Here are the highlights from Virginia Tech’s nail-biter win over the #345th ranked bulldogs of the citadel at the Cassell. The loss was the citadel’s 18th straight road loss.
Posted on 20 December 2014.
Here are the highlights from Virginia Tech’s nail-biter win over the #345th ranked bulldogs of the citadel at the Cassell. The loss was the citadel’s 18th straight road loss.
Posted on 14 December 2014.
The Hokies snap their two game losing streak and defeat the bulldogs 65-55 in front of fewer than 3,600 fans at the Cassell. Since most of us weren’t there, here are the highlights!
Posted on 03 December 2014.
Here are the highlights from Virginia Tech’s 3rd loss of the season, a 61-58 defeat to the nittany lions in the ACC/Big(14)Ten Challenge. Tech is now 0-6 vs teams not named ‘iowa’ in the Challenge, and 3-0 vs the hawkeyes (can we request them for next season?).
Posted on 30 November 2014.
Here are your moving pictures from Virginia Tech’s 83-63 Bear Fight victory over the bears of morgan state on Sunday at the Cassell. Watch Wilson giveth, Smith light it up, and van Zegeren send it back.
Posted on 26 November 2014.
The Hokies bombard the redhawks 78-63 to capture the Bronze Medal of the Cancun Challenge. Note: 3 of Tech’s last 6 wins have been against schools named “miami” with 2 others vs maryland-eastern shore, and 1 against liberty. Go Hokies! Beat the hoos XI!
Posted on 26 November 2014.
Fun Fact: Of the Hokies last 6 wins, 3 have been against schools named ‘miami’ and 2 have been against maryland-eastern shore.
The Hokies turned the tables from a night ago and absolutely took the miami of ohio redhawks behind the woodshed, pounding them 78-63 in the Cancun Challenge Bronze Medal game. Adam Smith was the star of the show, exploding for 26 points, just shy of his career high of 28.
Justin Bibbs also had a fantastic game, setting his career high with 22 points (albeit in his 5th collegiate game). Bibbs and Smith were a combined 10/13 from behind the arc!
Tech shot 49% for the game, were 10/19 (53%) on 3s, and 18/24 on free throws. That 75% from the line has to excite all of us. The only downside was VT committed 22 turnovers, but so did the redhawks.
You’ll also want to check out the highlights to see two of Joey van Zegeren’s incredible dunks, especially the alley-oop from Muller.
The game was close for the first 10 minutes and after a VT turnover (that was a problem early) allowed miami to cut Tech’s lead to 4 at 15-11, Buzz called a timeout and went absolutely medieval on Malik Muller. The Hokies responded by closing the half on a 24-6 run, including 10-0 in the final 4 minutes. That allowed Tech to go into the half up 39-17. Adam Smith had 15 points in the first half.
Give credit to the Hokies. On Tuesday, northern iowa took advantage of the plethora of whistles, shooting 11 first half free throws (making 10) compared to just 1 for VT. Tonight, Tech went to the line 14 times in the first half, making 11, well above their 58% FT%, while miami had just 1 free throw attempt. The Hokies were very aggressive going to the rim, even off make miami baskets and were rewarded with the trips to the charity stripe.
After the break, VT pushed the lead to 25. miami cut the lead to 15 but Tech responded with a 9-0 run to put the game on ice. Tech struggled down the stretch, hence them not winning in Bear Fight fashion. But all in all this was a very positive win and game against another young team.
Tech returns to action on Sunday at home vs morgan state.
Go Hokies! Beat the wahoos XI!
Posted on 25 November 2014.
Here are the highlights from Virginia Tech’s (2-2) 73-54 loss to northern iowa (5-0) in the Cancun Challenge semi-finals from Cancun, Mexico.
Posted on 24 November 2014.
Update: Tech will face miami of ohio tonight. They are also 2-2 and had an 11-point win over liberty, so very comparable to the Hokies. northwestern beat the redhawks by 9.
The Baby Birds of Virginia Tech were thoroughly blasted by the experienced northern iowa panthers, 54-73. The only question was would it be a Reverse Bear Fight (20-point loss) for the Hokies, but a late Satchel Pierce bucket helped Tech avoid that indignation.
The panthers returned all 5 starters and about 92% of their points from a year ago, compared to the Hokies who returned about 9% of their points on a last place club. And the experience levels proved vital. northern iowa came out unconscious from the field and line, hitting 6/8 three-pointers to start and 10/11 free throws in the first half (compared to just 1 free throw and 4/9 on threes for VT).
Also give uni credit for being aggressive early while the officials were calling the game tight and getting to the line. The Hokies had been called for 5 fouls before a single one was called on uni, leading to Buzz’s first technical as a Hokie 4-minutes into the game.
The panthers used their hot shooting to take a 40-31 lead into the break.
After halftime, a Justin Bibbs jumper cut the lead to 40-33. That’s when the wheels came off as uni destroyed the Hokies with the pick-and-roll, plus their guards off the dribble, and went on a 17-2 run to put the game away at 57-35.
Joey van Zegeren led Tech with 15 points and 6 rebounds on 7/10 shooting. No other Hokie reached double digits.
uni shot 50% for the game, the first Tech opponent to surpass 42%. They only hit 1 of their final 10 threes, but it didn’t matter. The panthers nailed 18/20 free throws (90%) and had just 9 turnovers compared to 14 for VT. The previous 3 opponents all had at least 15 turnovers and VT had a +15 turnover margin (+5 per game) coming in.
Tech shot a respectable 48% from the field and were 7/18 on threes just like uni, but the Hokies had just 8 FTAs and hit just 3 (JvZ was 1/5 from the line). As you’ll see below, this team really has no midrange jump-shooters right now. It is either a layup, a JvZ hook in the paint, or a 3-ball. The Hokies have to be able to find more points in that huge space.
On defense, the Hokies did show some full court trapping, and did get a turnover out of it, but the half court defense was pretty lousy tonight. Guys looked like they had tired legs and weren’t getting through screens (and got elbows from their teammates when they did), weren’t moving quick enough on help D on the picks, or just got burned off the dribble. They better sleep fast tonight.
The Hokies will play the loser of northwestern and miami (Ohio) at 7 PM on Wednesday, also on CBSSN.
For those of you that don’t get Watch ESPN, you’ll finally be able to see the Hokies play on regular TV Tuesday night when Tech takes on the 4-0 northern iowa panthers in the semi-finals of the Cancun Challenge from Mexico. The panthers finished just 16-15 last year but had been to the postseason 5 years in a row before that (2 CITs, 1 NIT, and back-to-back NCAA Tournament trips in 2009 and 2010 — and in 2010 they beat #8 seed unlv AND #1 seed kansas before falling to michigan state in the Sweet 16. That team went 30-5… but like I said, that was now 5 seasons ago.
This panther club out of the Missouri Valley Conference is off to a 4-0 start, but they haven’t exactly beaten name opponents unless you consider nd (north dakota, not notre dame), stephen f. austin, morgan state, or north florida a name program. Their closest game was a 2-point win at stephen f. austin in overtime that snapped Stone Cold’s 34-game home winning streak, so that’s mildly impressive (the list of teams they beat in that 34 game streak isn’t much to look at other than jmu).
That said, Vegas (and now Atlantic City since sports gambling is legal there) see northern iowa as the clearly better team in this match-up…
The panthers opened as 8.5-point favorites (and already been bet up to 10).
The Hokies are coming off their first loss in the Buzz Williams Era, a 65-63 heartbreaker on a lucky shot with a second to go (though, to be honest, appalachian state deserved to win given their huge rebounding margin — they grabbed 50% of their misses which is inexcusable given that appy state wasn’t very big or tall).
I was a little hard on the Hokies. That was because:
Reality is I never expected to run the table on our 12 out of conference games leading up to Breakfast at Morgantown on December 30th. I didn’t expect to a team that went 9-21 last year and had lost to ohio and furman by almost Bear Fight-fashion in both games, but I digress. We knew there would be growing pains with a team that returned just 3 scholarship players with experience and has just 9 scholarship players available this year (with 0 seniors). Perhaps I stated that appalachian state was “awful” one too many times in my preview, maybe the guys looked past the mountaineers. And I can give the guys a pass — they were hours away from leaving frigid Blacksburg and heading to Cancun for an early Spring Break. I assume visions of beach balls and sand already danced in their heads.
That said, this is one of Tech’s best out of conference opponents (I know, that is sad considering this team went 16-15 and plays in the MVC) and they have tons of experience, featuring 4 seniors and 2 juniors out of their main 9 players. They have oodles more experience than the Hokies, especially in terms of playing together. Let’s hope we see a better effort on Tuesday and start to see what Buzz-Ball really is.
The Opponent: northern iowa
Key Match-Up: VT allows opponents to shoot just 38% on the season, but northern iowa shoots 49%, including their two best scorers who shoot over 74%!!! Yeesh. Of course, if you allow a 50% offensive rebounding percentage, misses don’t matter as much. Tech must limit Tuttle and Washpun and secure the rebounds/loose balls. This panther team has no real 3-point threats (Jesperson, a uva transfer, has hit 7/14 but that’s about it). VT can pack it in.
Prediction: Hokies lose by 8, barely covering the spread. The panthers experience is just too much and they keep a close, but safe margin and put it away with good free throw shooters.
Posted on 21 November 2014.
Gambler’s Note: If you had bet appt state and wake to win straight up and bet $100 per, you’d have won ~$2500 and probably feel a lot better about today. I didn’t.
If you thought the wake/VT football game was bad, you obviously weren’t watching the basketball team. Today is officially the most embarrassing day in VT history (both teams were 15-point favorites). The football team and the basketball team lost as 15 point favorites to teams in western NC.
The basketball Hokies lost on Saturday at home to an 0-2 appalachian state team that lost by 26 to ohio and 19 to FURMAN. Yes, I capitalized an opponent’s name. appy state scored with 1 second to go after a missed JvZ free throw to win 65-63. Tech has shown progress under Buzz, but clearly this team was already on the plane to Cancun today before tip-off. appy state was 9-21 last year, by the way.
No highlights are coming… you’ll thank me.
Before hoping on a plane to head to Cancun, Mexico (BRRRRR-I-BAAAAAAAAH!), the Hokies take on a strug-a-ling appalachian state team at 1 PM in the Cassell (yes, that is during the Hokies’ football game vs wake and the game will be on in the concourse level — not sure which game is more of a mismatch).
Through two games, Tech has displayed solid defense, holding both opponents below 43% shooting and forcing 36 turnovers (leading to 47 Points off Turnovers and 28 Fast Break Points). On the flip side, the Hokies have shot over 52% in both games, including a blistering 61% vs liberty!
Offensively, in the first game it was the freshmen who led the way, scoring 52 of Tech’s 71 points (73%). On Wednesday, the three veterans decided to get into the act, tallying 43 of the Hokies’ 73 points (59%). Against appy state, they are so bad, the freshmen might score 60% of the points and the veterans might go for 72%. It could happen, they are that awful.
appalachian state had enough troubles in the Southern Conference last year, finishing 9-21 (5-11 in conference play), and now they’ve moved to the Sun Belt. But this move wasn’t about basketball, it was about allowing them to participate in the FBS for football after doing very well at the FCS level (remember that win in the Big House?). And it is a better conference.
But, back to today — this is a very, very bad basketball team, possibly even worse than the 9-21 team from last year. The mountaineers in their first two games lost to ohio by 26, and then to furman by 19. That’s, uh, that’s not good. ohio was decent last year and made the CIT (a step down from the NIT), but they just lost to florida golf course by 17. And furman lost to college of charleston by 35. By transitive properties, this isn’t a good match-up for appy state. And this is a small team, so they will not present size issues inside like we worried liberty might (they didn’t — VT was too athletic).
FYI: if you are keeping track, Tech’s first 3 opponents had a combined record of 26-66 (28% win %).
The Opponent: appalachian state in Boone, NC
Spread (our first of the year! hopefully the hoops team does better against the odds than football has):
VT opened as 17.5 point favorites, but are now showing around -15.5 (football is at -15 — who will win by more?!)
Tech…. big. Stock up on your Jager, Red Bull, Baileys, Jameson, and Guinness. You’ll need it, possibly twice on Saturday.
Posted on 19 November 2014.
Here is a 4-minute montage of the highlights from Wednesday’s Virginia Tech win over liberty 73-63 at the Cassell…
Posted on 14 November 2014.
Highlights from Virginia Tech’s season opening, Bear Fight victory over the maryland-eastern shore hawks 71-46:
Posted on 14 November 2014.
Added Reflections from last night and the Plus/Minus stats:
Note: Plus/minus is calculated by your team’s scoring margin while you are on the floor (so if you enter with your team up 10 and leave with them up 14, you were +4… take every stretch you play in and add them up and that’s your game plus/minus).
The Buzz Williams era at Virginia Tech began with a Bear Fight victory as the Hokies easily beat maryland-eastern shore 71-46 at the Cassell in front of 6,191 fans (pretty good turnout based on recent history and lots of students!). The highlight for umes might have been seeing Ace Custis return to Blacksburg as a coach for the hawks.
As for the Hokies, there were lots of positives to take from tonight. First, they won… just Tech’s second win since defeating this same umes team back on New Year’s Eve of 2013. Second, their three leading scorers were freshmen — Justin Bibbs and Malik Muller with 15 each and Ahmed Hill with 11.
The most impressive thing though was VT went more than 31 minutes to start the game without a turnover, and that’s with such a new, young team. VT finished +9 in turnover margin for the game and that helped Tech pull away.
Tech shot 52% from the field while holding the hawks under 30% shooting.
Free throw shooting still needs improvement for the Hokies (17/29 for 59% and missed three front ends of one-and-ones) and some defensive assignments were missed and there was some poor shot selection, but all in all this wasn’t a bad first game of the season.
SHOOTING STATS FOR VT:
Tech returns to action on Wednesday at home versus liberty.
Posted on 18 March 2014.
Sure, our team isn’t in the Big Dance this year. In fact, it’s been seven years since the Hokies last appeared in the NCAA tournament. But that doesn’t mean we stop being college basketball fans, right? So, let’s get to work filling out those brackets, shall we?
First, click here to download a customized TechHoops.com-themed printable bracket, complete with lower-cased team names.
Second, go to http://y.ahoo.it/eB1KIZ7o and join our private group (password is babcock).
Posted on 17 March 2014.
It’s official. James Johnson has been fired as the men’s head basketball coach at Virginia Tech. His tenure lasted just two seasons and less than two full calendar years. It got off to inauspicious start and never got on track. JJ finishes his VT tenure with a 22-41 (35%) record (6-30 in ACC regular season games and 0-2 in the ACC Tournament). That percentage is third worst of Tech’s 23 basketball coaches, and the worst that any Hokie coach has had in the last 80 years. (For reference, ricky “program bomb” stokes won 40% of his games aided largely by a year in A-10.)
I’m both surprised and not surprised. I’m surprised that Virginia Tech is going to eat three years of a contract, especially after former athletics director Jim Weaver gave JJ his blessing for another year.
Also, Tech has a history of underpaying coaches. In fact, Johnson was the lowest paid men’s basketball coach in the ACC and the Hokies got what they paid for; a team that finished dead last in each of JJ’s two seasons at the helm.
At the same time, I am not surprised that new Athletics Director Whit Babcock, who has been on the job for exactly one month, decided to make a change. His hiring made headlines, especially given his salary. To come in and do nothing with a program that has finished last three straight seasons, and seen declining attendance for seven straight years, likely would not have gone over well with the dwindling fan base.
As most rational fans would agree, JJ was in over his head from the beginning. No one begrudges him for taking the job. If you want to be a head basketball coach and an ACC team offers you a job, you take it. The fault of JJ’s failed tenure lies squarely at the feet of former AD Jim Weaver. Instead of conducting a national search after botching the Seth Greenberg firing, he chose the easy way and hired an assistant coach with no previous head coaching experience. JJ was the only ACC coach who had zero head coaching experience before taking over at an ACC program. And his teams performed about as well as you’d expect.
So, here we are, for the second time in two years, looking for a new head coach. Babcock’s shown he’s not afraid to drop the ax, but what he does next will determine the future success or failure of not only the basketball program, but also his tenure as AD.
Below is the official release from HokieSports.com:
Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced today that James Johnson has been relieved of his duties as head men’s basketball coach. In making the announcement, Babcock said a national search for Johnson’s replacement will begin immediately.
“I want to thank Coach Johnson for his dedication and hard work for our university and our basketball program over the past seven years,” Babcock said. “A change of this significance affects many people and is never taken lightly, but I felt a change and a new direction was necessary for the long term, best interest of our department.”
Johnson just completed his second season as head coach of the Hokies. He spent the previous five seasons on the Tech staff, serving as an assistant from 2007-2011 before being promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2012-13 season. He had accepted an assistant coaching position at Clemson on April 13, 2012, but returned to Blacksburg soon thereafter to take the head coaching position previously held by Seth Greenberg.
Babcock will meet with the media at 9:30 am on Tuesday in the Shott Media Center. The media session will be streamed live on hokiesports.com.
This will be Babcock’s only media availability until the announcement of the new coach.
Posted on 13 March 2014.
Well? How’s everyone feeling this morning? Relieved? Anxious? Ready for a change? Whatever may be going through your minds this morning, we here at TechHoops want to take a moment to thank you, the fans, for supporting this site by reading our articles, sharing them, commenting on them, and spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter.
According to Google Analytics, more than 20,500 of you visited our site this season and racked up more than a quarter million pageviews. In seven years, we have had 250,000 unique visitors to our site. A quarter million people. Just, wow. We’re honestly humbled. So, thank you!
Last season, we ditched paid advertising and went to a simple donation system that appealed directly to the fans. NPR style, if you will, only, we’re not a nonprofit, so any donation to the site is based purely on your love and/or appreciation of TechHoops and our efforts.
Below are the donors who have contributed to this site over the last two seasons. We are so grateful for their support. And we’re brainstorming ideas on how to take this Wild Hokie Club to the next level. If you have any ideas, we’re all ears!
This season, we didn’t put the donation form up until late in the season, hence why that list is a bit smaller than the previous year. We weren’t sure how much content we could contribute coming into this season, so we were hesitant to accept donations. Niemo and his lovely bride had their first baby, plus Niemo’s coaching these days. And me, I’m working on another degree in addition to coaching and scout leading, and etc. However, as it turns out, we were able to keep up with the season, and thus decided to put the appeal back up with zero mention of it, and people noticed.
When this site started, there were about six contributors, but, unlike Wick, the other Jay, StreetBallaRob, and davey “I love Stiney” woods, who all bailed, Niemo and I have stuck around. Our hope is to make it to at least 10 years. And we hope you guys will be right there with us.
Posted on 12 March 2014.
Big thanks to Cathy F!
The Hokies put a bow on one of the worst seasons in program history Wednesday afternoon, losing to miami in the first round of the 2014 ACC tournament, 57-53.
Virginia Tech finished 9-22 on the season and just 2-17 in ACC play – the 17 losses are an ACC single-season record. The Hokies’ only two wins were against the hurricanes, so they had a shot today. But beating a team three times in one season proved too difficult for VT. Or rather free throws proved too difficult, as VT made just 9/17 and Joey van Zegeren missed both free throws with VT down 1 with 10 seconds to go.
As if VT’s overall and conference records weren’t depressing enough, here’s a little stat for you: the Hokies finished the season with just one, solitary win in 2014. That’s it. Since Jan. 1, 2014, some 70 days ago, head coach James Johnson and his battered and bruised team are 1-17. That’s it.
Niemo likes to break down the game and go through the key moments, but at this point, I’m done. I’m sure you, the fans, are done, too. The Hokies, despite not committing a turnover for the first 23 minutes of the game, couldn’t get out of their own way. They went through their typical scoreless/field goalless drought. They missed critical, must-have, free throws when the game was on the line. More specifically, Joey van Zegeren missed critical free throws with the game on the line.
You can’t pin the loss on JvZ, though. He’s actually played pretty well down the stretch this season. And the team had more than had its fair share of opportunities to win this game. But, as we’ve seen all season, the Hokies just didn’t have what it took.
After the game, JJ said he feels “optimistic” about being back next year. You think? He can do the math and so can we. The athletics department is one of only a handful in the country that are in the black each year. That’s not by accident.
Coach JJ is the lowest paid men’s basketball coach in the ACC. He still has three years left on his contract, so call me skeptical if I don’t think new AD Whit Babcock is going to shell out Frank Beamer-type money to bring in a Shaka Smart. Remember, Tech is still paying Seth Greenberg and Jim Weaver a hefty sum of money. I don’t see Whit paying two former coaches and going out and getting a big name.
JJ is going to get another year whether you think he deserves it or not. Personally, I don’t think he does, but he’ll get at least one more year. Gone are seniors Cadarian Raines (who was what, a 4-point guy at best?) and Jarell Eddie. Aside from that, everyone else should be back. Unless they transfer.
There’s enough hope (and hope is a dangerous thing don’t forget) that with the guys coming back next year, as well as some rookies coming in, the Hokies can improve next season. Ben Emelogu, Devin Wilson, and Trevor Thompson look like they could turn into solid players. JvZ needs to be more consistent and Adam Smith needs to stay healthy.
I’d say that next season couldn’t get much worse, but it could. The canes should be much better with transfers from texas and kansas state becoming eligible, so don’t chalk up wins against the u just year.
So there’s your nice pretty little bow on one of the most forgettable seasons in Virginia Tech basketball history. Now excuse me while I go get a damn drink.
Niemo’s Notes (I’ll keep it short):
– Tech reached the 30 point mark in the first half for the first time in 10 games, leading 32-31 at the break. They led by as many as 9 in the first half, 19-10.
– miami went on an 8-0 run early after the break to take control, up 39-34. But VT did battle back and led with less than 2 minutes to go in the game.
– The Hokies scored 53 points on 54 possessions. They finished the ACC season reaching 1.0 in points per possession just once. Not good. And the easy culprit today was FT shooting. 9/17 (52%) is not satisfactory. Wilson missed 4/5 at the end of the first half. And of course, with VT down 1 and 10 seconds to go, JvZ missed both free throws. He was a 36% foul shooter on the season.
– Tech’s 3 turnovers were easily a season low, eclipsing the 6 they had against wake.
– miami’s 57 points were the most scored in regulation in this series this season. Needless to say it was not a point friendly 3-pack of games.
– Devin Wilson had 5 assists, ending his season with 148, easily the VT freshmen record. He had 19 assists vs miami this season.
The Hokies experienced their worst season since the ricky "program bomb" stokes era. Sure, it would have been easy to quit on you, but did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!
And we do it for free! But, just like NPR, we rely on the generosity of our loyal fans to help keep this humble Hokie website alive. That being said, see how you can help TechHoops.com make it to 10 years!
Jon King, Ben Floyd and Dan Rickenbach all got in on the action and we encourage all TechHoops heads to do the same.
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11/14 - Hokies 71, md. eastern shore 46
11/19 - Hokies 73, liberty 63
11/22 - appalachian state 65, Hokies 63
11/25 - n. iowa 73, Hokies 54
11/26 - Hokies 78, miami ohio 63
11/30 - morgan state | 3pm, ESPN3
12/03 - @ penn state | 7:15pm, ESPNU
12/07 - vs. radford | 3pm, ESPN3
12/14 - vs. alabama a&m | 3pm, ESPN3
12/20 - vs. the citadel | 1pm, ESPN3
12/22 - vs. vmi | 7pm, ESPN3
12/27 - vs. presbyterian | 7pm, ESPN3
12/30 - @ west virginia | 2pm, ESPNU
01/03 - vs. syracuse | Noon, RSN
01/06 - @ fsu | 7pm, RSN
01/13 - @ louisville | 7pm, RSN
01/18 - @ unc | 6:30pm, ESPNU
01/22 - vs. notre dame | 7pm, RSN
01/25 - vs. uva | 1pm, ACCN
01/27 - vs. pittsburgh | 7pm, ESPNU
01/31 - @ wake forest | 2pm, RSN
02/03 - @ syracuse | 9pm, ESPNU
02/07 - vs. fsu | 3pm, ACCN
02/09 - vs. georgia tech | 9pm, ESPNU
02/14 - @ clemson | Noon, RSN
02/18 - @ miami | 7pm, RSN
02/21 - @ nc state | 6pm, ESPN2
02/25 - vs. duke | 9pm, ESPN2
02/28 - @ uva | 4pm, ACCN
03/02 - vs. boston college | 9pm, ESPNU
03/07 - vs. miami | Noon, RSN
03/10 - 1st rd.
03/11 - 2nd rd.
03/12 - quarterfinals
03/13 - semifinals
03/14 - championship