Update: VT moved up 8 spots to #44 in today’s RPI. Not the huge jump we maybe hoped for, but the good news is we moved way up in the eyes of the so called experts with last night’s win over still #12 wake forest (#12 in the RPI).
- ESPN Highlights – check out the Raines block/Hudson dunk
- The Hokies all but locked up a first round bye in the ACC Tourney last night. VT has the tiebreaker over wake, clemson, and uva, the 4th, 5th, and 7th place teams respectively. Based on the games everyone has left, Tech just needs to go 2-3 the rest of the way to lock up a bye. I know that’s not what anyone wants, just saying that is what it will take.
- Tech is finally getting the props it has deserved for a while. Everyone trashed the schedule, but now people are realizing this team is for real. Pat Forde even had us as the lead story on the NCAA blog on ESPN.com.
- With all due respect to Wick and his Bell block/Delaney 3-point play, I actually thought the play of the game and the Uncle Mo shifter (momentum) was the block by Raines and subsequent dunk by Zo Hudson with 12 minutes left (shown in the ESPN highlights above). Tech, to that point, had been shooting lights out but struggling to make up any ground on their 8-point halftime deficit. With VT down 9, wake had the ball in transition and 6-11 David Weaver went up for a layup. Cadarian Raines swatted the ball off the glass and VT raced up the court. Then Zo flushed the ball with one hand and sent the crowd into a frenzy with the lead cut to 7. This play was a big part of a 15-4 run to tie up the game.
- Cope mentioned Bell had a career high 14 rebounds and was a big reason VT out-rebounded wake 47-38. Malcolm Delaney also tied, a career-high with 9 rebounds. Tech was getting dominated on the glass, especially on defense early, but responded the rest of the way. VT finished with 19 offensive rebounds (45% of their misses!) while wake got just 15 (35% of their misses).
- Delaney fouled out for the first time all season and first time since his freshman year when he fouled out three times.
- Speaking of Malcolm, as Wick said and Delaney predicted on Twitter, he was due. He had been shooting just 36.7% in ACC play going into last night but hit 9 of 20 including several jumpshots. His 9 FGs made tied his ACC high he set at virginia. His three made three-point shots also tied his ACC season high, which he set against fsu. Malcolm’s trey with 3 minutes to go put VT up by four and I think really put the game in Tech’s control. Last night marked the fourth time he has scored 30 or more this season and he’s back over the 20-point mark in his scoring average (20.2).
- L.D. Williams pulled a career game out of his rear end last night. L.D. does not normally stand for long distance, but it did last night. He had made just 4 threes going into last night, but drilled one last night and hit numerous mid-range jumpers. He finished with 19 points on 9/11 shooting. The 19 was his second highest of the season.
- We saw how good Ish Smith was last night. He is a crazy finisher. But the deacs seem to be better when he is dishing, not scoring. wake was great in the first half when he had 5 assists, but struggled in the second half.
- Tech is now 46-45 in ACC regular season games.
- Last night was the Hokies’ fifth straight ACC win, their longest streak ever.
- VT moved to 14-0 at home, their best start since a 15-0 start in ’82-83. VT has two more home games – a tough one against maryland and what should be a win against nc state.
- Alright, we can finally stop sweating the NCAA Tourney (for now). We have the silver in the ACC, let’s go for the gold Sunday night against the hated blue devils!