Here is a 4-minute montage of the highlights from Wednesday’s Virginia Tech win over liberty 73-63 at the Cassell…
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 22 January 2014.
Dear Hokie Hoops Fan,
You have officially been admitted to Rock Bottom. Population: Us
To say the first half was an embarrassment would be an understatement. The Hokies were absolutely run off their own floor in the opening minutes by an inspired wake forest team led by Coach Bzdelik. Tech did put forth a noble effort in the second half led by Devin Wilson’s 25 2nd half points and got within 9 with 4:30 to go, but ultimately fell by an 83-77 score at the Cassell (the 6-point final margin marked the closest Tech was since the 14:40 mark of the first half — in other words, the game really wasn’t that close.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Bzdelik and his road woes, here’s some interesting numbers coming into tonight:
Give wake credit, because they got Bzdelik ACC road win #2 tonight with their inspired play. The deacons just flat destroyed the Hokies early, who granted were without their 2nd and 3rd leading scorers (Ben Emelogu – ankle and Adam Smith – calf). But excuses are like @ss holes — everyone has one and they both stink. And the “injury” excuse doesn’t hold water. We have injuries year after year after year. What are we doing in practice? Fight Club? And wake didn’t go 1-27 without finding ways to lose to teams dealing with adversity. Instead, we can safely say we are the worst of the worst now.
This game was a train wreck from the start for the Hokies. Here are a few telling details:
But this is Bzdelik and you knew he’d find a way to make it interesting. Tech opened the 2nd half on a 7-1 and cut the lead to 10 with 18 minutes to go. After the teams traded baskets, wake then went on a 9-0 run to push the lead back to 19 with just under 15 minutes to go.
Once again Tech battled and chipped away, getting the deficit down to 10 with 5 minutes to go and finally single digits (9) with 4:40 to go. But the Hokies just couldn’t get stops all night when then needed them, and Codi Miller-McIntyre put the game away with some driving layups and horrible help defense (the VT post players clearly didn’t find the ball).
Kudos to the Hokies for giving it their all in the second half. Joey van Zegeren laying out for a loose ball down 16 with 8 minutes to go was awesome effort. And the team did battle. But you cannot keep digging yourself into ridiculous first half holes and expect to win any games. Tech has trailed by 15 and 16 points at the half in their last 2 games respectively. Note to JJ: Whatever you are telling the team at halftime, TELL THEM BEFORE THE GAME!
While wake played with effort, with inspiration, with a gameplan, Tech played with nothing in the first half. JJ had to know he wasn’t going to have Emelogu or Smith, yet the guys that did play looked totally unprepared. And to boot, they were uninspired and gave almost no effort on defense. If a coach can’t prepare you to win, can’t inspire you to play hard, what good is he? Not much, in my opinion.
Things that didn’t stink:
Things that had a moderate to severe odor:
Tech returns to action on Saturday at 3 PM against the red hot uva team (5-1 in the ACC) at uva. Let’s hope we show up at 3, not at 4.
I’m officially in the ‘we need to fire JJ after the season’ camp. I’m just not sure we will given that we still don’t yet have an A.D. and the season ends for us in less than 2 months.
And if you want me to rub your back and tell you everything is going to be OK, I can’t. We are about as bad as I’ve seen since the final days of the ricky stokes tenure. And even in his last year he pulled off a win over a ranked uconn team and uva at home, which this team is a far cry from doing. It’s time to blow up the operation and take some risks, and to me that means spending some money. I’m tired of worrying about living in the black on the Balance Sheet, I want to be naughty and push the red. Because it is going to take some money to get this thing turned around.
Also, I encourage people to donate more than ever. The truth is we have a very small Hokie Club population, and stopping donations will only make it that much harder to rationalize spending money on a new coach. Make your voice heard that you want change, just don’t close those wallets, please.
Posted on 19 January 2014.
A lackluster, uninspired first half proved to be too much for the Hokies to overcome despite a fierce second half rally, and Tech fell in South Bend, IN by a 70-63 score to the fighting irish in the first ever meeting between the two schools as ACC members. This marks Tech’s fourth straight loss and 6th in 7 games, and snapped notre dame’s 3 game losing streak.
For those of you that were watching the NFL Conference Championships instead of this game, you’d swear Virginia Tech won if you just looked at the boxscore. Check this out:
* I bet you are wondering who this “Cadarian Raines” guy is. No, he’s not a mid-season transfer, he’s actually a 5th year senior who had been riding the pine for most of the last month.
So how did the Hokies lose this game? As I like to say — bad teams find ways to lose, and when you are picked to finish last in the ACC out of 15 teams, you find new ways to lose every night. Tonight, these were the factors that did the Hokies in:
Tech led just once in this game by a 7-6 score and trailed for the final 35:30 of the game. notre dame used runs of 9-0 and 10-0 in the first half to pull away from Tech. The 9-0 run early in the game put the irish up 15-7 and the 10-0 stretch closed the first half, giving the irish a 15-point lead, 39-24, at the break before Digger Phelps was honored at the half. Tech’s guards/small forwards were just 1/9 from the field in the first half.
The Hokies, to their credit, came out fired up to start the 2nd half. After scoring just 24 in the first half, Tech scored 17 points by the first media timeout. That was thanks to 12 points in the paint, mostly off Devin Wilson’s penetrating layups, or Barksdale/Raines short hooks and jumpers. The Hokies started the half 8/10 on FGs to get the lead down to 4 at 46-42 at that first media timeout.
The Hokies went on another 7-0 run, their second such run of the second half, to get within 2 points at 53-51 with 10 minutes to go. But back-to-back 3-pointers by the irish put them up 8 and Tech never got closer than 5 the rest of the way.
While not having Emelogu at all, or Smith for most of the game, I should note that notre dame lost their leading scorer and best player 2 weeks ago, so that shouldn’t be an excuse.
Pat Connaughton led all scorers with 21 for the irish and seemed to have an answer whenever VT made a run. He scored 8 straight in the first half at one point to help notre dame pull away.
There were some real positives to take from the game, though:
JJ’s Head-Scratcher of the Game: Tech secured a rebound down 8 with 1:26 to go in the game. They proceeded to pass the ball around the perimeter until JJ called a timeout with 1:10 to go and just 19 seconds on the shot clock. What did the Hokies then do? They ran screens but still didn’t get a shot up until Devin Wilson was fouled with 4 seconds on the shot clock and less than a minute left in the game. Using over 30 seconds on offense at that point, and 15 seconds after a timeout, is unacceptable. Another oddity was Christian Beyer was in the game instead of Jarell Eddie both before and after the timeout. I realize Eddie has been struggling, but down 8 shouldn’t you have one of your best 3-point shooters in there, especially with Smith and Emelogu hurt?
JJ’s Head-Scratcher of the Season: Do I even need to say it? Benching Raines for the last month. Sure could have used him in those other close games. But hey, Tech lost tonight even with him, so maybe none of it matters. And we did see some of Marshall Wood tonight, too, though he looks lost with 0 points in 13 minutes. Hopefully the doghouse is vacant for now.
The Hokies return home to face wake forest on Wednesday at 7 PM. Sadly, I cannot call this a guaranteed win despite the fact wake has not won an ACC road game in more than 2 full calendar years (they’ve lost 17 straight ACC road games and Coach Bzdelik, the reigning Worst Coach in the ACC, is 1-27 in ACC road games at wake — note he was 1-23 in Big 12 road games at colorado for a grand total of 2-50 over the last 7 years). If Tech loses this game, well, I’ll have more on that if and when we have to face that fact. But let’s hope we get a good showing with the students back!
Shot Chart — Here’s how the Hokies did from various ranges on the floor:
Posted on 15 January 2014.
Well, I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted, because tonight was probably the last time all season the Hokies will step on the floor with a winning record. Tonight Tech lost their third straight game, all at home, to the team picked to finish 14th in the ACC. c-l-e-m-s-ohhh-n defeated Tech 56-49 fueled by a 7-0 run to finish the game in the final 90 seconds.
Hey! We broke the 4,000 attendance mark with 4,022 fans! Seriously, though, major props to the fans going to the games. (Joke: What’s the difference between a VT basketball crowd and an opera crowd… An opera crowd cheers at the end.)
I will say this, the Hokies (whom I predicted to win this game by a score of 5X to 4X instead of vice versa) actually played pretty well against the #1 defense in the nation in terms of points per game allowed (53 per coming in). Tech shot over 40% for the game, well above their average in ACC contests. And they fought back from a 49-43 deficit to tie the game at 49 on a Ben Emelogu 3-pointer with 1:49 to play. But on the ensuing possession Adonis Filer-of-fish converted a controversial 3-point play (why controversial, you ask? Well, Rod Hall caught the inbounds with both feet in the front court and then leaped into the back court to start the possession, then the refs gave Filer 2 steps of continuation on the 3-point play — JvZ’s 5th foul of the game). But that’s besides the point — once again this JJ led team found a way to lose late… at home.
The Hokies are now just 7-5 in the Cassell this season. While that may not sound that bad, keep this in mind — in the 50+ years of the Cassell, Tech has had a losing record at home just once. ONCE. And Tech just lost to a 4-11 team at home and the team picked to finish 14th. With 6 home games to go, that doesn’t bode well for the Hokies to finish on the plus side of .500 (need 3 more wins) or even at .500 (need to go 2-4).
Anyway, back to this game. How did we lose, you ask? Well, here you go:
Here are your shooting stats for the game:
It wasn’t all bad, though:
Devin Wilson led the Hokies with 14 points, including his 4th and 5th 3-pointer of the season. Ben Emelogu and Joey van Zegeren added 11 each.
This was a very cleanly played game for the most part between two evenly matched terrible teams. Neither team led by more than 6 (both led by that amount at some point), until the final margin when clemson went up 7. And at one point in the 2nd half the game went 5 minutes and 30 seconds without a whistle. The under-12 timeout in the 2nd half didn’t come until 6:37 to go in the game.
And, last but not least… JJ’s Head-Scratchers:
That said, I did like the 2-3 zone from JJ to start the 2nd half. It seemed to throw off clemson a bit. But let’s face it, losses are losses. We aren’t at rock bottom yet… that could come next Wednesday. In the mean time, see you at South Bend, IN on Sunday at 6 PM on ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Hoops!
Posted on 11 January 2014.
In front of fewer than 4,000 fans, the Hokies dropped fourth game out of their last five, losing at home to the previously 4-11/0-2 boston college eagles by a 62-59 score at the Cassell. Tech has now lost 6 of their last 7 against the eagles, a head-scratching number given bc has been at the bottom of the ACC the last several years. Between football and basketball, the eagles really seem to be our kryptonite.
This game featured two teams expected to finish in the lower third of the ACC and this game could not have been closer. The eagles, the most unathletic team in the ACC, had lost 7 games in a row against Division I opponents, but they were ready today. Neither team led by more than 5 points in the game which feature 15 lead changes. The last of which came on a Lonnie Jackson 3-pointer, his 5th of the game, with 27 seconds left to put bc up 61-59. The Hokies advanced the ball past half court and took a timeout with 22 seconds left. That’s when your…
JJ Head-Scratchers of the Game Happened…
With 2 seconds left Adam Smith shot a fadeaway baseline jumper that bounced high off the rim and out. bc gathered the rebound and hit 1 of 2 free throws. Jarell Eddie grabbed the miss and launched a full court shot that actually hit the back rim, but like most of his shots on the day, was just off. Jarell was just 3/14 on the day and 1/6 on 3-pointers.
Several things did in the Hokies in this contest:
Just to double up, here’s how bad Tech was shooting the ball in every facet Saturday:
Adam Smith had 12 points to lead the Hokies, but just 2 in the 2nd half. C.J. Barksdale tallied 11 and Eddie had 10.
Oh, and in the next chapter of the When It Raines It Pours soap opera, Cadarian didn’t play at all today.
The Hokies led 34-32 at the break despite bc’s 50% 3-point shooting.
And there were some positives in this game:
Yes, bc was 4-11 coming in. But they had a murderous schedule. Still, this is a game Tech had to win at home if they want to avoid the ACC cellar, and they found a way to lose at the end. This team continues to struggle to finish close games. That’s about all I can say. This was a tough loss, and obviously the fans are fed up. This game marked the third time this season fewer than 4,000 have passed the gates and 7th time in the last 8 home games fewer than 5,000 fans showed up (radford drew 5,200).
Tech returns to action Wednesday night against clemson at the Cassell. See about 3,900 of you then!
Posted on 04 January 2014.
The Hokies this week begin a stretch of 17 ACC games over the next nine weeks to close out the regular season. Staying undefeated in the ACC (VT is 1-0) will not be as the Hokies have to face the undefeated and #2 ranked syracuse orange on Tuesday, then the struggling boston college eagles on Saturday, both at the Cassell.
syracuse may be undefeated but they looked awfully vulnerable on Saturday, nearly losing their inaugural ACC game to a bad miami team at the Carrier Dome. The final score of 49-44 looked more like a BCS game score, with syracuse trailing by as many as 6 in the 2nd half before going ahead for good with a little over 4 minutes to go. miami, a bad shooting 3-point team, hit 7/19 (37%) from deep. Tech will have to match their 3-point % of 43% and makes (8.7) to have any shot, and must limit their turnovers which will be tough against that vaunted zone of Coach Boeheim, who will be making his first trip to Blacksburg since I was crawling 36 years ago.
On Saturday VT has a great shot at a win, in what is almost a must win if the Hokies want to stay out of the ACC cellar this season. The eagles have lost 7 straight games to Division I teams and bc is now 0-2 in the ACC after their 2nd ACC loss at home, this time to clemson. The tigers led by 14 at the half in that game but bc made it interesting late with a full court press and had 2 free throws with a chance to tie with 1.3 seconds left, but Hanlan missed them both and clemson won 62-60. If the Hokies can beat them, bc will be 0-3, and getting to at least 2-1 themselves, would really give the Hokies momentum as the ACC slate swings into full gear.
Here’s the week ahead:
Stat(s) of the Week:
Hokie Leaders (through Jan. 5):
Hokie Team Stats (through Jan. 5):
VT vs the opponents:
opponents’ Records This Season:
opponents’ Best Player(s):
Prediction: VT goes 1-1 this week
I’m starting to slip in my predictions after a strong start. No way I had unc-g right and I thought we’d pummel md-es by 30.
I am confident we will lose by double digits, if not a Bear Fight, to syracuse. That is unless we are insanely hot from deep against their zone (and if we can actually get a decent crowd at the Cassell, but I don’t expect that on a Tuesday night with the students still on break). And while Tech has great recent history against #1 teams, Tech is just 1-7 all time against #2 ranked teams. I expect that to go to 1-8.
I am predicting VT beats the 4-10 boston college eagles, but I don’t have a strong confidence level in saying that given their difficult schedule. And bc has won 5 of 6 against the Hokies, including 2 of the last 3 in the Cassell. But since both teams stink in turnover margin, I think Tech will win being at home. I think the Hokies will play hard and pull this one out in a low scoring nail-biter.
Posted on 28 December 2013.
There are bad losses, really bad losses, embarrassing losses, and “Holy crap is the ESPN Bottom Line broken?! There’s no way we lost to $h—– unc-g-spot!?”. Well, this is the latter of those. The Hokies, who were 15-point favorites in this contest, lost at home to the unc-greensboro spartans by a 55-52 score at the Cassell on Saturday.
The Hokies led 43-32 with 10:06 to go in the game and seemed to be in control. But they would score just 6 points over the next 9:49 and unc-g led 52-49 with 17 seconds to go. Marshall Wood made 1 of 2 free throws to tie his career high of 14 points (led VT today) and cut the lead to 2. After unc-g’s Drew Parker made 1 of 2 free throws, Devin Wilson got fouled as he scored a layup and went to the line with a chance to tie the game at 52 with 10 seconds to go. But the 67% foul shooter missed badly to the right. White hit 2 free throws for unc-g to put them up 3. Marshall Wood had a good look at a 3 with 5 seconds to go but missed and time ran out and the Baby Jakes had their second horrific home court loss of the season.
How bad was this loss?
I could add that unc-g was without their 2nd leading scorer, Saddler (12 ppg), but VT was without their 3rd leading scorer, Adam Smith (13 ppg), so I guess that’s a wash.
How did VT lose to the 271st “best” team in the nation?
I predicted the Hokies would be rusty after just 1 game in 20 games, and they certainly were in the first half. The game was tied at 22 at the break with the Hokies having 9 turnovers. It looked like they had turned it around in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half, outscoring unc-g 21-10, but that’s when the wheels came off.
Kyle Cain, a junior transfer from arizona state, led all scorers with 18. He was clearly the best player on the floor for either team, hitting 8/14 shots and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Joey van Zegeren had a career high 11 points, and added 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Ben Emelogu also had 11 for Tech. Jarell Eddie had scored in double figures in each game until today, held to just 4 points on that 1/12 shooting (and just 2 rebounds which is also surprising).
Adam Smith, as mentioned, was out with a calf injury. C.J. Barksdale was limited to just 6 minutes due to his banged up knee. And Cadarian Raines is clearly still in the JJ Doghouse, playing just 7 minutes for the game (1 point).
Both teams were awful from the floor, with each team shooting just 36% for the game. Both teams hit just 3 three-pointers. And turnover margin was close (unc-g had 13, VT had 15). The difference, as I mentioned, was unc-g’s advantage from the foul line.
The Hokies return to action on Tuesday at 4 PM in the Cassell against maryland-eastern shore who is ranked 317th in the RPI. They are just 1-6 against D1 teams (and 1-1 against lower division teams). Since the Sun Bowl is going on at the same time, I’m sure there will be plenty of good seats still available!
Posted on 15 December 2013.
I’ll add some additional notes here leading up to tip-off on Saturday:
FULL PREVIEW: The Hokies continue their 12 days off this week following their ACC opener win at miami. On Saturday, Virginia Tech finally returns to action, playing former Metro Conference rival vcu in the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic at the Richmond Coliseum (hampton and jmu play at 3 PM preceding the vcu/VT game). The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. While this is technically a neutral site game and probably will have a pretty fair split among vcu and VT fans, the game is being played near vcu’s home court, thus making this a road tune-up of sorts.
As for the game, you probably couldn’t find a worse match for the Hokies. vcu, led by Head Coach Shaka Smart (allegedly a candidate for the VT job two years ago), has made the NCAA Tournament three years in a row, winning at least one game each year and reaching the Final Four in 2011.
Thing to Watch: The main reason they will present such a challenge to the Hokies is their style – vcu will press Tech from the time pull into the Commonwealth’s capital city. The rams love to press and trap full court and the Hokies, with a very young backcourt, have not looked good against full court pressure so far this year. Luckily, VT has had almost two weeks to prepare for it. Tech’s lack of depth, though, will present another challenge if the guards tire (or get in foul trouble).
To have any chance to be competitive in this game, the Hokies must limit their turnovers (14 or fewer turnovers) and find ways to aggressively attack the press and get some easy buckets.
Stats of the Week:
Hokie Leaders (through Dec. 15):
Hokie Team Stats (through Dec. 15):
VT vs vcu:
vcu’s Records This Season:
vcu’s Best Player(s):
PREDICTION: Unfortunately, I think the Hokies will get run off the floor and lose by double digits due to the vcu pressure. Even if VT handles the press early, I think it will eventually take its toll and the young, and not deep, Baby Bird backcourt. Hey, I was wrong about miami, so let’s hope I’m wrong here.
Posted on 08 December 2013.
THE VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES, PICKED TO FINISH DEAD LAST IN THE ACC, ARE ALONE IN FIRST PLACE!!! Sure, this was the first ACC league game of the season of any team, but let’s enjoy the moment while we can! The Hokies snapped their 6-game ACC Opener losing streak, winning on the road in 82-degree Coral Gables, FL, 61-60 in overtime. And Coach James Johnson beat Coach Larranaga of miami, whom JJ used to work for at george mason (that’s gotta feel good for JJ). Tech moves to 7-3 on the season (4 straight wins) while the c-a-n-e-s canes fell to 5-5. This was Virginia Tech’s first ever win in an ACC Opener on the road (Tech is now 2-8 all time in ACC Openers).
Tech showed tremendous composure given their youth and the fact they were in a road arena for the first time. The Hokies trailed by 13 with 15 minutes to go in regulation, and 10 with 4 minutes to go. Trailing 55-45 with 4 minutes on the clock, Jarell Eddie scored Tech’s final 11 points of regulation and helped Tech tie the game at 56. Unfortunately, his shot with 2 seconds to go was blocked that could have won the game in regulation. An alley-oop to Joey van Zegeren with 0.3 seconds left was caught and banked in by JvZ… but you can’t catch and shoot the ball with 0.3 left, you can only tip it so the officials waved the shot off and the game went to overtime.
Jarell Eddie was once again the star of the game with 24 points (coming off a career high 34 earlier in the week). His left-baseline fadeaway with 19 seconds left in overtime put the Hokies ahead 61-59. miami’s Garrius Adams got fouled with 7 seconds left but could make just 1 of 2 free throws. On the rebound, Tech nearly lost the ball out of bounds and Joey van Zegeren made a critical mistake, saving the ball into the hands of Donnavan Kirk. But Kirk was too far under the hoop and his shot hit the basket support, giving the ball back to the Hokies with 2 seconds left. VT was able to salt away the rest of the clock and capture the win in their first road game of the season.
It was a tale of three Eddies in this game. In the first 10 minutes of the game, Jarell hit 3 three-pointers. Then he scored just 2 points on 1/11 FGs over the next 25 minutes. But once again Eddie got hot, scoring 13 points between the final 5 minutes of regulation (3/3 on 3s) and overtime. In addition to his game-winner, he also hit the game tying 3-pointer with 46 seconds left in regulation to knot the game at 56 (which is the way the second half ended).
While Eddie was the Player of the Game, Joey van Zegeren had the Play of the Game. With the game tied at 59 in OT and less than a minute to go, the Hokies turned the ball over near midcourt. miami had numbers and it looked like Rion Brown would get an easy bucket to put the canes up. But JvZ, playing major minutes for the injured C.J. Barksdale*, jumped around Devin Wilson to swat the shot off the backboard and give the Hokies possession, setting the stage for Eddie’s go-ahead jumper. JvZ put out incredible effort, running the floor to get back on defense.
This game wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty between two teams picked to finish in the lower third of the league. The Hokies, who came into the game 4th in the nation in 3-point %, hit just 5/16 in the first half. In fact, Tech was just 9/30 (30%) on field goals at the break and hadn’t attempted a single free throw (Tech only attempted 3 FTs for the whole game). VT scored just 8 points over a 13-minute span that overlapped the end of the first half and the start of the second half. With 24 minutes gone in the game, the Hokies had just 24 points. Get the picture?
miami, who is one of the worst shooting teams in the nation, weren’t much better shooting, but held a 31-23 lead at the break due largely to points in the paint. They had an 18-4 advantage at the half in the paint, due largely to their ability to beat Tech off the dribble while the Hokies got nothing off the drive. In fact, Tech didn’t have a fast break point until their were 5 minutes left in regulation.
Tech, who lives and dies by the 3, was dying for the first 36 minutes of the game. Virginia Tech was just 8/28 (29%) on 3-pointers until 4 minutes were left in the 2nd half, but VT hit 4/6 the rest of the way to fuel the comeback and win.
The Hokies now go into their bye week on a high note! Tech is off until Saturday, December 21st when they play vcu at the Richmond Coliseum.
Posted on 01 December 2013.
Update: miami stats have been updated… miami just lost at nebraska by 11 in the ACC/Big(12)Ten Challenge, scoring just 49 points (that’s 11 more than uva)…
Believe it or not the 5-3 Hokies kick off ACC play this week with a road game against the defending ACC regular season and tournament champions, miami. But first Tech has a Tuesday night home tilt against winthrop.
Obviously miami was really, really good last year. But you will need a program to know this team. Their top six scorers from last year are all gone and they return just one player that averaged more than 10 minutes per game or 2 points per game. The canes, after winning both the regular and tourney titles in the ACC last year, were picked to finish 12th in the league this year, barely ahead of wake. And they look like a team that could contend for the ACC cellar (along with VT). Check out who they’ve played and lost to already below in the Opponent’s Records This Season section. But miami did beat 7-2 arizona state in the 5th Place Game of the Wooden Legacy Tournament
This is a critical game for both VT and miami because:
Oh, and the winthrop eagles will not be a cupcake on Tuesday – they beat usc-upstate by 8, jmu by 12, and their only loss was to vcu by 21. The eagles average 81 PPG and 8 steals per game, so they no doubt will put pressure on the Hokies who have struggled with presses.
Stat(s) of the Week:
Hokie Leaders (through Dec. 1):
Hokie Team Stats (through Dec. 1):
VT vs the opponents:
opponents’ Records This Season:
opponents’ Best Player(s):
Things to Watch:
So far I’ve been spot-on picking VT’s record each week (but not necessarily the games). I see Tech going 1-1 this week, with either game possibly being the win or loss (though I’ll say VT beats winthrop and loses at miami). Going on the road is tough in this league and miami will be inspired in their first ACC home game of the season as defending champs and will overcome their numerous departures. That said, this is a bad miami team, especially right now while they are trying to find their identity with so many new faces. The Hokies really need to win this game if they want to avoid a third straight year at the bottom of the league, but I’ll go ahead and say they lose a game like this (similar to the seton hall game) until they prove me wrong.
Posted on 29 November 2013.
The Hokies absolutely pounded their neighbors on Friday afternoon in front of 5,200, woodshedding the radford highlanders 81-56 to move to 5-3 on the season and capture their 2nd straight Bear Fight victory (good thing most people have today off because it is time for some early drinking!!). Tech now leads the all time series 6-1 but the schools hadn’t met in eight years (the Greenbergs didn’t want to play each other so after Brad left VT to be the radford head coach, the series stopped until Brad, and then Seth, were let go).
This is how you do it, this is how you debate! When you play a team from the Big South, you have to come out and smack them in the mouth early and show them they don’t have a chance to win. This game was over by the half, actually, even early than that. With the scored tied 5-5 with 17 minutes to go in the first half, the Hokies went on a near Bear Fight run, outscored ru 18-0 over the next 4 minutes and jumping to a 23-5 lead. Tech created turnovers and got out and ran well to blow the game open. The Hokies were red hot from the field (started 14/21 – 67%) and dominated the glass (had a 16-6 rebound advantage early on). Tech never looked back after that, leading by double-digits the rest of the game.
The Hokies, for once, didn’t do it with 3-point shooting. Tech was 7/15 (47%) from deep on the day, which is remarkable, but that wasn’t the story early. Instead, VT did a beautiful job of beating radford with pick-and-rolls, backdoor passes, and Adam Smith off the pull-up/drive.
Once again it was a balanced offensive attack for VT. They got a Hokie-high 28 points from Adam Smith, 14 from Barksdale, 13 from Eddie, and 10 from Marshall Wood. They also got double-doubles from Jarell Edide and C.J. Barksdale.
Tech shot 50% for the game, the 2nd time they’ve done that this season (52% vs vmi). The Hokies destroyed the smaller highlanders on the glass with a 41-29 advantage overall. VT snagged 81% of ru’s misses, a very impressive number, while getting 25% of their own misses (average).
The Hokies played without freshman captain Ben Emelogu for the second straight game (concussion-like symptoms). Cadarian Raines, who sat the final 37 minutes of Tuesday’s game, did not play at all today. Coach JJ is trying to send another message on effort.
radford made it interesting with 6 minutes to go in the half, using a full court trapping press (VT absolutely has no answer for full court presses right now, even with Devin Wilson in the game). But after the highlanders cut the lead to 13, VT used a 7-0 run to go up 20. Tech led by as many as 22 in the first half and took a 48-28 lead to the break. The Hokies led by a combined 34 points at the half in their two games this week.
VT was 18/31 on FGs (58%) in the first half compared to 10/33 for ru (33%). Adam Smith led VT with 17 and C.J. Barksdale had 10 at the break.
Javonte Green, ru’s leading scorer at 17 ppg, had 11 at the break and 15 for the game. The Hokies don’t seem to worry about stopping their opponent’s best player, they just take everyone else out of their game — radford only had 2 guys with more than 2 points in the first half, and on Tuesday you’ll remember only 3 furman players had scored until the final minute of the game.
Did You Know: All 7 games in this series have been played in the Cassell but Virginia Tech has played at the Dedmon Center before… as a home game. Back on 1/13/96 the Hokies beat la salle 71-55 at the Dedmon Center in an A-10 conference tilt. Tech was playing there because part of the Cassell roof had collapsed a week earlier, killing a worker (who I believe was removing snow). Because of the issue with the roof, VT played one game at radford and one game at the Roanoke Civic Center before the Cassell was fixed.
HOKIES return to action on Tuesday night vs winthrop at the Cassell at 7 PM.
Posted on 24 November 2013.
The Hokies have started the season just as I expected, at least record-wise, with a 3-3 start. That said, I have been impressed with the Baby Birds (or Jake Squad). Ben Emelogu is for real, Trevor Thompson should develop into a good low post player (needs to add weight), Devin Wilson had a rough weekend but has shown flashes, and Adam Smith can really light it up offensively when it doesn’t matter.
After playing the #1 team in the nation and a Big East cellar-dwellar (both losses) this past weekend, the schedule gets considerably easier for the next week and a half. The Hokies play their next three games at home against low tier conference teams (two from the Big South and one from the Southern) before opening ACC play at miami on December 8th.
This week the Hokies host two games at the Cassell, including their neighbors:
Stat(s) of the Week:
Hokie Leaders (through Nov. 17):
Hokie Team Stats (through 11/17):
VT vs the opponents:
opponents’ Records This Season:
opponents’ Best Player:
Things to Watch:
The Hokies are going 2-0 this week [period] Anything, while certainly possible, would be an embarrassment. Time to build up some momentum before the conference opener on December 8th, which is at miami (miami lost everybody and is very beatable, so VT needs to steal a game like that if they want to avoid the cellar, but we’ll get to that next week).
No prediction on the VT @ uva football game, or duke @ unc. I mean, could VT lose 3 games they are double digit favorites in (VT is -13.5 in this one)? And unc is -5.5 after their 80-20 win over odu.
Posted on 23 November 2013.
The Hokies choked away the Consolation Game in the Coaches vs Cancer Classic in Brooklyn, losing by just one point (68-67) in a game they easily could have won. Tech returns home for a game on Tuesday after going 1-3 in the Coaches vs Cancer Classic, including 0-2 in Brooklyn.
Tech led by as many as 10 in the first half and led 61-57 with 1:30 to play, but critical mistakes down the stretch cost Virginia Tech. Up 61-59 with 51 seconds left, Jarell Eddie shot a ball off the top of the backboard at the end of the shot clock for a turnover. After seton hall missed 2 free throws, C.J. Barksdale had a chance to put VT firmly in control but missed the front end of a one-and-one, his first free throw miss of the season in 10 attempts. Fuquan Edwin then hit a 3 to put the pirates up 62-61 with 27 seconds to play. After another Eddie miss, Edwin nailed two free throws to put the hall up 64-61. Eddie, a senior, then threw the inbounds pass into the first row on the right sideline, turning the ball back over to the pirates and effectively ending the game (though freshman Ben Emelogu would hit two 3-pointers from about 30-feet each at the end to make the final difference just one point).
This is a very disappointing loss for the Hokies. seton hall, like VT, was picked to finish last in their conference, the now thinned out Big East. Tech had every opportunity to win. This was a match-up of equally paired teams, and Virginia Tech lost. That, like I said, is disappointing. You want to beat the teams you are even with. And if Tech wants to avoid another cellar-dweller status in the ACC this season, they have to find ways to win games like this (miami, clemson, and nc state (they lost to historically black nc central the other night) are other likely candidates to finish at the bottom).
So, after 6 games, my assessment of this team is the young guys are better than I expected (especially Emelogu — I LOVE this guy), Eddie is looking like a big time shooter (but he also did the first month of last season then fell off the map), the other returning players seem to be the exact same guys they were last year, ballhandling and toughness/rebounding seem like issues, and VT still can’t close games. The results (3-3) are about what I expected, though we’ve looked better than expected doing it. My thought is still that this is going to be a very rough season with a losing record overall, but I do hold hope we can avoid finishing 15th in the ACC. I just don’t see us finishing any higher than 13th.
Virginia Tech hosts furman this Tuesday night at 7 PM.
Posted on 13 November 2013.
True freshman Ben Emelogu, who is a team captain, scored 22 points in yesterday’s big win over west virginia at the Cassell. He hit a huge three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half to send the Hokies to the break with all the momentum.
Posted on 14 March 2013.
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.
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!
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11/14 - Hokies 71, md. eastern shore 46
11/19 - vs. liberty | 7pm, ESPN3
11/22 - vs. appalachian state | 1pm, ESPN3
11/25 - vs. n. iowa | 7pm, CBSSN
11/26 - championship/consolation game | TBA, CBSSN
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