3/6 three-pointers and 5/6 FTs and had 6 rebounds for 14 points.
  • Tech actually got what they wanted on defense from the 2-3 zone.  nc state shot 24 three-pointers, well above their season average, and made just 4.
  • Also, Tech barely missed averaging a point per possession.  In fact, with just one more made free throw, they’ve have surpassed it.  According to Cvillehoops13 on TSL, they’ve surpassed 1 point per possession in ACC play just once this season.
  • From Cvillehoops13: “The Hokies have only reached 1 point per possession in 1 ACC game this year. If that holds the remainder of the schedule they will be the first ACC team in the shot clock era to not get to 1 ppp in at least two conference games – that despite playing more conf games than many of those teams and in a year when points per possession is at an all time high since the shot clock.”

Tech trailed 35-25 at the half.

The Hokies return to action on Tuesday at duke at 7 PM on ESPNU.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1217 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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  • Drew

    Was Raines really out with an ankle issue? I thought I saw him dressed out on the bench. Figured JJ just didn’t play him. Emelogu was in dress clothes so that’s why I thought maybe Raines was just a DNP CD. Not like it would matter anyway I guess.

    Also, is there any reason why Eddie couldn’t play 2-guard? When we’re down to two guards with just Wilson and Johnston, seems to me we could save some minutes for some guys by moving Eddie to 2-guard for a spell and playing Wood and Thompson a bit more. I just keep expecting Wilson or Johnston to pass out every game in the 2nd half

    • Niemo

      Eddie is a bit tall to be a 2, but more importantly, just doesn’t have the handle. Plus, since he’s normally a decent rebounder, you don’t really want him that far away from the hoop.

      No idea on Raines, just going by what I heard.

  • Dan E

    Hokiesare a bad, bad offensive team. All this tak about their zone D or mtm is wasting breathe. The Hokies have scored at least 70 points 1 time since 2013.
    You can hide a bad defender in a zone, you can’t hide a bad offensive player anywhere. And they have a bunch that need hiding.

  • BRENT

    Niemo,
    Thanks for providing the breakdown again as usual. I usually love your breakdowns and think you cover both sides pretty well, but I disagree a little bit today. I think Tech proved more today than they did the last 3 games, the last 3 games they lead alot of the time and the other teams really didnt play well. But today, NC State played better than us, but we still hung in the game, a month ago we would have lost this game by 20 points.
    Also a few points:
    1. I think Trevor Thompson and Joey Van Z are gonna be a great combo the next 2 years.
    2. How about the bad call on the technical, when the ref shoved the NC State player, even without the shove, the NC State player was the instigator, that cost us 1 point and possesion when the score was at like 6 differential.
    3. Also that Charge on Wilson was ridiuculous, that should have been an and 1. Just these last two points we are talking about 4 points and the ball in a really close game. Which brings me too….
    We need to get a real coach, JJ just shows like no fire over there on the side, I feel like the refs can just take advantage of us (to keep another ACC team on the bubble) and there will be no backlash, cause JJ just doesnt know what to do over there.
    But I am really feeling better about next year if at least 2 of these 3 wings are decent, and Wood or Barksdale really finds their game. I think we will be the strongest we have been in years at the PG and inside (Thompson and Van Z probably form the longest two guys in the ACC). We just need to figure out our personality and stick to it.

    • Niemo

      Brent – Per your #2 and #3, I did allude to both bad calls (didn’t mention them, just said those were 2 occasions where JJ should have gotten a T. Both were awful calls, as you said.
      As for hanging with state, I just think they are a lousy team (though better than us), so I don’t put much stock in us hanging with them considering they were in full control the entire 30 minutes. The pitt and uva efforts were much more impressive from my standpoint, but I see what you are saying that we hung with a “team” playing well (though I’d argue only Warren and Lewis played well for them… I mean, they were 4/24 from deep. That’s not exactly lighting it up.

  • BRENT

    One more point about the team and the bad coaching.
    There was a point in the first half where Eddie and Johnston should have been pulled out and JJ just doesnt have it in him to make these statements:

    1. When Eddie was running the fast break – 2 problems – he was running down the court not looking and Johnston (mr panic) threw it to someone not looking – there is no way either guy should be in the game after this – just sit them for a minute to prove a point
    2. Later during that time when Wilson went out, this is a point we really need everyone else to dig in and play a little harder than normal:
    – First Eddie gives the ball up (even though he is the point) and he goes across the court stands in the corner (furtherest from Johnston) and starts jumping up and down waving for the ball, then they dribble his way and give him the ball, and he stands there with the ball in front of him and just lets warren take it right way.
    - then on the next defensive posisiton, Johnstone is playing the top of the zone, and instead of just moving his feet to block Lewis’s penetration he literally stops moving like he was afraid to cross the center of the lane, and lets lewis lop in an easy alley opp.

    These are learning moments and I blame all three. JJ doesnt do anything to make them learn, Eddie makes no effort to be smarter player, and Johnston needs to stop panicing and just play, like he is gonna mess up anyways, so go down swinging.

    • Niemo

      All your points are spot on. A few things are clear:
      1) You can’t threaten playing time when you only have 6 healthy scholarship bodies and this is the result.
      2) JJ is an asst coach-in-waiting (I just made that up… I kind of like it… might have to make an article out of that)

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