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 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.
Posted on 10 March 2014.
Odds: miami is favored by 6.
The final preview of the season. I’d be lying if I said I’m shedding any tears as I write this. While I’m sure we all want to shock the Milky Way and go from dead last in the ACC (#15 seed — at least we only have to worry about bringing our road uniforms) to win five days in a row and capture the ACC title, I think many of us already have tee times set for Thursday.
Boo-hoos: The more interesting thing for me will be to see what happens with the #1 seed virginia cavaliers. uva has a double-bye and won’t play until Friday at noon in the Quarterfinals. With a win over the #8/9 game winner (florida state vs maryland), uva will advance to ACC Semi-Final Saturday. Big whoop, right?
Actually, it would end one of the longest ACC Tournament streaks of futility — uva has failed to make it past the Quarterfinal Round for the last 18 years. The last time they did, I was a freshman at Virginia Tech (that wasn’t yesterday).
It is unbelievable to think they’ve gone that long without a semi-final appearance. Many of those years all they had to do was win one game, especially from 1996-2003 when there were only 9 teams in the league. And before you say “but when have they been the #1 seed?” Well, never during that stretch. But they did tie for the regular season title in 2007 and were the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament, but lost to the #10 seed nc state in the Quarters (of course, state would then knock off VT in the semis, costing Tech a trip to the Championship Game). Last year as the #4 seed and a first round bye, the hoos lost to #5 seed nc state in the Quarters.
Tech made the semis 3 out of 4 years between 2007 and 2010, although they were never able to get over the hump and make a title game appearance.
HOKIES: OK, enough about the hoos (but I had to draw light to that pathetic stat given this may be the last time I get to mention it and given all the positive publicity they’ve been getting of late).
The Hokies face the miami hurricanes on Wednesday… the team they swept this regular season for their only two ACC wins and their only win in the calendar year of 2014. Oh, the irony!!! Could it be a 3-peat? Before you say no, keep in mind an awful nc state team (5-11) beat the Hokies three times back in 2007, the greatest Hokie team of the last 17 years. A Hokie team that was one basket away in the regular season finale against clemson from tying for the league title and getting the #1 seed in the tourney. I’ll say this — it is a lot easier to win 3 games against a team if you’ve won the first 2 (thank you, Captain Obvious).
Note that these are the per game averages for ACC games only, along with the team’s ACC rank in parenthesis (out of 15). You’ll notice a lot of 15s next to VT.
|Stat (Per Game)||HOKIES||miami|
|PPG||55.3 (15)||59.2 (14)|
|Opp PPG||65.6 (6)||59.6 (3)|
|FT%||61% (15)||65% (13)|
|FG%||37% (15)||41% (13)|
|Opp FG%||42% (5)||41% (2)|
|3-Pt%||31% (13)||32% (10)|
|3s Made||5.9 (6)||5.6 (8)|
|Opp 3-Pt%||34% (7)||36% (12)|
|Blocks||3.7 (t-7)||3.2 (11)|
|Steals||3.8 (15)||4.3 (t-14)|
|TO Margin||-3.6 (15)||-0.3 (8)|
|Def Reb %||69% (6)||67% (8)|
|Off Reb %||32% (11)||34% (7)|
I can’t even imagine how empty the G-boro Coliseum will be for this game. The Opening Round games aren’t even included in the ACC Tournament ticket package, and tickets for these games will be “general admission”. Since nearby wake forest plays right before VT, there might be a few people there at the start. But if wake falls to 0-4 in the ACC Tournament under soon to be unemployed Coach Bzdelik, the VT/miami game might have all the life of a rec league game.
TECH’S ROAD TO THE ACC TITLE:
Posted on 08 March 2014.
The Hokies completed their regular season by setting the record for most ACC regular season losses, falling 62-51 at georgia tech. Tech notched their 16th ACC loss, the first time an ACC team has lost that many in the regular season. Granted, this is just the 2nd year of an 18-game ACC regular season, and past ACC teams have gone 0-14 and wake went 1-15 three years ago, but this still is obviously not a record you wish to own. Tech is now just 1-16 in 2014.
Joey van Zegeren notched a career high 21 points for the Hokies but it wasn’t enough. It was to see the big Dutchman playing well. He had surpassed his previous career high of 14 (set against maryland earlier this week) with more than 15 minutes still to go in the game! Heck, he even hit 3/5 FTs, well above his 36% FT%! But Joey had absolutely no help offensively for the first 30 minutes of the game and that ultimately did in the Hokies as the jackets started to shred their 2-3 zone.
For the most part, this looked like a game between two teams with no postseason aspirations walking through the motions and killing time until they get eliminated from the ACC Tournament. Tech and tech both played uninspired ball until a couple of alley-oop dunks got the jackets, and their crowd, into the game in the 2nd half. The simple fact was their lifeless effort was more productive than ours, and so they won.
Ben Emelogu was back and played 27 minutes, but clearly wasn’t at full strength. He rarely attacked the basket and settled for 3-pointers (3/8 on FGs, 2/6 on 3s for 6 points). Barksdale, Raines, and Smith were all out with injuries and VT only played 7 guys until the last minute.
|FGs||20/53 (38%)||24/49 (49%|
|3s||6/23 (26%)||6/19 (32%)|
|FTs||5/9 (56%)||8/11 (73%)|
|Scorer||JvZ – 21||Carter – 16|
|Longest FG Drought||Final 4:30 of the game|
Note: The Hokies finished with a Points Per Possession (PPP) of better than 1.0 just once this season in their 18 ACC games. According to Cvillehoops13 of TSL, that’s some kind of a record. I do know this, in a season where points are as high as they’ve been in years, that’s not a good thing. Tech had a PPP of 0.77 in the first half before a nice run midway through the 2nd half pulled it up to at least a non-embarrassing 0.91 for the game, but still well below 1.0.
Well, when you are right 23% of the time, it means you are either a below average baseball hitter or a terrible predictor. I’m the latter. I picked the Hokies to win this game largely because:
For the 2nd game in a row, VT gave up a layup in the final seconds of the first half when they should have had the last shot. Today marked the 9th straight game the Hokies have failed to reach the 30 point mark in the first half. georgia tech led 29-22 at the half. And just like on Tuesday, this game was lost in the first 10 minutes after the break.
the Hokies’ “offense” completely fell apart in the 2nd half:
Tech did not shoot well other than van Zegeren:
One particular stretch was really a microcosm of the entire season. With VT down 13 and 11 minutes to go, here’s how it played out:
After that, the Hokies finally woke up (or perhaps gt fell asleep). Tech scored on four straight possessions to cut the jackets’ lead to 10 at 54-44 (an 11-2 run). But again, when you go down by 19 with under 10 minutes to go, it is just too late.
The Hokies would later get it down to 8 at 58-50 with 4:30 to go, but could manage just 1 point in the final 4:30. Heck, they almost went a full game without a 4 minute FG drought, but alas, this is the Hokies.
And you just scratch your head at the lack of urgency from this team down the stretch…
In other words, the Hokies had given up and couldn’t get to their plane fast enough and get to the bars of Blacksburg.
The game actually started out going just the way VT needed it to. georgia tech started just 1/10 from 3-point range, settling for outside jumpers against the zone. But VT couldn’t really take advantage of the slow jacket started and led just 18-16 with 4:24 to go in the first half.
Finally gt started hitting 3-pointers and made 4 of their next 5 from deep to start pulling away. But the biggest difference was their inside presence. Their two biggest low post players, Daniel Miller (who has been at gt since the Bobby Cremins era) and Robert Carter combined to shoot 13/16 from the field and score 30 points. They found the soft spots in the zone at the high post or on the baseline underneath the hoop to beat Tech’s defense.
With miami’s win over wake forest, the Hokies will get to face the canes for a third time on Wednesday at 3:30 PM in the #10/#15 game of ACC Tournament Opening Day. Tech swept miami in the regular season for their only 2 ACC wins.
Posted on 04 March 2014.
The Hokies got absolutely obliterated in the 2nd half and lost 64-47 to the maryland terps in the final meeting between the schools as ACC foes. After leading by a point, 29-28 at the break, Tech was doubled up after the half by a 36-18 margin. Sad as it is to say, at least the Hokies avoided their 2nd straight Reverse Bear Fight defeat to the terps thanks to 3 late free throws after VT fell behind by 20.
Tech fell to 9-20 overall and 2-15 in the ACC, setting a new mark for most conference losses by VT (in any conference — the previous mark of 14 had been done in 2000-01 in the Big East and last year in the ACC). This is also the first time Tech has lost 20 games in almost 60 years, dating back to the 1954-55 season when the Hokies finished 7-20.
In front of a mostly empty and pretty much dead Communist Center in college park, md, Tech actually played exciting, interesting, and fun to watch basketball for the first 12 minutes of the game and led 23-17. But the final 28 minutes of the game marked the worst Hokie basketball I’ve maybe (maybe) ever seen, scoring just 19 points and going on three different stretches of 5 minutes and 30 seconds or more without a point. Granted, Tech was reduced to five scholarship players due to a C.J. Barksdale ankle injury early in the game, but it was Hokie fans’ eyes that hurt the most having to watch this hot mess. The Hokies would finish with more turnovers (17) than made field goals (15).
While Tech struggled in the 2nd half to even get up a shot (they had 5 turnovers on their firsts 6 possessions of the 2nd half), maryland got blazing hot from deep. They hit 5 three-pointers in a 3:15 span early in the 2nd half to blow the game open.
Jarell Eddie and Joey van Zegeren each had 14 points to lead the Hokies (no one else had more than 6). maryland had a balanced attack as 5 different guys scored between 8 and 13 points.
The attendance was announced as 10,517 at the center that holds just under 18k, but most of those people were dressed as empty red seats. Not good for Coach Turgeon, though he’ll take the win. And give him credit — he held Tech to just 12 combined field goals in the 2nd halves of the two games against Virginia Tech (7 in the first meeting, 5 today). Tech was just 12/45 in the 2nd halves vs maryland this season (27%).
Tech is now just 1-15 in 2014 with one regular season game remaining, a Saturday tilt with the other tech who won at syracuse tonight.
|FGs||15/39 (31%)||24/60 (40%)|
|3s||6/18 (33%)||10/32 (31%)|
|FTs||11/16 (69%)||6/7 (86%)|
|Pts Per Poss||0.76||1.04|
|Top Scorer||JvZ/Eddie (14)||Layman (13)|
Tech started their final game at maryland as icy cold as the weather, missing their first 5 shots. But the Hokies rebounded to hit 5 of their next 7 shots to pull within a point (13-12) after the under-12 timeout. Unfortunately, Tech who was without Smith, Emelogu, or Raines for the game, lost C.J. Barksdale with an ankle injury at this point, leaving them with just 5 scholarship players for the final 30 minutes.
Joey van Zegeren was playing like a man possessed early. He dunked over Seth Allen of maryland and shouted towards the maryland bench. He blocked shots. He snared offensive and defensive rebounds. He made sweet back-door-cut passes. Unfortunately his 2nd foul forced him to the bench later in the first half.
After a maryland layup, the Hokies and their 2-3 zone put the clamps on maryland, holding them to just 2 points over the next 5 minutes. Tech went on an 11-2 run thanks to a pair of three-pointers by Jarell Eddie and another by Will Johnston to take a 23-17 lead! They were pushing the ball up the court when they had the opportunity. They were shooting the ball on their first good look, even if, gasp, there were more than 15 seconds left on the shot clock! Tech was pounding the offensive glass! The Hokies were playing, dare I say it, basketball! They had 23 points in less than 12 minutes! And then… (death, taxes, and…)
[INSERT RIDICULOUS SCORING DROUGHT DESCRIPTION HERE, PART 1]
maryland started going to a passive full court drought. To JJ’s credit, Tech handled it much better than they did at duke and advanced the ball easily (except for a travel/10-second violation on Johnston at the end of the half). But, it slowed Tech down and they reverted back to their “offense” of the last several weeks — taking the air out of the ball. The result was ZERO points for the next 5:35 (0/5 FGs and 4 turnovers). maryland responded with a 7-0 run to go back on top 24-23 with 3 minutes to go in the half.
After 335 seconds without a point, Virginia Tech answered with 5 points in 24 seconds culminated on a transition 3-pointer by Jarell Eddie, his third triple of the half. Tech regained the lead at 28-24 with 2:20 to go in the half.
[INSERT RIDICULOUS SCORING DROUGHT DESCRIPTION HERE, PART 2]
The Hokies would have the ball for the final shot of the half up 29-26… or so it seemed. But this is Virginia Tech, and the Hokies saw Trevor Thompson get stripped of the ball with 8 seconds to go, leading to a breakaway dunk by Nick Faust just before the halftime buzzer. Tech led 29-28 at the break but Uncle Mo had shifted back to the terps.
This game marked the 8th straight Tech has failed to reach the 30-point mark in the first half (they’ve done it just 3 times in 17 ACC games), despite being 5/10 from deep in the first half to help power their lead.
Virginia Tech opened the 2nd half like they ended the first, with a turnover leading to a maryland dunk. That would be the story of our life in the final 20+ minutes. Check out some of these facts:
At that point, maryland turned the game into a Shoot-Around. The terps hit 5 three-pointers in a 3:15 span to turn a 31-29 lead into a 46-34 cushion (5/6 during the stretch from deep).
The rest of the game looked like a layup line for maryland. Perhaps JJ figured uncontested dunks were better than 3s (since it is one less point). maryland had 4 dunks in the final 10:03 of the game.
[INSERT RIDICULOUS SCORING DROUGHT DESCRIPTION HERE, PART 3]
Even with the game over, Tech still couldn’t muster any field goals.
Between 8:19 to go in the game and 2:20 Tech would not score a point, a run of almost 6 minutes. This was their third stretch of 5:30+ without a point in the game!!! Between the 8:19 mark of the first half and the 2:20 mark of the 2nd, Tech would make just 6 field goals and score just 14 points in that stretch of almost 26 minutes.
At the end, Tech cleared their bench… that meant bringing in one player, Greg Donlon, that’s all they had left.
Worst of all, the team quit. At least up to this point you could say they had fought all the way all year. But they quit in the 2nd half. They weren’t fighting over screens and weren’t hustling after loose balls or on help defense. What made me the most upset was Jarell Eddie was clearly fouled on a 3-pointer with 4:30 to go but no call was made. We were down 17. It was the chance for JJ to get T’d up and show he still cared. That he was still “playing” hard. But he just softly spoke to the refs as maryland went down for a dunk and we slept walk to the media break. So I quit on them at the under-4 timeout. Our tee time for next Thursday can’t come soon enough.
Posted on 02 March 2014.
Spreads: georgia tech is favored by 7. maryland was favored by 12.
The regular season mercifully comes to an end this coming Saturday for the 2-14/9-19 Hokies after trips to maryland (7-9) and georgia tech (4-12). Tech has already matched the 2000-01 Hokies in two categories of futility:
With boston college’s win at wake forest on Saturday (can you say another nail in Bzdelik’s ridiculously huge coffin?), the Hokies clinched the 15th seed (i.e. dead last) in the ACC Tournament. And the Hokies can only finish, at best, tied for last place in the league, marking the third straight year they’ve been in the cellar.
The Hokies will play the #10 seed in the ACC Tournament, which is… miami (as of today)! So you are sayin’ there’s a chance!
Call me crazy but I see Tech knocking off georgia tech next Saturday. The lesser tech has lost 5 of 6 with the lone win over bc. A loss will surely put Gregory on the hot seat at gt, though he’ll likely get another year. Plus, VT OWNS the lesser tech, with VT 14-5 all time against the jackets and are 4-2 at the Thriller Dome since joining the ACC.
Meanwhile, I think maryland is too deep (they’ll play 11 guys) for the razor thin Hokies to beat on the road in their final trip to the Communist Center as ACC rivals. But wouldn’t it be sweet to return the favor to the terps, who beat us in our house in football this past fall, and knock off maryland in their building in their sport — hoops. My brain just won’t let me pick it.
Team Stats – ACC Games Only (through March 1st)
Note that this is where each team ranks in each major statistical category in ACC Conference Games only.
Hokie Leaders (through March 1st):
Hokie Team Stats — Overall (through March 1st — note that these stats and conference rankings are for all 28 games):
VT vs the opponents
opponents’ Best Player(s):
Posted on 01 March 2014.
Hope is a dangerous thing. The Hokies, who fell to 9-19 after today’s 60-56 loss to north carolina, have given fans hope in the last five games by playing tough defense and keeping games close, or at least interesting, for the most part.
However, despite much improved play over the last several games, the Hokies have only one win to show for their efforts. Today’s loss was an even tougher pill to swallow because it means a losing record at home (8-10) for the Hokies for only the second time in the 53 year history of Cassell Coliseum.
Tech started slowly (shocking, we know), but so did the tar heels. After falling behind 11-6, the Hokies used a 10-0 run to take a 16-11 lead. Freshmen Devin Wilson and Trevor Thompson played particularly well against the heels. They didn’t seem intimidated or overwhelmed. They still made some freshmen mistakes, but they’re showing the league’s best that they can compete.
Wilson finished with 15 points and 7 assists, while Thompson had 8 points and 6 rebounds.
Back to the game. After taking that 16-11 lead, unc woke up and closed the half with a 17-5 run that put them up 28-21 lead at the break.
The Hokies, remember, were without Adam Smith, Ben Emelogu, and of course, Cadarian Raines, who did not see a single second of action in his final home game ever as a Hokie. Officially, Raines was out because of an ankle injury, even though he warmed up before both halves and didn’t seem to be favoring either ankle.
In the second half, unc’s James McAdoo finally came to life and started gashing Tech’s defense with a seemingly endless supply of thunderous (and uncontested) dunks. He scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half.
Still, the Hokies didn’t quit. Late in the game, despite trailing by nine thanks to a bad offense charge call against Jarell Eddie that negated a bucket, which then led to a McAdoo dunk, Tech managed to keep it close and even cut the lead to three late.
Eddie, who led all scorers with 18 points, converted a layup with 5.6 seconds left to make it a 59-56 game. Leslie McDonald made one of two free throws to seal the four-point win for the tar heels, who have now won 11 straight games, their longest winning streak since the 2008-09 season.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has lost 14 of its last 15 games and have only one win in 2014. With two games left, the Hokies are in dead last in the ACC standings. Tech has clinched the 15th seed in the ACC tournament (i.e. last place for the third straight year), and they’ll play on Wednesday, March 12, against the No. 10 seed, which is miami right now.
One other note on this game: As we mentioned earlier, senior Cadarian Raines, who hasn’t played much at all this season, didn’t see one minute of playing time today. It was his last appearance in a Hokie uniform at the Cassell, and he didn’t get in the game. That just seems odd, but then again, this whole season has been odd in terms of players disappearing on the bench for unexplained reasons. Remember that guy Marshall Wood?
Posted on 25 February 2014.
In the land of NERDS the Hokies fell by a score of 66-48 to #6 duke. The Hokies entered as 21 point underdogs and fell behind by 20 points in the first 10 minutes and 10 seconds of the game (24-4), but battled back and only trailed by 8 with 14 minutes to go in the game. But an 8 minute FG drought did in the Hokies, who narrowly avoided their 7th Reverse Bear Fight of the season (however this is the 8th time VT has lost by 18+).
Considering the 20-point deficit early and the fact VT lost by 28 and 32 points to duke last year (VT has lost by 35, 35, and 28 in the past at duke), this game could have really gotten ugly, but Tech battled throughout.
The Hokies actually shot for a higher FG% and FT% than duke, were just -2 in FTs made (even though this game was at Cameron Indoor), and held duke to just 30% from 3-point range. Yet Tech lost by 18. How?
|FGs||20/47 (43%)||24/62 (39%)|
|3s||2/9 (22%)||10/33 (30%)|
|FTs||6/7 (86%)||8/11 (73%)|
|Pts Per Poss||0.78||1.06|
|Lead Scorer||Thompson – 15||Hood – 21|
|Long FG Drought||7:05 (1st)||4:14 (1st)|
If you had any illusions of the Hokies winning on Tuesday night, those thoughts pretty much evaporated in the first few minutes. A few things told me early on Tech had zero chance of winning:
This game started as poorly as possible for the Hokies. Check out the opening 12 minutes:
I don’t care for Coach K but he is #1 in wins all time for a reason:
The Hokies responded very admirably, though. After ‘spotting’ duke that 24-4 lead, the Hokies went on a 8-0/12-2 run to cut the lead to 10 at 26-16 with 4 minutes to go in the first half. C.J. Barksdale went 4/4 during that run for 9 points.
Barksdale is clearly Tech’s best shooter right now, even as a big man. He started the game, right? Nope, he came in 4 minutes into the game after VT was already down 9-2.
The rest of the first half went back and forth like that the rest of the way and Tech entered the locker room down ‘just’ 12 at 32-20, but all considering, that wasn’t a bad thing.
The Hokies came out firing and opened the 2nd half on a 7-2 run, cutting the duke lead to just 7 at 34-27 with 18 minutes to go. But Tech would get no closer.
duke, who started 4/18 (22%) from 3-point range, got hot after that. They hit 4 of their next 6 triples and pushed the lead back up to 14 (54-40) with 10:48 to go.
As mentioned above, with Tech trailing by 13 with 11:06 to go, Tech embarked on an 8-minute field goal drought, scoring just 4 points from the line during that stretch and allowing duke to go up by 19 at 63-44. In fact, Tech scored just 6 points in the final 10 minutes of the game. At least they avoided the Reverse Bear Fight thanks to a Trevor Thompson layup with a minute to go, setting the final margin at 66-48.
There were some real positives for the Hokies:
Seriously, are there bigger losers than the duke student body? A crowd shot of a L.A. Lakers home game is a who’s who of celebrities (or at least it used to be). A crowd shot of the duke student section looks like a Big Bang Theory casting call (not including the duke female who is a porn star — true story). I mean, if these nerds went to any other school, they’d never leave their room. I went to the game at duke two years ago and I was tempted to start doling out wedgies and I was 36 at the time. These people would be the face of bullying if they went to, say, florida state. Yet they go to duke and actually think they are cool. Seriously, you get dates because you’ll earn money some day, not because you pop your back zits with a protractor.
The Hokies return home on Saturday at 2:30 to face the ranked unc tar heels in the final home game of the season. It’s a Maroon Monsoon, people!
Posted on 23 February 2014.
Update: unc won their 10th in a row on Wednesday, winning 85-84 at nc state in overtime thanks to 35 from Marcus Paige. He hit 7 threes after halftime and scored the winning layup over TJ Warren with less than a second to go in overtime.
Tech finishes their Research Triangle tripleheader (state, duke, and unc) with a trip to Tobacco Road to play duke and then Senior Day on Saturday for Jarell Eddie and Cadarian Raines (if he’s allowed to play). Saturday is Maroon Monsoon so expect Tech to wear any jersey color other than maroon.
Also, best wishes to departing seniors Jarell Eddie and Cadarian Raines. I’ve arm curled both and they were always nice to me every time I met them. All the best!
Two ranked teams on tap this week. I certainly don’t see the Hokies winning at Cameron Indoor. And the heels are the hottest team in the ACC not named uva, having won 10 straight since losing to the hoos by 15. I fear this week will be another 0-for. But if it isn’t, that will be a real feather in the cap of Coach JJ who is working hard to save his job here in the latter stages of the season.
Hokie Leaders (through Feb. 23):
Hokie Team Stats — Overall (through Feb. 23 — note that these stats and conference rankings are for all games, not just ACC games which have severely brought down Tech’s offensive numbers):
Hokie Team Stats – ACC Games Only (through Feb. 23)
VT vs the opponents — it ain’t pretty
opponents’ Best Player(s):
Posted on 22 February 2014.
It was the T.J. Warren Show at Saturday at Cassell Coliseum as the nc state wolfpack evened their record in ACC play at 7-7 behind 31 points from the ACC’s leading scorer. state was simply too athletic for the short-handed Hokies.
With the loss in front of 5,268 at the Cassell (VT’s 2nd largest crowd in ACC play), Tech is now 8-9 at home on the season with one game to go next Saturday versus the red hot unc tar heels. The Hokies have now clinched not having a winning record at home for just the 3rd time in the 53 year history of the Cassell. One other time they finished .500, which they could do with an upset next Saturday, or they’ll produce their 2nd ever losing season at home with a loss, matching the 2000-01 Hokies.
|FGs||26/64 (41%)||18/42 (43%)|
|3-Ptrs||4/24 (17%)||6/18 (33%)|
|FTs||15/25 (60%)||22/37 (60%)|
|Leading Scorer||Warren – 31||Wilson/Eddie – 14|
|Longest FG Drought||8:08|
|Pts Per Possession||1.02||0.99|
T.J. Warren, a sophomore and former 5-star recruit that was a bit of a disappointment last year, came in leading the ACC in PPG at 23 per contest (almost 4 points ahead of #2) and he was too much for Tech to guard. After hitting two early 3-pointers, he shredded the Tech 2-3 zone with runner after runner from 6-12′ on his way to 31 points on 12/21 shooting, 3 short of his career high 34 he had at home vs (shocker) wake forest.
Warren was the recipient of many of Tyler Lewis’s 11 assists (he had 9 assists just in the first half). Lewis looks like he belongs on The Big Bang Theory more than an ACC basketball court, but beat the defensively challenged Hokies off the dribble easily today.
The Hokies came in having playing three great games in a row, but winning just one. Today was not a fourth straight great effort. We should note that Tech was without Adam Smith as usual, but also Ben Emelogu and Cadarian Raines were out with ankle issues. That left Tech with just one scholarship guard available today. Will Johnston had to play the off-guard and logged 33 minutes (he’d sit whenever he got as red as the state uniforms). Jarell Eddie ran point for the 1 minute Devin Wilson sat today.
Don’t let the final score fool you — nc state was in control of this game for the entire 25 minutes, usually leading by 8 to 12 points. The Hokies never got closer than 6 after the 5-minute mark of the first half until the final minute of the game, with state leading by as many as 15 with 7:23 to go. Tech simply didn’t have the energy they had on Tuesday versus uva and played pretty lethargic basketball (JJ included who on at least two occasions should have either gotten a T or let the refs know they made a bad call). While the final margin was just 7, nc state simply is not a good team outside of T.J. Warren. They have some athletes but they are not very skilled. They have almost no shooters — after Warren hit his first two 3-pointers, state went 2/22 from deep the rest of the game and were just 4/24 (17%) overall from deep). Tech simply had no one who could guard the 6’8″ Warren (who is basically a ‘3/wing’).
Tech did scrap until the end, though, but just couldn’t take advantage of late chances. They missed a layup under the basket down 7 with 2:30 to go, then after getting an offensive rebound the next possession, missed a 3 that would have cut the lead to 3 with 1:40 to go. Barksdale had an open look at a 3 with Tech down 5 and 30 seconds to go, but again, the Hokies couldn’t hit and state put the game away from the line.
Tech lost for a few key reasons:
Tech did not shoot well early today. Here are a few (not so) fun facts:
Here is the scoring breakdown for VT:
Some bright spots for Tech:
Tech trailed 35-25 at the half.
The Hokies return to action on Tuesday at duke at 7 PM on ESPNU.
Posted on 18 February 2014.
First off, Happy 1st Birthday to my son (unfortunately his VT jumpsuit didn’t will us to victory and he hasn’t seen us beat the hoos in hoops yet). Second, go U-S-and-A! Beat the czechs! Third, big props to Mr. P. Shannon. Your generosity is overwhelming. THANK YOU! Ok, on to the recap…
In front of 5,316 fans (the most at a VT ACC home game this year) and a rowdy student section, the Hokies played their hearts out and led for 28 consecutive minutes (and were up by 11 with 14 minutes go go)… unfortunately, that run ended with 2:30 to play and the virginia flyin’ elbows, I mean cavaliers, escaped with a 57-53 victory at the Cassell. The win was uva’s 4th straight at VT, just the 2nd time they’ve ever had a winning streak at VT that long (and first since the 40s). Tech is now 8-8 at home on the season with two home tilts to go.
Hats off to the Hokies and I’m really proud of them. They played their guts out from the opening tip until the final horn. And believe me, uva was, too. Tech was on their game (as much as they can be) and had uva off theirs for most of the night.
The stars of the game were Joey van Zegeren (a career high 13 points) and Devin Wilson (13 points and 5 assists – giving Wilson the VT freshmen record for assists with 114). Those two were a combined 11/14 (79%) from the floor. Unfortunately, the rest of the team was just 8/29 (28%).
But really everyone was a star tonight. Will Johnston had two great defensive rebounds on long rebounds where he had to cover a lot of ground. Trevor Thompson had a couple of great blocks, including a left-handed pin on Joe Harris. Jarell Eddie was diving for loose balls, trying to make up for his 1/8 effort on FGs (1/7 on 3s). Ben Emelogu had a couple of huge 3s. In the end, though, it wasn’t enough.
While this did show a potential bright future for the Baby Jakes, there are no moral victories for coaches. Had we won, I honestly would have flipped my stance to the “Give JJ another year” side. But with the loss, VT has now lost 5 in a row to the hoos and stay firmly rooted in 15th place in the ACC. To be fair, though, this was the third straight game the Hokies have played well and forced their opponent to play down to their level, so to speak. If JJ can continue this trend the rest of the way, I may end up flipping my (meaningless) vote.
|FGs||20/51 (39%)||19/43 (44%)|
|3-Ptrs||9/25 (36%)||6/17 (35%)|
|FTs||8/15 (53%)||9/15 (60%)|
|Scoring||Brogdon – 12||Wilson/JvZ – 13|
|Score Trend:||1st Half||2nd Half|
|Under-16||uva 10-8||VT 35-27|
|Under-12||uva 14-13||VT 40-34|
|Under-8||VT 22-14||VT 45-42|
|Under-4||VT 22-18||VT 46-42|
|Half/Final||VT 28-21||uva 57-53|
Zones are susceptible to 3-point shots because they are focused on stopping penetration and if you rotate the ball well, or kick it in and back out, you can get easy looks. So you have to hope the other team isn’t on from deep. Early on it looked like the hoos were hot from behind the arc. London Perrantes, who had just 14 made 3s on the season, hit two early triples and uva jumped to an 8-2 lead early. But uva would miss their next 9 attempts from deep and went into the half just 3/13 from long range (though more on that last one in a bit).
Meanwhile, the Hokies drilled 4/9 from 3-point range in the first half with four different Hokies (Johnston, Wilson, Eddie, and Barksdale) hitting one each.
In the second half, the hoos continued to be cold against the 2-3 zone, starting 3/8. But then trailing 46-42 with 3:30 to go they hit three straight 3-pointers to fuel a 9-0 run and all but put the game away up 51-46 with 1:46 to go. Their 9/25 for the game (36%) was right on their average (though way more attempts than usual, largely due to the zone).
Tech, who is notorious for long scoring droughts, turned the tables on their opponent for the 2nd straight game. The Hokies held miami scoreless for almost 8 minutes in the first half to fuel a 9-0 run. Tonight, again, Tech went on a 9-0 run in the first half, holding the cavs scoreless for 5:55 (and without a field goal for 7 minutes). VT used this to turn a 14-13 deficit with 12 minutes to go into a 22-14 lead with less than 6:00 left before the break.
Unfortunately, Tech followed with their own dry spell. The Hokies didn’t score from the 7:24 mark until 64 seconds were left in the first half, a sahara desert of more than 6 minutes. The hoos, however, could muster just 4 points during this stretch and with a 3-pointer by Barksdale and 3 free throws by Eddie, Tech took a commanding 10-point lead at 28-18.
In the second half, once again both teams would hit a rough patch. uva scored just 1 point from the 9:20 mark until 3:27 was left, a span of almost 6 minutes without a field goal.
Unfortunately, Tech was even worse during the latter part of that span. The Hokies scored just 1 point from the 7:34 mark until 31 seconds were left in the game, 7 minutes without a field goal. By that point, their 4-point lead had turned into a 6-point deficit.
The crowd was going nuts with the Hokies up 10 and the hoos struggling to get a shot off at the end of the half, but Malcolm Brogdon hit a fallaway 25-footer at the buzzer (it left his hand with 0.1 left on the clock) to take some of the air out of the Hokies and the rowdy student crowd.
Tech had held uva’s two leading scorers (Brogdon and Harris — who average 24 ppg combined) scoreless for the first 19 minutes and 59.9 seconds until that late 3 Brogdon. Harris, who has torched the Hokies for more than 18 ppg in the last 2 years, was 0/6 for the half and missed the front end of a one-and-one and fouled Jarell Eddie on a 3-pointer. He was clearly off his game and rattled.
In the second half, it seemed like everything was going the Hokies’ way. Up 6 with 16 minutes to go and the shot clock running out, Ben Emelogu threw up a Hail Mary that bricked badly. But JvZ was there and put the miss as the shot clock ran out and got fouled (and actually made the free throw) to put VT up 9 at 36-27.
But Uncle Mo would change shortly after on a swing of an elbow by Joe Harris that started a uva 13-3 run at a time when they were down by 11 at 40-29. The refs somehow missed Joe Harris’s running elbow to Will Johnston’s head on the perimeter. That possession, instead of an offensive foul, turned into a uva 3-pointer and they’d go on a 13-3 run to cut the VT lead to one at 43-42 with 8 minutes to go.
Harris struggled most of the game but had the critical 3-pointer, from NBA range no less, that put the hoos up 48-46 with 2:40 to go after trailing for more than 28 straight minutes. He finished with just 7, though.
Tech, who hadn’t made a free throw in the first half of a game in over two weeks, got to the line 7 times in the first half and hit 6 of them. Unfortunately, they were just 3/8 from the line in the 2nd half and 9/15 (60%) for the game.
However, it was the hoos that got awfully aggressive in the 2nd half. With the Hokies up 40-29 and less than 14 minutes to go, Harris’s elbow came as mentioned earlier, starting a 13-3 run to get the hoos within 1.
Then, with VT in forced foul mode with 18 seconds to go, Devin Wilson fouled Brogdon in the back court as Brogdon swung his elbow and caught Wilson on the jaw. uva was up 54-50 at the time and things could have gotten interesting. But uva made both their free throws and VT’s Eddie could hit just 1 to make it 56-51. After a Wilson layup cut it to 3 at 56-53, Brogdon made just 1 of 2, but that put it away at 57-53 (unless of course the opponent fouls you shooting a 3… which they didn’t). Had Eddie made both free throws, the Hokies would have had a chance to tie at the end. Ifs and buts…
Random Officiating Whine:
Tech finishes their 3-game home stand on Saturday against the nc state wolfpack at 2 PM.
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 - 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 - Hokies 83, morgan state 63
12/03 - penn state 61, Hokies 58
12/07 - radford 68, Hokies 66
12/14 - Hokies 65, alabama a&m 55
12/20 - Hokies 64, the citadel 61
12/22 - Hokies 87, vmi 74
12/27 - Hokies 87, presbyterian 65
12/30 - west virginia 82, Hokies 51
01/03 - syracuse 68, Hokies 66
01/06 - louisville 78, Hokies 63
01/18 - unc 68, Hokies 53
01/22 - notre dame 85, Hokies 60
01/25 - uva 50, Hokies 47
01/27 - Hokies 70, pittsburgh 67
01/31 - wake forest 73, Hokies 70
02/03 - syracuse 72, Hokies 70
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