Archive | 2011-12 Season

Preview | VT (4-9) @ #5 duke (11-2) | Saturday – Noon

Spread: duke by 12.

The Hokies get the blue devils at a good time. Well, sort of. The blue devils must play at florida state just 40 hours before the Hokies and nerds meet in Cameron Indoor Stadium. That game with the noles is huge for duke. This game is sandwiched between duke’s win at fsu then the devils have to play unc next week. So there’s a chance duke could be looking past this game, and they certainly won’t have much time to prepare… but we also know how good VT is in Short Turnaround games (8-1 all time, 2-0 this year), and duke is a heck of a lot better.

Reality is the two teams have already played and despite a solid start from the Hokies at home (the game was tied at 21), duke blew Tech out of their own arena, jumping to a 10-point halftime lead and getting up by as many as 23 in the 2nd half before settling for a 75-60 win.

First Meeting:

Ryan Kelly had 7 points while duke went on an 13-2 run to turn a 21-21 tie with 7 minutes to go in the first half into a 34-23 blue devil lead. His ability to shoot the ball outside, coupled with his shot-fake and ability to drive and score in the paint, was too much for VT. He finished with 15 points.

Austin Rivers had 18 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. He’s shooting the ball much better from deep of late and we already knew he could kill you off the dribble.

Seth Curry added 11 after being shut out in the House Dell Built last year, but Curry was just 2/7 on FGs. He has been playing much better of late (see below). Mason Plumlee added 10 points, 8 in the first half.

Tech was -6 on turnovers in the first meeting (7-13), and duke was +5 on 3-pointers made (8-3). Green had 17 for the Hokies (the more he scores, the more VT loses) and tied a career high with 7 rebounds. Davila tied his career high with 16 points, but he’s missed VT’s last 3 games and could be out Saturday.


vs duke:

  • All Time: duke 38-8
  • At duke: duke 17-1
  • In ACC Play: duke 9-3
  • At duke in ACC Play: duke 4-1


Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 11 Green 6-3 Jr 15.7
SG 5 Hudson 6-5 r-Sr 10.8
SF 31 Eddie 6-7 So 9.4
PF 15 Finney-Smith 6-9 Fr 4.6
C 4 Raines 6-9 r-So 4.9
Bench 1 Brown 6-5 Fr 6.9
10 Rankin 6-1 Fr 3.0
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
G 3 Thornton 6-1 So 3.5
G 0 Rivers 6-4 Fr 15.0
G 30 Curry 6-2 Jr 13.6
F 34 Kelly 6-11 Jr 11.9
F 5 Mas. Plumlee 6-10 Jr 11.2
Bench 21 Mi. Plumlee 6-10 Sr 6.5
20 Dawkins 6-4 Jr 9.4

A lot of the duke’s starters averages have been dropping except for Rivers (29 points against unc, including the game winning 3-pointer) and Curry (20 ppg over the last 5 games).


Note: these stats are for ACC games ONLY.

VT duke
PPG 59.9 (8) 76.1 (2)
PPG vs 64.2 (4) 67.3 (8)
FT% 73% (3) 71% (7)
FG% 40% (11) 44% (4)
3-Pt% 36% (2) 35% (3)
Made 3s PG 6.2 (5) 8.4 (1)
FG% D 45% (12) 43% (7)
3-Pt% D 35% (9) 29% (1)
Blocks 2.8 (11) 3.3 (8)
Steals 5.5 (t8) 5.6 (7)
TO Margin +2.4 (2) +1.4 (4)
Off Reb % 30% (9) 36% (2)
Def Reb % 64% (12) 67% (8)


Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Previews5 Comments

HIGHLIGHTS | uva (8-5) 61, VT (4-9) 59

Virginia Tech played their 4th game in a row that went down to the final shot, but Tech loses this game 61-59 to virginia, marking the first time ever they’ve lost back-to-back games in the Cassell to uva.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Highlights0 Comments

Recap | uva (8-5) 61, Hokies (4-9) 59

Another game decided in the final seconds and another disappointing loss for the Hokies. While it’s quick and easy to blame the Jontel Evans 3-pointer in the second half that was clearly a shot clock violation, or the missed free throws in the final minute, the real reason the Hokies lost 61-59 to the hoos is because they went more than 12 minutes without a field goal in the second half.

This was a hard-fought game that featured stingy defense, big three pointers, and some questionable calls that affected both teams. Between a blown timeout call that went against uva, the 3-pointer that didn’t beat the shot clock but counted anyways, and the multiple clock issue at the Cassell, this game was about as ugly as they come. Not as ugly as the Hokies going a dozen minutes without a bucket, but pretty close just the same.

Erick Green single-handedly kept the Hokies in the game in the second half. After scoring just 2 points in the first half, Green scored 17 of the Hokies’ 24 points in the second half, extending his double-digit scoring streak to 28 straight games.

uva’s Mike Scott got his 20 points due largely to the fact that the Hokies were without Victor Davila, who missed his third straight game with a groin injury. Davila held Scott to just 10 points in the first meeting earlier this season in Charlottesville, where the Hokies stunned the hoos 47-45.

Tech played a solid first half and got scoring from unexpected sources. True freshmen Dorian Finney-Smith and Marqis Rankin each score 8 points to lead the Hokies to a 35-32 halftime lead. Neither would score another point for the rest of the game. Doe Doe kept jacking up three-pointers in the second half and turned the ball over in the final seconds before the Hokies could even get a shot off. Why the ball is even in his hands at that point in the game is beyond me.

Tech shot a respectable 50 percent from behind the arc, hitting 8 of 16 shots, but they began the game 6/8 and finished 2/8. The Hokies also shot 45 percent from the field, but uva shot nearly 60 percent.

Coming out of the halftime break, the hoos quickly tied the game on a Sammy Zeglinski three-pointer, but the Hokies answered to make it 37-35 on a Cadarian Raines bucket. The hoos answered again to tie the game at 37 before Tech went on a 10-2 run to open up an 8-point lead, 47-39.

Green’s layup with about 13 minutes to play was the last bucket the Hokies would score until the final minute of the game. That gave Tech a 49-42 lead, which quickly gave way to a 14-0 run by uva.

The Hokies kept it close thanks to missed shots and free throws by uva and the fact that for the first time all season, a wahoo fouled out of a game. And not just one, but TWO players fouled out; Evans and Zeglinski.

The Hokies sent uva’s Akil Mitchell to the free throw line twice in the final minutes and he came through missing both front ends of the 1-and-1. That kept Tech in the game, but Green missed two free throws and Dorenzo Hudson missed one as well.

The opportunities to win were plentiful, but the Hokies just couldn’t take advantage.

Now for the commentary section of this recap… This was another demoralizing loss, but honestly, I was encouraged for the most part. This team is riddled with injuries (Eddie and Raines are playing hurt) and loaded with true freshmen, yet they are competing night in and night out. Their last four games have been decided by a total of 5 points. They’ve won two and lost two.

This season, at this point, is all about next season. Robert Brown, Marquis Rankin, Dorian Finney-Smith and C.J. Barksdale are all getting serious quality minutes and they’re getting better every game. This team has the potential to be very dangerous next year.

I know we’ve been saying that for years, and call me an optimist, but I think barring injuries, this team could be pretty good for the next several years. Time will tell.

The Hokies go back on the road to face duke on Saturday, Feb. 25, at noon.

Play-by-Play (full disclosure, I’ve already had a drink)

— uva wins the tip
0-2 Scott open the scoring for uva
3-2 DFS hits the uncontested 3 pointer
— VT steal – uva’s Scott turns it over
— Hudson misses, uva rebound
— Harris misses, VT rebound
— Hudson misses, out of bounds off uva
— VT turnover on the inbounds pass, uva gets away with a walk, but Eddie blocks Mike Scott’s shot at the other end
— Green turns it over
— Evans fouled
3-4 Scott works DFS down low
— Mitchell fouls DFS
— Green misses a 3 pointer
— Scott misses, VT rebound
— DFS misses the long jumper after a nice shot fake
— Green called for the foul

U16 Media Timeout Score – 4-3 uva

— uva turns it over on the inbounds pass
6-4 Eddie knocks down a three in the corner
6-6 Mitchell scores over Raines
— VT turnover
6-8 Scott with an offensive rebound and a put-back dunk
— Hudson fouled by Zeglinski taking a three pointer
9-8 Hudson makes all 3 FTs
— VT steal by Brown
11-8 Barksdale with the falling away baseline jumper
11-10 Scott turnaround jumper over Barksdale
13-10 Brown with a tough spin move in the lane for the bucket
13-12 Brogdon goes baseline for the reverse layup
— VT turnover, uva got away with a foul
13-15 uva 3 pointer, wide open after double team on Scott
15-15 Green hits a running shot in the lane over Ziggy
— uva miss, VT rebound
— Brown misses a deep three, uva rebound
— uva turnover

U12 Media Timeout Score – 15-15 uva

— Rankin in the game for the Hokies
18-15 Rankin hits a 3-pointer from the left wing
18-17 Harris with the roll
21-17 DFS gets the three to drop after several high bounces off the rim, his second 3 of the game

U8 Media Timeout Score – 21-19 VT (7:52)

24-19 Hudson buries the three
— VT steals it from Scott
— VT turns it over
24-21 Scott scores off the fast break from the turnover
27-21 Rankin his his second 3-pointer of the game
— uva miss, VT rebound
— VT shooting 6/8 from three tonight so far
— Hudson misses a three – it was close
— uva called for a travel after getting double teams
— VT’s defense is playing out of its mind
— Ziggy called for the reach-in foul
— Hokies making the most of a mismatch with Hudson
— uva didn’t get a timeout as its player was falling out of bounds
29-21 Brown with the nice feed in the lane to Raines who slams it home
— Eddie called for the foul on Evans

U4 Media Timeout Score – 29-21 VT

29-22 Evans makes 1/2 FTs
31-22 Raines just abused Scott in the low post!!
— Green fouls Evans in the lane
31-23 Evans makes 1/2 FTs
— uva gets the rebound off the missed FT
— uva misses, VT rebounds
— VT misses, uva rebounds
— Evans called for the offensive foul, but it’s overturned, makeup call
31-25 Evans makes 2 FTs
— uva picks up only its 4th team foul
— Evans fouls Rankin going to the rim
33-25 Rankin make 2 FTs
33-27 Scott hits a jumper
33-30 Scott hits a 3 pointer (has 15 points)
— DFS fouled going to the rim
35-30 DFS hits 2 FTs
35-32 Evans hits a jumper at the buzzer to close out the half

Halftime Score – 35-32 Hokies

Rankin – 8, Dorian Finney-Smith – 8, Hudson – 6, Raines – 4, Eddie – 3, Green – 2, Brown – 2, Barksdale – 2

35-35 uva Ziggy 3 pointer
37-35 VT scores, Raines
37-37 uva answers, Mitchell
39-37 Erick Green layup
— Green misses a free throw that would have
41-37 Hudson with the left-handed scoop shot in the lane
— uva turns it over, bad pass out of bounds
44-37 Green hits a left wing 3 pointer, 7 points for Green
44-39 Scott answers with a bucket
— Barksdale misses the hook shot
— Scott misses,Hudson rebounds
47-39 Green hits another 3 pointer, 10 points, 29 straight games with double figures scoring
— 10-2 run by the Hokies

U16 Media Timeout Score – 47-39 VT

47-42 uva 3 pointer
— Brown’s shot blocked, Eddie misses a three in the corner, uva rebounds
— Eddie commits foul
— Eddie limping
— Ziggy misses a 3 point attempt, VT rebounds
49-42 Green with the pretty, athletic runner in the lane (12 points)
49-44 Ziggy scores on the backdoor layup
— Raines misses, uva rebounds
— Harris misses, VT rebounds
— Brown fouled going to the hoop

U12 Media Timeout Score – 49-44 VT

49-44 Brown misses 2 FTs
— uva misses a 3 point attempt, VT rebound
— VT misses, uva rebound
49-46 Evans scores on a slashing layup
— DFS has his shot blocked, bad shot
— VT has lost all momentum
— Green blocks a shot, VT gets the loose ball
— Brown misses another excessively long 3 point attempt
49-49 Ziggy finally makes a 3 pointer
— Rankin misses a 3 pointer
— uva misses three shots, VT rebounds
— DFS misses a 3 point attempt
49-51 Evans scores to give uva the lead
49-53 Ziggy steals it and scores
— timeout VT
— DFS misses ANOTHER 3 point attempt
— foul on VT
— Eddie called for the foul, gives uva a fresh 35
— uva on an 11-0 run
— Scott misses, Eddie rebounds
— Raines misses, Hokies have gone 8 minutes without a FG
49-55 Scott scores and is fouled by Raines
49-56 Scott makes the FT
— uva on a 14-0 run
— foul on Ziggy
51-56 Brown makes 2 FTs
— Evans turns it over for uva
— more than 9 minutes without a FG for VT
— Ziggy gets a held ball call on Brown, possession arrow to uva
51-59 Evans hits a long long three to beat the shot clock
— game over —
— Green fouled
53-59 Green makes 2FTs
— Green fouled going through the lane, nearly got the shot to fall, but it didn’t
— Evans fouled out for uva, first uva player to foul out of a game this year
54-59 Green makes 1/2 FTs
— 11 minutes without a FG for the Hokies
— Ziggy misses a three, VT rebound
— Hudson fouled spinning through the lane
— Ziggy fouls out for uva, the second uva player to foul out this season
55-59 Hudson makes 1/2 FTs
— uva rebounds missed FT
— Raines called for the foul on Scott, 6th team foul on VT
57-61 Green finally breaks the 12+ minute FG drought for the Hokies and gets the foul
58-61 Green completes the 3-point play
— DFS fouls Mitchell (36.7 seconds left)
— Mitchell misses the front end of the 1-and-1, out of bounds on Scott, Hokies ball
— Green fouled going to the hoop
59-61 Green makes 1/2 FTs (26.3 seconds left)
— Raines fouls Mitchell
— Mitchell misses the front end of the 1-and-1
— DFS turns it over before the Hokies can even get a shot off
— uva misses the front end of the 1-and-1, VT rebounds, but no time for a shot

Final Score – uva 61, VT 59

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Recaps22 Comments

Preview | uva (7-5) @ HOKIES 3G.1 (4-8) | Tues., 9 PM | espnU

Spread: uva by 2.5

The Hokies look to give uva a taste of their own medicine on Tuesday night in the Cassell and sweep the hoos in the rematch of their January 22nd contest that VT won 47-45 at uva. Last year uva swept the Hokies, helping knock Tech off the NCAA Tournament bubble.  While uva appears to be a lock for this year’s Dance, sitting at #41 in the RPI, VT could at least make them sweat it out a bit.  The good news for VT is the winner of the first match-up has swept the season series in 3 of the last 4 years and 4 of the last 6.

Tuesday night will be Mike Scott’s 5th and final appearance in the Cassell (we think).  Actually, the first time Scott played at VT, I think the Hokies were still playing in War Memorial Gym.  Mike has done very well in the past in the Cassell, but VT limited him to just 10 points in the first meeting, 7 points below his average. In Scott’s last two trips to Cassell, he’s totaled 41 points and 26 rebounds.  He has 110 points and 58 rebounds for his career against the Hokies.  Ouch.

Scott is a lock to be 1st Team All-ACC, if not the player of the year.  He’s 3rd in the league in PPG (17.2), 6th in rebounds (8.2), #1 in FG% (59%)*, and even #9 in FT% (82%). [*My fiance would tell you he shoots a higher percentage from the field than I do at the toilet.]

Davila is Tech’s best post defender and he was a big reason Scott only scored 10 points in the first meeting.  If Victor is out, will the Hokies be able to defend Scott inside?  We could see the 2-3 zone again.  Foul trouble would be a major risk for Barksdale and Raines, but the zone would help mitigate that.  And the zone would also help uva get decent looks from the outside.  This will be the key match-up if VD can’t go.

It will also be Dorenzo Hudson’s 5th game against uva in the Cassell.  He had 15 points two years ago in VT’s 61-55 win.

In the first meeting back in January, Zo scored 6 of the team’s final 8 points, including a clutch hook to put VT up 3, 44-41, and then the game-clinching 3-pointer to make the margin 47-43 with 17 seconds left to cement the win.  Late in that game, Coach Greenberg had Hudson post up on uva’s smaller guards down low, allowing Hudson to shoot over the cavalier defender.  It worked twice down the stretch.  Hudson had 12 total points for the game.

FIRST MEETING (1/22/12 @ uva):

  • RECAP – Green led VT with 15, including 12 in the 2nd half, but it was Zo Hudson’s clutch 3-pointer with 17 seconds left that clinched the game for the good guys.  uva had 22 FTAs to just 7 for VT (and most of those were at the end) and had 13 offensive rebounds to just 4 by VT.  But uva was just 1/14 from deep, while VT hit 5/13, and as you all know, that stat decides the winner.  It was the lowest point total for VT in a win over uva since 1942.
  • Me looking like an idiot because I guaranteed a win at bc and lost my bet


  • All Time: uva 81-53
  • At VT: VT 27-17 (VT is 14-3 vs uva at the Cassell)
  • In ACC Play: tied 8-8
  • At VT in ACC Play: VT 5-2 (Tech had won 4 straight in the Cassell before last year)


Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 11 Green 6-3 Jr 15.6
SG 5 Hudson 6-5 r-Sr 11.1
SF 31 Eddie 6-7 So 9.6
F 15 Finney-Smith 6-8 Fr 6.0
C 4 Raines 6-9 r-So 4.9
Bench 1 Brown 6-5 Fr 6.9
10 Rankin 6-1 Fr 2.7
14 Davila# 6-8 Sr 7.5
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 1 Evans 5-11 Jr 6.8
G 13 Zeglinski 6-1 Sr 8.1
G 12 Harris^ 6-6 So 12.0
F 23 Scott 6-8 Sr 17.2
F 25 Mitchell* 6-8 So 4.0
Bench 22 Brogdon 6-5 Fr 7.0
  • # Davila has missed Tech’s last 2 games with a groin injury and is questionable for the uva game.
  • ^Joe Harris, uva’s 2nd leading scorer, broke his left, non-shooting hand, 3 games ago.  He has averaged just 5.3 ppg since suffering the injury.  He hasn’t reached double digits in those 3 games after surpassing the 10-point mark in 18 of the 21 games before the injury.
  • *uva has been without 7’0″ senior center Assane Sene (4.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg) since he rolled his ankle against ga tech in mid-January. Akil Mitchell (6’8?, Sophomore, 4.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg) has started in his place.
  • uva does not have much depth due to transfers so this could be a big issue for them.  They are down to 8 scholarship players of note that see minutes.


  • Dorian Finney-Smith has hit 18 of his last 35 shots (51%) since ending his 0/25 stretch.
  • Marquis Rankin has hit 5/11 3-pointers after starting the season just 2/9.
  • Jarell Eddie has made at least 2 three-pointers in 9 of 13 games, including 4 of the last 5.
  • Tech has just 12 total turnovers in their last two games while their opponents have committed 29.  VT also has a 16-4 advantage in steals in those 2 games.
  • The Hokies have just 40 total fast break points in their 7 home games in 2012 (5.8 fast break ppg).  They haven’t reached double digits in fast break points in any home game this year.  Tech had just 4 fast break points in the game at uva (uva also had 4).  By comparison, VT had 41 fast break points against campbell and north florida combined.
  • Tech hasn’t reached 70 points in regular this calendar year (it took OT on Saturday to get to 70 against georgia tech).

uva COLD: Senior Sammy Zeglinski has averaged just 5.2 ppg over his last 6 games, well below his now 8.1 ppg average.  He scored just 5 in the first meeting.

uva HOT: Junior PG Jontel Evans, who is a horrible shooter for a point guard, has averaged 9.8 ppg over his last 4 games, pulling up his scoring average to 6.8.  He had 10 in VT’s win at uva.  Evans is a very talented ball-handler that can penetrate and get to the tin.  He has not attempted a 3-pointer in uva’s last 6 games (play off him).


Note: these stats are for ACC games ONLY.

VT uva
PPG 58.7 (9) 58.2 (11)
PPG vs 63.6 (4) 54.5 (1)
FT% 72% (3) 72% (4)
FG% 39% (11) 45% (2)
3-Pt% 33% (7) 30% (10)
Made 3s PG 5.6 (t5) 4.3 (11)
FG% D 43% (7) 40% (3)
3-Pt% D 33% (8) 28% (1)
Blocks 3.0 (9) 2.4 (12)
Steals 5.5 (9) 5.8 (t7)
TO Margin +1.9 (t3) Even (8)
Off Reb % 31% (8) 28% (11)
Def Reb % 63% (12) 73% (1)

Interesting that uva is #1 in defensive rebounding, but 2nd-to-last in offensive.  I attribute that to them dropping back on defense, since that’s their bread and butter, and not sending a lot of guys to the offensive glass.

The Hokies must do a good job on Scott again to win, but they must improve on defensive rebounding, turnovers, and free throw attempts.  uva dominated all 3 stats in the first meeting (well, they didn’t dominate TOs but VT had 13, which is way too many).  Tech cannot expect uva to shoot 1/14 from deep again, which is the main reason the Hokies won.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Previews3 Comments

HIGHLIGHT | Zo’s Game Winner vs georgia tech

Here is the ending of the georgia tech game on 2.18.12, which was co-#2 on SportsCenter’s Top 10:

For full highlights of the game, go HERE.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Highlights4 Comments

HIGHLIGHTS | VT 74, gt 73 (OT)

Here are the highlights, commentary, and extras as the Hokies win the Mega Bowl to move to 8-1 in the tail end of ACC Short Turnaround games (less than 48 hours since the last game) and 7-0 in the Cassell against georgia tech with their 74-73 win in overtime on Dorenzo Hudson’s game-winning 3-pointer.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Highlights3 Comments

Recap | Hokies (4-8) 74, gt (2-10) 73

The Hokies needed a win. It wouldn’t help them get into the dance, or even into the NIT. Hopes of earning those post-season tournament invites have all but evaporated for Virginia Tech. No, the Hokies needed a win for their own mental well-being.

After having their hearts ripped out Thursday night against florida state, Tech returned home to face the yellow jackets less than 48 hours later. georgia tech, which had lost 10 of its last 12 games, had never won in Blacksburg. And they still haven’t.

Senior Dorenzo Hudson has been hot and cold all season and today, he was cold. But, he got hot at the exact right moment, in overtime. With georgia tech winning 73-71, the Hokies inbounded the ball near their bench with 3.5 left. Hudson got the ball to Jarrell Eddie, who bobbled it in the corner and quickly got double-teamed, but he managed to get the ball back to Hudson who put up a three at the buzzer that hit nothing but net, giving the Hokies a 74-73 overtime win.

The Cassell Coliseum exploded and Old Man Zo was mugged near the Hokies bench. Victory snatched from the jaws of certain defeat. The game-winning shot was only the second one Hudson had hit all night. He finished with 5 points.

The Hokies were once again nearly doomed by missed free throws and were humiliated on the boards 32-18. But, hot shooting from behind the arc (11/20) kept the Hokies in the game. Cadarian Raines missed two free throws with the game tied at 65 in regulation. Either one of them would have won the game. Instead, the game went to overtime, tied at 65.

Junior guard Erick Green once again led the Hokies in scoring with 14 points. Raines, back from missing the end of the fsu game, had 13 points. Tech’s offense was spread pretty evenly with Eddie notching 12, Robert Brown adding 10, C.J. Barksdale back from missing a game had 8, Dorian Finney-Smith and Marquis Rankin each scored 6.

Green extended his double-digit scoring streak to 28 straight games. Turnovers killed georgia tech and saved the Hokies. Bad tech had 14 turnovers while good Tech only committed five, the fewest the Hokies have committed all season. Conversely, VT’s 18 rebounds are the fewest in a game all season.

Next up for the Hokies is a Tuesday home tilt against uva, which annihilated maryland today. Tech upset the hoos back in January 47-45 in Charlottesville. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.

Boxscore and Play-by-Play

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Recaps13 Comments

HIGHLIGHTS | fsu 48, VT 47

Virginia Tech loses a heartbreaker on a last second 3-pointer by Snaer to give florida state a 48-47 win, dropping the Hokies to 0-6 at fsu in ACC play. Tech blew a 15-point 2nd half lead.

And yes, I know I botched the final score at the end but it would take too much time to edit that and I’m more focused on Turkey at this point.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Highlights3 Comments

Recap | #21 fsu (9-2) 48, VT (3-8) 47

The Hokies did everything they needed to do to win on the road against No. 21 florida state. Everything but hit free throws. Instead, the Hokies blew a 15-point second half lead and missed seven critical free throws in the final 90 seconds that could have sealed the victory.

The noles, despite getting outplayed badly the entire game, were able to hang around just long enough. Trailing by 2 points, 47-45, with 10.2 seconds to play, Jarrell Eddie was fouled, but could not go the free throw line because of cramping. So, Seth Greenberg sent freshman Robert Brown to the line where he missed both free throws. fsu got the rebound, sprinted down the court and hit a game-winning three pointer.

Erick Green, who had a game-high 18 points, got a weak desperation shot off, but it never had a prayer and the Hokies lose an absolute heartbreaker, 48-47, on the road.

There are bad losses and then there’s this kind of loss.

The Hokies fell behind early, yet again, but played solid defense and took advantage of a bevy of fsu turnovers to keep the game low-scoring and close. Tech actually took a first-half lead, but the noles hit a pair of three pointers in the closing seconds to take a 25-23 halftime lead.

Tech came out fired up in the second half and opened up with a 15-0 run and looked to be running away with it. But with Victor Davila (groin) and C.J. Barksdale (ankle) already on the bench in street clothes, the Hokies lost their only big man, Cadarian Raines, to an ankle injury and that changed the remainder of the game as the Hokies had zero post presence.

The noles answers with a 12-2 run and while the Hokies held on to a 6-point lead with 1:29 to play, they missed seven free throws and that’s what eventually did them in.

Heartbreaking doesn’t even begin to describe this loss. To outplay a team by such a wide margin and then lose like that because you can’t hit free throws is beyond devastating.

What makes the collapse even more surprising is that some of Tech’s most reliable free throw shooters – Green, Hudson and Eddie – are the ones that missed the majority of the free throws. To be fair, Brown should have never been in a position where his free throws could decide the game.

Unbelievable. Unreal. I need a drink.

Play-by-Play (accuracy never guaranteed)

— fsu wins the tip, but called for travel, turnover fsu
— Erick Green pass goes out of bounds, turnover VT
2-0 Loucks layup to take the early lead for fsu
— Hudson travels, turnover VT
— Green fouls Gibson
3-0 Gibson makes 1/2 FTs
— Eddie misses a three
5-0 James scores on the nice feed from Loucks
— DFS has his shot blocked, then commits the foul
— fsu miss, VT defensive rebound
— fsu foul away from the ball
— Brown misses a shot, fsu rebounds
— fsu misses a fastbreak layup, then called for a technical foul
5-2 Erick Green makes both technical FTs
— Gibson fouls Raines in the act of shooting
5-2 Raines misses both FTs
— fsu misses, VT defensive rebound
— VT misses, fsu defensive rebound
7-2 Miller to Pope for in the lane
— Green misses the layup, fsu rebounds
— fsu turnover

U16 – 7-2 fsu

— Brown misses the three pointer
— fsu bad pass, turnover
7-4 Green scores off the steal and fast break
9-4 Snaer scores
— VT turns it over
— Snaer misses a three, VT commits a foul
11-4 fsu dunk by No. 50
— timeout VT
— Green misses a jumper
— fsu turnover on the inbounds pass
11-7 Eddie buries a three from the left wing
— fsu misses a runner badly
— Rankin misses a wide open 7-footer

U12 – 11-7 fsu

11-9 Raines follows a Green miss with a 2-handed tip-in
13-9 Loucks answers with a bucket
— Hudson misses a jumper
— Snaer called for an offensive foul, his 2nd foul
— DFS on the bench with 2 fouls as well
— fsu gets away with a goaltending
— fsu turnover
13-11 Raines gets the offensive rebound and puts it back up and in

U8 – 13-11 fsu

— fsu has 8 turnovers, the only reason VT still in the game
— fsu commits 9th turnover
14-13 (vt) Hudson hits a three pointer to give VT its first lead of the game
— color guy wouldn’t shut up and they didn’t even mention tech’s three pointer
16-14 (fsu) answers with a three of its own
18-16 (vt) Hudson hits a three in the corner and gets fouled, completed the 4-point play
— fsu misses, VT rebound
— Hudson misses a three
— fsu misses, VT rebounds
20-16 Green completes a fastbreak layup
— fsu misses, VT rebounds
— Green called for the travel

U4 – 20-16 VT

20-19 fsu hits a three pointer
— this color commentator just won’t effing shut up
23-19 Green answers with a three pointer (Green has 9 points)
— Eddie called for 2nd personal foul
23-19 James misses both FTs
— VT rebounds the miss
— Raines misses underneath
23-22 Dulkys makes a three pointer
— Brown has his shot blocked
25-23 (fsu) Miller hits a three off the fast break
— 6-0 run for FSU
— Green misses a three, but Hudson with the off. rebound
— Loucks fouls Green away from the ball
— Green takes a bad last shot, no one got open

Halftime – fsu 26, VT 23

25-25 Eddie with the baseline jumper (6 points for Eddie)
— fsu bad pass, turnover
27-25 (vt) Green converts off the fast break
30-25 Green drains a three (14 points for Green)
— VT open 2nd half with a 7-0 run
30-25 James misses both FTs
— VT rebounds missed FT
33-25 Eddie buries a three from the corner near the VT bench
— VT on a 10-0 run to open the 2nd half
— fsu timeout
— another fsu turnover
— Green misses a long jumper
— fsu miss, VT rebound
35-25 Green drives from the top of the key, draws the double, feeds DFS for the uncontested two-hand flush
— VT extends run to 12-0
— fsu miss, VT rebounds, fsu fans booing
37-25 DFS gets the feed from Raines off the give and go, gets the hoop and the harm!

U16 – 37-25 VT (fsu has yet to score in the 2nd half)

38-25 – DFS makes the FT to complete the 3-point play
— VT on a 15-0 run
— fsu blocks a Rankin layup, no foul, but ball out of bounds on fsu, still VT ball
— shot clock violation on VT because of a loose ball
— fsu turnover, still hasn’t scored more than 5 minutes into the half
40-25 Brown hits the rainbow jumper from the free throw line
— VT on a 17-0 run
40-27 fsu finally scores its first bucket of the 2nd half at the 13:58 mark, James rebound and put back
— Hudson misses a three, DFS with the rebound and gets fouled
— DFS loses the ball out of bounds, VT turnover
— fsu bad shot, VT rebound
— VT misses, fsu rebound
— fsu takes a long and bad three pointer, misses
— DFS misses the jumper
— fsu misses baseline layup, VT rebounds

U12 – 40-27 VT (Hokies have outscored fsu 17-2 so far in the 2nd half)

— Hudson misses a jumper
40-29 Snaer off the glass
— Raines comes up limping, VT going very small
— Hudson misses a long three as the SC expired
— fsu misses two short shots, VT rebounds
— Eddie misses a three
— Snaer fouled
— Snaer misses a quick shot off the inbounds, VT rebounds
42-29 Green gets a shot to go after bouncing around the rim for an eternity (16 points for Green)
42-31 Gibson follows a misses with a two-hand slam
— DFS airballs a three pointer
42-33 fsu converts off the DFS miss and gets the layup

U8 – 42-33 VT

— VT has gone pretty cold with no big bodies in the post
— Hudson misses a jumper, fsu rebound
— Eddie called for a foul on Snaer
42-35 Snaer scores again off the inbounds pass
— VT misses, but gets rebound
— fsu on a 10-2 run
— VT can’t buy a bucket now
42-37 Miller hits a jumper
— fsu on a 12-2 run
— VT has to use a timeout because it can’t inbound the ball
— foul on fsu’s miller on the inbounds pass
44-37 Green drives the lane and gets the high floater to go (18 points)
— foul on VT
— foul on VT
44-37 Peterson misses both FTs
— DFS gets the rebound
— fsu 1/8 free throws
— Green drives and has hit shot blocked
— DFS block, VT fights hard for the loose gall
— 3:11 left to play
— Hudson misses a shot at the buzzer, fsu rebound
— fsu misses a three, VT rebounds
— fsu called for the foul

U4 – 44-37 VT

— fsu’s white called for a foul
44-37 Green misses front end of a 1-and-1
— Loucks called for offensive foul, 2:02 left
— Snaer fouls Green, 3rd PF for Snaer
44-37 Green misses another front end of a 1-and-1
— fsu rebounds the miss, but Green steals the ball!
— VT timeout
— fsu’s white picks up 4th PF, VT in the double bonus
46-37 Eddie makes both FTs – 1:29 left (10 points for Eddie)
46-40 Peterson hits a three (1:12 left)
— fsu foul
46-40 Hudson misses both FTs
46-42 White gets an easy bucket underneath
— Eddie gets fouled, but came up limping b/c of cramps, White fouls out for fsu
47-42 Eddie makes 1/2 FTs
47-45 fsu makes a three
— VT’s Eddie gets rebound with 10.2 seconds, but Eddie is cramping bad
— fsu crowd is booing Eddie, stay classy fsu fans
47-45 Brown misses both FTs
48-47 Snaer hits a three to win the game
— Green misses a desperation three

Final Score: fsu 48, VT 47

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Recaps19 Comments

2 Previews for the Price of 1 | VT (3-7) @ #21 fsu (8-2) on Thursday at 7 PM on ESPN2 | gt (2-9) @ VT (3-8) on Saturday at 3 PM

Update: Glen Rice, Jr., gt’s leading scorer, rebounder, steals, 3-pointers, 2nd in assists, and 2nd in blocks, has been suspended and will not play Saturday against VT.

Spread: fsu by 9.5 (Vegas is finally starting to adjust)

ACC SCHEDULING: How bad has the ACC screwed VT this year in scheduling?

  1. Tech didn’t get a single weekend home game in January, playing on the road all 4 weekends.
  2. The Hokies have to play two sets of Short Turnaround games this year for the first time since joining the league (2 games within 48 hours of each other).

The good news about the latter of those two is Tech is now 7-1 all time in ACC Short Turnaround tail end games. In other words, after playing a game on Day 1, the Hokies have won 88% of the games played on Day 3, less than 48 hours later. The last win came two weeks ago when VT took down clemson at home after losing to duke. VT has won 4 in a row in this situation. Add to the fact they are playing the worst team in the ACC, and you have to like our odds!… on Saturday, that is.

f-l-o-r-i-d-a s-t-a-t-e florida state florida state florida state… WOOOO: I’m not gonna lie to you — I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the florida state preview. I debated about putting VT at 3-8 up above and calling it a day (but then I’d be resorting to Cope’s tactics… did you know he pre-writes our recaps as if we’d already lost?).

Here’s how the first game went down:

  • Recap – fsu 63 at VT 59
  • Highlights
  • fsu opened ACC play with a 20 point loss at clemson, but including their win at VT, they’ve won 8/9 (their lone loss was at bc… go figure… they beat unc by 33 and won at duke, but couldn’t beat bc).
  • Bernard James, the 27-year-old real American hero, was a man in this game. He scored 18 points, snagged 15 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots. He dominated the paint in the 2nd half to help fsu prevent blowing a double digit lead.

BUT THIS IS A BIG GAME FOR THE HOKIES! Tech has won at every other ACC school since joining the league. Actually, to take that a step further, VT has won at every other school in basketball AND football, but hasn’t won at fsu in either (although they’ve only played there once in pigskin). Hokie hoops is 0-5 in Tallahassee since entering the league.

Here’s how long it took VT to win at the other ACC sites:

  • 1st try: 4 (georgia tech, miami, wake forest, unc)
  • 2nd try: 1 (clemson)
  • 3rd try: 3 (duke, maryland, bc)
  • 4th try: 2 (uva, nc state)
  • 6th times the charm at fsu!
I’d love to get the win Thursday and complete the Tour de ACC. But I have a feeling we are looking at a loss by a baker’s dozen, with Tech falling to 0-6 at fsu. Please don’t tell me this is going to become a clemson @ unc situation.

So let’s fast forward to Saturday…

ramblin’ wreck: Update: The question is, will VT have any healthy players on Saturday?  There are injury concerns about Davila, Barksdale, Eddie, and Raines, and with less than 48 hours between games, who knows who will be ready.  That leaves VT with just 5 healthy scholarship guys.

You have a better chance of playing pick up sticks with your butt checks than seeing georgia tech win an ACC road game. Over the past 7 seasons, gt is 8-46 (15%) away from the ATL in league play. I could accentuate that stat in a couple of ways: the jackets have won just 2 of their last 19 ACC road games… or I could say they’ve won 2 of their last 7! Both statements are true since they lost 13 in a row on the road before winning at wake to end last season (Update: georgia tech lost 59-50 at 2-9 wake… well, now 3-9 wake… The loss means georgia tech is in dead last in the ACC all by themselves). They are 1-5 on the road this year, with the lone win at 7-3 nc state (go figure, it’s been that kind of a year).

Tech has owned tech since joining the ACC. VT is 8-3 in ACC games, their best mark against any program (they are also 8-3 against wake).

Between VT’s success in Short Turnaround games, gt’s road record, and VT’s history with gt, I’m going to go ahead and pencil in a ‘W’ for the Hokies (notice I said pencil and did NOT mention wearing skirts or uva gear).

Talk about a contrast in styles — florida state, as usual, has a great front court with James the enforcer inside and 6’11” Gibson also a talented shot blocker and athlete. georgia tech, meanwhile, has zero post talent. They have just 3 low post players on their roster. Freshman Julian Royal was supposed to help as a stud recruit, but he’s been a bust so far averaging just 4.6 ppg and 2.3 rebounds in 16 minutes per contest (though he does shoot 45% from the field).

Glen Rice, Jr. is the only offensive player you have to worry about, but he scored just 13 points in the 2 games against VT last year so the Hokies know something about defending him. Rice has scored 19+ on 7 occasions this year, including 28 against duke, so he can light it up. But if he’s off, the jackets have no prayer.

Even though Paul Hewitt is gone, now at george mason, this gt team looks a lot like the past teams — they don’t play patient defense (a lot of steals but dead last in FG% Defense) and they turn the ball over a lot (-3.0 turnover margin per game). Maybe… maybe… VT can get some fast break points off turnovers.

Hmm… I’m really tempted to guarantee a win on Saturday. Let’s see how I feel that morning and whether or not I feel like potentially wearing a skirt.

TANGENT: How low has VT fallen? I was watching uva lose at clemson on Tuesday and they posted uva’s NCAA resume. They listed VT as a ‘bad loss’. Uh, we’re a Top 100 RPI team. That’s a bad loss?!


*Note: Greenberg has announced that for the 2nd game in a row Tech’s starters will be determined by who practices the hardest the day before the game. Last game that was Rankin, Green, Hudson, Barksdale, and Davila, so the starters are TBD.

Pos # Player Height Year PPG
11 Green 6-3 Jr 15.5
5 Hudson 6-5 r-Sr 11.2
31 Eddie 6-7 So 9.5
4 Raines 6-9 r-So 4.6
14 Davila 6-8 Sr 7.5
1 Brown 6-5 Fr 7.1
15 Finney-Smith 6-8 Fr 6.0
10 Rankin 6-1 Fr 2.6
florida state
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 3 Loucks 6-5 Sr 7.0
G 21 Snaer 6-5 Jr 13.8
G 4 Dulkys 6-5 Sr 7.3
F 5 James 6-10 Sr 10.6
C 1 Gibson 6-11 Sr 7.5
Bench 30 Miller 6-3 So 9.9
georgia tech
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
G 0 Udofia 6-2 Jr 10.0
G 23 Reed 6-3 So 7.5
G/F 41 Rice Jr.* 6-5 Jr 13.1
F 24 Holsey 6-8 So 8.9
C 5 Miller 6-11 So 7.8
Bench 14 Morris 6-5 So 7.8

*Rice has been suspended, expect Morris to start in his place and Royal to play more minutes.


Note: these stats are for ACC games ONLY. georgia tech’s stats do not include their 59-50 loss at wake on Wednesday.

VT florida state ga tech
PPG 59.9 (8) 69.7 (4) 59.3 (9)
PPG vs 65.2 (5) 62.2 (2) 68.0 (9)
FT% 76% (1) 73% (4) 68% (10)
FG% 39% (11) 46% (1) 40% (10)
3-Pt% 33% (5) 39% (1) 33% (7)
Made 3s PG 5.6 (6) 6.5 (3) 5.3 (9)
FG% D 43% (7) 41% (3) 45% (12)
Off Reb % 32% (7) 33% (4) 32% (6)
Def Reb % 63% (12) 70% (4) 72% (3)
Turnover Margin +1.3 (4) +1.1 (6) -3.0 (10)
Steals 5.2 (10) 8.5 (1) 6.1 (6)
Blocks 3.0 (9t) 4.7 (3) 3.8 (6)

How sad is it that VT is 8th in the ACC in scoring offense while averaging less than 60 points per ACC game?

BORING FACTS ABOUT florida state (“Strength, skill, character”):

Location Tallahassee, FL
Type Public
Enrollment 31k undergrad, 8.5k post-grad
Established 1851
NCAA Tournament Appearances 13 (1972 Final Four and runner-up), made NCAAs 3 years in a row
ACC Titles 5 (Last in ’97)
Famous Students/Alums Burt Reynolds, Christine Lahti, Mac Brown, 2 Heismans (Chris Weinke/Charlie Ward), Jim Morrison, Richard Simmons, Lee Corso, Fred Biletnikoff
History Was florida state college for women until 1947, when it became coed and allowed men


  • Established: 1885
  • Type: Public
  • Mascot: Buzz
  • The term ‘ramblin’ wreck’ comes from the makeshift motor vehicles gt engineers were using for projects in South American jungles in the late 19th century.
  • Students: 13,750 undergrad (NERDS!) and 7,000 postgrad (NERDS!)
  • Notable Alums/Students: President Jimmy Carter, Jeff Foxworthy, several astronauts, Chris Bosh, Matt Price, Dennis Scott, Stephon Marbury, John Salley, Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Anderson, and Stewark Cink. John Heisman coached gt.
  • ACC Basketball Titles: 3 (last in 1993)
  • ACC Football Titles: 3 (one less than the real Tech who has been in the league 25 fewer years) — last – ’09
  • I hate the stat where they say ‘The winner of the VT/gt football game has won the Coastal Division every year… uh, that’s true, but we’ve won 5 of those 7 games, capturing 5 of 7 Coastal titles… so it isn’t comparing apples to apples. That’s like the winner of the VT/uva game has won the Commonwealth Cup over the last 8 years.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Previews8 Comments

Around the ACC | Breaking Down the League Through 10 Games

We knew this was going to be a down year for the ACC for the third year in a row, but I don’t think we knew this season would be so wild.  Through 10 games for most of the ACC teams (bc and wake have played 11), the parity amongst the teams is far greater than I thought it would be.  Or should I say the standard deviation amongst the teams in a game-by-game basis has been more than expected.  Just look at florida state for example:

  • The noles lost 5 games out of conference, including a 14 point first half against harvard and a 10 point first half vs princeton.
  • fsu loses by 20 in their ACC opener at clemson, a team that is now just 4-6 in the league.
  • The noles win by 33 over unc, the most talented team in the league (while scoring 90).
  • fsu wins at duke, handing duke their 1st home loss in almost 3 years.
  • florida state beats uva.
  • After winning 7 straighth in ACC play, the noles lose at boston college to a team starting 4 freshmen and a transfer that was 2-7 in the ACC, 7-16 overall, and had lost 6 in a row.
  • fsu beats the canes, snapping miami’s 5 game winning streak.

Biggest Positive Surprises: nc state already has more ACC wins than they had in any of Sidney Lowe’s 5 seasons with 7 this year (Lowe went 25-55 in ACC playing, never winning more than 6 in a season and he did that just once).  But the pack have a murderous 8 days coming up, with @duke, fsu, and unc looming.  One win out of those 3 would be a state-ment.

The canes also are trending up.  miami has never had a winning record in the ACC since joining in 2004 (and they’ve only finished 8-8 once).  It looked like business as usual for the canes this year, opening 1-3 in the league.  But they won 5 straight after that, including winning at duke for the first time.  They even played tough at rival fsu, but fell to 6-4 on Saturday.  With wake, maryland (whom they beat without Kadji), and bc still on the slate, they have a great shot at their first winning ACC season.

New Coaches: It is interesting to note that both those teams have new coaches.  We all know (if you read this site regularly) how bad Sidney Lowe was.  Gottfried (nc state)has already achieved more than Lowe ever did, at least in the regular season (Lowe did have a knack for making a run in the ACC Tournament).  And Larranaga (miami) has done a good job with the canes.  Haith was a decent coach (heck, he’s winning like crazy at missouri this year), but could never get miami over the hump.  Larranaga won with less at george mason, and inherited a solid, experienced team this year.  The out of conference schedule was hard on them with Reggie Johnson out and Kenny Kadji figuring out how to play with veteran guards, but they are streaking now.  Turgeon (maryland) has also done a solid job at maryland.  They are just 4-6, but have played well and Stoglin is the best pure scorer in the league.  The cupboard seemed to be bare for the terps with Jordan Williams leaving early, but they have overachieved to date.  Meanwhile, another new coach, Gregory at georgia tech, is taking it on the chin (2-8) thanks to what Paul Hewitt left him with.

Biggest Disappointment: Virginia Tech — Yes, our expectations were too high after starting 11-3 out of conference.  And yes, this is a really young team.  But this is, so we are all Hokie fans, and I don’t think any of us predicted a 3-7 start where we needed clemson to miss a free throw and a shot at the buzzer, and bc to miss a free throw and a 30-footer to beat those two teams in the Cassell.  Our 3 wins have been by a combined total of 5 points, with our 7 ACC losses by 58.  Tech’s yet to play a complete game, with at least one offensive Sahara Desert per game.  The Hokies have not reached 70 points even once this calendar year, and have been held to 60 or less 6 times.

Let’s take a look at the ACC Media’s preseason predictions (back in October), my pre-ACC predictions (end of December), and the current standings:

1 unc unc fsu 8-2
2 duke duke duke 8-2
3 fsu uva unc 8-2
4 uva VA TECH nc state 7-3
5 miami fsu uva 6-4
6 VA TECH miami miami 6-4
7 clemson nc state maryland 4-6
8 nc state maryland clemson 4-6
9 maryland clemson VA TECH 3-7
10 ga tech wake bc 3-8
11 wake ga tech ga tech 2-8
12 bc bc wake 2-9

*Note that I included the tiebreakers so the ‘Current’ column reflects their true ranking if the ACC Tournament started today.

It is interesting that miami actually sitting below where the media picked (well, they are tied for 5th) and right where I had them.  Yet it feels like they’ve overachieved.  To me, that’s because they started 1-3 but have improved greatly since then, winning 5 of 6.  They feel like a top team now.  And with Johnson and Kadji inside, they have a formidable inside-outside punch with Grant, Scott, and Larkin on the perimeter.

I still feel unc is, by far, the most talented team in the league.  Just check out the 2012 NBA mock drafts.  But Roy Williams is an overrated coach and his teams rarely play hard on defense.  I mean, who couldn’t win with almost all McDonald’s All-Americans?  Great recruiter, but average coach.  They got waxed by florida state because the noles were physical with them (and Dulkys played out of his mind), and the heels never like teams that can battle inside with them.  Then, the heels choked down the stretch against duke.  Still, I think they win the league.  They may not win the regular season title, but I’m putting my chips on their talent in the ACC Tourney.

florida state is too mercurial, due to their lack of offense.  They can lose to anybody on any given day since they don’t have consistent scoring.  And duke just doesn’t have the star power of past years, though Rivers is growing into a superstar, proving his top recruit ranking in the unc game last week.

As for the Hokies, I think finishing 8th or 9th is the realistic, though difficult, ambition at this point.  The Hokies could catch clemson who is a game ahead of them.  The two meet in the final week of the season and a VT win would give them the tiebreaker.  Tech could also catch maryland, who is just a game ahead, but the terps have the tiebreaker (so it is really a 2-game lead).  VT could also slide down the charts though.  Tech still has to play @fsu and @duke (both tied for first), and play nc state (#4) and uva (#5).  The georgia tech game is the only game the Hokies will be clear favorites in the rest of the way.  As for 6th and above, those teams are all at least 3 games ahead of VT, so catching them with just 6 to play isn’t reality.

With Tech sitting in 9th right now, I think holding onto that spot would be a success.  8th or 9th doesn’t matter since they play each other in the always empty Thursday noon game in the ACC Tournament.  Not what we wanted heading into the ACC schedule, but realistically it is about the best we can do at this stage.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Around The ACC33 Comments

HIGHLIGHTS | VT 66, bc 65

Check out all the extras we added to the highlights!

Virginia Tech wins their 2nd ACC home game in a row and snaps a 4-game losing streak against boston college with this 66-65 win at the Cassell on 2.12.12. Dorian Finney-Smith had a career high 17 points as Tech clinches a winning record at home for the season.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Highlights2 Comments

Recap | VT (3-7) 66, bc (3-8) 65 | 02.12.12


Virginia Tech snapped a 4-game losing streak against boston college thanks to a Dorian Finney-Smith tip-in with 2.1 seconds left to propel the Hokies to a 66-65 win. It wasn’t pretty, with VT 12.5 point favorites in the game against a very young bc team (they start 4 freshmen and a transfer in his 1st year at bc), but a win is a win is a win, and when you are 2-7 in the ACC, you’ll take any win.  (Thank goodness I didn’t guarantee a win or I’d wear a skirt… because I’d have been sweating it down the stretch thinking I needed to find a Big & Tall Cheerleading Store)

bc’s Jordan Daniels missed a front end of a 1-and-1 with 20 seconds left to give VT the ball. It was bc’s only missed free throw in 9 attempts. Tech trailed with 11 seconds left and called a timeout with the ball, down 65-64. Erick Green drove, but lost his footing and kicked the ball out to Robert Brown for a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left. Just like at the end of the byu game, Brown had a 3 to win it. His shot hit the back iron and floated high in the air. Freshman Dorian Finney-Smith got higher than everyone else, and tipped the ball with both hands from inches away. Lonnie Jackson, who had 4 3-pointers on the day, had a running 30-footer at the buzzer to win. But forget shades of duke’s Dockery, this shot crashed off the backboard and rim but did not fall, propelling the Hokies to their 3rd ACC win and clinched a winning home record for the Hokies (Tech has had a winning record in all but 2 years of the 50+ year history of the Cassell).

This game has to give Doe Doe a ton of confidence, as he started doing the things he should be — crashing the offensive glass. It was good to see him be a hero.

Starting Lineups: Coach Greenberg shook things up with the starting lineup, deciding the hardest workers in Saturday’s practice would start Sunday. That ended up being Rankin, Green, Hudson, Barksdale (1st start), and Davila.

Game Flow: 1st Half – The Hokies jumped out on top 3-0 on a C.J. Barksdale 3-point play. It marked just the 2nd time in their last 12 games that the Hokies have scored first. But boston college followed that up with a 9-0 run to jump ahead 9-3. The eagles hit back-to-back 3s at the 13 minute mark to go ahead 17-7 on VT. Tech battled back but lazy perimeter passes plagued the Hokies, leading to 3 fast break buckets for bc. The last of which put bc up 25-18 with 6 minutes left in the half. Tech responded with a 7-0 run to tie it, with Robert Brown draining a 3 to make it 25-25 with 4 minutes left. There wasn’t much scoring down the stretch, with the game going to the half with the eagles up 29-27 after Victor Davila got his 2nd dunk of the half with 5 seconds left, giving him 8 points at the break to lead VT on 4/4 shooting. The eagles led largely due to those VT turnovers, getting 10 fast break points and 13 points off turnovers to just 2/8 respectively for the Hokies.

2nd Half – The Hokies used an early 7-0 run to go ahead 34-31, their first lead since the beginning of the game. Tech got some bad news when C.J. Barksdale rolled his left ankle and had to leave the court. But bc responded with an 8-0 run to take a 39-34 lead thanks to some hot 3-point shooting. The teams traded buckets for a while after that, with bc’s Anderson abusing Finney-Smith, backing him down on the low block. The eagles led by as many as 7, going ahead 51-44 with 9:25 to play. bc got back to back dunks from Clifford with 5:30 left to put the eagles up 58-53. Jackson killed the Hokies from deep, hitting four 3-pointers for the eagles. Zo got hot in the 2nd half, scoring all 11 of his points. With Tech down 6 and just 100 seconds to go, VT got consecutive And-1 opportunities from Green and Doe Doe (Dorian’s was with 26 seconds left). Green missed his free throw so those two buckets closed the gap to 1. After Daniels missed a free throw on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 20 seconds left, Tech got the ball down 1. They burned their final timeout with 11.7 seconds left to setup the final play.

Key Factors: bc shot 56% from the field, but it was fitting that Tech won on an offensive rebound. Tech dominated the glass, collected more offensive rebounds (18) than bc had defensive rebounds (15).

The Stat: It failed! Tech shot 40.0% (6/15) from 3-point range, while bc shot 40.9% (9/22). 23 of Tech’s last 24 ACC games had been decided by who shot a higher 3-point percentage.

VT Leading Scorers: Dorian Finney-Smith paced 4 Hokies that reached double digits with a career high 17 points. Doe Doe, who just a week ago had missed 25 straight shots, was 7/10 from the floor, mostly on the offensive glass. Dorenzo had 11, all in the 2nd half, and Green and Davila had 10 each. Robert Brown also added 8.

bc Leading Scorers: The eagles displayed their balanced attack, putting 4 guys in double digits just like the Hokies. Anderson had 17, Jackson 14 (4 3-pointers), Humphrey 13, and Clifford 10.

Scores at the Media Timeouts:

1st Half:

  • Under 16: bc 9-3
  • U12: bc 17-11
  • U8: bc 21-18
  • U4: bc 27-25

HALF: bc 29-27

2nd Half:

  • Under 16: bc 37-34
  • U12: bc 44-42
  • U8: bc 51-49
  • U4: bc 61-57

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Recaps13 Comments

Preview | bc (3-7) @ VT (2-7) | Sun., 6 PM | ESPNU

Spread: VT by 12.5 (Wow!)

I probably owe an apology to boston college.  In my preview before the first match-up of these two birds, I said that bc could potentially be the worst team in ACC history.  That was based on these facts (these bullets are my exact workings from before):

  • 10.7%: bc returned just 263 of their 2,440 points from a year ago.  And you thought we got hit hard!
  • Of the 263 points returning, two of those guys were walk-ons, and another (Danny Rubin) averages just 7 minutes per game.
  • They lost to holy cross, umass (by 36), saint louis, new mexico, penn state, boston u., harvard (by 21), and 5-20 rhode island.
  • bc starts 5 freshmen, and believe me, this ain’t the Fab 5.  This is El Cinco Stinko.  Four of them are 3-star recruits, which isn’t bad but also not great, and the other, Heckmann, is from Germany… and he ain’t Dirk Nowitzki.  They have 9 freshmen out of the 15 guys on their roster.  Their 3 seniors are all walk-ons and their only junior is a transfer. Much like wake forest a year ago, this experience will help them, but it’s gonna be a blood bath this year.

I theorized they would be worse than wake forest’s team from a year ago, a team that went 1-15 and their average margin of defeat in those 15 games was 20 points.  Yep, I was wrong.  As I was writing that, the eagles defeated clemson.  I still was confident and guaranteed a victory.  Then, a few days later, bc took down the Hokies 61-59:

Because we lost, I had to wear uva gear to our game at uva —  My Punishment.  The two seniors, Davila and Hudson, combined for 27 points but that was about it.  Eddie finished with 8, but 6 of those were in garbage time after the game was just about decided (don’t let the final score fool you — the game was close the entire time but bc was up 11 with 3 minutes to go and up 7 with 16 seconds left.  Clifford had 15, Humphrey 14, and Anderson 12 for the eagles, showing their typical balanced attack.

A week ago I told my buddies I was going to guarantee another victory.  And this was before the clemson game.  After all, we didn’t have Erick Green for that first meeting.  I was going to guarantee a win in this game or I’d wear a cheerleading outfit (skirt) to the georgia tech game/Hokie Celebration a week later.  But you know what, I can’t guarantee a win.  I think we will win, but after watching Tech’s lack of effort at miami, I have no confidence anymore.  And I’m tired of looking like an idiot.  So I’m backing off my guarantee.  But I’m still not apologizing to the eagles — while this team has well exceeded my expectations, and shown that Donahue is a heck of a coach, they still stink.  Their 3 wins just shows how bad the ACC is this year.

Anyway, here’s an updated preview of the eagles…

For a team that is mostly freshmen (and not highly recruited), they play hard and very well together.  They aren’t athletic, so they make it a half court game.  They execute their offense well and shoot a lot of 3s (since 33% from 3-point range is the same as 50% from inside the arc).  They hustle on defense and despite a lack of size (other than Clifford, their 7-footer, who plays like a big, slow, red dog) they are scrappy on the glass, winning the 50/50 balls VT hasn’t all year.

As I aluded to above, bc started 2-1 in conference much to my shock.  Then they lost 6 in a row.  But just when you thought they were starting to slide, they defeated the hottest team in the ACC Wednesday night, taking down florida state at bc 64-60, snapping the ‘noles 7 game winning streak.  Go figure.

While the eagles do have 3 wins in conference, they are 0-4 on the road in conference play.  They’ve only played 5 road games all season and lost all of them.  I’m still not taking the bait on guaranteeing a win, though.


If you are looking for a high scoring, offensive game, then you are screwed.  These are two of the worst offenses in the ACC meeting up.  This game could just as easily be on ESPN Crapper as it could be on ESPNU.  Both teams average less than 60 ppg in ACC play, and are near the bottom in FG% and Offensive Rebounding %.  Tech shoots FTs well (best in the ACC), while bc is last at that, too.  At least both teams are decent 3-point shooting teams, and as always, the winner will come down to whomever shoots a higher 3-point percentage.


  • Overall: bc 14-7
  • At bc All Time: VT 5-4 (bc won last year)
  • In ACC Play: bc 8-5 (bc has won 4 in a row)
  • At VT in ACC games: VT 4-2


Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 10 Rankin 6-1 Fr 2.8
SG 11 Green 6-3 Jr 15.7
SF 31 Eddie 6-7 So 9.8
F 15 Finney-Smith 6-8 Fr 5.6
C 14 Davila 6-8 Sr 7.4
Bench 1 Brown 6-5 Fr 7.1
5 Hudson 6-5 Sr  11.3
boston college
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 10 Daniels 5-9 Fr 6.4
G 20 Jackson 6-3 Fr 7.9
G 14 Humphrey 6-5 Jr 10.3
F 12 Anderson 6-8 Fr 9.6
C 24 Clifford 7-0 Fr 9.0
Bench 1 Moton 6-1 So 3.3

Patrick Heckmann, their freshman from Germany who was averaging over 9 ppg, is out with mono.  But he had just 1 point in the first meeting.

Their entire starting lineup is guys in their first year playing for bc (Humphrey is a transfer from oregon).


VT bc
Record 13-11 8-16
ACC 2-7 3-7
RPI 90 218
vs RPI Top 50 1-7 (uva) 1-6 (fsu)
vs RPI Top 100 2-9 (st. bon) 2-9 (VT)
PPG 59.2 (10) 56.3 (12)
PPG vs 65.2 (5) 65.5 (7)
FT% 77% (1) 65% (12)
FG% 39% (12) 40% (10)
3-Pt% 32% (8) 34% (5)
Made 3s PG 5.6 (7) 7.1 (2)
FG% D 42% (5) 44% (9)
3-Pt% D 32% (6) 30% (4)
Blocks 3.1 (10) 2.9 (11)
Steals 5.2 (10) 5.3 (9)
TO Margin +1.4 (t4) -3.6 (11)
Off Reb % 29% (10) 21% (12)
Def Reb % 63% (12) 71% (5)

BORING FACTS ABOUT boston college (“Strength, skill, character”):

Location Boston, Mass
Type Private – Roman Catholic
Enrollment 9k undergrad, 5k grad
Established 1863
NCAA Tournament Appearances 18 (last in 2009; 3 Elite 8s)
ACC Titles 0 (2 Big East)
Famous Students/Alums Tip O’Neill, john kerry, Ed McMahon (YES!), Chris O’Donnell, Leonard Nimoy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck (and all the Hasselbeck QBs that couldn’t beat us in football), Doug Flutie, Jared Dudley, Brian Gionta, B.J. Raji, Matt Ryan, Brian Leetch
History Chuck Daly, Dr. Tom Davis, and Gary Williams all coached at bc

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Previews5 Comments

HIGHLIGHTS | miami (6-3) 65, Hokies 3G.1 (2-7) 49

For the 6th time in 9 ACC games, the Hokies get held to 60 points or less. Here are the moving pictures…

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Highlights4 Comments

Recap | miami (6-3) 65, Hokies (2-7) 49

Box Score

The Hokies looked listless for the first 13 minutes of the game and trailed by as many as 16 points en route to a 65-49 loss to the miami hurricanes Thursday night.

Tech had nothing offensively in the first 15 minutes of the game. I mean nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. In fact, the announcer said exactly what I was thinking:

“All Virginia Tech is doing offensively is standing in place or throwing the ball away.”

As a result, the Hokies fell behind 20-8 courtesy of a 10-0 canes run. It could have been and should have been much worse, but miami was struggling with bad shots and turnovers and couldn’t take full advantage of Tech’s offensive ineptitude.

The Hokies finally got something going late in the first half and went on a 10-0 run of their own to close the gap. Unfortunately, it came after Tech had fallen behind 28-12. Dorenzo Hudson got the run started with a long jumper, followed by an Erick Green fast-break dunk. Marquis Rankin drilled a 3 pointer and Hudson came back with a 3 of his own to cap the 10-0 run and cut the canes’ lead to 6.

But, the canes stole the momentum at the end of the half with a follow slam with a little more than a second remaining and then the clock ran out giving miami a 30-22 halftime lead.

Senior Victor Davila opened the scoring in the second half to cut the deficit back down to 6 and you thought that just maybe Tech could come back and make a game of it. But alas, it was just more of the same.

Tech shot just 35 percent from the field and 33 percent from the behind the arc. But those numbers are made more impressive because of Tech’s second half, which wasn’t a complete disaster. Their first half shooting percentage had to be in the low 20s.

Green, once again, paced the Hokies with 17 points, but he was the only Hokie to score in double figures. Hudson was the second leading scorer with just 8 points.

And for “Hands of Stone” Davila, it was a nightmare of a game. He turned it over more than a few times and just doesn’t seem to be able to hold the ball. Granted, I have to give him and Cadarian Raines credit because considering what miami’s big man Reggie Johnson did to duke last week, I thought Tech’s “bigs” did an admirable job of keeping the big fella in check.

Defensively, Tech played another solid game. Hands of Stone and Make it Raines did their job against RJ and the Hokies used a trapping defense in the second half that force two turnovers. miami hit some crazy long three pointers and you can’t really pin those on the defense.

There’s not much else to say about this game. Oh wait, but there is. Turnovers, shockingly, killed the Hokies. All 17 of them. Oh, and the 6 blocked shots. The most surprising stat is that VT actually won the overall rebounding battle 40-32.

It was a bad loss to team that Tech is capable of beating. But, they didn’t quit. They kept fighting and it’s good to see because this season is already a “rebuilding year,” and there’s not much to play for other than next season when our young guys will be a year older and more seasoned. I still have high hopes for this young team… if they can stay healthy.

As you know, Niemo will fill in the gaps once he sobers up. It was a road loss to a team that beat duke at cameron indoor, and winning on the road in the ACC is hard (unless you’re fsu or miami playing at cameron indoor), so it’s hard to get too bent out of shape over this loss. But, they could have and should have played better and they know that, so no use in beating a dead horse.

Play-by-Play (we pick up the action a few minutes into the game due to Cub Scouts)
accuracy not even remotely guaranteed

2-6 miami leads
— Eddie misses a three —
— miami turnover, VT turnover —
4-6 Green with a fast break layup
4-8 Luckett scores scores inside
— Davila has it stolen away from him —
— miami misses, Eddie rebound —
6-8 Davila offensive rebound and put back
— Eddie blocks Johnson’s shot —
— Green called for an offensive foul —

U16 timeout (13:27) – 6-8 miami

6-10 Jones scores from the top of the key
— Raines fouled after DFS runs into the wall that is Johnson —
8-10 Raines makes 2 FTs
8-12 Johnson feeds Jones for the dunk
— Hudson has his shot tipped —
— Jones misses for um —
— Green misses, Barksdale with the OR —
— Brown misses a runner in the lane —
8-14 Jones with the fast break slam of the full court pass
— Raines misses the hook shot vs. Johnson —
8-17 Brown buries a long 3 point play
— Brown steals it, fouled at the other end —

U12 timeout (9:37) – 8-17 miami

8-18 Brown makes 1/2 FTs
— miami forces a VT turnover —
— miami turns it over —
— VT called for offensive foul, moving screen —
8-20 Jones with a baseline jumper

“All Virginia Tech is doing offensively is standing in place or throwing the ball away.”

— 10-0 miami run —
— VT misses three consecutive shots —

U8 timeout (7:53) – 8-20 miami

— miami turns it over —
— Davila turns it over again, double teamed while standing still in the low post —
— VT turns it over for the 9th time, “palming” the ball —

“If there’s a mistake to be made offensively, Virginia Tech has done it.”

— Davila mishandles a pass for VT’s 10th turnover —
10-20 DFS cleans up a sloppy miss by Brown
— miami has missed last six shots —
10-21 Kadji makes 1/2 FTs
— DFS misses a baseline drive dunk attempt —
— DFS blocks a shot at the other end —
— Raines has his shot blocked by, guess who, Johnson —
— Johnson fouled at the other end —
10-22 Johnson makes 2 FTs
12-22 Hudson with the leaner
12-25 miami hits a 3 pointer
— Davila has his hook shot go in and out —
12-28 Johnson (the big fat guy) hits a three pointer
14-28 Hudson with a long 2 pointer
16-28 Green off the fast break turnover, dunks it
— miami misses, Green rebounds —
19-28 Rankin hits the open 3 pointer in the corner

U4 timeout (1:15) 19-28 miami

— Johnson misses a 3 point attempt —
— VT doing a good job containing RJ —
22-28 Hudson drills a 3 pointer from the corner
— VT on a 10-0 run —
22-30 miami gets a dunk in the final second

Halftime Score – VT 22, miami 30

— Hudson misses the opening shot, miami rebounds, but traveled —
24-30 Davila beats Johnson in the low post with a quick spin move
24-32 Johnson gets a lucky bounce
— Hudson called for traveling, 11th VT turnover —
— Davila called for foul against RJ —
24-33 Johnson makes 1/2 FTs
— Green airballs a shot, DFS with the nice rebound —
— VT misses —
24-36 Kadji makes a 3 pointer
— miami gets called for its 2nd foul of the entire game —
— DFS gets blocked twice —
24-38 miami makes a nice shot
26-38 Green hits a jumper
26-40 RJ scores underneath
— Green fouled —

U16 timeout (15:20) 26-40 miami

27-40 Green makes 1/2 FTs
— miami a perfect 4/4 in the second half —
— miami is 4/5 in the second half —
29-40 Green recognizes the mismatch and gets the bucket, has 9 points
— miami miss, VT rebounds, Kadji blocked Hudson’s shot —
29-42 miami makes 2 FTs
— Jones blocks Eddie’s jumper —
— miami misses —
32-42 Brown buries a 3 pointer (first points of the game)
— Green misses a fast break jumper, rushed it, despite Brown open on the right wing —
— Green called for the foul —
32-43 Kadji makes 1/2 FTs
32-45 Three miami players combine for a dunk off a miss
— miami foul —

U12 timeout (11:32) 32-45 miami

34-45 Green hits a baseline jumper (has 11 points, extending his streak)
34-47 RJ scores after trampling a small midwestern city
— Raines has his shot blocked —
— VT called for a 5 second violation, at least 12 turnovers so far —
— Raines called for a foul against RJ —
— Brown commits a dumbass foul on a 3-on-1 break, had TWO open teammates on either side —
— Good defense by VT forces miami turnover —
— VT has 14 field goals, 15 turnovers —
35-47 Hudson makes 1/2 FTs
— DFS misses a 3 pointer —
— miami misses, VT rebound —
37-47 Green finally hits a shot
39-47 Green gets the hoop and the foul
40-47 Green completed the 3-point play (14 points)
— miami turnover —
42-47 DFS gets the fast break layup off the turnover
42-50 miami hits a 3 pointer
— shot clock violation against VT —

U8 timeout (6:52) – 42-50 miami

— VT’s trap defense has forced a couple of turnovers —
42-53 miami hits a clutch 3 pointer
— Hudson misses a shot —
— Green fouled by Larkin —
43-53 Green makes 1/2 FTs
43-55 RJ goes over a flopping Raines for a the bucket
— VT turns it over —
— Green drives through the lane, gets mugged, but no call —
43-57 Grant scores
46-57 Eddie hits a 3 pointer

U4 timeout (3:40) – 46-57 miami

— Eddie called for PF, his 3rd —
— Just make this awful game end already —
46-59 RJ makes 2 FTs
49-59 Eddie makes a 3 pointer
— miami misses, VT rebounds —
— Eddie misses an awkward jumper —
— Grant missed an easy layup —
— VT turnover —
— miami running the clock —
49-62 Larkin gets the hoop and the foul, completes 3 point play
— Green misses a 3 pointer —
49-65 Larkin hits a 3 pointer

Final Score: miami 65, Hokies 49

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Recaps18 Comments

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