Multiple sources are reporting that Isaac Chew has been hired to join Buzz’s staff. This was expected, as Chew has been on Buzz’s bench for the last few years at marquette.
Posted on 17 April 2014.
Multiple sources are reporting that Isaac Chew has been hired to join Buzz’s staff. This was expected, as Chew has been on Buzz’s bench for the last few years at marquette.
Posted on 01 April 2014.
I’m always wary of posting stories related to articles done on April Fool’s Day, but this one at least appears genuine (much more so than the Jay Wright to bc thing). According to this free Rivals.com article, Class of 2014 signee T.J. Lang has signed his release, terminating his binding Letter of Intent with Virginia Tech. He is now free to sign with any school. The article has some more specifics on it and does mention he may still consider VT if Buzz pursues him more aggressively.
And if this is an April Fool’s Day prank, it is not mine, I can promise you that.
Posted on 01 April 2014.
According to this free Rivals.com article, guard Warren Craft (currently a junior at William Fleming in Roanoke) has re-opened his recruitment and it is unlikely he will end up a Hokie when he signs year as a Class of 2015 prospect.
Warren Craft was James Johnson’s first verbal commitment as the Head Coach of the Hokies, committing back in 2012 a few months after James took the job. At that time VT was his first, and only, offer. Craft battled an injury this pasts season.
I have no inside info but my guess is this was a mutual decision. I have to believe a coach like Buzz wants his own guys and wanted to give Craft as much time as possible to find another landing spot if Buzz felt like VT wasn’t best for him. Or perhaps Warren simply didn’t have the same warm fuzzy with Buzz that he did with JJ.
Posted on 26 March 2014.
Two of Buzz Williams’s former assistants at marquette are expected to join him at Virginia Tech and take their share of the newly increased assistant coaching pay pie of over $800,000. Isaac Chew and Brad Autry have both left marquette and should be introduced as part of the Hokie staff soon.
Jerry Wainwright, who has head coaching experience at multiple schools and was an assistant for Buzz, is not expected to come to Blacksburg as far as I’ve heard.
Autry has been an assistant at arkansas-little rock, baylor, tulsa, and marquette. He was with Buzz for all six of his years at marquette but only served as an assistant the last two years after being a Student-Athlete Development Coordinator the first four years he was there. And he was the interim head coach when Buzz was suspended for a game in 2013.
Chew has experience as an assistant at murray state (Beamer), missouri, and marquette. He pulled a James Johnson with illinois on his way from missouri to marquette and was with Buzz the last two years.
Through the grapevine I’ve heard Ace Custis has asked to be interviewed after serving as an assistant coach at virginia state university this past year.
Posted on 22 March 2014.
Our new coach was on CBS, TBS, and TNT Saturday helping with their halftime studio shows. Here’s a clip of Buzz talking about his new gig:
Posted on 22 March 2014.
Update: I’ve heard from several sources that say Trevor was on his phone during the meeting with Buzz and the team on Saturday and Coach simply told him to put it away, not making a scene. So more and more (and based on additional info from these sources), it sounds like TT had more than a foot out the door even before Buzz was named the coach and all this stuff from his dad was simply excuses to rationalize it.
This Roanoke Times article pretty well sums things up with inside info from Trevor’s dad. It says Buzz recruited Trevor in high school but called him “soft” (allegedly). It says Trevor’s cell phone went off in a meeting between the team and coaches yesterday and that Buzz called Trevor out and would give him a release if he wanted it, and it said Trevor was “50/50″ about staying before the meeting. After yesterday’s meeting, Trevor decided to move on.
Since we only have info from one side, and a third party at that, we only understand so much of this situation. But I read it as either a coach running off a player he wasn’t sold on so that he can bring in his type of guys, or a coach challenging a player and the player taking his ball and going home.
This is the difference between a head coach and an assistant coach in terms of handling things. A head coach gets the matter resolved quickly and in private. An assistant coach keeps benching the player and calling him out in postgame press conferences.
Obviously I wish Trevor was staying as he showed great promise, but I’d rather have the matter fixed and move on, instead of dragging out over an entire season and potentially impacting other players. So I’ll trust Buzz and his experience. And I trust that he’ll be bringing in enough talent that guys will constantly be challenged and pushed instead of having to kiss their butts just to have 6-7 healthy guys.
I certainly didn’t expect any attrition from the current team or recruits when we got a coach like Buzz, but this just shows that attrition is a part of the game now. You will lose a player more years than you don’t. This will make things more challenging next year, but I really look at next with minimal expectations while we start to implement a system and get things running. I’d like to hope we can hit 6-12 in the ACC next year, but it is really about getting things on track two-three years from now.
Posted on 22 March 2014.
Buzz Williams proved to be a fantastic recruiter at marquette (though it helps that marquette is a storied program in a big city in what was the best conference at that time). But still, there is lots to get excited about in terms of what Buzz might bring to the ‘Burg from a recruit standpoint given that he’s in the ACC.
Buzz took over the marquette gig in April 2008, so well after the signing periods had opened that year and most classes were set. So I’m counting 2009 as his first class at marquette. Here is analysis of his recruits from 2009-2014 at marquette. [Note: all star rankings below are based on Rivals.com]
There are three main points I’d like to emphasize that excite me:
Recruiting Your State:
There were rumors that JJ/his staff had burned bridges with some VA and Carolina programs on the HS/AAU level. That’s never a good thing, especially when you are at a school with a historically limited recruiting budget. You have to lock up your own territory, and Buzz did that while at marquette. Check out what Buzz was able to do in his own state of Wisconsin…
In six classes, that four 4-stars and a 5-star, almost an average of one per season. We’d take that from the Commonwealth over the next six years thank you very much. And considering (and this is just an educated guess on my part) Virginia is more fertile in terms of basketball recruits than Wisconsin, that bodes well for our chances. marquette also had nearby Chicago, but Tech has nearby DC which is very rich in talent, so that hopefully will be a wash.
Also, for comparison, here’s what the university of wisconsin hauled in from their home state over that six year span:
So Buzz clearly beat his in-state rivals on the recruiting front. Now it is time to eclipse Mr. Bennett (who obviously had ties to wisconsin from his father who was the head coach there in the late 90s, ironically enough).
Buzz has inked two players from the state of Virginia, so our territory won’t be completely foreign to him.
Buzz was pulling in solid classes practically ever year at marquette. The most marquee recruit he inked was point guard Vander Blue, a 5-star recruit in the 2010 class (ranked #24 overall in that class). But it goes well beyond my boy Blue…
In six seasons, he got John Hancocks from:
That’s an average of two 4-stars per year.
Average star ranking per recruit by year:
Like I said earlier, sign me up for those classes, I’ll take that over the next six years.
Posted on 20 March 2014.
Ron Wellman, wake forest’s Athletic Director, finally did on Thursday what any other AD would have done at least one year ago, if not two years ago — he fired Head Basketball Coach Jeff Bzdelik. Jeff is a great friend of Ron’s and so this was no doubt a painful decision for Ron. But when you get in bed with a close friend, who also happens to be the worst coach in the ACC and was coming off a horrible stint at colorado that saw him fired after 3 seasons, then this is what you get.
I place this up there with Terry Holland hiring his former player, ricky “program bomb” stokes, as the head coach at ecu after what stokes did to VT (Holland was the AD at ecu at the time). At least ecu gave up on that failed revival after two seasons, wake fans had to sit through four years.
What makes it even worse for wake is they fired Dino Gaudio after 3 seasons… the final two of which Dino led wake to the NCAA Tournament including a NCAA win. But he was “just 17-18″ in February and March. Uh huh.
So in comes his good buddy. How bad was Jeff Bzdelik as a coach? For starters, he appears TWICE on the list of worst coaches over the 30 years according to Athlon Sports, honoring his tenure at colorado and wake (the list was made last March): Worst Coaches Since 1984.
In some cases you need to see it to believe how bad someone was. In this case, the numbers blow you away.
Ok, ok, he was bad on the road. But he must have redeemed himself in the ACC Tournament like Sidney Lowe used to do at nc state, right?
Was he good at home? Yes, actually, they were pretty decent, and that’s what makes the road woes all the more mysterious. Since going 1-15 in 2010-11, wake went 14-12 at home over the last 3 seasons. So 14-12 at home (54%), 2-22 on the road (8%).
Let’s look at how wake did in the ACC compared to the rest of the league over the last 4 seasons (not including pitt or ‘cuse):
Tech fired two coaches during the same span it took wake to get rid of Bzdelik. Think about that.
I should note that over the last 3 seasons the Hokies have just 3 road wins (1 per year), so they aren’t much better than Buzz. But like I said, that cost two coaches their jobs.
Also, when you make Sidney Lowe and Paul Hewitt look like great road coaches, you know you are bad.
Tale of the Tape? There are no winners here, but I’d rank these guys (in order of worst first):
Here is where Athlon Sports ranked guys of note on their list of 20 worst coaches of the last 20 years:
1. Dave Bliss – baylor (sadly, murder will do that to you)
6. Bzdelik – wake edition
7. Sidney Lowe – nc state
16. Bzdelik – buffaloed
18. ricky stokes – Va Tech
|Lowe||2-0 vs Bz|
|Hewitt||2-0 vs Bz|
|Johnson||1-2 vs Bz|
|* Made NCAA|
|^ Won 3 ACC-T games to reach Finals|
Posted on 18 March 2014.
This will be a living article where we track coaching candidates and rumors.
Posted on 17 March 2014.
New Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock took a bold, but necessary move in just his 2nd month in Blacksburg – he fired Head Basketball Coach James Johnson after just two seasons.
So what is ‘it’ for us? ’It’ right now is hiring a coach that excites the fan base and helps sell some season tickets next year. And that coach, in my book, will get a pass for next season and maybe even the season after that if I believe in him. But ultimately, starting with the 2016-17 season, ‘it’ must be wins. Wins are what will draw Hokies back to the turnstiles and pack the Cassell.
I think this was the right move for many reasons. While I hate to pile on the dead, there are a few points I’d like to make as to why I agree with the decision:
That said, JJ is a good man and I wish him the best.
It is time to move forward with our program. I’d rather take it on the chin next year with a new guy that can build things up quickly (with some growing pains) that has a higher ceiling than JJ. We won’t get to .500 in ACC play next year, but hopefully we can in our overall record (or at least be close). Here are the things I’d like to see:
I will have a lot more patience with the next guy as long as I trust him and the direction. I never had that feeling with JJ. I didn’t want a guy learning on the job. To Weaver’s credit, he basically got us a rent-a-coach with a low buyout until the new AD came in place (whether that was his intended purpose or not, we’ll never know).
Kudos for Whit for pulling the trigger on dismissing JJ. He basically showed he wasn’t going to be Weaver’s puppet for the next two years. Whit may have taken over as AD last month, but he officially became our AD today and showed Weaver isn’t a consultant, he’s a man on a severance package for the next two years, as it should be.
Now Whit’s next task is to find the man that will make Virginia Tech basketball relevant again. The honeymoon was short lived for Mr. Babcock. But then again, that’s why we hired an AD with prior AD experience. He’s now on the clock to make a splash with this hire and get the Teddy Bridgewater (whoops – scratch that after his pro day yesterday)/Khalil Mack/Jadaveon Clowney of available coaches.
Posted on 11 March 2014.
Virginia Tech’s Devin Wilson was the only Hokie honored by the ACC on Monday. Devin made the ACC All-Freshman Team, joining Deron Washington, Jeff Allen, and Doo-Doo Finney-Smith as the four Hokies to achieve this honor.
Devin finished the regular season averaging 9.2 ppg, though he led the Tech freshmen class in PPG in ACC play at 10.1. But his biggest asset was his assists. His 143 assists are easily a freshmen record at VT and destroyed the previous mark of 114 by Hank Thorns. Wilson also led the team in steals, though 24 is not a very high number and shows how poor Tech was in this category.
Posted on 10 March 2014.
Odds: miami is favored by 6.
The final preview of the season. I’d be lying if I said I’m shedding any tears as I write this. While I’m sure we all want to shock the Milky Way and go from dead last in the ACC (#15 seed — at least we only have to worry about bringing our road uniforms) to win five days in a row and capture the ACC title, I think many of us already have tee times set for Thursday.
Boo-hoos: The more interesting thing for me will be to see what happens with the #1 seed virginia cavaliers. uva has a double-bye and won’t play until Friday at noon in the Quarterfinals. With a win over the #8/9 game winner (florida state vs maryland), uva will advance to ACC Semi-Final Saturday. Big whoop, right?
Actually, it would end one of the longest ACC Tournament streaks of futility — uva has failed to make it past the Quarterfinal Round for the last 18 years. The last time they did, I was a freshman at Virginia Tech (that wasn’t yesterday).
It is unbelievable to think they’ve gone that long without a semi-final appearance. Many of those years all they had to do was win one game, especially from 1996-2003 when there were only 9 teams in the league. And before you say “but when have they been the #1 seed?” Well, never during that stretch. But they did tie for the regular season title in 2007 and were the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament, but lost to the #10 seed nc state in the Quarters (of course, state would then knock off VT in the semis, costing Tech a trip to the Championship Game). Last year as the #4 seed and a first round bye, the hoos lost to #5 seed nc state in the Quarters.
Tech made the semis 3 out of 4 years between 2007 and 2010, although they were never able to get over the hump and make a title game appearance.
HOKIES: OK, enough about the hoos (but I had to draw light to that pathetic stat given this may be the last time I get to mention it and given all the positive publicity they’ve been getting of late).
The Hokies face the miami hurricanes on Wednesday… the team they swept this regular season for their only two ACC wins and their only win in the calendar year of 2014. Oh, the irony!!! Could it be a 3-peat? Before you say no, keep in mind an awful nc state team (5-11) beat the Hokies three times back in 2007, the greatest Hokie team of the last 17 years. A Hokie team that was one basket away in the regular season finale against clemson from tying for the league title and getting the #1 seed in the tourney. I’ll say this — it is a lot easier to win 3 games against a team if you’ve won the first 2 (thank you, Captain Obvious).
Note that these are the per game averages for ACC games only, along with the team’s ACC rank in parenthesis (out of 15). You’ll notice a lot of 15s next to VT.
|Stat (Per Game)||HOKIES||miami|
|PPG||55.3 (15)||59.2 (14)|
|Opp PPG||65.6 (6)||59.6 (3)|
|FT%||61% (15)||65% (13)|
|FG%||37% (15)||41% (13)|
|Opp FG%||42% (5)||41% (2)|
|3-Pt%||31% (13)||32% (10)|
|3s Made||5.9 (6)||5.6 (8)|
|Opp 3-Pt%||34% (7)||36% (12)|
|Blocks||3.7 (t-7)||3.2 (11)|
|Steals||3.8 (15)||4.3 (t-14)|
|TO Margin||-3.6 (15)||-0.3 (8)|
|Def Reb %||69% (6)||67% (8)|
|Off Reb %||32% (11)||34% (7)|
I can’t even imagine how empty the G-boro Coliseum will be for this game. The Opening Round games aren’t even included in the ACC Tournament ticket package, and tickets for these games will be “general admission”. Since nearby wake forest plays right before VT, there might be a few people there at the start. But if wake falls to 0-4 in the ACC Tournament under soon to be unemployed Coach Bzdelik, the VT/miami game might have all the life of a rec league game.
TECH’S ROAD TO THE ACC TITLE:
Posted on 08 March 2014.
The Hokies completed their regular season by setting the record for most ACC regular season losses, falling 62-51 at georgia tech. Tech notched their 16th ACC loss, the first time an ACC team has lost that many in the regular season. Granted, this is just the 2nd year of an 18-game ACC regular season, and past ACC teams have gone 0-14 and wake went 1-15 three years ago, but this still is obviously not a record you wish to own. Tech is now just 1-16 in 2014.
Joey van Zegeren notched a career high 21 points for the Hokies but it wasn’t enough. It was to see the big Dutchman playing well. He had surpassed his previous career high of 14 (set against maryland earlier this week) with more than 15 minutes still to go in the game! Heck, he even hit 3/5 FTs, well above his 36% FT%! But Joey had absolutely no help offensively for the first 30 minutes of the game and that ultimately did in the Hokies as the jackets started to shred their 2-3 zone.
For the most part, this looked like a game between two teams with no postseason aspirations walking through the motions and killing time until they get eliminated from the ACC Tournament. Tech and tech both played uninspired ball until a couple of alley-oop dunks got the jackets, and their crowd, into the game in the 2nd half. The simple fact was their lifeless effort was more productive than ours, and so they won.
Ben Emelogu was back and played 27 minutes, but clearly wasn’t at full strength. He rarely attacked the basket and settled for 3-pointers (3/8 on FGs, 2/6 on 3s for 6 points). Barksdale, Raines, and Smith were all out with injuries and VT only played 7 guys until the last minute.
|FGs||20/53 (38%)||24/49 (49%|
|3s||6/23 (26%)||6/19 (32%)|
|FTs||5/9 (56%)||8/11 (73%)|
|Scorer||JvZ – 21||Carter – 16|
|Longest FG Drought||Final 4:30 of the game|
Note: The Hokies finished with a Points Per Possession (PPP) of better than 1.0 just once this season in their 18 ACC games. According to Cvillehoops13 of TSL, that’s some kind of a record. I do know this, in a season where points are as high as they’ve been in years, that’s not a good thing. Tech had a PPP of 0.77 in the first half before a nice run midway through the 2nd half pulled it up to at least a non-embarrassing 0.91 for the game, but still well below 1.0.
Well, when you are right 23% of the time, it means you are either a below average baseball hitter or a terrible predictor. I’m the latter. I picked the Hokies to win this game largely because:
For the 2nd game in a row, VT gave up a layup in the final seconds of the first half when they should have had the last shot. Today marked the 9th straight game the Hokies have failed to reach the 30 point mark in the first half. georgia tech led 29-22 at the half. And just like on Tuesday, this game was lost in the first 10 minutes after the break.
the Hokies’ “offense” completely fell apart in the 2nd half:
Tech did not shoot well other than van Zegeren:
One particular stretch was really a microcosm of the entire season. With VT down 13 and 11 minutes to go, here’s how it played out:
After that, the Hokies finally woke up (or perhaps gt fell asleep). Tech scored on four straight possessions to cut the jackets’ lead to 10 at 54-44 (an 11-2 run). But again, when you go down by 19 with under 10 minutes to go, it is just too late.
The Hokies would later get it down to 8 at 58-50 with 4:30 to go, but could manage just 1 point in the final 4:30. Heck, they almost went a full game without a 4 minute FG drought, but alas, this is the Hokies.
And you just scratch your head at the lack of urgency from this team down the stretch…
In other words, the Hokies had given up and couldn’t get to their plane fast enough and get to the bars of Blacksburg.
The game actually started out going just the way VT needed it to. georgia tech started just 1/10 from 3-point range, settling for outside jumpers against the zone. But VT couldn’t really take advantage of the slow jacket started and led just 18-16 with 4:24 to go in the first half.
Finally gt started hitting 3-pointers and made 4 of their next 5 from deep to start pulling away. But the biggest difference was their inside presence. Their two biggest low post players, Daniel Miller (who has been at gt since the Bobby Cremins era) and Robert Carter combined to shoot 13/16 from the field and score 30 points. They found the soft spots in the zone at the high post or on the baseline underneath the hoop to beat Tech’s defense.
With miami’s win over wake forest, the Hokies will get to face the canes for a third time on Wednesday at 3:30 PM in the #10/#15 game of ACC Tournament Opening Day. Tech swept miami in the regular season for their only 2 ACC wins.
Posted on 06 March 2014.
Note: gt is favored by 7 on Saturday.
On Saturday, wake forest (fresh off a win against duke) will head to Coral Gables to face the miami hurricanes at 2 PM on Saturday. The winner will finish in 10th place in the ACC and face the Hokies (locked into the 15th seed) on the Opening Day of the ACC Tournament next Wednesday at 3:30 PM.
It is a battle of weaknesses — wake is 1-7 in ACC road games this season and just 2-31 in Coach Bzdelik’s four seasons at wake. Meanwhile, miami is just 2-6 in ACC home games this season, but they have won 2 in a row at home after an 0-6 start.
Obviously the Hokies would seem to want miami given that they swept the canes this year for their only two wins, but wake is 0-3 in the ACC Tournament under soon to be fired Coach Bzdelik, so who knows.
Posted on 05 March 2014.
Let’s take a look at what the Hokies are facing as they close out the season in the next week:
The most glaring stat might be how much worse VT is than the rest of the league over the last 3 seasons. Tech has finished dead last the last two years, and were in a 4-way tie for last in 2011-12.
It really goes back to the win over #1 duke on 2/26/2011. Since then the Hokies are 10-43 in ACC regular season games (18.9%). Before that point, Tech was 57-53 (52%) in nearly 7 full seasons of ACC play. I believe that was the 4th best mark during that stretch. And Tech had earned 4 first round byes in the ACC Tournament in their first 6 years in the league (finished 3rd or 4th place in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2010), the third highest mark during that stretch.
Let’s hope we can get the ship righted but this vessel is pointed straight down right now.
The Hokies are experiencing their worst season since the ricky "program bomb" stokes era. Sure, we could have quit on you, but did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!
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01/07 syracuse 72, Hokies 52
01/11 boston college 62, Hokies 59
01/15 clemson 56, Hokies 49
01/19 notre dame 70, Hokies 63
01/22 wake forest 83, Hokies 77
01/25 virginia 65, Hokies 45
01/29 boston college 76, Hokies 52
02/01 maryland 80, Hokies 60
02/05 florida state 70, Hokies 50
02/08 pittsburgh 62, Hokies 57, 2OT
02/15 Hokies 52, miami 45
02/18 virginia 57, Hokies 53
02/22 nc state 71, Hokies 64
02/25 duke 66, Hokies 48
03/12 miami 57, Hokies 53