Posted on 03 December 2009.
Posted on 02 December 2009.
A win is a win is a win. The Hokies struggled to beat a very bad iowa hawkeye team, but, they did beat them. The Hokies moved to 5-1 on the season, well on their way to the 12-2 out of conference record I said they must attain to keep any March NCAA Tournament dreams alive. Malcolm Delaney led the Hokies in points (stop the presses) with 18. But the big story was the supporting cast tonight: Terrell Bell added a career high 13 points on 6 of 9 shooting, Victor Davila added 10, and Ben Boggs hit two big three-pointers early in the game to help the Hokies secure a 70-64 win.
Delaney had a typical 2009 evening – scored points but struggled to hit shots. He hit just 1 of 7 from behind the arc and was 5 of 15 from the field, though hitting 4 of 8 two-point shots is actually an improvement for him. Delaney is now shooting just 38% from the field on the year and 30% on threes, but that has been good enough to lead Tech to a 5-1 start. His 86% from the line has certainly helped in key situations at the end.
Jeff Allen, who did not start either half tonight, did add 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Greenberg benched him at the beginning of each half. The upside of this was he didn’t pick up his seemingly mandatory foul in the first two minutes of a half. J.T. Thompson started in his place and scored 8 points, but grabbed just 1 rebound.
The Hokies fell behind early in this contest. iowa went up by an 11-3 score but VT used a 10-2 run to tie the game and then a 17-2 run to take a 10 point lead later in the first half. Tech led by 6 at the half, 34-28.
After Tech took the lead with 6:57 left in the first half they led until the 6:27 mark of the second stanza. After iowa went ahead 54-53, the Hokies went on a quick 8-0 run to take a 7 point lead and never looked back. The hawkeyes never made it a one possession game after that point.
The Hokies still have a lot of issues on offense. They resemble a NBA team (that can’t shoot). Their possessions involve one of the following: a three-pointer that only goes in 29% of the time, a feed into the post that usually works out pretty well, or a wild jumper that is missed. Tech has shown no ability to be able to drive and kick – either to an open post player for an easy layup or dunk, or to an open shooter on the perimeter (who probably wouldn’t make the three anyway). This team is clearly still adjusting to the new motion offense Seth put in. Sadly, this is the second highest point total VT has put up in regulation this season behind the 71 they scored on campbell. We keep waiting for someone to break out as the supporting cast to Delaney and Allen but so far no one has consistently done that.
Dorenzo Hudson continues to hit any jumpers, though he did hit a clutch three-pointer from behind NBA range with the shot clock running down late in the game that put the Hokies up 7 and put the game away. But he is just 3 of 15 (20%) on threes on the season and 5 of 14 (36%) on free throws. He has been the biggest disappointment to date. Perhaps Ben Boggs, who played 15 minutes tonight and was 2 of 3 from the floor, will continue to see more time in Zo’s place. Both of Boggs’s three-pointers were catch-and-shoots coming off screens and his stroke looked fantastic. He has really improved his shooting from the outside from when he was in high school.
The only reason iowa, an offensively challenged team that averaged just 59 points per game and 27% on threes, stayed in this game was the long ball. This is a team that has no ability to push the ball or penetrate and score at all. But they hit 12 of 27 (44%) threes for the game. That accounted for 36 of their 64 points. They didn’t shoot a free throw until 3 and 1/2 minutes into the second half and shot just 10 for the game. The hawkeyes were led by sophomore Anthony Tucker who scored a season high 24 points, including 6 three-pointers. He had averaged 8.8 ppg coming in but torched the Hokies from deep. Leading scorer Matt Gatens did not score in the first half and was held to 6 points, more than 5 below his average.
The Hokies came out shooting their usual lousy self from the floor but then started pounding the ball inside against the unathletic hawkeyes. Tech finished the game shooting 47% from the field, their highest output on the young season.
Another reason for the win was Virginia Tech protected the ball. The Hokies committed just 5 turnovers in the game, compared to 11 by iowa. Tech turned that into a 16-2 edge in points off turnovers against the slower hawkeyes, who were unable to get any fastbreak points. The Hokies now have a 114-40 edge in points off turnovers on the season, the main reason they are 5-1.
Notes: The ACC tied up the ACC/Big(11)Ten Challenge at 3 with VT’s win. The Big(11)Ten jumped out to a 3-0 start but lost the md/indiana, msu/unc, and VT/iowa games. The road team is 4-2 in the challenge so far. The ACC has won in the prior 10 challenges. There are 5 games left in the challenge, each of which will be played tomorrow. Tech is now 2-3 in the ACC/Big(11)Ten Challenge with both wins coming against iowa. iowa is just 2-7 in the challenge. No Big(11)Ten team has a winning record in the event.
Posted on 01 December 2009.
11:29 PM: Wednesday is a SNOW DAY! Call in snowed in to work!
11:28 PM: FYI: Finished the 40 a while ago…
11:27 PM: winner, winner, chicken dinner! VT will win this! Up 68-64 with 10 seconds to go and the ball. Big game for Bell.
11:19 PM: VT up 4 with less than 4 minutes to go. And if VT could rebound they would be up a lot more. iowa has hit 11 threes and Tucker has 21 points for them. He averaged 8 coming in. Yeesh. FINISH!
11:15 PM: iowa took the lead. Well, then VT goes on a 6-0 run culminated by a Bell jam! VT 59-54! 4:55 to go.
11:05 PM: Only up 1 at the under 8 timeout. Pathetic. iowa is 10/21 on threes. FYI: they were shooting 27% coming into tonight.
10:57 PM: I now encourage all VT fans to start drinking 40′s while watching these games. It is going to be that kind of a season. I cast a Level-2 charm spell on you. Still confident we will win this game, though I’m sure we will make it interesting. iowa will be in the 1-and-1 the rest of the way and that’s bad news for a team that can’t shoot. Don’t give them free points.
10:53 PM: Ted Valentine is the worst. Period. And he wears really tight referee pants. VT needs to put this game away. Uh, oh, beef jerky isn’t sitting pretty, be back in a few…
10:46 PM: Delaney up to 14 points. iowa has 24 points off three-pointers tonight. They were shooting under 30% coming in. Ugh. Are we the cure-all for offensive woes??? iowa just shot their first FTs of the night 23 minutes into the game. They are… not good. Yet only down 5. Please put a game away early for once, Hokies.
10:39 PM: Davila dunk! VT up 10 and a quick 30 by iowa. And 5-star on DJ Hero TWW.
10:26 PM: Halftime = DJ Hero time! I ain’t no hollaback girl. I ain’t no hawkeye girl, either (aka: Really hefty according to the crowd shots I saw). Halfway to 40 oz. of freedom. 2nd half isn’t going to be pretty.
10:20 PM: Good guys 34, iowa 28. Delaney leads us with 9 at the half but the big story was Ben Boggs hitting two three-pointers when VT was down early. iowa jumped out to an 11-3 lead but the Hokies used a 10-2 run to tie the game at unlucky 13, and then used a 17-2 run to go up 10 at 32-22. Two three-pointers later the lead was down to 4 but Delaney hit a late runner (great sign since he hasn’t hit any all year) to put VT up 6 at the half. FYI: Tucker has 14 for iowa at the half. The rest of their offense is terrible. Guard him!
10:13 PM: Hokies up 27-22 at the last media timeout of the half and VT is holding their own with Delaney and Allen on the bench.
10:07 PM: Had my first good idea of the night (clearly 32″ of beef jerky and 40 oz. of malt liquor wasn’t one): Next year – 24 hours of the ACC/Big(11)Ten Challenge! Play all the games back-to-back-to-back and so on. VT would get that coveted 4 AM slot.
10:06 PM: Allen with the steal, the dribble, and the dunk! Hokies up 23-20. iowa looks like a monkey trying to hump a basketball on offense.
9:57 PM: Seth gave a very motivational pregame speech – “be a good teammate”… and so on. Anyway, iowa has realized they are iowa and started missing shots. Manny Atkins has made an appearance. He and Boggs seeing early action. I guess Seth figures we might as well see what the freshman can do.
Oh, is this game a black-out at iowa? No, wait, those are empty seats. 15-17 bad guys.
9:49 PM: iowa, who has as much offensive skill as a rec league team, has 13 points at the first TV timeout. A guy fatter than Roseanne Barr has hit two threes. Luckily, Ben Boggs has hit two threes (great sign!). 11-13 bad guys at the first break. Delaney still can’t hit a two-point shot. I wonder if Allen sat the first four minutes to avoid getting his mandatory “first 2 minutes of the game” foul?
9:43 PM: iowa, who averages less than 60 ppg, has 8 in the first 1:20. And Hudson bricked his first three. Not a good start.
9:41 PM: Tip off to the Hokies. Plenty of good seats still available, if you are in the area, come on out. Thompson started over Allen, not sure what happened there.
9:36 PM: Stop fouling! Yeesh. Admit defeat.
9:33 PM: Tip is at 9:38. FYI: the ACC is down 3-1 to the Big(11)Ten with the maryland win. Interestingly, in five of the 10 years of this event the ACC has won by just one game, so they still have a shot. This might be the year though for the Big(11)Ten with six home games total and the ACC having lost 12 of the 18 all conference players from last year.
9:28 PM: Let’s get this crappy maryland @ indiana game over with! Let’s get the big game of the night on (forget msu @ unc). FYI: if you are looking for live stats, here you go: CSTV Link
9:25 PM: All right, ladies, it’s time! I’ve consumed 32 inches of beef jerky and I’m ready to open 40 oz. of the BULL! 40 oz for 40 minutes of intensity! The Weekend Warrior is making a weekday appearance! Let’s see how many exclamation points I can use!
Posted on 30 November 2009.
If this game was on the gridiron it would be an upper tier bowl game. Instead, the Hokies and the hawkeyes (try saying that five times fast) meet for the second time as part of the ACC/Big(11)Ten Challenge on Tuesday night in Iowa City, Iowa. The ACC is 10-0 all time in the ACC/Big(11)Ten Challenge, but the Hokies have not done their part. Tech is just 1-3 in the event since joining the conference. The good news is their lone win came against iowa, a 69-65 victory back in late November of 2006 at the Cassell. The other good news is iowa is off to a terrible start.
Here’s a look at how Tech has done in the challenge:
Virginia Tech is just one of three ACC teams with a losing record in the challenge. georgia tech is 4-6 and miami is 0-3. Amazingly, unc is just 5-5. The hawkeyes are 2-6 in the event and have lost three in a row.
The Hokies have struggled out of the gate this year, but have been able to pull out four hard fought victories against cupcakes. Tech’s lone loss came to temple this past Friday. Tech needed overtime the following night to beat a lousy delaware team that was missing their second leading scorer. In their earlier games, VT was up by just six with 8:30 to go against brown, were tied with unc-g-spot with 10:30 to go, and trailed to campbell with 10:30 left in that game. So the Hokies have not blown a team out before garbage time yet this year, despite playing four lesser opponents. Tech will just be happy with a win Tuesday night, but it would be nice to see them put even a good game together.
This game could end up on ESPN-Crapper and set basketball back 20 years. Both teams are shooting under 40% on the season, so don’t expect any offensive fireworks in this one. Both teams are last in their conference in points scored per game, field goal percentage, and three-point percentage. They may call the game once either team reaches 60 points (if either team reaches that).
The Hokies do have some advantages in this game: they are a better offensive rebounding team, get more steals, block three times as many shots, and have a much better turnover margin. Plus, they have the ACC’s leading scorer in Malcolm Delaney, averaging 21.8 ppg and having scored 28 in the second half against temple on Friday. Tech just needs to sellout on defense in this game, win the battle of the boards, and use turnovers to create some easy buckets and they can leave Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a win in front of what will likely be many empty seats in the 15k complex.
SIX PACK OF KEYS TO WINNING:
iowa is firmly a football school now thanks to Kirk Ferentz. The hawkeye basketball program has gotten progressively worse with each passing year. They finished 15-17 last year and 5-13 in the Big(11)Ten. They went 13-19 two years ago and 6-12 in conference. Their last winning season was three years ago when they ended at 17-14 and 9-7 in the league.
This year they are off to an embarrassing start. iowa opened the season with a 12 point loss to texas-san antonio at home. That’s like losing to unc-greensboro. The hawkeyes followed that up with a two point loss at home to duquesne (FYI: duquesne doesn’t have the guy, Aaron Jackson, that scored 46 at Tech last year in the NIT). iowa then managed their first win, beating bowling green at home. In their next contest, they hung tough with #3 texas and actually led a minute into the second half… the longhorns outscored the hawkeyes 47-19 the rest of the half and won by 25. The next night iowa lost to wichita state by 17. The hawkeyes rebounded to defeat an awful north carolina central team by 10 on Saturday. But to put that 10 point margin in perspective – jmu beat nccu by 13, miami beat them by 30, and unc beat them by 47.
The only thing I can think of to describe this iowa team is the scene in Tommy Boy when Chris Farley says he could take a dump in a box and call it “guaranteed”. Well, if you dropped a deuce in a box and labeled it “iowa basketball”, this is what you would have. They are the only club in the Big(11)Ten with a losing record.
In a conference that is not known for explosive offenses, iowa has the worst… by a wide margin. The hawkeyes are averaging just 59.7 points per game. 10th place is wisconsin at 67.4. iowa is shooting under 40% on the year from the field, and 26.6% on threes. Both are easily last in the conference. iowa does a decent job of getting offensive rebounds, grabbing 11 per game. But considering how many bricks they throw up, that really isn’t that many. They get the offensive rebound on approximately 33% of their misses, which is about average (Tech gets closer to 38%).
iowa is in the middle of the pack in scoring defense, allowing 63.7 per game but they are last in the conference in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to hit 45.5% of their shots. That is good news for a Hokie team hitting just 38.5% of their shots. iowa also allows opponents to hit over 40% from behind the arc, another worst in the Big(11)Ten. The hawkeyes get just over five steals per game and 1.5 blocks, last and 10th in the Big(11)Ten respectively. The Hokies get almost seven steals and five blocks by contrast.
The hawkeyes play just seven players most nights, so foul trouble will really hurt iowa. Of those seven, six average between 7.8 and 11.2 ppg. They don’t have one guy that scares you, or can ring up big points like a Malcolm Delaney can. Jarryd Cole did have 24 points on 10 of 13 shooting in their last contest, but that was against nccu and he had averaged just 7 ppg before that contest and 3.7 ppg last year. Sophomore Matt Gatens has been their most consistent scorer this year, averaging 11.2 ppg to lead the team. He has scored at least eight in each game. May, Tucker, Payne, and Cougill score between 7.8 and 9.0 ppg each.
iowa is not good from behind the arc. Anthony Tucker shoots a lot of threes but has hit just 10 of 44 (23%) to date. In fact, no hawkeye that has attempted more than two three-pointers is shooting even 32%. Gatens hits 27%, May 25%, Payne 31%, Cougill 30%, and Bawinkel 32%.
The hawkeyes don’t get to the free throw line very much, either. They average just 16 attempts per game and hit 70%. Tech, by contrast, gets to the line 22 times per game, but that difference is likely due to the fact the Hokies have led late in more games. iowa does not have a single player with more than 22 free throw attempts on the season, so they don’t have an explosive guard that can attack the rim, or a post player that can fight inside.
|PPG||64.6 (12th)||59.7 (11th)|
|Pts Against||57.6 (4th)||63.7 (7th)|
|FG %||39% (12th)||40% (11th)|
|3-Pt %||29% (12th)||27% (11th)|
|FT %||66% (5th)||70% (7th)|
|Scorer||Delaney – 21.8||Gatens – 11.2|
|Rebounder||Allen – 8.6||Cole – 6.7|
|Assists||Delaney – 3.6||Payne – 4.0|
|Steals||Allen – 2.6||May – 1.2|
|Blocks||Allen – 1.8||May – 0.7|
|Guard||23 Delaney – 6’3″||3 Payne – 6’1″|
|Guard||5 Hudson – 6’5″||1 Tucker – 6’4″|
|Guard/Forward||1 Bell – 6’6″||5 Gatens – 6’5″|
|Forward||0 Allen – 6’7″||50 Cole – 6’7″|
|Forward/Center||14 Davila – 6’8″||44 Cougill – 6’9″|
BORING FACTS ABOUT the university of iowa:
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