Archive | ACC Tournament

miami (17-15) 57, Hokies (9-22) 53

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.

Posted in 2013-14 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Recaps, Games, Home9 Comments

Congrats to Ace Custis, Virginia Tech’s ACC Legend

Ace_MontageEach year at the ACC Tournament they honor a “legend” from each ACC school.  This year’s legend from Virginia Tech definitely fits into that category: Ace Custis.

The Virginia peninsula native is firmly one of Tech’s 10 greatest players (and nicest guys you’ll ever meet).  His jersey is one of four hanging from the rafters of Cassell Coliseum.  Ace helped Tech to a NIT Championship in 1995 and a NCAA Tournament berth in 1996.  He is 11th on Tech’s all time scoring list (Erick Green just knocked him out of the top 10) with more than 1,700 points, he’s 3rd in rebounds with 1,177, and 7th in steals with 199.  Ace was an unselfish player and a real stat stuffer.

Ace Runs into Niemo's BP

Ace Runs into Niemo’s BP

Ace was even kind enough to stop by my bachelor party in Florida last year!  (Well, he was at port while on a cruise and we ran into him)

Two years ago, ranked him the 7th greatest player in Hokies history.  Here’s a link to our interview with him and summary of his brilliant Tech career:


The ACC also did an interview with him when they announced he was Tech’s legend for this year: LINK

Posted in ACC Tournament0 Comments

Game Plus/Minus | ACC Tourney | nc state 80, HOKIES 63

Here are the plus/minus numbers from Thursday’s season-ending ACC Tournament loss to nc state for the Hokies.

Rankin had his second straight positive game (+1 – best of the regulars) and really finished the season strong and aggressive on offense (and he’s Tech’s best on-ball defender).

On the flip side, Raines had a -20 and Eddie a -21.

nc st Season Wins Losses ACC Avg +/-
Player +/- +/- 13 19 19 Per Game
Beyer +4 -53 2.0 -5.1 -1.3 -2.5
Racer +2 -21 -9.5 -0.6 -1.0 -1.9
Rankin +1 -145 1.9 -8.1 -5.6 -4.8
Johnston 0 -83 0.0 -4.9 -4.4 -2.9
Donlon -1 -8 -4.0 0.2 0.0 -1.0
van Zegeren -2 -77 3.5 -6.5 -5.2 -2.4
Barksdale -7 19 8.3 -4.9 -1.8 0.6
Wood -12 -49 4.5 -6.3 -6.1 -2.0
Brown -14 -29 10.6 -9.3 -7.1 -0.9
Green -15 -55 14.2 -12.6 -7.4 -1.7
Raines -20 -112 6.2 -10.2 -6.8 -3.5
Eddie -21 -100 9.4 -11.7 -8.2 -3.1
Patrick DNP -2 -1.5 0.6 0.6 -0.2
TEAM -17 -146.4 11.0 -15.2 -10.4 -4.6

Posted in 2012-13 Season, ACC Tournament0 Comments

Highlights | #5 nc state 80, #12 HOKIES (13-19) 63

The Virginia Tech Hokies’ season ends with an 80-63 loss to nc state in the First Round of the ACC Tournament.  Erick Green, the ACC Player of the Year, scored 15 points, finishing the season with 801 points (first Hokie to eclipse the 800-mark) and 25.03 ppg to lead the nation.  Tech finishes the season at 13-19.

Posted in 2012-13 Season, ACC Tournament, Highlights4 Comments

Game Recap | nc state (23-9) 80, Hokies (13-19) 63

It’s not the way Erick Green wanted to end his career, but with the way the Hokies have played this season, today’s 17-point loss to nc state is hardly surprising.

Green hit his first two shots of the game, back-to-back threes, but was ice cold from that point on, scoring just 15 points on 5 of 19 shooting, as the 12th-seeded Hokies lost 63-80 to the 4th-seeded wolfpack.

The Winchester Rifle(man) really struggled. He had four turnovers in the first half, equalling his season-high for a game. Lorenzo Brown did a terrific job of shutting down the ACC Player of the Year. Of course, Green still got 15 points, so even on a bad day, he’s still good enough for 15.

Jarell Eddie played his best game in more than two months, scoring 21 points in the loss, the most he’s scored since he had 21 in a home loss to boston college on Jan. 9.

Outside of Eddie and Green, the Hokies didn’t get much from the rest of the team. Cadarian Raines had 8 points, pretty much all on dunks, and Marquis Rankin also had 8 points.

Tech managed to keep it relatively close in the first half and even led for a bit, but Richard Howell pretty much had his way with the Hokies inside the paint. Howell scored a game-high 22 points, but got help from C.J. Leslie, who had 15, while Scott Wood and T.J. Warren each added 13 points.

The Hokies have one of the worst defenses in the country and it was on full display Thursday afternoon.

It’s sad to think that this was how Erick Green ended his career at Virginia Tech. There is no post-season. No NIT. No CBI. Nothing. He’s done as a college player.

Earlier in the week, it was reported that the Hokies practiced with metal chairs on the court, presumably as teammates, sympbolizing the level of help Green got from the rest of the team this season. Apparently that didn’t help with motivation.

The Hokies, under first-year head coach James Johnson, finish 13-19, their worst season in 10 years, when they went 12-17 under ricky “program bomb” stokes.

Posted in 2012-13 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Recaps8 Comments

Preview | ACC Tournament First Round | #12 Hokies (4-14) vs #5 nc state (11-7) | Thursday at ~2:30 PM

Spread: nc state by 11.5.

The Hokies try to put an atrocious ACC regular season behind them and make some noise in the ACC Tournament starting Thursday. Their opponent will be another disappointment, the nc state wolfpack, in the second game of the early session on Thursday, tipping off around 2:20 to 2:40 PM.

nc state was picked to win the ACC by the media in the preseason, featured the Preseason POTY (C.J. Leslie) and the ROTY (T.J. Warren, another stud state freshman, is the one who will likely win it). And while they are #28 in the RPI and all but a lock for the Big Dance, they struggled to an 11-7 ACC regular season record. It was partially due to PG Lorenzo Brown missing a few games due to injury, and it is partially due to the fact that they are nc state and always seem to underachieve. You don’t build a team around a guy like C.J. “Derrick Coleman, Jr.” Leslie. I could also call him 50-cent, as in he only plays hard 50% of the time. He ended up just 3rd Team All ACC.

For the Hokies, I say we go for broke and do everything we can to win this game with no regard for Friday. Forget saving guys for the long haul of back-to-back-to-back-to-back games in the ACC-T format. I say we do everything we can to survive this one, especially considering we will be huge underdogs and likely won’t survive to live another day. I’d like to see Coach JJ, fresh off his first ever technical foul, implement the things he wants to do next year, like the full court press. I’d use it from the get-go. He wants to run it next year, so why not put it in during practice the next three days and go for broke with it Thursday. state has no depth (they really only play 7 guys), so picking up the tempo could wear them out in the 2nd half. That said, nc state has a very good offense (12th most productive/efficient in the nation out of 347 teams), so this could backfire, they could shred the press and hit a dozen alley-oop dunks and win by 40… So what? We are huge underdogs and expected to lose. I’d like to see us try something different and start to look to the future in terms of JJ’s “system”. Why not? That’s my 2 cents.

The winner of this game will face the hated wahoos at the same time Friday in the ACC Quarterfinals. uva will look to end their pathetic trend in the ACC Tournament in that contest — the hoos haven’t made it to ACC Tournament Semi-Final Saturday since 1995. That’s a streak of losing in the First Round or Quarterfinals for each of the previous 17 ACC Tournaments. They just have to win one, against VT or state, this year to end that streak.

First Meeting:

The game was a seesaw battle in the first half with neither team leading by more than 5 and Tech took a two point lead to the break. In the second half, the Hokies jumped ahead by 7 twice, including with 7:49 to go. But a 14-0 nc state run flipped the game to a 7-point state advantage with 3:30 remaining. Tech was down 6 with 20 seconds left, but a Rankin layup, Eddie 3, and 2/4 FTs for state gave Tech the ball down 3 with 8 seconds left. Green was intentionally fouled and hit his first FT. The next FT was one of the great Tech plays of the year — Green intentionally missed the foul shot off the right part of the rim, it bounced off the backboard, off to the right side of the lane, where a streaking Jarell Eddie rushed in from beyond the 3-point line (possibly too early), caught the ball, and put it in to tie the score.

In OT, Tech took an 84-83 lead behind two Eddie 3s, but state rattled off 6 straight FTs (they shot 43 FTs compared to 7 for the Hokies) and won 90-86 in overtime in Raleigh. Green had 29 for VT.


Posted in 2012-13 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Previews2 Comments

Doe Doe’s Development and #10 HOKIES vs #2 duke ACC Tourney Preview | Friday at 7 PM

Spread: duke by 8.5

Doe Doe: Everyone has been talking about how good Cadarian Raines has been the last 3 weeks, and rightfully so (averaging just under 12 PPG over the last 6 games), but Dorian Finney-Smith has quietly turned things around, too.  Look at the tale of his three seasons, so to speak.

First 13 Games 8.4 8.1
Next 9 Games 1.6 5.3
Last 10 Games 8.4 6.7
TOTAL 6.3 6.8

Dorian is also 11/28 from behind the arc in those last 10 games, a 39% clip (remember when he missed 25 straight shots at one point, from inside and outside the arc?).  So congrats to him on finding his stroke again.  The disappointment has been his foul shooting, he’s 6/17 in his last 4 games and hasn’t made both in a 2-shot situation in 8 opportunities.  But all in all, he’s at least gotten back to the player he was early in the season.

Random: At one point on Thursday I gave Doe Doe a new nickname — Bambi — for how timid he is on the drive.  Then he showed me up by getting two nice drive-and-finishes.

VT vs duke:

duke will not have Ryan Kelly on Friday night (so you’re sayin’ there’s a chance)… but VT had just 7 scholarship players on Thursday, forcing 5 guys to play 30+ minutes.  There is some good news on Rankin, though, there’s a solid chance he’ll play Friday.

First Meeting – 2/2 at VT – #5 duke 75, VT 60

Second Meeting – 2/25 at duke – #5 duke 70, VT 65 (OT)

  • Tech stayed in this game thanks to fantastic defense (duke was getting no transition opportunities which keep the score down) and great days from Raines, Green, and Hudson – 16 points each
  • Green and Raines had shots at the end of regulation to win it for VT
  • Rivers was too much off the dribble for Tech (and the refs treated him like Lebron — he had 17 FTAs leading to 23 points… Curry added 19)
  • Ryan Kelly had 8 in this game (He’s out)
  • VT was called for 25 fouls while duke just 13 (typical)

The Hokies stayed in that game at duke, and had a chance to win it, because of their transition defense.  They made this it a half court game, and with Raines dominating inside, Green in the midrange, and Zo outside, VT had a chance to win.  But with Tech likely tired after everyone playing so many minutes Thursday night, will the 7 or 8 scholarship guys have enough in the tank and their legs to slow down duke again?

Posted in 2011-12 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Previews16 Comments

HIGHLIGHTS | ACC Tourney 1st Round | #10 HOKIES 68, #7 clemson 63

The Hokies take the rubber match of their 3-game series with the clemson tigers, knocking off the higher seed in the First Round of the ACC Tournament 68-63 in Atlanta.  This exacted some measure of revenge for the tigers taking down the Hokies in this season’s ACC Football Championship Game.

The 5-point victory was Tech’s largest margin of victory this calendar year (their previous high was 2-points).

Posted in 2011-12 Season, ACC Tournament, Highlights2 Comments

ACC First Round Recap | #10 HOKIES 68, #7 clemson 63


Cancel your tee times for Friday, the Hokies used their expansive close game experience and pulled away from the clemson tigers down the stretch, winning 68-63 in the First Round of the ACC Tournament.  Tech moves back to .500 at 16-16 on the season and will face #2-seed duke (without Ryan Kelly) at 7 PM on Friday night in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals.

The Hokies captured the season series, winning for the 2nd time in 3 games against clemson this season.  And how crazy is this — Tech’s 5-point margin of victory is their largest of 2012… by 3 points (their previous largest win this calendar year was by 2 points).

Erick Green led the Hokies with 24 points.  clemson held him to just 8 last Thursday at clemson, snapping his string of 30 consecutive double digit games.  In fact, Green had scored just 25 total points in his previous 3 games against the tigers, which he almost equaled tonight.  The 2nd-Team All-ACCer hit 7/11 from the field, 2/4 from deep, and 8/8 from the line (including 4/4 in one-and-one situations).

Stat of the Game: Don’t Go Green… Until Tonight – Green (24 points) hadn’t scored more than 16 points in any of Tech’s previous 9 wins before tonight.  But he had scored 17 or more in 8 Tech’s last 13 losses.

Tech’s best player was the best player on the floor tonight, and carried the Hokies.  After clemson cut a 61-52 VT lead to 61-57 in a span of 15 seconds with 1:50 to go, Green drove the floor and laid in an acrobatic layup to put the Hokies back up 6 with 100 seconds to go.

Old Man River (Dorenzo Hudson) also stepped up, decided his career wouldn’t end tonight.  Zo hit 6/12 FGs, 3/7 3-pointers, and 4/4 from the stripe to tally 19 points.

The Hokies played without point guard Marquis Rankin, who is out with a knee injury, and Victor Davila, dropping them to 7 scholarship players (deja vu all over again).  5 Hokies played 30 minutes or more, including 36 from Doe Doe.

Dorian Finney-Smith had another solid game (he’s on a nice 10 game stretch), scoring 8 points and snagging 8 boards, including 4 on the offensive end to extend possessions.  He also ran the point some with Rankin out and Young (ACC steals leader) on Green.  Doe Doe showed some nice drives, getting to the rack for tough layups twice, including a runner at the end of the shot clock that put VT up 61-52 with 2:25 to go.  Doe Doe added 3 steals, too.

Cadarian Raines had a solid game with 9 points on 4/6 shooting, but clemson really focused on keeping the ball away from him.  Booker did a solid job defending Raines in the post, but that led to Devin’s 4 fouls.

clemson got average games from their stars — Freshman Devin Coleman was the surprising scoring leader for the tigers with 15, most on drives to the rack.  It was his career high, in fact, he had never reached double digits before.  He even hit a 3-pointer despite being 2/17 on the year from long range.

Senior Andre Young and junior Milton Jennings had 13 each, while senior Tanner Smith had 12.  Tech limited Devin Booker to just 7 points (only 4 FG attempts).  Booker was also hit with a flagrant-1 foul when he elbowed Cadarian Raines with 4 minutes to go, allowing the Hokies to hit 1/2 FTs and get the ball (Tech converted).

clemson came into this game averaging 8.8 steals per game, but Virginia Tech did an excellent job of protecting the ball, allowing just 2 steals for the tigers (VT had 5 steals).  The Hokies even got some transition buckets — two layups on fastbreaks off turnovers (they actually passed the ball once on the break!!!  EG to Zo!) and two 3-pointers in transition by Hudson.

The whistles were much more prevalent in the 2nd half.  clemson was called for just 1 foul in the first half, and just two FTs were attempted (by clemson).  But Tech was aggressive getting to the rack in the 2nd half and drew 12 fouls on the tigers and hit 17/20 FTs (that’s more like it — Tech had been just 58% from the line since the start of the @florida state game).

The surprise was clemson’s 3-point shooting.  The tigers were 0/10 from behind the arc at clemson last week, and just 2/27 in the 2 games vs VT.  But the tigers hit 5/9 from deep in the first half and started 6/10 from 3-point range… then they went back to being clemson, hitting just 2/12 from deep in the final 18 minutes.

The Hokies just missed 70 points (they still have not reached 70 in regulation in 18 games in 2012).

VT shot 42% from the field, 30% on 3s (7/23), and 85% on FTs (17/20).  Tech had 11 offensive rebounds to just 9 by clemson (clemson had 33 offensive rebounds in the previous 2 games vs VT).

clemson shot over 50% in the first half, but just 46% from the game.  They were 36% on 3s (8/22 – – but 2/12 to end the game), and 9/15 from the line (60%).


  • clemson jumped ahead 8-2
  • VT went on a 14-3 run to go ahead 16-11
  • clemson closed the half on a 14-3 run of their own to go into the break up 35-30
  • VT scored just 3 points in the final 5:15 of the 1st half (all on a Brown 3)
  • Tech started the 2nd half on a 7-1 run to go ahead 37-36, then went almost 6 minutes without a FG (but 5 FTs)
  • The game stayed tight from 46-44 (clemson) to 52-52 with under 6 minutes to go
  • Hudson and Green hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put VT up 58-52 with 4 minutes to go and the game never got closer than 4 after that
  • The Hokies went on a 13-2 run after trailing 50-48 with 7 minutes to go to lead 61-52 with 2:05 left
  • VT hit 5/6 FTs in the final 2 minutes, clemson went just 3/6 from the line (and that’s not counting a FT Tanner Smith missed on a lane violation)
1st Half:
  • Under-16: clemson 8-4
  • Under-12: VT 16-11
  • U8: VT 21-18
  • U4: Tied 27-27

HALF: clemson 35-30

2nd Half:

  • Under-16: clemson 42-40
  • U12: Tied at 46
  • U8: clemson 50-48
  • U4: VT 58-52

FINAL: VT 68-63

Posted in 2011-12 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Recaps16 Comments

ACC Tournament First Round Preview | #10 HOKIES (4-12) vs #7 clemson (8-8) | Thursday, 7 PM | ATL

Spread: clemson by 3.5 (Spread has moved a point up from 2.5 — people are betting on clemson!)

For the second Thursday in a row the Hokies and c-l-e-m-s-ohhhhh-n will do battle, but this time with survival at stake.  If the Hokies lose, their season is over in all likelihood.  It is not believed that Tech will accept a bid to a tournament lower than the NIT, and VT would likely have to win 3 games in the Dirty, Dirty to have any shot at the NIT for a 5th year in a row.  The Hokies come in at 15-16 overall, so they must win at least 2 games to avoid finishing with a losing record.

But enough about anything other than Thursday.  The Hokies come into this game struggling, having lost 4 in a row, while the tigers have won 5 of 7, including that meeting last Thursday at clemson.  If the Hokies play like they did Sunday against nc state, you can go ahead and make a tee time for Friday, Tech will be done for the season.

These two teams are evenly matched.  In fact, each team won by exactly two points at home this year.  And in both games the road team had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line with a couple of seconds left, and in both cases, missed both.

Note: Erick Green was named to the All-ACC Second Team and Dorian Finney-Smith was selected to the All Freshman Team for the ACC.


  • Overall Record: 5-7
  • Record in the First Round: 2-1 (beat georgia tech last year)
  • First Meeting between VT and clemson in the ACC Tournament


Feb. 4 at Virginia Tech – VT 67-65

Mar. 1 at clemson – clemson 58-56

Tech jumped out to big leads in both games.  In Blacksburg, VT led by as many as 17 in the 1st half and took a 42-28 lead to the break.  The Hokies led by 14 with 5:30 to go, but took a knee the rest of the game and needed K.J. McDaniels (14 points and 6 dunks) to miss 2 free throws with 3 seconds left, and Tanner Smith to miss a wide open 15-footer at the buzzer from the corner to secure the win.  The tigers snagged 22 offensive rebounds but where just 2/17 on 3-pointers.

At clemson, the Hokies jumped ahead 16-6 but went scoreless for more than 6-1/2 minutes and trailed at the break 33-31.  The tigers threatened to pull away in the 2nd half, leading by as many as 8, but VT tied it with 3 minutes to go.  Neither team scored in the final 2:45 and 2 missed free throws by Cadarian Raines that could have tied the game with 5 seconds left sent the Hokies to defeat (although Raines was the VT player of the game with 12 points and 8 rebounds).  clemson outscored VT on the fastbreak 13-0, but went 0/10 from behind the arc.

Jarell Eddie scored exactly 15 points in both meetings and is 5/12 from deep against the tigers.

clemson is 2/27 from 3-point range against VT this year.


  • Overall: VT 13-12
  • Overall in ACC Play: clemson 7-5


Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 11 Green 6-3 Jr 15.3
SG 5 Hudson 6-5 r-Sr 10.8
SF 31 Eddie 6-7 So 9.3
PF 15 Finney-Smith 6-8 Fr 6.3
C 4 Raines 6-8 r-So 5.8
Bench 1 Brown 6-5 Fr 6.6
42 Barksdale 6-8 Fr 2.9
10 Rankin 6-1 Fr 2.7
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
G 11 Young 5-9 Sr 13.3
G 5 Smith 6-5 Sr 11.1
F 24 Jennings 6-9 Jr 9.6
F 21 Narcisse 6-6 Sr 2.6
F/C 31 Booker 6-8 Jr 10.7
Bench 4 Hall 6-1 Fr 3.9
10 Baciu 7-2 Sr 4.1
32 McDaniels 6-6 Fr 4.0


Note: these stats are for ACC games ONLY.

VT clemson
PPG 59.9 (t9) 65.4 (7)
PPG vs 64.5 (4) 62.9 (2)
FT% 68% (8) 67% (10)
FG% 40% (12) 43% (6)
3-Pt% 36% (3) 30% (12)
Made 3s PG 6.1 (5) 5.2 (8)
FG% D 45% (10) 45% (12)
3-Pt% D 32% (5) 38% (10)
Blocks 2.7 (t10) 3.5 (7)
Steals 5.3 (t9) 8.8 (1)
TO Margin +2.4 (2) +4.0 (1)
Off Reb % 29% (9) 32% (8)
Def Reb % 64% (12) 68% (7)

Let’s win the season series!  Let’s take the rubber match!

Posted in 2011-12 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Previews19 Comments

Hokies left out of the NCAA Tournament … again

Well, folks, it’s not like you can say you are surprised. We have wins over duke (No. 1 seed), two wins over fsu (which made the tournament), and a win over penn state (which also in the big dance), and we got left out. We won 11 conference games in the ACC including regular season and the ACC tournament. The Hokies made it to the semifinals of the ACC tourney, beating the No. 3 seed, fsu. And yet, Seth Greenberg and his 21-11, 11-8, Hokies got the big old snub once again from the NCAA tournament selection committee.

What more can we say? The NIT selection show is at 9 p.m., tonight. We would assume the Hokies would be a No. 1 or 2 seed and will host 2-3 games, assuming they win. Excuse us if we’re not all giggly about those prospects.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, NCAA Tournament, NIT39 Comments

Hokies fall in semis | duke (15-3, 29-4) 77, Hokies (11-8, 21-11) 63

The Hokies’ NCAA tournament hopes now rest in the hands of the selection committee. Virginia Tech lost in the semifinals of the 2011 ACC tournament, 77-63, to the No. 2 seed duke.

Senior guard Malcolm Delaney led? Tech with 17 points, while sophomore Erick Green also scored 17. Victor Davila was the only other Hokie in double figures with 11. Jeff Allen was a non-factor, registering just two points and seven rebounds and fouling out in the second half.

Despite only 15 hours of rest since their gut-wrenching and near heart-breaking win over fsu, the Hokies came out strong against the defending national champs and kept it close for most of the first half.

But, with the game tied at 14-14, duke went on a 14-2 run to take a 12-point lead, 28-16, and led 39-28 at the break.

Tech fought stay in the game, but the devils didn’t have the same kind of off-day shooting-wise that they had in a loss in Blacksburg earlier this season, and managed to keep at least a 10-point lead for most of the second half.

Meanwhile, the Hokies played with a great deal of intensity and heart. They wanted this game and it showed. But they were clearly running on empty and struggled from the field, especially from behind the arc. Tech was 0/5 from three point range in the first half.

Tech stands at 21-11 overall and 11-8 in the ACC. Their chances are good for an at-large bid, but there are no guarantees.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Recaps9 Comments

Game Highlights | VT 52, fsu 51

Here are the highlights from the final 30 seconds of last night’s miracle win…

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Highlights0 Comments

Semi-Final Saturday Preview (and a Look Back at the Quarters) | #6 VT (11-7, 21-10) vs #2 duke (14-3, 28-4) | Saturday at ~3:20 PM


  • Head to your local Hard Times (Web Site Link) to watch the game!  It will start 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first semi-final at 1 PM.
  • The Hokies are in the semi-finals for the third time in five years.   They were unable to advance to the title game in 2007 or 2008.
  • The big news is duke may be without ACC Player of the Year Nolan Smith.  He injured his toe midway through the second half on Friday and did not return, and looked to be in a lot of pain.  But I should note duke outscored maryland 22-11 without him to blow open a close game.
  • Losing Smith would be a huge deal as he was the best player on the court back in Blacksburg two weeks ago (other than maybe Jeff Allen).  But he has been the star of stars for duke.  Don’t feel too bad for them though if he cannot go, they have a lot of stars (tic).
  • Seth Curry had a horrible game in B’burg but I bet he’ll have a better day Saturday being away from Tech and the Dell Curry legacy.  He needs to step up for the devils… let’s hope his shot is off again.
  • VT won last time because of great effort, and duke being off from deep (4/20).  With the Hokies having tired legs Saturday, they will have trouble getting out on three-point shooters which means if duke is on, this could be a long day.  And I’d expect to see duke pound it inside and crash the boards like fsu did to get the Hokies in foul trouble.  But Nolan is by far their best penetrator.
  • Let’s hope Malcolm Delaney can be the best guard on the floor Saturday.  He was just 4/15 (1/6 on 3s) against duke the first time.  Without Smith guarding him (perhaps), let’s hope he can get things going.
  • And I have checked with the ACC officials, and Allen, Davila, and Delaney will start the game Saturday with 0 fouls (phew).  Let’s keep it that way and not force David Jackson to start stretching Prince Parker on the bench.
  • I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see VT blown out in this game with or without Smith playing.  The Hokies had such an emotional victory, and have to be back on the court 15 hours later.  Jack Bauer, anyone?  This seems like an episode of 24 and VT (CTU) will have a tough time taking down Starwood/Jonas Hodges (duke).   They have to be exhausted after two straight days of playing (although uconn will be playing for a fifth straight day Saturday).  But this team continues to amaze me, so maybe they have a little bit more magic dust in their bag left for Saturday.


Position Virginia Tech duke
Guard 11 Green 6-4 2 Smith 6-2*
Guard 23 Delaney 6-3 30 Curry 6-2
Wing/Forward 1 Bell 6-7 12 Singler 6-8
Forward 0 Allen 6-7 34 Kelly 6-11
Forward 14 Davila 6-8 5 Ma. Plumlee 6-10

If Smith cannot go, look for Tyler Thornton and Andre Dawkins to fill in his minutes.  Thornton is more of a point guard than Dawkins, but Thornton is a freshman.  But duke is down to three guards (Seth Curry, too) if Nolan cannot go — boohoo, welcome to our world.


Virginia Tech duke
RPI 65 4
PPG 70.2 (4) 74.3 (2)
Pts Against 66.1 (5) 63.6 (3)
FG % 44% (1) 44% (4)
3-Pt % 36% (4) 34% (8)
FT % 74% (3) 74% (2)
Scorer Delaney 18.6 Smith 21.6
Rebounder Allen 10.1 Ma. Plumlee 8.7
Assists Delaney 4.1 Smith 5.2
Steals Green 1.8 Curry 1.4
Blocks Davila 1.2 Ma. Plumlee 1.7

Note: Team stats are from ACC games only along with the team’s ACC ranking, player stats are from all games this season.



  • WOW!  What a roller coaster.  The end was like a movie.  I mean, did you think VT had any chance of winning with Delaney, Davila, and Allen having four fouls with about 7 minutes to go?  I wasn’t sure we were still going to have enough guys on the court by the end.  Yet they found a way.
  • I said we’d be out of fingernails by Selection Sunday.  Well, it turns out our bid may have come down to the fingertips of Derwin Kitchen.  The ball was still on them at 0.0 and VT had their win.  Reminds me of Al Pacino’s speech in Any Given Sunday — and the noles were a few inches too late Friday (thank God).  It’s crazy to think that if there had been 4.8 seconds left when fsu got the ball instead of 4.7, they’d have won.
  • I was screaming for us to foul with 30 seconds left.  But Seth going to the 1-3-1 trap after fsu’s timeout was brilliant.  Got us the steal that led to Green’s go-ahead shot.
  • Speaking of which, hats off to the Winchester Rifle.  He was mis-firing all game, just 1/12 from the floor.  But he stepped up and took that go-ahead shot with confidence and nailed it.  Erick didn’t let the miss at the end of at bc scare him today.  Boy has balls.  And he played great D on Kitchen’s run.
  • Manny Millions looked like the only Hokie playing hard in the first half.  Credit him with keeping us competitive.
  • Yes, for the 16th straight VT game, the team that shot better from 3-point range won.  VT’s 6/22 (27.3%) was good enough to beat 4/15 (26.7%).  Maybe that got us that extra tenth of a second!
  • Have to think VT locked up their invitation to the NCAA Tournament.  11 ACC wins has to get us in, but we seem to find new ways to get shafted each year.  But I’m confident now.  Congrats to these guys.
  • WOW!  That’s all you can say.  Now on to Saturday.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Previews5 Comments

There is a God | Hokies (11-7, 21-10) 52, florida state (11-6, 21-10) 51

Box Score

The Virginia Tech Hokies’ NCAA tournament hopes got a huge boost Friday night as Tech beat the No. 3 seed fsu in the 2011 ACC Tournament, 52-51, in a sloppy, low-scoring game, that for at least one half set the sport back a half century.

The Hokies overcame a 10-point, second-half deficit and tied the game at 49 on a Manny Atkins three pointer from near the Virginia Tech bench with three minutes to play. The noles retook the lead, 51-49, before Malcolm Delaney hit 1/2 free throws with :41 seconds left to cut the lead to one, 50-51.

Erick Green was just 2/13 on the night, but he hit his biggest shot of the game, a long two from the top of the key, with 4.7 seconds to play to give the Hokies their first lead, 52-51, since early in the opening half when they lead 4-3.

fsu still had a shot, though. Derwin Kitchen got the ball in the far corner and appeared to hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer as the noles’ bench and about a dozen fans erupted in celebration. But after nearly five minutes of reviewing the shot, it was clear that the ball was still on his fingertips when the clock hit 00:00:00. The officials left the scorer’s table and waived off the basket, thus giving the win to the Hokies.

Aside from the thrilling end, this game was ugly; something Hokie fans have witnessed so often this season. Everything that could go wrong, practically did. Things got off to an ominous start when head coach Seth Greenberg called a timeout just 41 seconds into the game and got into a verbal argument with first-team All-ACC guard Malcolm Delaney, whom Greenberg promptly benched for :32 seconds.

Greenberg could be seen trying to talk to Delaney, but the star player turned his head away from the coach, clearly not interested in what he had to say.

It got worse. Jeff Allen picked up two fouls less than five minutes into the game, while Davila finished the first half with three fouls and Delaney was called for two fouls. The Hokies couldn’t hit a free throw, or a field goal for that matter, the entire first half. It took Virginia Tech six and a half minutes to register their first field goal and were under 50 percent from the charity stripe until Delaney hit a pair with less than a second left in the half. The finished the half 7/13 from the FT line and trailed 19-27 at the break.

The Hokies shot a pathetic 17.9 percent from the field on 5/28 shooting in the first half. They had only 19 points and two of those came on a pair of Delaney free throws with less than a second to play in the half. The 19 points is the lowest first-half total by the Hokies all season. Their lowest scoring output in a half was 18 in a 72-57 road loss to georgia tech.

The second half didn’t get off to a particularly great start either. After a quick 4-0 run by the Hokies, Davila picked up his fourth foul, while Delaney and Allen picked their third less than five minutes into the second half. It was all downhill from there.

From there, the noles pushed their lead to 10 points, 28-38, with 13:25 to play. Then, the Hokies finally found some rhythm. Tech used an 11-3 run to cut fsu’s lead to one, 39-40 with nine minutes to play and it was a decent game from then on out.

With 3:05 remaining and Tech trailing 49-46, Manny Atkins came of a screen near the Hokies’ bench and drained a three pointer to tie the game at 49. The Noles regained the lead with a minute to play, 51-49. Delaney was fouled in the act with :41 to play, but missed the first and made the second, to cut the lead to 50-51.

The noles had the ball and the shot clock off when fsu called a timeout. On the inbounds pass, Allen stripped the ball giving the Hokies the ball. Green hit the eventual game winner, but only after replays showed that fsu’s would-be game-winner did not count.

Foul trouble nearly killed the Hokies Friday night. Delaney, Davila and Allen all played with four fouls each for the critical final five minutes of the second half, which hindered their ability to play aggressive basketball. Despite that, Tech kept the game close and allowed them to hang with the noles before overcoming the adversity.

The Hokies will face No. 2 seed duke tomorrow in the ACC semifinals.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Recaps29 Comments

Preview | #6 VT (10-7, 20-10) vs #3 florida state (11-5, 21-9) | Friday ~9:20 PM

Spread: VT by 1.5 (wow, wasn’t expecting that — clearly Vegas doesn’t think Singleton is playing).

The Hokies kept themselves firmly on the bubble Thursday by beating georgia tech, now they have a chance to punch their ticket to the Big Dance with a win over florida state.   A loss means a lot of anxiety between now and Sunday evening.

The big question is: will Chris Singleton play?  fsu’s lone star (he’s to the noles what Toney Douglas was two years ago) has been out since February 12th when he suffered a foot stress fracture against uva.  He’s been shooting and warming up lately before games.  Personally, I don’t think he’ll play.  I think they’ll save him for the NCAA Tournament next week (they have a bid locked up) to protect his future and give him more time to heal.

Even if Singleton cannot play, don’t think this game will be a walkover.  The noles have been playing surprisingly well since their franchise man went down.  They beat uva despite the fact Chris went down early in the game while fsu was behind, and they’ve won three of five since.  One of those losses was to unc (yes, the unc that has won 12 of 13) where fsu led with under 10 seconds left before Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer to win it for the heels.  So these guys can still play… though I’m not sure how.  And to be fair, five of the six teams they played without Singleton (including uva) had losing ACC records.  Friday will be a test for the noles, who won’t have the hunger VT should have.

Note that teams playing on consecutive days tend to have an advantage early in games since they tend to be in the flow more quickly.  All you have to do is look at Tech’s record on short turnarounds (6-1) in ACC regular season games to see that.  Or look at the Big East marathon ( I mean Tournament) — there have been tons of upsets where teams that played the previous day upset a higher seed that was resting.  That will be key to Tech to jump up early.


  • 3-Pt%: In VT’s last 15 games, the team that shot a higher percentage from behind the arc won.  (Though in the first meeting between these clubs, VT was just 1/8 from deep — FTs won them that game).
  • Transition: fsu plays great defense.  That’s how they win with or without Singleton.  They aren’t going to drop 80 or 90 on you.  So the Hokies have to find ways to get easy buckets.  Push the ball like they did against georgia tech and attack the rim, Green and Delaney.
  • Protect the ball: The noles need turnovers to fuel their offense.  They are good in transition.  The Hokies need to make smart passes, and avoid giving up a lot of steals (fsu is #2 in the league in steals).
  • Urgency: Tech needs to play like they did Thursday, or like they did against duke — like they were playing for a NCAA Tournament bid.  In many ways, they are.  Win Friday and I feel they are a lock.  Lose, and again, they are the mercy of the Committee, which hasn’t worked out too well the last 3 years.
  • Battle Inside: The noles aren’t a team that’s going to bomb you out of the gym from deep (8th in the league in 3s made per game).  They want to penetrate.  VT has to work hard to cut off noles on the dribble, while being smart and not fouling, then box out and deny fsu second chance opportunities.


  • All-time: fsu 25-18
  • In ACC Play: fsu 6-3


Jeff Allen scored 24 and snagged 11 boards on his way to ACC Player of the Week honors.  VT hit 34/37 free throws to fuel the win.  Chris Singleton had 22 points and 8 rebounds for fsu.


Position Virginia Tech florida state
Guard 11 Green – 6-4 22 Kitchen – 6-4
Guard 23 Delaney – 6-3 21 Snaer – 6-5
Wing/Guard 1 Bell – 6-7 4 Dulkys – 6-5
Forward 0 Allen – 6-7 10 White* – 6-8
Forward 14 Davila – 6-8 5 James – 6-10

*Singleton would play for White if he plays.


Virginia Tech fsu#
RPI 64 45
PPG 70.2 (4) 68.2 (7)
Pts Against 66.1 (5) 65.2 (4)
FG % 44% (2) 44% (3)
3-Pt % 36% (4) 34% (7)
FT % 74% (3) 68% (10)
Scorer Delaney 18.3 Singleton 13.8, Kitchen 10.1
Rebounder Allen 10.0 Singleton 7.1, James 5.6
Assists Delaney 4.3 Kitchen 3.6
Steals Green 1.9 Singleton 2.1, Kitchen 1.8
Blocks Bell 1.1 James 2.3

*Team stats are from ACC games only (and ACC rank), player stats are for all games.

# Since my thought is Singleton won’t play, I’ve listed their second leading ‘whatever’.


  • f-l-o-r-i-d-a s-t-a-t-e! florida state, florida state, florida state… WOOOOO! [Sorry, but guys should not be yelling ‘Woooo’ at the end of your school cheer]
  • Established in 1851
  • 31,000 undergrads, 8,500 post-grads
  • Was an all women’s school from 1906 to 1947 when it became coed. Lee Corso (ESPN Gameday personality) joked that when he went on his recruiting visit to the florida gators, he barely saw any women, but when he went to fsu, he barely saw any men… he went to fsu.
  • Burt Reynolds went to fsu.
  • Jim Morrison attended fsu for a stretch and got arrested for a prank after a football game.
  • Richard Simmons went to fsu (chuckle)
  • Ted Bundy killed two fsu Chi Omegans during his serial killing spree back in the late ’70s.
  • fsu has 2 titles in football (as Hokies know all too well) and 3 title game appearances in the College World Series, but lost all 3.
  • 2 Heismans – Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke
  • florida state is the only school VT hasn’t beaten on the road in football OR basketball.  0-1 in pigskin, 0-4 in hoops.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Previews10 Comments

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