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Opportunity Lost | Recap | bc (5-4, 15-8) 58, VT (5-4, 15-7) 56


The Hokies blew a golden opportunity to take command of fourth place in the ACC, losing 58-56 at boston college.  Erick Green missed an open 3-pointer with under five seconds left to give the Hokies the lead, and bc secured the win on a questionable foul call with 1.1 seconds left.  Tech falls to 1-9 all time at the mostly empty Conte Forum.

I hate to say Malcolm Delaney, one of Tech’s greatest players ever, isn’t clutch… but he is just not clutch.  He missed the front end of a one-and-one with VT down 2 with 24 seconds to play.  How many free throws has the 85% career free throw shooter missed in the final minute this year?  Add that to missed buckets at the end of the purdue, st. bonnie, and unc games.  Is he tired after playing 38 minutes per game?  Maybe.  But he’s still not converting when the Hokies need it the most.  And Erick Green cannot hit an open 3-pointer to save his life (the Hokies got the offensive rebound after Delaney’s miss, setting up Green’s miss with under 5 seconds to play).

This game was just plain ugly for the Hokies.  In the first half, it was the Big Donut Show and nothing else.  He had 13 points and 11 rebounds… in the first half alone.  Jeff finished the game with 25 points and 19 boards (the latter is a season high but not a career high).  Allen eclipsed the 1,000 rebound mark for his career and is now in 4th place on the all-time list with 1,001.

Other than Allen, the Hokies were pathetic in the first half.  Terrell Bell (or “Terrick” as the bc announcer called him) had 7 points.  Davila had 2 and Delaney had 2.  That’s it.  Green had a big goose egg.

The Hokies fell behind by as many as 10 in the first stanza thanks in large part to 3/15 shooting to start the game.  They did not hit a single jumpshot in the entire first half by my count.  But Tech used a 10-2 run to get within 24-22 late in the half and went to the locker room down 27-24.

In the second half Delaney got himself going by penetrating to the hoop and finishing inside.  That loosened him up and he finally starting hitting from deep.  Tech was 0/7 from behind the arc in the first half but Delaney went 3/5 from deep in the second half to give Tech the lead a couple of times.  Tech finished just 3/14 from behind the arc (guys not named “Malcolm” were 0/7 from deep — this is a critical problem).

Tech took the lead a couple of times in the second half but were never able to get stops when they had the lead.  In fact, I’m not sure they ever had a possession with the lead in the game.

The Hokies, after scoring just 24 first half points on 9/30 (30%) shooting, went for 32 in the second half.  Of those 32 points, Allen and Delaney scored 29 of them (Delaney had 17 in the second half).  VT got absolutely nothing from their supporting cast.

Erick Green finished with 1 point.  He has completely lost all confidence in his shot, even from the foul line.  He had hit 32/33 free throws going into the final two minutes at nc state, but missed 2/4 late there.  That carried over into today’s game.  He missed the front end of a one-and-one in the first half and finished just 1/3 from the line.  He was 0/8 from the floor, including 0/4 from 3-point range (all wide open).  That includes the missed 3-pointer that would have won the game at the end.  He had scored double digits in 12 of his previous 13 games (and had 9 in the other game).  He is looking more like the Erick of last year lately.

The Hokies came into the game #1 in FG% in ACC play, #2 in FT%, and #3 in 3-Pt%.  But they shot 35%, 21%, and 77% respectively.  Don’t let that 13/17 fool you though, the Hokies were 2/5 in one-and-one situations and missed the front end of three one-and-ones.

Tech’s defense was absolutely horrible today, especially on-ball by the guards.  Malcolm Delaney and Erick Green were beaten like rented mules off the dribble.  It looked like bc had a power play whenever those guards were guarding them.  Tech, facing one of the best shooting 3-point teams, tried to go underneath screens instead of fighting over them.  The result was wide open looks from deep for the eagles, and they hit 7/20 (35%) from behind the arc.  VT also got lost on screens and bc was killing them with the screen-and-roll or fade to the corner.  Perhaps the Hokies were a little rusty playing man, which they did at least 90% of the game with the 2-3 zone the rest of the time.

The Hokies held bc’s leading scorer, Reggie Jackson, without a point in the first 30 minutes.  But he scored 10 in the final 10 and took over the game.  Again, Delaney might as well have been a hologram guarding him.  The eagles had a balanced attack.  Joe Trapani led the eagles with 14 points, including baskets with his back to the basket that I had never seen from him before.  But nine eagles scored 3 or more points.

That was the total opposite of Tech.  The Hokies got 0 bench points (Manny “Not Millions” was 0/6 from the floor).  And Allen and Delaney combined for 79% of the Hokies 56 points, including 90% in the second half.

It just looked like VT was content having already gotten two road wins in this four road game stretch.  Still, Tech did go 3-2 in a five game run where four of five were the road.  I said before this stretch that is what the Hokies had to do, and they did it.  But this was a tough game to lose.  The Hokies were in it at the end and had a chance to win.  Instead of being two games up on the eagles and one on maryland (with a road head-to-head win over both), the Hokies are now tied with both teams, and clemson, at 5-4 (yes, four teams are 5-4).

The Hokies have a “bye” this week and don’t return to action until next Sunday at 1 PM at the Cassell against the worst road team in the league — georgia tech (yes, I’m calling this a ‘need to win’ game).

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game RecapsComments (16)

Preview | VT (5-3, 15-6) @ bc (4-4, 14-8) | Saturday at 1 PM | Watch on TheACC.com

Spread: VT by 2. Click here to watch the VT at bc game live online courtesy of TheACC.com.

On Saturday in front of a smattering of family and friends, the Hokies will play the boston college eagles at the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill. I’ll tell you right now – there are plenty of good seats still available. The eagles are drawing just 4,800 fans per game at the 8,600 seat Forum. That’s about 1,500 fewer fans than they draw on average for a bc hockey game in the same building! It will look like an ACC tournament Thursday noon game.

The Hokies must ignore all the empty seats and lack of enthusiasm on Saturday and find their own energy and motivation. This is a huge game for Tech. Early in the year, for every positive step forward VT took, they’d take took steps back. Lately, it has been the opposite. Based on that, the Hokies would lose this game (they lost at georgia tech a week and a half ago in a half-empty arena). But with a win, Tech moves two games ahead of the eagles (with a head-to-head win) and stay in sole possession of fourth place (the last ACC Tournament bye spot). A loss and the Hokies fall into a tie for fourth with at least the eagles, and possibly three other teams.

This will mark the third straight game Tech plays a team on a severe losing trend. miami had lost three in a row and five out of six before VT beat them Sunday, and n.c. state had lost five out of six before the Hokies took them down on Wednesday. The eagles are really leaking oil right now. Since starting 4-1 in the ACC, they have lost three in a row, all by woodshed beatings:

  • @fsu 67-51 (though it was close at the half)
  • @duke 84-68
  • unc 106-74 (ouch!)

boston college’s star, Reggie Jackson, has been a shadow of himself lately. He averaged 22 ppg through their first five ACC games (including 8/9 shooting against ga tech and 9/13 versus n.c. state). Since then, he’s averaged just under nine ppg in their three consecutive losses. Reggie was benched for the start of both halves at duke, reportedly for loafing in practice. And he scored just six points on 2/10 shooting against unc.

Meanwhile, the Hokies’ Jeff Allen has been on a tear. He has three straight double-doubles, averaging 17 ppg and 11 rebounds in the last three contests. He’s had at least 10 rebounds in five straight games, the longest such stretch of his career.


Much like at n.c. state, VT has not done well historically at boston college. Tech is just 1-8 all time there, with the lone win a gutty 81-73 overtime affair in 2008 without a suspended Jeff Allen (JT Thompson’s coming out party).

  • All-Time: bc 11-7
  • In ACC Play: 5-5
  • At bc in ACC Play: bc 4-1
  • Last Year: VT 63-62 in Blacksburg, bc 80-60 in Chestnut Hill


Position Virginia Tech boston college
Guard 11 Green 6-4 0 Jackson 6-3
Guard 23 Delaney 6-3 5 Paris 6-1
Wing/Guard 1 Bell 6-7 11 Raji 6-6 or 30 Elmore 6-5 or 31 Rubin 6-6
Forward 0 Allen 6-7 12 Trapani 6-8
Forward/Center 14 Davila 6-8 52 Southern 6-10

I wouldn’t be surprised to see first year coach Steve Donahue make some alterations to the lineup considering they just lost by 32 to unc and have lost three in a row. If anyone, like Jackson, is slacking in practice they may start on the pine.


Virginia Tech boston college
RPI 62 43
PPG 71.3 74.0
Pts Against 61.1 71.4
FG % 47% 47%
3-Pt % 33% 39%
FT % 71% 72%
Scorer Delaney 18.3 Jackson 18.0
Rebounder Allen 9.6 Trapani 7.4
Assists Delaney 4.5 Jackson 4.9
Steals Green 2.0 Jackson 1.1
Blocks Bell 1.2 Trapani 0.7

Random Stat: VT has led at the half in 13 straight games (11-2 record) and had a double-digit first-half lead in eight of nine games.


  • Offense: They LOVE to shoot the three. They’ve attempted 522 on the year, most in the ACC. And they do it well — they are second in the league at 39 percent. They have five guys averaging more than one made three-pointer per game. You basically have to defend everyone behind the arc except Josh Southern, Dallas Elmore and Gabriel Moton. Jackson is the only guy that scares you off the drive. Biko Paris is OK, but he’ll look to dish.
  • Defense: I would expect to see some 2-3 zone from the eagles to force the Hokies to shoot from deep, along with man. But that would open up a big weakness of the eagles…
  • Rebounding: bc is 10th in the ACC in defensive and offensive rebounding percentage (the Hokies are only slightly better). Whichever team does a better job on the boards will have an unexpected advantage. Against the wolfpack, Tech dominated the glass in the first half with 14 offensive rebounds. Considering how many three-pointers bc shoots, it is surprising their offensive rebounding percentage is so bad. I like the Hokies here, especially the way Allen and Davila are playing. Corey Raji is very good on the offensive glass, so Tech needs to get a butt on him.
  • Best Player: Reggie Jackson – hands down. He’s the only guy in their starting lineup I’d take over one of ours (though I’m not sure who I’d sub out for us). Reggie is very athletic, is shooting 43 percent from deep (third in the league and ninth in makes). And he’s a solid defender… when he tries. He’s looked like a space cadet the last few games and Tech hopes that continues.
  • Most Improved… Joe Trapani’s rebounding. Trapani still isn’t going to win any bodybuilding competitions. In fact, if they ever came out with a Girls of ACC Basketball calendar, he’d be in it along with Kyle Singler (and that wasn’t meant as a compliment). But he’s gotten much more aggressive on the glass this year, not afraid to bang inside.
  • Worst Player: Josh Southern (who looks exactly like Tracy Smith of n.c. state). Josh isn’t that bad, he just doesn’t do anything. He’s a space-eater, a goon if you will. He scores 7.4 ppg but grabs just 4.2 rebounds and gets .4 blocks per game. That’s not enough for a 6-10, 263-pound “big man” (we use that term lightly).
  • Most Distracted Player: Corey Raji is flying to the Super Bowl right after the game to watch his brother, B.J. play for the Packers. (hula hoop dance, anyone?)


  • Go Nuts, Big Donut: Jeff Allen will have an advantage over whomever is guarding him when bc is in man defense. Southern is too slow, Trapani or Raji too small. Jeff needs to be aggressive. He should dominate this team but we’ve seen him disappear in other games like this. Even against n.c. state, after 10 early points, he barely scored the rest of the game.
  • Defend the three-pointer… smartly: Tech must defend the perimeter well. Thirty-seven percent of bc’s points come from behind the arc, 32nd most in the nation. VT must take this aspect away from them. The eagles get just 17 percent of their points from the foul line, 317th in the land. Don’t foul three-point shooters and give them free points. Bell must be careful – he twice fouled a jump-shooter behind the arc against n.c. state.
  • Tempo: bc is slow in terms of tempo (286th in the nation), but very efficient on offense (sixth best in D1). bc turns the ball over the least in the ACC, but also creates the least. In other words, there won’t be many fast break opportunities for either team. And bc is fine with that for the most part as they are a half court team other than Jackson and somewhat Paris. VT is more athletic than the eagles. Push the ball on misses and makes (inbounding) to try and look for easy buckets where possible.
  • Debnam: Hey, the Hokies need to come out with some life in this game right at 1 p.m.. Paul, you gotta get these guys motivated! Do the Dougie or something, but get everyone pumped. VT needs to create their own adrenaline in an empty arena.
  • Second Half Swagger: VT has gotten abused in second halves of late by bad teams. Are they tired with just The Ocho? Or is VT too busy playing not to lose with big leads (Tech has had a 10+ point lead in the first half of eight of their last nine games)? The Hokies have been outscored in the second half three games in a row. Even if they are ahead, they have to come out with that killer instinct and bury the eagles.

BORING FACTS ABOUT boston college:

  • Established in 1863
  • Type: Private – Jesuit
  • Undergrad: 9k
  • Postgrad: 4.5k
  • Location: Chestnut Hill (just west of downtown Boston)
  • Mascot: Baldwin the eagle (get it? Bald eagle… win games… Baldwin)
  • bc participates in the Beanpot Tournament – a hocket tourney of bc, bu, northeastern, and harvard at the Boston Bruins (and Celtics) arena.
  • Their football stadium seats just 44.5k (and they still don’t sell it out for big games)
  • ACC Football and Basketball Titles: 0 (lost to VT in the 2007 and 2008 ACC Football Championship Game)

Famous Alums:

  • Ed McMahon (Yes!)
  • Chris O’Donnell
  • Leonard Nimoy (no relation)
  • Amy Poehler
  • Elisabeth Hasselbeck
  • Tip O’Neill
  • John Kerry
  • Mike Lupica
  • John McLaughlin
  • Bob Ryan
  • Lesley Visser
  • Jared Dudley
  • Bruce Pearl
  • Matt Ryan
  • and of course, Doug Flutie – Flutie Hail Mary against miami

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game PreviewsComments (7)

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