Posted on 14 February 2010.
Posted on 13 February 2010.
Blacksburg, VA – The Virginia Tech Hokies made it a clean sweep of ACC and in-state rival virginia with a 61-55 win over the hoos before a capacity crowd in Blacksburg. Junior guard Dorenzo Hudson led the Hokies with 15 points while Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney added 13 apiece.
The Hokies remain unbeaten at the Cassell this season – a perfect 13-0. More importantly, they are now 7-3 in ACC play and in third place behind duke (9-2) and wake forest (8-3). Additionally, Niemo’s beloved maroon “dress jeans” are a perfect 6-0 (possibly 7-0), including 3-0 against the boohoos.
This game was ugly. Actually, ugly is putting it nicely. Fugly is more like it. If you don’t know what “fugly” means, look it up at urbandictionary.com, then come back here for a recap of the carnage that set the game of basketball back about 100 years. Like, back when they actually used peach baskets as the hoops.
Why so fugly, you ask? Probably because the Hokies and hoos are the two best defensive teams (statistically speaking) in the ACC. The hoos gave up their average exactly – 61 points. The Hokies, meanwhile, held the hoos well below VT’s usual 61.4 ppg, allowing only 55 points.
Delaney got no love from the refs in this game. He was fouled repeatedly, but never got the call. He didn’t shoot his first free throw until late in the game. He also struggled from the field, but Hudson stepped up, as did Allen, Terrell Bell and JT Thompson.
Trailing 51-48 late in the second half, Allen got a layup in the paint and drew the foul. He completed the old-fashioned three-point play to tie the game at 51. After a missed shot by uva at the other end, Bell grabbed one of his nine rebounds and Allen hit the big three pointer that put the Hokies ahead for good, 54-51, with 1:14 to play.
Allen scored six points during an 8-0 run that resembled the late-game rally that gave the Hokies a key ACC road win on Jan. 28, in Charlottesville.
Tech led for much of the first half, but both teams were terrible from the field. The hoos used a 7-2 run to close out the half and take a 25-21 lead into the break. The 21 points are the second fewest in the first half this season – they managed an anemic 17 in an early season loss to temple.
Interesting to note… The Hokies used essentially seven players in the game. Delaney, Hudson, Allen, Bell and Davila started. JT and Erick Green also saw quite a bit of action. Cadarian Raines played only three minutes. JT and Raines filled in for Allen who picked up two quick fouls in the first three minutes and had to sit the rest of the half.
This is Greenberg’s third 20-win season since taking over the program in 2003. Tech has six games remaining in the regular season. Their next game is Tuesday, Feb. 16, at home vs. wake forest, which “upset” georgia tech tonight to improve to 8-3 in ACC play.
Posted on 12 February 2010.
I just checked into the Inn and Conference Center and the hoo players are everywhere, including arm-curl rejecter Tristan Spurlock. I must admit, it has me frazzled. It is like having the Red Army in the room next to you. I just want to mess with them so much.
Three years ago our good buddy DuffHokie and friends really got the hoos good in a similar situation. Deciding they needed to smoke at 3 AM and not having time to find a legitimate exit, they went out a fire door, setting off the fire alarms. at 3 AM and 30 degrees, the hoos had to trek outside in their nighties. And yes, the taunts rained down on them. Just 9 hours later they tool the floor against the Hokies and got absolutely waxed in a noon game, thanks to a big assist to DuffHokie and crew.
While I don’t think I’ll pull a similar stunt, I won’t hold it against anyone that comes over to the Inn and forces us out (FYI: all away teams stay here at the Inn). Just don’t tell them Niemo sent you.
Posted on 12 February 2010.
While most of Virginia has been strangled with a whiteout from all the snow in the last week, on Saturday it’s a blackout, people! Ugh, don’t get me started… well, I guess I just did. Why do we have a blackout? Last I checked, our school colors are Chicago maroon and burnt orange. We have a ‘Maroon Monsoon’, we have a ‘White Out’ which I can kind of understand because we wear white at home, but no orange out or anything. Instead, we have a blackout that has nothing to do with our colors. Are we going to wear black jerseys? We didn’t last year for that blackout when Tech blew a double-digit second half lead and lost to clemson. Are we going to turn the lights out for introductions, a pseudo blackout? We’ll see. I’m just trying to understand. But enough of the fashion police.
The Hokies come into this game on a Kaiser roll, having won six of their last seven games. Tech also sports an undefeated home record at 12-0. But VT will be tested in the next two games, playing the ACC’s #5 (uva) and #3 (wake) teams at home. Two wins would really vault the Hokies into a firm grip on a first round bye for the ACC Tourney, a split keeps them on the brink, and two losses will knock them out of the top four in all likelihood. So it is high drama in the Cassell!
And you want a good luck charm? Niemo’s beloved maroon “dress jeans” will be in the building Saturday. These Wrangler skin-tight beauties have a perfect 5-0 (might be 6-0, can’t remember if I wore them for the georgia game) record, including 2-0 against the hoos. So watch out! And tell your old lady not to give you any crap about wanting to watch/go to this game Saturday night – Valentine’s Day isn’t until Sunday.
THE FIRST MEETING:
Included in Tech’s recent hot streak was a 76-71 win over the hoos in ch’ville (Recap) just over two weeks ago, completing the football/basketball sweep in hooville. In that game Tech seemingly didn’t show up until the clock hit five minutes. The Hokies used an 18-5 run to close the first half and go into the break up 28-27.
The Hokies then fell behind by double-digits in the second half thanks in part to the ejection of Jeff Allen for throwing an elbow (a BS call). But once again the cardiac kids answered. Trailing 62-52 with under three minutes to play. VT went on a 13-0 run to lead 65-62 with under 10 seconds to play. Seemingly with the game in hand, uva’s auto parts wiz Sammy Zeglinski drained a fadeaway three from NBA range with 1.3 seconds left to send the game to OT.
But as you regular readers know, you just don’t go to an extra session with the Hokies and win. Tech dominated the bonus period, jumping to a quick five point lead in OT and outscoring uva 10-3 in the first 4:40. A late three by uva made the final 76-71. But the Hokies had their ninth straight overtime win in ACC play.
One of the reasons Tech was so close to losing was the play of uva’s stars, Sylven Landesberg and Mike Scott. Those two guys had big games, especially in the first half, tallying 18 and 21 points respectively. They both shot 8/16 from the floor. Tech must force other people to beat them. Jeff Jones double his average with 12 and Jerome Meyinsse had a surprising 9, but the Hokies held the rest of the hoos in check. Zeglinski had just 3 points until his game-tying shot and another three in OT.
The Hokies also didn’t get to the foul line until less that 10 minutes remained in regulation. The way VT has been getting to the line lately, with very aggressive play from guys like Hudson and JT Thompson, I don’t think that will be an issue on the Hokies’ home floor.
Another surprise in the first game is the hoos had more points off turnovers then the Hokies with a slight 18-16 lead. But since that is such a key to the Hokies’ game, it is amazing VT still won.
I broke down the hoos in my preview just over two weeks ago: First Meeting Preview
Basically, it comes down to this. You could call Delaney and Landesberg a wash (20 ppg to 18 ppg) – Delaney (usually) is a better outside shooter while Sylven is a better finisher around the room and both are great from the line. You could call Jeff Allen and Mike Scott a wash, and both have similar numbers – 11.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg for Allen to 13.1 and 7.4 rpg, though Allen has a huge edge in steals/blocks at 47/24 to 12/6. So you might give the edge to Allen based on his defense. But the rest of the Hokie cast is superior to uva’s in my opinion. Hudson versus Zeglinski? No contest – all Zo (13.7 ppg to 10.0). Bell against Evans (uva’s defensive specialist)? No contest, the bell tolls for Bell – 5.9 ppg and 41 combined steals/blocks to 2.7 ppg and 41 steals/blocks. Davila against Meyinsse? Well, alright, I’ll call that a wash, too – 6 ppg to 5 ppg and Meyinsse has better defensive stats and they average the same number of rebounds per minutes played.
Off the bench, I’ll take JT Thompson (8.4 ppg in ACC play) over anyone uva has. Erick Green (3.5 ppg) probably isn’t as good yet as Mustapha Farrakhan (6.9 ppg) or Jeff Jones (6.5 ppg) from a scoring perspective, but those guys aren’t consistent and could be invisible. Jones has only played 11 minutes total since the VT game as senior Calvin Baker (3.6 ppg – I’d take Green over him in a heartbeat) has regained playing time.
SIX PACK OF KEYS TO WINNING:
I’d also expect a huge game from Jeff Allen. As the Roanoke Times’ Mark Berman pointed out, he hasn’t gotten to play much against the hoos lately. He missed the game at uva last year because of him flipping off the maryland fans the game before, and missed the final 12 minutes of the game last month for his alleged flying elbow. Jeff had just four points in that game. If you go back further, Allen had just three points on 0/7 shooting in the game in Blacksburg last January. So the hoos have had his number. Jeff did go for double-digits in both games against the hoos his freshman year, and he has scored 10+ in all four games since the uva ejection. Like I said, expect him to step up Saturday.
|Guard||23 Delaney 6-3||13 Zeglinski 6-0|
|Guard||5 Hudson 6-5||1 Evans 5-11|
|F/G||1 Bell 6-6||15 Landesberg 6-6|
|Forward||0 Allen 6-7||32 Scott 6-8|
|Center||14 Davila 6-8||55 Meyinsse 6-9|
01/07 vs. syracuse, 9 p.m., ACCN
01/11 vs. boston college, noon, RSN
01/15 vs. clemson, 7 p.m., RSN
01/19 @ notre dame, 6 p.m., ESPNU
01/22 vs. wake forest, 7 p.m., RSN
01/25 @ virginia, 3 p.m., ACCN
01/29 @ boston college, 7 p.m., RSN
02/01 vs. maryland, noon, ACCN
02/05 @ florida state, 9 p.m., RSN
02/08 @ pittsburgh, noon, RSN
02/15 vs. miami, 6 p.m., RSN
02/18 vs. virginia, 9 p.m., ACCN
02/22 vs. nc state, 2 p.m., RSN
02/25 @ duke, 7 p.m, ESPNU
03/01 vs. north carolina, 2:30 p.m, ACCN
03/04 @ maryland, 8 p.m., ACCN
03/08 @ georgia tech, 2 p.m, ESPN/ESPN2