Posted on 18 November 2008.
Posted on 17 November 2008.
Note to TechHoops.com Readers: Don’t worry, I’ve doubled my meds and I’m calming down about last night’s win.Â Apologies if I came across very negatively.Â It is a good sign when people are upset about “wins” from our basketball team, and as a friend pointed out, these are the types of games VT used to find a way to lose.Â Maybe the guys’ minds were on the beach last night, considering they are now already on their way to Puerto Rico (left at 6 AM this morning).
The Good News: VT won.
The Bad News: Maybe it is time to throttle back the expectations for this season.Â Why?Â Because this team has struggled to score for the last 60 minutes of play against two nubbins schools.Â Tech shot just 33.3% from the field on the night against the #22 ranked Mid-Major team on their way to a come from behind victory.Â VT scored just 23 first half points.Â The only reason the Hokies won was an amazing 27/32 (84%) effort from the line.
If you watched this game, you may have thought ricky stokes (or Bryan Stinespring) was a guest coach.Â Tech looked absolutely inept on the offensive end and only won this game thanks to a spirited effort down the stretch.Â Virginia Tech trailed the entire second half (including by as many as 8 with 9 minutes to go) until taking the lead with 1:34 to play on a 2nd-chance three point by A.D. Vassallo.Â Following two free throws by the mount, VT took the lead for good when Malcolm Delaney was fouled on a three with 0:52 to play and sank all three free throws.Â After falling behind 52-46 with 2:22 to play, Malcolm Delaney led a 16-5 run to close the game with 13 points on 10/11 shooting from the line.
Player of the Game: Malcolm Delaney – He led VT with 18 points.Â But he wasn’t so much the player of the game as he was the player of the final 2:20.Â He only had 5 points for the first 37 minutes and then took complete control of the game and hit clutch free throw after clutch free throw down the stretch.Â He’s the reason the Hokies pulled this game out of their hat.
Tech was out-hustled by a much smaller team.Â VT won the rebounding margin 36-33, but the mount had a 13-11 advantage on offensive rebounds and that led to many easy buckets on second chances.Â The mount finished with a 28-16 advantage on points in the paint.Â Not a good sign against a team with no one over 6’7″. Once again Jeff Allen led VT in rebounding with 9. This is the second straight game he has missed a double-double by just one rebound.
The Hokies did not get out and run at all.Â At one point late in the 2nd half, they only had 1 point off turnovers and completed the game with just 6.Â This is an athletic team that has shown they are not good yet in the half court set.Â They must run more, even if it means forcing the tempo.Â VT finished the game with just 3 fast break points.
The Hokies also committed 20 turnovers.Â If VT wants to improve their offense, they need to cut this total in about half.
Tech’s leading scorer on the night was Malcolm Delaney, mostly because he did his job and hit free throws down the stretch.Â Delaney had 18 points on 13 FTs.Â But 13 of his 18 points were scored in the final 2:12 of the game.Â He hit 10/11 FTs in clutch time and also nailed a key three after the Hokies fell behind by 6 with 2:22 to go.
The Hokies will have plenty to work on as they head south and east.Â They have now looked awful for the last 3 halves of play.Â No one is playing well.Â The amazing thing is they are 2-0 despite all this.
Tech trailed 24-23 at the half and only had 23 points in the first 17+ minutes of the second half until their late run.
Let’s review tonight’s game:
Summary: Long story short is VT is a 3 person team right now.Â I didn’t predict they would miss Deron Washington this much, but they do.Â Missing J.T. Thompson seems to really be hurting the team, too.Â They have no offensive flow right now and are not finding ways to push the tempo.Â Two wins in Puerto Rico will be a blessing.Â
Or maybe I’m being melodramatic.Â It is just two games and Seth Greenberg teams are notorious for starting slow.Â It is just the offense, which was supposed to be improved this year, has not looked good yet.Â And VT found a way to win these two games.Â They don’t give style points in March when they pick the tournament teams.
Posted on 16 November 2008.
The Hokies want to be dancing in March. Not at the nubbins CBI, or the “Junior Prom” (the NIT), they want to be in the Big Dance. On Monday night the Hokies face a team that is coming off a NCAA Tournament appearance. In fact, the mount st. mary’s mountaineers, or “the mount”, won a NCAA Tournament game. Granted, it was the Opening Round game, against coppin state of the MEAC, but it has given the mountaineers a lot of confidence heading into this season.
The mount returns all but one key cog from last year’s Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship team. They are led by 5’9″ junior Jeremy Goode (finally Hank Thorns can look eye-to-eye at an opponent). Goode was a preseason All-NEC selection after averaging 10.1 points as a freshman and 14.5 points and 5.5 assists as a sophomore last season. Jeremy had 25 points in the mount’s season opener win against loyola. In that game, mt. st. mary’s scored 50 points in the second half, shooting 54% for the game in a 84-75 win.
The mount also returns their third, fourth, fifth, and sixth leading scorers from last season, all of whom averaged over seven points per game. But the team is not deep, playing only seven guys in their first game.
The mountaineers like to attack the lane and push the ball in transition — they don’t want this to be a half-court game. The mount are not a threat to win games from the outside, but they aren’t big, either. There’s no player on the roster over 6’7″, and only two guys are over 215 lbs. Kelly Beidler and the Atupem brothers, Shawn and Sam, are their best inside players. So transition defense is vital for Tech.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Probability of a VT win: 75%
Posted on 16 November 2008.
Stop laughing, there really is a blog about mount st. mary’s university basketball.Â And Raff from thefanblog.blogspot.comÂ was nice enough to answer some questions about the mount st. mary’s mountaineers (or “the mount” for short).
Raff also interviewed me and here is a link to that interview: Niemo interviewed by the Fan Blog
Bio about Raff: Raff is a sports fan. He’s been a fan of Mt. St. Mary’s basketball since he was seven years old and he fell through the bleachers in the Old Memorial Gymnasium during the final two seconds of one of the most incredible finishes in the history of the South Atlantic Division II regional finals, in a game versus Elizabeth City State. A graduate of Syracuse University, his venom for the Hokies comes from those many years in the 90′s when the footbal rivalry was intense and of course for the way the Tech administration handled the ACC departure. He blogs regularly about the Mount, Syracuse and anything else he feels like writing about at thefanblog.blogspot.com.
1. Niemo: Tell me about mt. st. mary’s university.Â What is the school like?Â Good party scene or suitcase college?
Raff: I was never a full-time student there, although I did take a few classes. So I can’t really clue you in on the party scene. The school is the sixth smallest in Division I, so there is a true sense of community there – and the Mount Maniac student section seems to have a good time at games. I’m guessing that there are worse places to be on a Saturday night than on campus.
2. Niemo: The mount is a Catholic university.Â Do the ladies wear those sexy, naughty, Catholic-school-girl skirts?
Raff: This isn’t Southern Seminary or anything. And I take my 9-year-old daughter to the games with me – so I’m usually more worried about what she has on, then what the students are wearing. At least that is what I tell my wife.
[Note to Niemo's gf if she's reading this - Daddy likes the Catholic-school-girl skirts!]
3. Niemo: mount st. mary’s won the Northeast Conference (NEC) last year and won the “extra” NCAA Tournament game before being waxed by unc in the first round.Â What are expectations for the mountaineers this season?
Raff: Expectations are as high as they’ve ever been with the program at this level. Truly last year’s run came a year ahead of schedule. There was just one senior who got considerable minutes last year, and only two scholarship seniors on the roster this year. The heart of last year’s team were underclassmen. A tough non-conference schedule, as is always the case with the mid-majors, could leave them with a few welts but they should be stronger come conference play and the all-important NEC tournament. Just about every publication has picked the Mount to win the NEC this year and with good reason. But the players seem to realize that without three wins at the start of March, there is no hope to play in the Big Dance.
Click ‘Read more’ for the rest of the interview…
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