Tag Archive | "011311-unc"

Ocho Stinko | unc (2-0, 12-4) 64, Hokies (1-2, 10-5) 61

Malcolm Delaney’s 28 points, including seven three-pointers, was not enough for the Hokies on the road against ACC rival unc. Especially when Jeff Allen follows a career game with four points and seven rebounds against the heels. Despite a 16-point first-half lead, Tech loses 61-64 to unc.

Erick Green was playing well, but suffered a cramp that took him out of the game. Add to that the Hokies were on the road in Chapel Hill against a healthy unc team with 10 scholarship players and it’s amazing they were even in the game in the final seconds.

It is with great sadness we must report that the six-game winning streak is over. It was a good run, folks. A damn good run…

What can you say about this game other than, “We totally saw that coming.” Look, we’re not naysayers or Debbie Downers, we’ve just been covering the Hokies for a long long time. This is the same script that has played out dozens of times. Stop us if this sounds familiar…

The Hokies are on the road against a more prestigious conference rival, which has more All-Americans on its roster this season than Tech’s had in its entire history. The Hokies explode out of the gate and can’t miss or do anything wrong. Then, the wheels come off. The home team gets the majority of the calls, we get in foul trouble, we can’t hit a shot, we turn it over and we eventually give the lead away.

Sure, we keep it close enough to give us hope, but usually a terrible call by the pro-unc or pro-duke officials, or a stupid play by a veteran ensures a win for the other team.

Look, considering the Hokies had eight scholarship players, two of which are true freshmen, it’s amazing that they played as well as they did. The Hokies sprinted to a 16-point, first-half lead, 31-15, but didn’t score a point in the final 6 minutes and 23 seconds of the first half, allowing the tar heels to go on a 9-0 run to pull within seven at the break.

Jeff Allen was on the bench for most of the first half with a pair of fouls. Green suffered a severe cramp that sat him down for most of the second half. Delaney had three fouls and Terrell Bell had four down the stretch.

The second half was painful to watch. You just knew where the game was headed. And when unc finally took the lead and the 20,000 in the Dean Dome were screaming their damn bloody heads off, you knew there was no way the Hokies were going to win this game.

Mad props to Manny Atkins, who played well off the bench, hitting three of his four three-point attempts for nine points. The sophomore buried two huge treys in the second half to keep the Hokies in the game.

We could right a recap, but it would read just like so many we’ve written before. Hokies started hot. They took the lead. They went cold. They gave up aforementioned lead. They lost. End of story. Roll credits.

The good news is, the Hokies are back home Saturday night against a pretty weak wake forest team. The questions are: 1) Will the Hokies led unc beat them twice (now known as the boise state effect) and 2) will the Hokies have enough healthy players to put a team on the court?

We’ll be there live at the Cassell as the Hokies look to even their ACC record. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.

Niemo’s Notes:

  • Jarell Eddie showed some flashes in the first half.  He had a nice jumper fading to the baseline, and scored 6 points in 12 minutes.  This looked like the Eddie of the first few weeks of the season.
  • Tyrone Garland played about as bad of a game as you could play.  Everything he touched turned to turnover, and unfortunately because of Green’s injury, he had to play a lot a good bit (8 minutes).  He looked like a freshman tonight with 3 turnovers and no points.
  • unc won this game on the glass.  Tech could not get a defensive rebound to save their life.  Up 52-50 coming out of the under-4 timeout, Henson (a 34% foul shooter) bricked two foul shots as you knew he would.  But unc grabbed the rebound, and Barnes hit a jumper to tie the game.  Instead of up 2 with the ball and 3 minutes to go, the game was tied.  Delaney quickly missed a jumper and Barnes drained a 3.  Huge momentum swing.  The heels grabbed 42% of their misses (18 offensive rebounds).  Tech grabbed just 22% of their misses (8 offensive rebounds).
  • Tech had 18 turnovers, their highest total since unlv and 5 more than they had in any of their last 8 games.
  • VT had 13 steals — their third straight game with 10+.
  • Tech’s 11 made three-pointers were a season high.
  • The Hokies led from the 18:05 mark of the first half through the 9:35 mark of the second half.  The final 9:30 minutes were nip and tuck.
  • We need Dorenzo Hudson!  This is the third time this season Delaney has taken a shot at the end of a game in a critical situation and he’s 0/3 (purdue – went to OT, st. bonnie – went to OT, unc – lost).  He settles for tough, long jumpers with a man in his face off the dribble.  Need to try something different like have him come off a screen without the ball or have him drive and and dish.
  • The Hokies this year remind me of one of my buddies when he’s trying to seal the deal with a girl at the bar — he’s pretty good for most of the night and it looks like it’s gonna happen.  Then he falters at the end, can’t close the deal, and goes home empty handed.  As a result, he has no date for the dance.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Recaps, GamesComments (24)

Official VT at unc Viewing Party | Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon (Arlington, VA) | Thursday at 9 PM

Join TechHoops.com again at the Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon (Arlington, VA) on Thursday night to watch the Hokies take on the boys in powder blue!  The Hokies have owned ESPN Thursday Night Football for years, now they look to take down the heels on ESPN’s featured Thursday night basketball game.  We’ll be on the second floor of the Clarendon Hard Times in the Hokie-themed area.  Come enjoy some chili and the nightly drink specials!


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Preview | VT (1-1, 10-4) @ unc (1-0, 11-4) | Thursday at 9 PM | ESPN

Spread: unc by 6

Coach Beamer talked a few weeks ago about how Virginia Tech needed to win a big game against a top five team.  A few days later they laid a gigantic egg.  Coach Greenberg pleads each year for why the Hokies deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament.  Then they fail in their key games that would help clinch an invitation, such as losses to kansas state, unlv, and purdue this year (and too many to name in past years).  Well, the Hokies don’t have many opportunities to defeat a top team this year, but this is one of them and it is time to stop the talk, and walk the walk.  The Hokies have just five games left against teams currently in the RPI top 100 (luckily all five teams are in the top 40).  Virginia Tech needs to swagger into chapel heel and take down the boys in powder blue (#20 in the current RPI) on Thursday night in their only meeting of the regular season.  And you know what?  They can do it.

Join TechHoops.com at the Clarendon (Arlington, VA) Hard Times Cafe (second floor) to watch the game!

Thursday will be just the third road game of the season for the Hokies, and their first since playing at unc-greensboro on November 21st (yes, pre-Thanksgiving).  But most of these Hokies have played in the Dean Dome a few times and should not be intimidated.  The current senior class got blown out by 39 at unc their freshman year, but were right in the game last year until late.  The heels were just 5-11 in the ACC last year and lost some key cogs like Ed Davis, the Wear twins, Deon Thompson, and Ed Graves.  Tech should not fear the name on the front of the jersey because the names on the back simply aren’t any better than the Hokies, at least of those left for VT.

This is a team of great depth versus a team of great tragedy.  unc plays 10 guys at least 12 minutes per game (mpg) and no one plays more than 27 mpg.  VT has four guys averaging more than 30 mpg, and that’s not including Dorenzo Hudson.  Erick Green, his replacement, has averaged 33 mpg since entering the starting lineup.

This is the proverbial game of McDonald’s All-Americans versus guys that eat at McDonald’s.  unc has three 5-star and five 4-star recruits on their roster.  That includes Harrison “Big Mac” Barnes, the #1 player in the Class of 2010.  And John “Grilled Snack Wrap” Henson [since he has zero fat… or meat… on him… he’s still a beanpole].  Reggie “McNugget” Bullock goes dipping from deep and can drain the three off the bench [he was a 5-star from last year also].  Tyler “McRib” Zeller is long and saucy at 7′ and leads the heels with 14.5 ppg.  Dexter “McChicken” Strickland is the most forgettable starter, but he averages 9.5 ppg and leads the team in steals, but is not a good three-point shooter.  In fact, most of their guards are not other than Bullock.  Larry “Filet-O-Fish” Drew is still starting at point guard and is still terrible.  Why nickname him Filet-O-Fish?  Because he’s only good a couple times per year, the rest of the time he makes you sick.  The 4-star junior is shooting just 38% from the field and 19% from behind the arc, and averages just 5 ppg.  His backup is Arlington, VA’s Kendall “McCafe Mocha” Marshall, a slick point guard who shoots better than Drew and has more assists and fewer turnovers despite playing 9 fewer mpg.  Leslie “Ronald” McDonald gives unc 8 ppg off the bench and is their best three-point shooter (24/53 – 45%).  Justin Watts and Knox combine for another 10 points off the bench.

Then there’s El Ocho, the Hokies eight remaining scholarship players.  All they’ve done is gone 4-0 since Hudson and Raines were shut down for the season.  And Tech has won six in a row since Erick Green went into the starting lineup.  He’s scored at least 11 in all six games (13.7 ppg), has 17 steals, and 20 assists to 6 turnovers.  Jeff Allen has also stepped up.  He’s had at least 11 points and 9 rebounds in nine straight games.  In the last six, he’s averaging 15.8 ppg and 11.7 rebounds per game, and was the ACC Player of the Week last week.


  • Pacemaker: uva almost beat unc on Saturday, leading by as many as 11 in the second half.  The heels came back and pulled out a 62-56 win.  But the key for the hoos, and what will be key for Tech, is they shut down the unc running game.  The heels were held to just four fast break points.  As a result, the heels were held almost 20 points below their season average.  Tech needs to limit the easy buckets unc gets on the break, and that means…
  • Limiting Turnovers: During the Hokies’ six game winning streak, they are +33 in turnover margin.  Since the Hokies don’t have the size of the heels, they need to get extra possessions to compensate for the fact they will likely be out-rebounded.  The hoos didn’t do this, getting outscored 13-8 in points off turnovers, and the result was a loss.  Tech needs to win this category.
  • Windex: VT must be better on the glass than they were against the noles.  unc is not as good of an offensive rebounding team as florida state (who are #1 in the ACC), which is good news since fsu dominated the Hokies with 17 offensive rebounds to just 5 for VT, and a 12-3 margin in second chance points.  But Zeller and Henson are both excellent offensive rebounders, as is Knox off the bench.  Tech cannot give up a -12 edge in offensive rebounds again and expect to win.
  • Compete in the Paint: Expect the heels to go at Jeff Allen down low.  If he guards John Henson like I expect, Allen’s breath could knock over the beanpole Henson.  Henson is a terrible foul shooter (34%), but Allen cannot be the one giving up the fouls.  If Henson has an easy bucket, foul him and force him to beat you from the line but it needs to be help defense.  Bell is certainly athletic enough and has long arms to defend Henson at times when Allen is out or guarding Zeller, but Bell will likely be on Big Mac Barnes a lot.  Davila should draw Zeller.  Victor needs to do what he’s been doing well lately, and that’s working hard to keep his opponent from catching the ball down low.  Tech doesn’t need Davila to score a lot in this game, but they need him to work his butt off on defense and help relieve the rebounding pressure on Allen.  Jeff is averaging 33% of VT’s rebounds over the last six games.
  • The Zone* and the Lost Arc: Tech is just 9/37 from three-point range in their last three games, including 1/8 against fsu.  Meanwhile, VT’s opponents have hit 20 threes in those three games.  That’s one of the flaws of a 2-3 zone – you are going to give up three-point shots if the opponent moves the ball well, or can get inside the arc and kick it out.  But unc is similar to VT in makes per game (5.5) and shoot just a slightly higher percentage (35% to 32% by VT).  The threats from deep Tech needs to guard are McDonald #1 (24/53) and Bullock #2 (18/48).  Both are off the bench so the Hokies need to be aware when they come in.  Barnes has made 18 threes, but hits just 31%.  No one other than those three have more than six makes on the season.  So I’d expect to see a lot of zone from the Hokies since the heels aren’t a great 3-point shooting team.  We’ll see how well the heels do against it having had several days to prepare for it.  And the Hokies need more than one made three-pointer in this one.  Zeller and Henson combine to average four blocks per game, so Tech cannot depend on a ton of points in the paint.  Look for Delaney to step up (I know I keep saying that).  But he hit a couple of threes at unc last year and loves the bright lights of national games.
  • Ocho-Cinco: If El Ocho is going to get their fifth straight win (El Cinco), they need to keep doing what their doing: protect the ball and find ways to run.  I know I said VT needs to set the pace, and they do, but they cannot put this game in quicksand like uva did.  The Hokies have won six in a row because they’ve pushed the ball (Green and Garland) at appropriate times.  They must continue to do that and find ways to get easy buckets so they don’t have to always operate in the half court.  Tech just needs to limit the number of transition opportunities unc gets and avoid turning this into a track meet that favors unc, and will tire the depleted Ocho.

*I’m not sure how much we’ll see the zone trap past half court on Thursday.  It worked well the few times it was used Saturday against fsu, but they don’t have the number of offensive options unc has, especially in the front court.  And Drew and Marshall are both good passers so they could burn it.  That said, it is good to mix things up at times just to force unc to adjust.  Tech could just go to the 1-3-1 half court zone to compliment the 2-3 zone.


  • unc 60-13
  • In ACC play: unc 7-3
  • The teams split last year with unc winning at home in the ACC opener for both 78-64, while VT won at home 74-70 in early February.
  • VT did win at unc during the 2006-07 season, a 81-80 overtime win to sweep the season’s two games
  • VT is just 5-27 all time at unc


  Virginia Tech unc
PPG 70.9 79.4
Pts Against 59.7 67.1
FG % 47% 46%
3-Pt % 32% 36%
FT % 70% 64%
Leading …    
Scorer Delaney – 18.6 Zeller – 14.5
Rebounder Allen – 9.8 Henson – 8.4
Assists Delaney – 4.0 Marshall – 4.1
Steals Green – 2.0 Strickland – 1.5
Blocks Bell – 1.4 Henson – 2.7

Stats of Note:

  • unc is #3 in the ACC in PPG at 79.8 while VT is #1 in Scoring Defense at 59.7
  • unc is dead last in the ACC in FT%, largely thanks to John Henson
  • The heels are #2 in Defensive Rebound % while VT is #9 in Offensive Rebound %; unc is just #5 in Offensive Rebound %
  • unc and VT are near the bottom in 3s-made-per-game (9th and 10th)
  • Henson is #2 in blocks per game at 2.7
  • Green (VT) and Marshall (unc) are 1 and 2 in assist-to-turnover ratio (a So and a Fr)
  • VT has 3 of the top 10 in terms of minutes per game, unc has no one averaging even 28 minutes per game


unc has had the same starting lineup for all 15 games this year.  VT has had the same starting lineup except for Erick Green who replaced the injured Dorenzo Hudson and has started six in a row.

Position Virginia Tech unc
Guard 11 Green – 6-4 11 Drew – 6-2
Guard 23 Delaney – 6-3 1 Strickland – 6-3
Wing 1 Bell – 6-7 40 Barnes – 6-8
Forward 0 Allen – 6-7 31 Henson – 6-10
Forward/Center 14 Davila – 6-8 44 Zeller – 7-0


  • Founded in 1789
  • Undergrads: 18k
  • Postgrads: 8k
  • Stayed open during the Civil War
  • The Hokies own Franklin Street during football season!
  • Mascot is a live ram named “Rameses”
  • 37 NCAA Championships in six different team sports (20 are women’s soccer… yawn)
  • 5 Men’s bball titles: 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009
  • unc has not won an ACC football title (or division, or even tied for a title) since 1980.  Neither NC public school has won a title or tied for one since then.  Tobacco Road may know basketball, but the supposed home of great BBQ sure stinks at pigskin

Famous students:

  • Bball: Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Awtawn Jamison, Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, James Worthy, Larry Brown, Tyler Hansbrough, Ronald Curry
  • Other Sports: Lawrence Taylor (guessing he didn’t graduate), Dre Bly, Ronald Curry again (did you know he was the #1 football and bball recruit back in the late ’90s at Hampton HS?  Check out his stats/their margins of victory some time – insane), Moonlight Graham, Mia Hamm, Julius Peppers, Marion Jones, B.J. Surhoff
  • Jim Halpert (character on the Office) supposedly went there – not the real one, the real person went to brown
  • Others: John Edwards, James K. Polk (11th President of the USA), Stuart Scott, Chris Matthews, Andy Griffith, Lewis Black, and Thomas Wolfe

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Previews, GamesComments (8)

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