It looks like the recent string of gut-wrenching, last-second losses has finally taken its toll on the young Hokies as they dropped their ninth conference loss this afternoon, 73-65, at home to florida state.
Statistically speaking, this game was pretty much a dead heat, save for one, very important category: field goal percentage. The noles shot an eye-popping 54% while the Hokies shot a respectable (especially for such a young team) 40%. That was the difference in the game, folks. Outside of that, they were pretty even.
True freshman Ahmed Hill scored 19 points including 4 3-pointers, both career highs. Redshirt junior Adam Smith extended his double-digit scoring streak to five games, matching Hill’s 19 points. No other Hokie reached double digits today.
They didn’t play horribly, they just ran into a hot-shooting team. Considering how poorly they played early in the season (see loss at home to radford), they have come a long way. I was skeptical after the first 10-12 games, but seeing how they’ve progressed and stepped up against better competition; how they’ve responded to Buzz; and how they gut it out… I’m all in with Buzz and his staff. I’ve never felt so optimistic about a 1-9 team. I see a bright future ahead and each game gets us a bit closer to it.
And now for an in-game observation… Satchel Pierce played just seven minutes. Considering he is the Buzz’s biggest player (at 7-feet tall *cough*) and he was playing a very big fsu team with three 7-footers, I figured Pierce would see some good minutes, but he got off to a bad start and quickly found himself on the bench for much of the game. Christina Beyer, whom Buzz admitted he second-guessed himself about not playing more in the syracuse heartbreaker, played 22 minutes today, scored four points, and had three assists.
In the first three minutes of the game, Pierce missed a jumper, committed two turnovers, and of course, a foul. It wasn’t his day from the get go. On the radio broadcast, Bill Roth said that Pierce averages one foul for every two minutes of action in conference play. In the biz, we call that “not good.” As a result, he played just 7 minutes, his fewest since December. This isn’t a knock on the kid at all. He’s a true freshman who’s getting significant minutes, which will benefit his development. Buzz knows what he’s doing and Pierce has great upside.
Spread: Hokies by 2!!
It’s time to wash that stink off from the heartbrokie loss on Tuesday at syracuse and make the seminoles pay when fsu heads to the Cassell in a rematch of the noles 86-75 win over Tech on January 6th.
That was another one of those games were a horrible shooting team can’t miss that we know all too well. fsu shot 73% in the first half and 7/10 (70%) on 3s! They scored 53 points in the first half. To put that in perspective, in 10 ACC games (including that game), they are shooting 44% from the field, 33% from deep (and average just 5 made 3s per game), and score 67 points for a game. Needless to say the first meeting skewed those stats a wee bit.
Also, fsu had more offensive rebounds (15) than VT had defensive rebounds (14). That’s… not… good. The problem is fsu has three 7-footers to throw at us.
Since the VT game, fsu is 3-5 with wins over clemson, wake, and miami (they overcame a 16-point first half deficit), and losses to syracuse, pitt, nc state, unc, and clemson. They’ve scored more than 65 points in regulation just once in those 8 games and have been held in the 50s (where they were at the half vs VT) 4 times. Let’s hope last game was a fluke.
Adam Smith and Justin Bibbs combined for 49 points (65% of VT’s points) in the first meeting. Tech must get better balance and hopefully Malik Muller continues his recent trend (almost 14 PPG in his last 3 games) and Jalen Hudson is coming off a career high 18 points.
The Hokies were 11/28 (39%) from deep in that first meeting. If the Hokies can repeat that this time, and get at least 60% of fsu’s misses on the defensive glass, VT will win.
RealTimeRPI.com predicts a 73-68 VT win!!! They had the pitt game for us, FYI. And I think we will win this game, too (and so does Vegas). fsu was way too hot last time, and shooting percentages usually drop on the road. Plus, I think VT is better prepared to battle in the low post then they were a month ago when JvZ had just been suspended.
- fsu: 134 (2nd worst in the ACC)
- VT: 208
- fsu: 101.6 (171)
- VT: 101.5 (172)
- fsu: 98.9 (118)
- VT: 100.9 (155)