Tag Archive | "etsu"

Niemo’s Bourbon Breakdown | VT 80, etsu 62

OK, within 24 hours of each game*, I’ll give you a breakdown of the keys to the game as I saw it, and possibly re-saw it.  Warning: I may have a few bourbons, or in this case, victory Scotches in me.

* Guarantee only valid in the lower 48 states.  Actual cash value of guarantee is $0.0001, or 100 “Schrute-bucks”.

  • Play Up-Tempo: GRADE = A/B+… The ‘A’ is for effort.  Tech definitely pushed the ball up the court in most situations.  The ‘B+’ is for execution.  The Hokies tallied ‘just’ 9 fast break points.  I should note VT only scored 13 total fast break points in their final 5 home games last year and averaged just 4.4 fast break points in our 2012 home games last season.  So this is at least a step in the right direction of getting some easy buckets.  And not once did we come close to a shot clock violation until very late in the game when the outcome was decided, so that also was a plus.  But we did still pull the ball out at times when we had numbers.  I think this will improve with time, though, as guys realize they won’t get yanked after one failed push/drive.
  • Be Fun: GRADE = A… I think we’d all agree this offense was a heck of a lot more fun to watch than anything Seth or O’Cain-spring has rolled out there recently.  Tech shot it at their first open look, instead of bleeding the shot clock until Green would have to force something.  And we actually tried an alley-oop!  It failed, but it was still exciting to see us leverage our athletes.  And if Eddie had managed to throw that ‘oop down one-handed like Clarence/Coffee Black in Semi-Pro, it would have brought the house down.  As it was, it still got the crowd off their feet and gets them into the game.
  • Defense: GRADE = B… Normally holding a team to 39% shooting form the field and 19% from behind the arc would draw an A, but this was a very inexperienced east tennessee state team.  They had plenty of open looks but laid more bricks than Habitat for Humanity.  The effort was good and I liked our doubling down in the post, but rotations seemed a tad slow at times.  Again, let’s see if this improves as we get the rust off and get into the season.
  • Rebounding: GRADE = D… I’d give an ‘F’ if this wasn’t the first game.  Tech got dominated in the first half on the glass, giving up 8 offensive rebounds, and allowed 14 for the game.  etsu snagged 33% of their misses.  That may not sound like a lot until you consider they didn’t play a single player taller than 6’7″.  And it wasn’t just long misses bouncing far out, it was Tech being outpositioned and out-muscled in the trenches.  This has to improve to do even decent in the ACC, but I’m concerned this will be an issue all year.  The lone bright spot was Jarell Eddie, who fought for 10 rebounds including 9 on the defensive end.  He reminds me a bit of A.D. Vassallo on the glass.

The Players:

  • Erick Green – looked about the same to me as last year.  That’s not a bad thing, but just didn’t seem to be any better either, even after attending Chris Paul’s camp.  Beamer needs to get Green to play safety for him – Erick can still read and intercept passes with the best of them (2 steals).
  • Cadarian Raines – really looked rusty in the paint on offense.  Most of the moves and shots he had today, he’d have finished at the end of the season last year.  But he went just 3/9 from the floor and only had 4 rebounds and 0 blocks.  Needs to do more on the glass this year.
  • Jarell Eddie – my player of the game because of what he offered on the glass.  He stepped in to fill some of the void left by Doo-Doo’s transfer in the rebounding department.  Also hit 3/7 from 3-point land and showed confidence in his shot.  And he only committed 2 fouls after constantly being in foul trouble last year and fouling out 4 times.  The only negative was 3 turnovers – I can’t decide if I like him driving or not – TBD.
  • C.J. Barksdale – other than an early tipped pass (he didn’t get credit for the steal) and a nice rebound that led to a fast break, I wouldn’t have even known he played.  Attempted just 1 shot and grabbed just 3 rebounds, while committing 4 fouls that limited him to 17 minutes.  He must give Tech another option in the post when teams double Raines and needs to avoid foul trouble.
  • Robert Brown – looked fantastic today.  If you are going to be a star, you must make a leap forward between your freshman and sophomore years (like Dowdell, Delaney, and Green all did).  Brown looks like he is going to be a force this year and take some of the scoring heat off Green.  Hit 4/7 from behind the arc and 6/12 overall today.  Also had 5 assists (Tech needs that so Green can work off the ball more).
  • Joey van Zegeren – exceeded my expectations.  Provided 18 solid minutes.  Hit all 3 of his shots.  Did commit 4 fouls though, which isn’t a huge deal as a backup, but if Barksdale is in foul trouble JvZ has to limit his fouls.
  • Marshall Wood – I’ll say this – dude has confidence in his shot.  Too much, perhaps.  He was 1/6 from the field and the 1 make was a tip-in from 6 inches away.  Wood was 0/3 for 3 from 3-point range and they were all pretty far off.  And he also committed 4 fouls.  But obviously he was doing something right – the team was +15 when he was in, possibly thanks to his 6 rebounds.
  • Marquis Rankin – unavailable due to family matters – our thoughts go out to him and his family.
  • Will Johnston – when you need 13 minutes from a walk-on, that’s not a good thing.  Still, he played solid and hit a 3-pointer, but these minutes will evaporate when Rankin returns.
  • 3 other walk-ons got in, including Marcus Patrick to briefly play the point, but see above.
Random note: georgia tech scored more points that etsu… and georgia tech was playing football (68-50 over those dirty cheaters from c-hill).

Nice win and certainly builds some positive energy after the first game.  Need to keep it going Monday.

Posted in 2012-13 SeasonComments (11)

Game Highlights | VT 80, etsu 62

Here are highlights from the Hokies’ opener, an 80-62 win over east tennessee state.

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Highlights, HomeComments (0)

Game Plus/Minus | VT 80, etsu 62

New this year we will keep track of +/- (my brother’s favorite stat).  It shows the margin while a specific player is in a game.  For example, a starter leaves with his team up 6 points, re-enters with them up 4 points, and the game ends with his team up 8 — his +/- would be +10.  I.e. you only count the margin while that player is in.

For etsu, here was each Hokie’s +/-

Player +/-
Green +14
Brown +18
Eddie +13
Barksdale +6
Raines +8
van Zegeren +10
Wood +15
Johnston +7
Racer 0
Patrick 0
Beyer 0

When you play most of the game, as Eddie (37 minutes), Green (34), and Brown (32) did, you expect their +/- to be close to the margin of victory, as it is.  But it is interesting that the bench really held their own – Marshall Wood posted a +15 in just 22 minutes of action, despite being 1/6 from the field shooting.  van Zegeren added a +10 and even Will Johnston had a +7.  It is vital the role players be able to keep the Hokies in the game this year as starters get some rest.

Posted in 2012-13 SeasonComments (0)

Game Recap | VT (1-0), etsu (0-1)


The James Johnson Era got off to a great start as the Hokies woodsheded the east tennessee state bucs 80-62 (not quite a Bear Fight) on Saturday at the Cassell.

My player of the game was Jarell Eddie.  While Erick Green led Tech with 21 points, Eddie chipped in a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.  With Tech’s never ending depth issues inside, additional rebounding support will be key, and Eddie provided that today.

Green got his senior year off to a solid start with 6/11 shooting and 8/12 from the line to tally those 21 points.  He also had 6 assists.

Robert Brown looked great from the outside, hitting 4/7 three-pointers and scoring 16 points of his own, and added 5 assists.  Raines added 9 points but his post moves looked rusty, as he was just 3/9 from the field.  But he did pass the ball well in the post.

The Hokies did push the ball more on offense as promised.  They had 9 fast break points.  While that may not sound like much, they didn’t get any in their final 2 home games last year.  The biggest thing I noticed was Tech never came close to a shot clock violation until late in the game.  They took the first good shot they got, and continually moved the ball to get a shot until seemingly bleeding the shot clock until a forced shot was required.

Tech trailed 8-7 early but used a 13-4 run to pull away.  Brown, Eddie, and Brown again hit three-pointers in a 75 second span that put the Hokies up 37-22, and etsu never got within 10 after that.

VT led 43-28 at the break and led by as many as 25 in the 2nd half before the bucs closed the gap in garbage time.

Marquis Rankin did not play due to deaths in his family (our thoughts go out to him and his family).  Four walk-ons played for VT (Marcus Patrick, Christian Beyer, Joey Racer, and Will Johnston).  Racer and Johnston scored, and freshmen Marshall Wood and Joey van Zegeren (redshirted last year) scored their first collegiate points.

Tech returns to action Monday night at the Cassell against rhode island at 7 PM

Upcoming from TechHoops.com:

  • Highlights
  • +/-
  • Breakdown

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Game RecapsComments (5)

Preview: etsu (0-0) @ VT (0-0) | Sat., 2 PM | ESPN3

Tired of Hokie football?  Yeah, me too (I better set a reminder to update this line in case we beat fsu on Thursday).  Well Hokie hoops is back this Saturday!  And there’s a new sheriff in town – Coach James Johnson.  Look for a brand new, up-tempo style!  Wait, stop laughing, I really mean it – we are going to play up-tempo, this isn’t another SG token statement!

Niemo’s Nugget: 3 of etsu’s players that averaged double digit points last year are gone, and they have no returning post players that saw significant minutes

Anyway, the bucs come to the Cassell on Saturday.  Here’s the tale of the tape (* Returning players only):

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Game PreviewsComments (7)

Video Highlights | Hokies 3G.1 64, etsu 53

Highlights from the Hokies’ season opening win.


Posted in 2011-12 Season, Highlights, HomeComments (0)

Recap | Hokies 3G.1 (1-0) 64, etsu (0-1) 53

Highlights  |  Boxscore

As expected, it was far from a Picasso, and the Hokies nearly blew a 51-37 lead.  But Hokies 3G.1 got things rolling on the 2011-12 season with a 64-53 win over a pesky east tennessee state buc bunch.

Erick Green, arguably Tech’s best player, did not play while nursing an Achilles injury.  That forced Tyrone Garland to start at the point, with Dorenzo Hudson moving from shooting guard to provide relief.  And believe me, Green’s presence was missed as the Hokies committed 15 turnovers against the buccaneers 2-2-1 full court press and 2-3 half court defense.  The Hokies will have to clean things up to beat a team like george mason, likely their opponent on Tuesday night in the NIT Preseason Quarterfinals.

The good news was Hokie fans got their first taste of star recruit Dorian Finney-Smith.  And that first taste was as delicious as a McRib.  Dorian tallied… now get this… 10 points (6/8 FTs), 16 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocked shots.  Yeah, he’s good.  Doe Doe still needs to find his game on offense (he’s very unselfish and doesn’t yet seem able to create his own shots), but the Bird works very hard on defense.  He held etsu’s second leading returning scorer to just 2 first half points, and then shut down their best shooter in the last 10 minutes of the game.

Tech started the game colder than the Atlanta weather Thursday night.  The Hokies were 2/12 from the field to start the contest, and finished the first half 8/24 (33%).  Tech also had 3 turnovers in the first 4 minutes, all by Garland.  Luckily, the bucs were even worse at 6/30 (20%) in the first half.  And 3-point shooting?  VT was 1/10 in the first half while etsu finished 0/11.  The Hokies led 24-21 at the break despite the fact they committed 7 turnovers (Garland had 5 of them) and the bucs had a 10-4 advantage in offensive rebounds.

In the second half, the Hokies finally got things going and attacked the etsu press.  Freshman Robert Brown showed why he is considered Tech’s best 3-point shooter already, hitting 3 straight 3-pointers to help VT jump to a 51-37 lead with 7:44 to play.  To make matters worse, etsu’s best player, Isiah Brown, fouled out with 10 points.  But the bucs battled back, going on a 10-2 run to cut the VT lead to 53-47.  etsu would get within 4 at 55-51 with 1:49 to play, but the Hokies hit 9/10 free throws after that and pulled away to the 64-53 win.

On the game Tech would nail 21/30 FTs (70%).  And after shooting just 33% in the first half, VT hit 11/24 in the second half to shoot 40% for the game.  etsu hit just under 30% of their shots, and finished 2/17 (12%) on 3s.  Tech was 4/8 from behind the arc in the second half, including 3/4 by Brown, to finish 5/18 (28%).  Expect that to be the norm this season.

Seth Greenberg’s Third Generation was well represented today.  At one point in the first half, Tech had 4 true freshmen on the court with Dorian Finney-Smith, Robert Brown, C.J. Barksdale, and Joey van Zegeren… and the fifth player was sophomore Tyrone Garland.

Garland led all scorers with 13 points, though he also produced 7 turnovers.  Adam Sollazzo had 13 for etsu, 11 of which were in the second half.  Robert Brown had 12 (all in the second half) and DFS had 10.  Dorenzo Hudson scored 9 in the first half but did not score in the second half.  Jarell Eddie also chipped in 8.  The Hokies got just 12 points from their low post players (Davila – 7, Barksdale – 5, Raines – 0).  But Barksdale did snag 7 rebounds and Davila added 6.

Posted in 2011-12 SeasonComments (7)

Starting Lineup Posted for Saturday

In the Hokiesports.com Notes for the game Saturday, this starting lineup was posted for the Hokies:

  • G – Erick Green – Jr. (so maybe he is playing)
  • G – Dorenzo Hudson – r-Sr
  • F – Jarell Eddie – So
  • F – Dorian Finney-Smith – Fr
  • C – Victor Davila – Sr
Both Eddie and Finney-Smith are small forwards in terms of bulk.  But against a team like east tennessee state, the Hokies can afford to go thin.  And considering the full court press the Hokies will likely see, going more athletic is better anyway.
We’ll see if Erick Green does in fact play.  It sounded very unlikely when the injury occurred last weekend, but he must be a quick healer… or VT is keeping things under their hat.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, HomeComments (2)

Preview | east tennessee state (0-0) @ VT (0-0) | Sat., 2 PM | ESPN3

The day many Hokie hoops fans have been waiting for, in some cases for over a year, is almost here.  You’ll need a program Saturday to recognize this squad, as the Hokies welcome several diaper dandies and also welcome back a couple of guys from injury (assuming they don’t get hurt between now and then).

We’ve dubbed this squad Hokies 3G.1, the third generation of players/major recruiting classes under Head Coach Seth Greenberg.  And like with gadgets, this new release promises to be the best bet.  That’s high praise compared to the senior class that just wrapped up their orange and maroon days, winning 87 games (tied for the most ever in a 4-year span), but also failed to get a NCAA Tournament bid.  This game reminds me a lot of that first game in the 2007-08 season – lots of excitement and promise.  But the guys will still be getting to know each other and likely this Beta version will have some bugs.


  • VT 13-3
  • At Home: VT 9-1
  • Trend: VT has lost 2 of 3, but the teams haven’t played in 10 years (yes, ricky “program bomb” stokes was the coach for one of those losses)


Position Virginia Tech etsu
Guard 11 Green 6-3 5 Cooley 6-3
Guard 5 Hudson 6-5 43 Sollazzo 6-6 or 2 Jones 6-2
Wing/Forward 15 Finney-Smith 6-8 13 Hubbard 6-4
Forward 31 Eddie 6-7 41 Brown 6-8
Forward 14 Davila 6-8 34 Poderis 6-8 or 44 Ward 6-6

Hokie Notes:

  • Erick Green, Tech’s starting point guard and (IMO) their best player, may miss this game with an Achilles injury.  VT is already without freshman point guard Marquis Rankin, whom Seth called the team’s best on-ball defender.  And forward JT Thompson is out the year (again) with an ACL injury.  Tech could have Dorenzo Hudson play point, as he did in relief of an injured Malcolm Delaney two years ago (all he did was score 41 points in that game).  Sophomore Tyrone Garland will also see minutes at the point.  Garland, to be frank, did not demonstrate the ballhandling skills necessary to run the point last year, but does have confidence and is strong off the dribble drive.  And if you need a 3-pointer banked in, he’s your man.  Tech could use Hudson, and freshman Robert Brown, at the same time at the guard position.
  • Both the Hokies and the bucs return less than 40% of their scoring from a year ago.
  • VT can, and needs to, dominate the glass.  etsu is not a good defensive rebounding team, a by-product of their  press (see below).  The Hokies need to limit turnovers via the press, something they always did really well against clemson’s Purnell press (though those guys are gone), and extend possessions with second chance opportunities.

etsu Notes:

  • etsu was without three key players in their final exhibition game this past Saturday: two projected starters, Adam Sollazzo (9.2 ppg) and Lukas Poderis (1.3 ppg), and a Juco transfer that averaged 24 ppg last year and had 30 in their first exhibition game – Marcus Dubose.  Their status is unknown for Saturday but having Sollazzo and/or Dubose would be a big lift to the buccaneers.
  • etsu likes to use a very aggressive full court press.  We’ll see how the Hokies respond to this.  etsu outscored their first exhibition opponent 40-6 in points off turnovers.  This has been a key stat to Tech in the past and they must protect the ball Saturday, while also exploiting their press.  With Green possibly out for this game, the Hokies will have a lot of question marks at the point.  This will be the key for VT if Green cannot play — can they limit their turnovers and advance the ball into their offense?
  • etsu lost their top three scorers from last season, who combined for 42 ppg.  That was over 60% of their scoring.  So similar to Tech, they will be rebuilding to an extent.
  • Cooley averaged 16 ppg and Brown 15 ppg in their two exhibitions.  Brown is their leading returning scorer.
  • Isiah Brown is a Preseason First Team Atlantic Sun pick.
  • etsu is picked to finish 4th in the Atlantic Sun this year.


Virginia Tech etsu
2010-11 Record 22-12 24-12
Conference ACC 9-7 (t4) Atlantic Sun 16-4 (2)
Final 10-11 RPI 62 91
% of Pts Returning 37% 39%
Leading Returning…
Scorer Green 11.6 Brown 10.3
Rebounder Davila 5.1 Brown 7.2
Assists Green 2.7 Sollazzo 4.0
Steals Green 1.8 Sollazzo 1.3
Blocks Davila 1.2 Brown 2.0


Hokies win, but it will be sloppy.  Tech will turn the ball over more than we’d like and fall into the bucs’ game of run and gun too much.  In the end, Tech has too much talent compared to the also inexperienced etsu team, and will get lots of second chance points.  I see a win in the range of 8-12 points.


Location Johnson City, TN
Type Public
Enrollment 10k undergrad, 2k post-grad
Established 1911
NCAA Tournament Appearances 9 (most recently 2009 and 2010)
Famous Alums Kenny Chesney, Mike Smith (Falcons Head Coach), Timothy Busfield (thirtysomething actor), Besse Cooper (115 years old and the current oldest living person in the world)

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game Previews, HomeComments (3)

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