Tag Archive | "georgia tech"

HIGHLIGHTS | VT 74, gt 73 (OT)


Here are the highlights, commentary, and extras as the Hokies win the Mega Bowl to move to 8-1 in the tail end of ACC Short Turnaround games (less than 48 hours since the last game) and 7-0 in the Cassell against georgia tech with their 74-73 win in overtime on Dorenzo Hudson’s game-winning 3-pointer.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, HighlightsComments (3)

2 Previews for the Price of 1 | VT (3-7) @ #21 fsu (8-2) on Thursday at 7 PM on ESPN2 | gt (2-9) @ VT (3-8) on Saturday at 3 PM


Update: Glen Rice, Jr., gt’s leading scorer, rebounder, steals, 3-pointers, 2nd in assists, and 2nd in blocks, has been suspended and will not play Saturday against VT.

Spread: fsu by 9.5 (Vegas is finally starting to adjust)

ACC SCHEDULING: How bad has the ACC screwed VT this year in scheduling?

  1. Tech didn’t get a single weekend home game in January, playing on the road all 4 weekends.
  2. The Hokies have to play two sets of Short Turnaround games this year for the first time since joining the league (2 games within 48 hours of each other).

The good news about the latter of those two is Tech is now 7-1 all time in ACC Short Turnaround tail end games. In other words, after playing a game on Day 1, the Hokies have won 88% of the games played on Day 3, less than 48 hours later. The last win came two weeks ago when VT took down clemson at home after losing to duke. VT has won 4 in a row in this situation. Add to the fact they are playing the worst team in the ACC, and you have to like our odds!… on Saturday, that is.

f-l-o-r-i-d-a s-t-a-t-e florida state florida state florida state… WOOOO: I’m not gonna lie to you — I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the florida state preview. I debated about putting VT at 3-8 up above and calling it a day (but then I’d be resorting to Cope’s tactics… did you know he pre-writes our recaps as if we’d already lost?).

Here’s how the first game went down:

  • Recap – fsu 63 at VT 59
  • Highlights
  • fsu opened ACC play with a 20 point loss at clemson, but including their win at VT, they’ve won 8/9 (their lone loss was at bc… go figure… they beat unc by 33 and won at duke, but couldn’t beat bc).
  • Bernard James, the 27-year-old real American hero, was a man in this game. He scored 18 points, snagged 15 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots. He dominated the paint in the 2nd half to help fsu prevent blowing a double digit lead.

BUT THIS IS A BIG GAME FOR THE HOKIES! Tech has won at every other ACC school since joining the league. Actually, to take that a step further, VT has won at every other school in basketball AND football, but hasn’t won at fsu in either (although they’ve only played there once in pigskin). Hokie hoops is 0-5 in Tallahassee since entering the league.

Here’s how long it took VT to win at the other ACC sites:

  • 1st try: 4 (georgia tech, miami, wake forest, unc)
  • 2nd try: 1 (clemson)
  • 3rd try: 3 (duke, maryland, bc)
  • 4th try: 2 (uva, nc state)
  • 6th times the charm at fsu!
I’d love to get the win Thursday and complete the Tour de ACC. But I have a feeling we are looking at a loss by a baker’s dozen, with Tech falling to 0-6 at fsu. Please don’t tell me this is going to become a clemson @ unc situation.

So let’s fast forward to Saturday…

ramblin’ wreck: Update: The question is, will VT have any healthy players on Saturday?  There are injury concerns about Davila, Barksdale, Eddie, and Raines, and with less than 48 hours between games, who knows who will be ready.  That leaves VT with just 5 healthy scholarship guys.

You have a better chance of playing pick up sticks with your butt checks than seeing georgia tech win an ACC road game. Over the past 7 seasons, gt is 8-46 (15%) away from the ATL in league play. I could accentuate that stat in a couple of ways: the jackets have won just 2 of their last 19 ACC road games… or I could say they’ve won 2 of their last 7! Both statements are true since they lost 13 in a row on the road before winning at wake to end last season (Update: georgia tech lost 59-50 at 2-9 wake… well, now 3-9 wake… The loss means georgia tech is in dead last in the ACC all by themselves). They are 1-5 on the road this year, with the lone win at 7-3 nc state (go figure, it’s been that kind of a year).

Tech has owned tech since joining the ACC. VT is 8-3 in ACC games, their best mark against any program (they are also 8-3 against wake).

Between VT’s success in Short Turnaround games, gt’s road record, and VT’s history with gt, I’m going to go ahead and pencil in a ‘W’ for the Hokies (notice I said pencil and did NOT mention wearing skirts or uva gear).

Talk about a contrast in styles — florida state, as usual, has a great front court with James the enforcer inside and 6’11″ Gibson also a talented shot blocker and athlete. georgia tech, meanwhile, has zero post talent. They have just 3 low post players on their roster. Freshman Julian Royal was supposed to help as a stud recruit, but he’s been a bust so far averaging just 4.6 ppg and 2.3 rebounds in 16 minutes per contest (though he does shoot 45% from the field).

Glen Rice, Jr. is the only offensive player you have to worry about, but he scored just 13 points in the 2 games against VT last year so the Hokies know something about defending him. Rice has scored 19+ on 7 occasions this year, including 28 against duke, so he can light it up. But if he’s off, the jackets have no prayer.

Even though Paul Hewitt is gone, now at george mason, this gt team looks a lot like the past teams — they don’t play patient defense (a lot of steals but dead last in FG% Defense) and they turn the ball over a lot (-3.0 turnover margin per game). Maybe… maybe… VT can get some fast break points off turnovers.

Hmm… I’m really tempted to guarantee a win on Saturday. Let’s see how I feel that morning and whether or not I feel like potentially wearing a skirt.

TANGENT: How low has VT fallen? I was watching uva lose at clemson on Tuesday and they posted uva’s NCAA resume. They listed VT as a ‘bad loss’. Uh, we’re a Top 100 RPI team. That’s a bad loss?!

STARTERS*:

*Note: Greenberg has announced that for the 2nd game in a row Tech’s starters will be determined by who practices the hardest the day before the game. Last game that was Rankin, Green, Hudson, Barksdale, and Davila, so the starters are TBD.

VIRGINIA TECH
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
11 Green 6-3 Jr 15.5
5 Hudson 6-5 r-Sr 11.2
31 Eddie 6-7 So 9.5
4 Raines 6-9 r-So 4.6
14 Davila 6-8 Sr 7.5
1 Brown 6-5 Fr 7.1
15 Finney-Smith 6-8 Fr 6.0
10 Rankin 6-1 Fr 2.6
florida state
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 3 Loucks 6-5 Sr 7.0
G 21 Snaer 6-5 Jr 13.8
G 4 Dulkys 6-5 Sr 7.3
F 5 James 6-10 Sr 10.6
C 1 Gibson 6-11 Sr 7.5
Bench 30 Miller 6-3 So 9.9
georgia tech
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
G 0 Udofia 6-2 Jr 10.0
G 23 Reed 6-3 So 7.5
G/F 41 Rice Jr.* 6-5 Jr 13.1
F 24 Holsey 6-8 So 8.9
C 5 Miller 6-11 So 7.8
Bench 14 Morris 6-5 So 7.8

*Rice has been suspended, expect Morris to start in his place and Royal to play more minutes.

STATS:

Note: these stats are for ACC games ONLY. georgia tech’s stats do not include their 59-50 loss at wake on Wednesday.

VT florida state ga tech
PPG 59.9 (8) 69.7 (4) 59.3 (9)
PPG vs 65.2 (5) 62.2 (2) 68.0 (9)
FT% 76% (1) 73% (4) 68% (10)
FG% 39% (11) 46% (1) 40% (10)
3-Pt% 33% (5) 39% (1) 33% (7)
Made 3s PG 5.6 (6) 6.5 (3) 5.3 (9)
FG% D 43% (7) 41% (3) 45% (12)
Off Reb % 32% (7) 33% (4) 32% (6)
Def Reb % 63% (12) 70% (4) 72% (3)
Turnover Margin +1.3 (4) +1.1 (6) -3.0 (10)
Steals 5.2 (10) 8.5 (1) 6.1 (6)
Blocks 3.0 (9t) 4.7 (3) 3.8 (6)

How sad is it that VT is 8th in the ACC in scoring offense while averaging less than 60 points per ACC game?

BORING FACTS ABOUT florida state (“Strength, skill, character”):

Location Tallahassee, FL
Type Public
Enrollment 31k undergrad, 8.5k post-grad
Established 1851
NCAA Tournament Appearances 13 (1972 Final Four and runner-up), made NCAAs 3 years in a row
ACC Titles 5 (Last in ’97)
Famous Students/Alums Burt Reynolds, Christine Lahti, Mac Brown, 2 Heismans (Chris Weinke/Charlie Ward), Jim Morrison, Richard Simmons, Lee Corso, Fred Biletnikoff
History Was florida state college for women until 1947, when it became coed and allowed men

BORING FACTS ABOUT gt:

  • Established: 1885
  • Type: Public
  • Mascot: Buzz
  • The term ‘ramblin’ wreck’ comes from the makeshift motor vehicles gt engineers were using for projects in South American jungles in the late 19th century.
  • Students: 13,750 undergrad (NERDS!) and 7,000 postgrad (NERDS!)
  • Notable Alums/Students: President Jimmy Carter, Jeff Foxworthy, several astronauts, Chris Bosh, Matt Price, Dennis Scott, Stephon Marbury, John Salley, Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Anderson, and Stewark Cink. John Heisman coached gt.
  • ACC Basketball Titles: 3 (last in 1993)
  • ACC Football Titles: 3 (one less than the real Tech who has been in the league 25 fewer years) — last – ’09
  • I hate the stat where they say ‘The winner of the VT/gt football game has won the Coastal Division every year… uh, that’s true, but we’ve won 5 of those 7 games, capturing 5 of 7 Coastal titles… so it isn’t comparing apples to apples. That’s like the winner of the VT/uva game has won the Commonwealth Cup over the last 8 years.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game PreviewsComments (8)

No Sting, All Gobble | Recap | #6 VT 59, #11 georgia tech 43


Boxscore

The Magnificent Seven rolled to victory, 59-43, against georgia tech on Thursday.  Virginia Tech did what they had to do — take care of business and win on Day 1 of the ACC Tournament (which consequently is Day 14 of the Big East UEFA Cup round robin double elimination Tournament — I haven’t seen a tournament this confusing since Base-ketball) in a near Bear Fight at the Greensboro Coliseum .  The Hokies locked up their 20th win of the season, and 10th ACC win.  The current senior class is now 11-1 in tournament openers (3-1 at the ACC Tournament).

In what was Paul Hewitt’s final game as coach of georgia tech, the jackets laid an egg.  The Hokies played like a team on a mission to get to the NCAA Tournament (where was this last week???) and sent the jackets, along with most of the crowd, home early.

The Hokies dominated this game from the start.  Tech jumped out to an 8-0 lead and pushed it to 15-2 shortly thereafter.  The yellow jackets had their fans feeling yellow — they had just 2 points 7 minutes into the game.  A Terrell Bell triple blew the doors open with 8 minutes to go in the first half, putting the Hokies up 27-9.  VT got 7 points each early from Delaney and Green (who struggled mightily in Atlanta against gt) to build the lead.  Tech led by as many as 18 in the first half, and after a sluggish start for both teams offensively in the second half, VT leaped out to a 20-point lead five and a half minutes into the second half.  When I say this game was all Hokies, I mean it was ALL HOKIES.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, YES, the stat of stats held true: for the 15th straight VT game, the team that shot a higher percentage from 3-point range won.  georgia tech couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat tonight.  They shot just 22% from deep (5/23) while the Hokies knocked down 27% (4/15).  georgia tech started just 3/21 from behind the arc and that sunk their ship.  Shumpert, who had a triple-double in Atlanta and 27 points in B’burg, finished with a pedestrian 12 points, 4 steals, 2 assists, and 1 rebound.  And Brian Oliver, who torched the Hokies in the gt win in Atlanta, did play for the first time in over a month tonight but was just 1/8 from the field.

VT shot 47% for the game compared to just 32% for the jackets.  The jackets, a poor shooting team on average, had no answer for the VT 2-3 zone (which they stayed in the entire game).  Tech also dominated tech in the paint as expected — beating gt 28-14 in points in the paint.  The Hokies even got 9 points from their ‘scholarship’ bench (all two of them) — Atkins had 6 while Garland had 3 — and Paul Debnam also added a free throw in garbage time.

The good news is this: Malcolm Delaney’s shot looked good tonight for the first time in a while, and Jeff Allen still had that sweet, sweet mid-range jumper.  The two combined to shoot 10/17 from the floor (a low shot total but I’ll take the efficiency).  Delaney tallied 15 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals on the night while Allen added 14 points and 11 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season and 45th of his career.  Erick Green added a solid 11 points to give three Hokies double figures.  Bell and Davila had just 9 combined points, but it didn’t matter tonight.

Tales of Jeff Allen’s demise were greatly exaggerated — the senior had 6 points and 8 rebounds at the break in 17 minutes.  The 8 rebounds matched in a half what he produced all of last week in 2 games.  Delaney led the Hokies at the break with 11 points and 4 assists, plus chipped in 2 of VT’s 8 steals.

VT exploded to a 55-31 lead with 8 minutes to go, and largely ‘iced the puck’ the rest of the game.  In fact, georgia tech had averaged less than a point per minute for most of the first 35 minutes.  VT scored just 2 points from the 8:23 mark of the second half to the 1:18 point, but it didn’t matter.  The game was for the birds.

The jackets, meanwhile, did one of two things on offensive early on: supply another brick for a house, or turn the ball over.  georgia tech shot just 23% in the first half, while the Hokies hit 50% of their shots.   If it hadn’t been for Glen Rice Jr., who was banking in more shots than Minnesota Fats, georgia tech might have been in single digits at the break.  He had 8 points, while star Iman Shumpert was largely invisible with just 5 points, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 0 rebounds, well below his triple-double (and near quadruple-double) against VT in Atlanta.

The only scare of the first half was, after building a 30-11 lead on a Tyrone Garland 3-point play, georgia tech went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 30-19 and had a couple of shots to get within single digits.  The Hokies were scoreless for almost 5 minutes, including 3 missed free throws by Delaney.  But Tech went on a 6-0 run to close the half and led 36-19 at the half.

The Hokies return to action on Friday night at the same time (~9:20 PM) against the #3 seed florida state seminoles… oh, and Chris Singleton might play after all (but I doubt it).  Win, and the Hokies are assured a NCAA Tournament bid (I think).  Lose, and look out fingernails on Sunday.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Game RecapsComments (9)

Preview | #11 georgia tech (5-11, 13-17) vs #6 Virginia Tech (9-7, 19-10) | ~9:20 PM Thursday


Spread: VT by 5.5.

Note: The game will start 20 minutes after the conclusion of the 7 PM game between #7/10 game (maryland/miami).

One of two things will happen Thursday night when Virginia Tech and georgia tech battle at the Greensboro Coliseum in the First Round of the ACC Tournament:

  • Paul Hewitt will coach his final game at georgia tech, or,
  • Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, and Terrell Bell will play the final meaningful game of their career.

For the Hokies, they are hoping it is the former.  A win will get the Hokies to 20 wins on the season and 10 against ACC opponents.  It will also likely end the Paul Hewitt tenure in Atlanta (unless georgia state is hiring).

A little over a week ago the Hokies were riding the gravy train on biscuit wheels.  They had just knocked off #1 duke and were the talk of basketball.  But within a week they had seen the wheels come off, getting absolutely blown out of two gyms early on against boston college on VT’s Senior Night and at clemson.  They battled back in both games but eventually succumbed to the hungrier opponents.  And now Tech sits clearly behind bc and clemson in the ACC seedings and the NCAA Tournament bubble.

georgia tech, meanwhile is hotter than they’ve been in two months!  By that I mean they’ve won a whopping two in a row – a win at wake forest (their only road win of the season in 11 tries and just their 7th ACC road win in the last six seasons… you now see why Hewitt is going to be fired) and a win over miami at home to close the regular season.

The yellow jackets do seem to play well in neutral site games for whatever reason.  They beat utep and then lost to syracuse by just 4 in Atlantic City, and beat richmond in Atlantis this year.  Last year, georgia tech made a stunning run as the #7 seed in the ACC Tournament, beating unc, maryland, and nc state to make the ACC Finals, where they lost to duke.  But that was good enough to get them a NCAA Tournament bid (and possibly take one from VT).  Two years ago after a 2-14 regular season, they upset #5 seed clemson in the Georgia Dome and then lost to #4 fsu by just 2.

Virginia Tech is pretty good themselves, though, in tournaments (at least in tournament openers) and neutral site games.  Check out these numbers:

  • The current senior class is 14-1 in tournament openers (ACC, NIT, Aeropostale, PR, etc) or neutral site openers (BB&T, Mexico, Bahamas, Philly Hoop Group).
  • The current senior class is 10-1 in tournament openers (the lone loss was in the ACC Quarterfinals last year to miami).
  • Going back another year, VT is 17-1/12-1 in the two categories above.

In other words, history is on Tech’s side Thursday, along with the fact they have a better team.

For the second year in a row, Tech will be meeting a team for the third time that season in their ACC opener.  Here’s a look back…

THE FIRST MEETING:

gt 72, VT 57: The Hokies led most of the first half in Atlanta but faded late. VT was undone by hot shooting against their 2-3 zone by Brian Oliver (28 points on 11/18 shooting), and a boat load of turnovers in the closing minutes. Iman Shumpert, the jackets’ best player by far, had a career game. He secured the first georgia tech triple-double in over 20 years with 22 points, 12, rebounds, and 11 assists. He also added 7 steals for good measure and created a lot of the late turnovers by getting his hands in passing lanes.

The Hokies dominated in the paint early, but their guard play was poor. Erick Green had 9 early points but didn’t score in the final 30 minutes of the game, and Shumpert shadowed Delaney, holding him to 8 points.

Although the final score looked like a blowout, the game was close late. VT was down just 5 and had the ball with 2:30 to go, but that’s when the roof caved in due to turnovers. Tech had 6 turnovers in the final 5 minutes and Delaney had 8 for the game.

THE SECOND MEETING:

Malcolm Delaney made amends for his poor outing down in Atlanta (8 points, 8 turnovers) as the Hokies, in their throwback gray VPI uniforms, blitzed the visiting yellow jackets 102-77. Delaney scored 22 of his season-high 33 points in the first half while Jeff Allen registered his fifth straight double-double — the 12th of the season — with 25 points and 14 boards.

All five starters for Virginia Tech scored in double figures and the 102 points were the most ever by a Virginia Tech team in ACC play. Sophomore Erick Green, who had shot just 26 percent in his previous four games (11/42), seemed to have benefited from the week off. The Winchester Rifle scored 15 points on 5/9 shooting to go with six assists, three rebounds and a perfect 3/3 from behind the arc.

Senior defensive specialist Terrell Bell scored 13 points and Victor Davila had 11 points.

The Hokies jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead behind seven points from Delaney. Tech never trailed and held a 25-point lead, 42-17, with 7:41 to play. As the Hokies led by 20 about 12 minutes into the game and had come up with a steal just before the under-8 media timeout, georgia tech coach Paul Hewitt was tossed from the game after earning a pair of technical fouls. If he thought that his ejection would fire up his team, he was wrong.

The Hokies continued its woodshed beating of the jackets as the Hokies registered a season-high 53 first-half points en route to a 16-point half-time lead.  Shumpert went nuts in the second half from deep, but it was too little too late as the Hokies rolled.

SERIES:

The Hokies have owned the yellow jackets over the years. Who’s the real Tech? The Hokies are.

  • All-time: VT 11-4
  • In ACC Play: VT 7-3

STARTERS:

Position Virginia Tech georgia tech
Guard 11 Green 6-4 1 Shumpert 6-5
Guard 23 Delaney 6-3 3 M. Miller 6-2
Wing/Guard 1 Bell 6-7 41 Rice 6-5
Forward 0 Allen 6-7 24 Holsey 6-8
Forward/Center 14 Davila 6-8 5 D. Miller 6-11

STATS*:

  Virginia Tech georgia tech
RPI 64 161
PPG 70.2 (4) 67.1 (8)
Pts Against 66.1 (5) 68.9 (8)
FG % 44% (2) 41% (10)
3-Pt % 36% (4) 32% (11)
FT % 74% (3) 66% (12)
Leading    
Scorer Delaney 18.3 Shumpert 17.5
Rebounder Allen 10.0 Shumpert 6.1
Assists Delaney 4.3 Shumpert 3.5
Steals Green 1.9 Shumpert 2.7
Blocks Bell 1.1 D. Miller 2.2

*Team stats are from ACC games only (and ACC rank), player stats are for all games.

FYI: Delaney averages 16.2 ppg against gt (6 games), Allen 16.2 ppg/9 rpg, Davila 8.5 ppg (his highest against any ACC opponent; 4 games against), and Bell 6.7 ppg.

HO-KEYS TO WINNING:

  • Will the real VT team please stand up? After the big duke win, Tech seemingly had a hangover all of last week.  They need to come out with a chip on their shoulders and play for their NCAA Tournament lives – because they are (see bc and clemson for pointers).
  • Accelerate off the blocks: VT fell behind by 17 and 15 respectively midway through the first half in their last two games.   This is the complete opposite of their ACC games from January through last week.  In their 13 ACC games from the start of the calendar year through duke, Tech led by double digits in the first half in 9 of those games, and led at the half in 10 of those 13 games (went 8-2 in those games).  The Hokies are just 1-5 in ACC games when trailing at the half.  They need to get up early and get the jackets focused on their offseason.
  • Shoot the 3… well: In Tech’s last 14 games, the team that shot for higher percentage from behind the arc has won EVERY time.  Also, the team that made more 3s in the game lost just twice (one of those was gt @ VT).  Tech has not lost over that span when they made more 3s than their opponent.
  • Stump Everyone but the Shumpert: VT was 0/2 at slowing ACC-Second Team member Iman Shumpert.  Iman had a triple double plus 7 assists in Atlanta, and 27 points on 6/13 from 3-point range in VT.  The difference?  Brian Oliver had 28 off the bench in Atlanta, but didn’t play at VT (hurt).  He hasn’t returned to action since February 5th, and the Hokies certainly wouldn’t shed any tears if he cannot play Thursday.
  • Allen-Town: Let’s hope Jeff makes Greensboro Allen-town.  He had 8 double-doubles in 9 games, and 3 ACC Player of the Week honors this year before last week.  Then he combined for just 23 points and 8 rebounds in the two losses.  He needs to pick it back up.  Luckily, gt is very soft inside and he should be able to duplicate the 21.5 ppg and 12.5 rpg he’s averaging against the jackets this year.

BORING FACTS ABOUT gt:

  • Established: 1885
  • Type: Public
  • Mascot: Buzz
  • The term ‘ramblin’ wreck’ comes from the makeshift motor vehicles gt engineers were using for projects in South American jungles in the late 19th century.
  • Students: 13,750 undergrad (NERDS!) and 7,000 postgrad (NERDS!)
  • Notable Alums/Students: President Jimmy Carter, Jeff Foxworthy, several astronauts, Chris Bosh, Matt Price, Dennis Scott, Stephon Marbury, John Salley, Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Anderson, and Stewark Cink. John Heisman coached gt.
  • ACC Basketball Titles: 3 (last in 1993)
  • ACC Football Titles: 3 (one less than the real Tech who has been in the league 25 fewer years) — last – ’09

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game PreviewsComments (10)

Game Highlights | VT 102, gt 77 and 26th Hokie Celebration | 2.13.11


Highlights from the Hokies’ beat down of the jackets, as well as pictures from the 26th Annual Hokie Celebration.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, HighlightsComments (3)

Triple Digit Beatdown in B’burg | Hokies (6-4, 16-7) 102, ga tech (3-8, 10-13) 77


Box Score

Malcolm Delaney made amends for his poor outing down in Atlanta (8 points, 8 turnovers) as the Hokies, in their throwback gray VPI uniforms, blitzed the visiting yellow jackets 102-77. Delaney scored 22 of his season-high 33 points in the first half while Jeff Allen registered his fifth straight double-double — the 12th of the season — with 25 points and 14 boards.

The 102 points are the most ever by a Virginia Tech team in ACC play. The Hokies scored 100 points in a 104-100 loss to maryland last season.

All five starters for Virginia Tech scored in double figures. Sophomore Erick Green, who had shot just 26 percent in his previous four games (11/42), seemed to have benefited from the week off. The Winchester Rifle scored 15 points on 5/9 shooting to go with six assists, three rebounds and a perfect 3/3 from behind the arc.

Senior defensive specialist Terrell Bell scored 13 points, one shy of his ACC high (14 vs. ga tech in 2010). Victor Davila had 11 points and was an impressive (for him) 7/11 from the free throw line.

The Hokies jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead behind seven points from Delaney. (Good) Tech never trailed and held a 25-point lead, 42-17, with 7:41 to play. As the Hokies led by 20 about 12 minutes into the game and had come up with a steal just before the under-8 media timeout, georgia tech coach Paul Hewitt was tossed from the game after earning a pair of technical fouls. If he thought that his ejection would fire up his team, he was wrong.

The Hokies continued its woodshed beating of the jackets as the Hokies registered a season-high 53 first-half points en route to a 16-point half-time lead.

The second half was just more of the same as the Hokies came out and refused to led the jackets back in them game. Despite a second-half opening three pointer by georgia tech, Good Tech held off the ill-fated rally and instead stretched its lead to 30 points. By that point, the game was out of reach for the jackets.

With 1:58 to play, Greenberg pulled four of his five starters – he left Bell in the game – while leading 97-73. Fan favorite Paul Debnam came in and hit a jumper to put the Hokies up 99-73 with 1:02 to play. Freshman Tyrone Garland gave the crowd what it craved with three-pointer with :37 to play, giving Tech a 102-73 lead. A technical foul by Prince Parker gave the jackets four free throws to close out the scoring.

The Hokies had little room for error in their final seven regular season games heading into Sunday’s matchup with ga tech. Already considered a bubble team for the NCAA tournament, Seth Greenberg’s eight-man squad could not afford a loss at the Cassell against the jackets.

Virginia Tech is now 6-4 in ACC play and 16-7 overall with three home games and three road games remaining. Next up for Good Tech is a home game against the terps on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 9 p.m. After that, it’s on the road against uva (2/19) and wake forest (2/22) before returning home for the final two home games of the season against duke (2/26) and boston college (3/1). The Hokies close out the 2010-11 season on the road against clemson on March 5.

Posted in Game Recaps, Games, HomeComments (4)

Preview | ga tech (3-7, 10-13) at VT (5-4, 15-7) | Sunday at 1 PM | ACC Network


Spread: VT by 10.5.

It’s a BLACKOUT, people, when the lowly yellow jackets buzz up to the Cassell on Sunday to face the Hokies, it will be as close to a must win as you get. Tech (Tech = VT, duh) sits firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble with seven regular season games to go and cannot afford to get swept by a bad georgia tech team that is without their third leading scorer and best 3-point shooter, Brian Oliver, who torched the Hokies for 28 in the ATL.

Tech has to win this game to stay in the hunt for fourth place in the ACC. clemson has already moved to 6-4 and maryland may join them if they beat bc on Saturday.

Tech has to win this game because georgia tech is absolutely awful on the road. Check out these numbers:

  • 0-7 overall on the road this year and 0-4 in ACC play, including losses at kennesaw state, northwestern, siena, uva, and miami.
  • gt has lost 10 straight ACC road games.
  • They have lost 19 of their last 20 ACC road games.
  • ga tech was 4-4 on the road in 2007-08, but the two years before that they were a combined 1-15 on the road.
  • So, since the start of the 2005-06 season, Paul Hewitt and the jackets are 6-38 in ACC road games (and 4 of those wins were in the same season, just 2-34 in the other 5 seasons!).

Tech has to win this game because there is no way Paul Hewitt, the second worst coach in the ACC, should out-coach Seth Greenberg twice in the same season. And he did out-coach Seth in Atlanta, though Greenberg’s hands were tied with Tyrone Garland and Jarell Eddie getting benched and Tech having just six players (Eddie did play one minute).

Tech has to win because they will be double digit favorites and Vegas wouldn’t lie to us.

Tech has to win this game because georgia tech looks like a team that has given up. They scored just 2 points in the first 8 minutes against fsu on Thursday, and had just 18 at the half. In the second half, it was the Iman Shumpert show (he had 21 in the second half). But this is a team that has to know their coach is getting fired after the year (he is) and are missing a key player. Get up early, as VT often has in ACC play, and keep the pedal to the metal. Put this away early and let’s get to the post-game Hokie Celebration for some arm-curling.

THE FIRST MEETING:

gt 72, VT 57: The Hokies led most of the first half in Atlanta but faded late. VT was undone by hot shooting against their 2-3 zone by Brian Oliver (28 points on 11/18 shooting), and a boat load of turnovers in the closing minutes. Iman Shumpert, the jackets’ best player by far, had a career game. He secured the first georgia tech triple-double in over 20 years with 22 points, 12, rebounds, and 11 assists. He also added 7 steals for good measure and created a lot of the late turnovers by getting his hands in passing lanes.

The Hokies dominated in the paint early, but their guard play was poor. Erick Green had 9 early points but didn’t score in the final 30 minutes of the game, and Shumpert shadowed Delaney, holding him to 8 points.

Although the final score looked like a blowout, the game was close late. VT was down just 5 and had the ball with 2:30 to go, but that’s when the roof caved in due to turnovers. Tech had 6 turnovers in the final 5 minutes and Delaney had 8 for the game.

HO-KEYS TO WINNING:

  1. Stump the Shump: Iman Shumpert is the only guy that really concerns you on offense for georgia tech, especially with Oliver out. Force him to beat you from outside or get rid of the ball at all costs. He is deadly at driving and finishing and can really get above the rim. But he has no one other than Rice to help him. If he drives, everyone needs to look to help and force him to pass. He has just 8 assists in 4 games since getting 11 against VT. Shumpert is a poor 3-point shooter, yet he’ll try close to a half dozen per game. That’s fine, he hits just 25% and has only made more than 2 in a game once this year. VT needs to defend Iman like he defended Delaney last game (easier said then done since Iman is a great defender and VT doesn’t have that).
  2. D-Fense: We might even see a box-and-1 on Shumpert but expect to see the zone a lot against the worst 3-point shooting team in the league. gt hits just 29% from deep, by far the worst percentage in the league (VT is next to last).
  3. Limit Turnovers: miami had 28 turnovers and still beat the jackets but VT cannot really afford to do that. gt loves to press full court and they are extremely aggressive trying to get steals. The jackets lead the league in steals per game with almost 10 per in league play.
  4. Full Speed Ahead: Tech needs to look to attack the press. The Hokies have two problems: they aren’t good in odd-man rushes (3-on-1 or 2-on-1) and often they just look happy to get the ball over half court against the press. But because gt is so aggressive, you are going to have numbers if you inbound quickly and attack the press. Don’t let them setup. Now, the other key is to attack the rim, don’t settle for 3-pointers in transition because VT doesn’t want this to turn into a track meet. Tech can get better shots in the half court. Attack, look for a layup, and then setup the offense if need be.
  5. Half Court = Big Donut: Jeff Allen had 18 points and 11 rebounds at georgia tech. They simply have no answer for him inside. Once in the half court, VT needs to get him a touch on at least 50% of their possessions. This will allow Jeff to either work that great spin move, or if they double down, he can kick it out and get Delaney some looks.
  6. Clean the Glass: The jackets had 14 offensive rebounds in the first half against fsu on Thursday. They throw up a lot of bricks because they are so poor shooting. They also create a lot of long rebounds with their way-off 3-point attempts. They are 2nd in the ACC in Offensive Rebound % and they aggressively go after rebounds. Shumpert does not get back, instead he’s in there. Box out, protect the backside, secure the rebound, and then look to push the ball since four or five guys will be inside for them.

SERIES:

The Hokies have owned the yellow jackets over the years. Who’s the real Tech? The Hokies are.

  • All-time: VT 10-4
  • In ACC Play: VT 6-3
  • At VT in ACC Play: VT 3-0

STARTERS:

Position Virginia Tech georgia tech
Guard 11 Green 6-4 1 Shumpert 6-5
Guard 23 Delaney 6-3 3 M. Miller 6-2
Wing/Guard 1 Bell 6-7 41 Rice 6-5
Forward 0 Allen 6-7 24 Holsey 6-8
Forward/Center 14 Davila 6-8 5 D. Miller 6-11

STATS:

Virginia Tech georgia tech
RPI 67 166
PPG 70.6 69.0
Pts Against 61.0 66.7
FG % 46% 41%
3-Pt % 33% 29%
FT % 71% 70%
Leading
Scorer Delaney 18.3 Shumpert 17.0
Rebounder Allen 10.0 Shumpert 6.1
Assists Delaney 4.3 Shumpert 3.5
Steals Green 1.9 Shumpert 2.8
Blocks Bell 1.1 D. Miller 2.0

BORING FACTS ABOUT gt:

  • Established: 1885
  • Type: Public
  • Mascot: Buzz
  • The term ‘ramblin’ wreck’ comes from the makeshift motor vehicles gt engineers were using for projects in South American jungles in the late 19th century.
  • Students: 13,750 undergrad (NERDS!) and 7,000 postgrad (NERDS!)
  • Notable Alums/Students: President Jimmy Carter, Jeff Foxworthy, several astronauts, Chris Bosh, Matt Price, Dennis Scott, Stephon Marbury, John Salley, Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Anderson, and Stewark Cink. John Heisman coached gt.
  • ACC Basketball Titles: 3 (last in 1993)
  • ACC Football Titles: 3 (one less than the real Tech who has been in the league 25 fewer years) — last – ’09

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game PreviewsComments (2)

Game Highlights (or Lowlights) | gt 72, VT 57 | 1.25.11


Here are the first half highlights and the second half shenanigans from Virginia Tech’s loss at georgia tech on 1.25.11.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, HighlightsComments (2)

Recap | gt (3-3, 10-9) 72, VT (3-3, 13-6) 57 | 01.25.11


Boxscore

After a great offensive first half, the Hokies faded in the second half and fell to a lousy georgia tech team in front of a scattering of family, friends, and nerds at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta (the arena, which seats 9,100, had maybe 5,000 people there).  The jackets (3-3) won 72-57 over the Hokies (3-3).  While gt is just 10-9 on the season, they are 8-2 at home and 3-0 in ACC play at the Thriller Dome.  Luckily, the Hokies get a shot at gt in the Cassell.  gt is 0-6 on the road this year and 1-18 in ACC road games the last three seasons.

Virginia Tech led 39-36 at the break as both teams were red hot from the floor.  Both teams shot over 50% from the floor in the first half.  The second half was a different story.  The game was close until late – VT trailed 62-57 with 2:30 to go, before the jackets closed the game on a 10-0 run.  The Hokies were outscored 36-18 in the second half.  It was Tech’s worst second half of the season (previous low for points was 24).

The Hokies’ offense, which looked great in the first half, was a dud in the second.  VT scored just 1 point in a 6-minute stretch of the second half and trailed 49-47 at the halfway point of the second half.  They scored just 2 points in the final six minutes of the game.  Tech hit just 6/25 (24%) in the second half and committed 10 turnovers.  Hard to win like that.

This game really exposed Tech’s weaknesses.  The Hokies, playing their third game in six days, really had to work hard on offense and defense against the up-tempo jackets who play very aggressive defense.  It appeared VT, who basically played just six guys tonight (Jarell Eddie played just one minute), ran out of gas against the physical georgia tech team.

Brian Oliver is a zone killer.  He had 32 against syracuse earlier this year, and exploded for 28 points on 11/18 shooting against the Hokies.  And they were wide open looks time after time.  Oliver either hit uncontested jumpers from the free throw line in the weak spot of the zone, or hit 3-pointers from the right corner.

Iman Shumpert, the jackets leader in scoring, assists, rebounds, and steals, had a huge night.  He secured georgia tech’s first triple double since 1989 with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists.  He added 7 steals for good measure and also held Malcolm Delaney to just 8 points.

Give the yellow jackets and Paul Hewitt credit.  I give Hewitt crap for being the second worst coach in the ACC, and he is, but he exploited the Hokies 2-3 zone tonight.  In fact, he shredded it.  The jackets fed the ball to the free throw line and either hit wide open jumpers there, or fed it down low, or kicked it to the perimeter for a 3-pointer.  The jackets also got easy looks when VT went to their 1-3-1 zone trap.  Tech had no answer on defense all night and didn’t try to make many adjustments.  They started collapsing on the man at the free throw line when he got the ball in the second half at times, but that just left Oliver open in the corner.

The jackets also completely took the Hokies guards out of the game.  In the final 29 minutes of action, Delaney and Green combined to score just 6 points!  They had 17 combined overall for the game, about half their average over the last 10 games.

The Hokies dominated play in the paint early.  Jeff Allen had 12 points at the break and Victor Davila had 10.  But thanks to a double technical which game Allen his fourth foul with 10:34 left, the Hokies missed their best player of the night.  Jeff finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but the offense went completely stale with him our.  Davila tallied just 3 points in the second half and finished with 13.

The jackets also did a much better job on the glass in the second half.  They finished with 9 second half offensive rebounds, after getting just 4 in the first half.  gt extended many possessions that should have been stops.  The wildest was a 30 second stretch with 14:45 to go where the Hokies couldn’t get a rebound and turned it over twice in the backcourt, giving gt four chances to score.

Erick Green’s double digit point streak came to an end at 10, and it is hard to believe that happened.  Green had 9 points in the first 7:11 of the game, but did not score in the final 32 minutes.  Erick’s rifle’s sights were off tonight – he missed his final 12 shots and finished 3/15 from the floor.  Not a good night for the reigning ACC Player of the Week.  He also briefly left with a hip or tailbone injury.

Tech’s shooting was horrendous in the second half, but horrible from deep the whole game.  The Hokies hit just 1/11 from 3-point range, with Terrell Bell having the lone long ball to tie the game at 52.  He had 7 in the game.

Another issue was turnovers.  At the half, VT had 8 to 7 for gt.  But the Hokies committed 10 in the second half to just 4 by the jackets.  Again, I think this had to do with tired legs.   The jackets had 12 steals for the game.  They led the league coming in with almost 10 per game.  Delaney was a turnover machine at the end of the game.  He had 8 turnovers and looked like the Malcolm of earlier in the season in the second half.  To his credit, he did create 3 dunks in the first half and had 5 assists.  But a 5-8 assist to turnover ratio doesn’t cut it.

Manny Atkins couldn’t get open, either.  The Microwave had just 2 points off the bench on 2 shots, despite playing almost half the game filling in for Bell, who was in foul trouble.

georgia tech, the ACC’s worst three point shooting team, hit 8/24 from behind the arc.  That’s right around their average, but the fact they hit eight to just one by VT hurt the Hokies.  Tech compensated for that with a 7-to-0 advantage in made free throws in the first half, but finished with just a 12-10 advantage.

OK, folks.  Tough game.  But no reason to panic.  The Hokies came into this five game stretch starting with maryland knowing they had four of five on the road.  3-2 in that stretch is a success in my book.  And the Hokies are 1-1 at this point.  They get a 1-4 miami team at home Sunday that they have to beat, then VT just has to figure out how to beat nc state or boston college on the road next week.  5-4 puts Tech in good shape to make a run towards the top four of the ACC this season.

The Hokies play miami at the Cassell at 5:30 PM Sunday.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Recaps, HomeComments (11)

Preview | VT (3-2, 13-5) @ georgia tech (2-3, 9-9) | Tuesday at 9 PM on Regional TV


Update: Looking for the game?  If you are in DC/NOVA and a Comcast subscriber – try Channel 21 (TCN) for the first part of the game.  Channel 10/251 Comcast SportsNet will pick it up after the Wizards/Nuggets game is over, probably around 9:30.

DirecTv – Channel 642 is CSN. You’ll have to wait until the Wizards game is over to see it on there.  Or if you have the Sports packages, it is on a rash of stations in the 600s near ACC cities (NESN, Fox SportsSouth, etc).

Spread: VT by 3

On Tuesday night Virginia Tech travels to the Thriller Dome to take on georgia tech.  The Hokies will look to move two games over .500 in ACC regular season play this year, and all time (Tech is 51-50 in ACC regular season games).  VT has not been two games over .500 all-time in ACC play since Feb. 5, 2005, when Tech was 5-3 in its first year in the league.  [Note: If I say 'Tech', I mean Virginia Tech -- duh!]

This will be VT’s third game in six days.  Green, Delaney, and Allen all played more than 34 minutes against longwood, so even that wasn’t much of a break.  Though the pace of the game was slow enough the Hokies didn’t have to work too hard.  That will not be the case against the yellow jackets, who’s style often resembles a prison break (with just as much physicality).

I expect to see mostly zone from the Hokies.  Even though georgia tech plays three guards pretty much the entire game, they are the worst shooting team in the ACC in terms of field goal and three-point shooting percentage.  Tech can play zone and not worry about the jackets burning them from deep, unless they get lucky and are “on.”  The zone can limit Iman Shumpert’s ability to drive, too.

georgia tech is not a very good team.  They’ve lost to kennesaw state, siena, unc-charlotte, and northwestern among others.  They are just 9-9 on the year but are 7-2 at home.  The jackets continue to be the worst road team in America, other than maybe longwood.  Unfortunately, this game is in Atlanta.  Still, VT has had little trouble winning in the ATL against the jackets (3-1 in league play), including last season’s 88-82 win.

I said before the maryland game that the Hokies had to find a way to win at least two of the four upcoming road games they had, plus beat miami at home.  VT has a chance to lock up at least two road wins in just two tries and really start to make a charge up the ACC charts.  A loss drops them back to the middle of the pack.  But this is a game the Hokies can, and should, win.

SERIES:

The Hokies have owned the yellow jackets over the years.  Who’s the real Tech?  The Hokies are.

  • All-time: VT 10-3 (best win percentage VT has against any ACC team)
  • In ACC Play: VT 6-2
  • At gt in ACC Play: VT 3-1
  • Streak: VT – three in a row
  • Last year: VT 88, at gt 82 (Recap) – Delaney had 32, Allen 17/10, and Bell 14/13.  The MVP may have been Manny Atkins, who had 5 points, 5 assists, and 7 rebounds filling in for an injured Dorenzo Hudson.

STARTERS:

Position Virginia Tech georgia tech
Guard 11 Green 6-4 1 Shumpert 6-5
Guard 23 Delaney 6-3 3 M. Miller 6-2
Wing/Guard 1 Bell 6-7 41 Rice 6-5
Forward 0 Allen 6-7 24 Holsey 6-8
Forward/Center 14 Davila 6-8 5 D. Miller 6-11

STATS:

Virginia Tech georgia tech
RPI 62 148
PPG 71.7 70.9
Pts Against 59.7 67.1
FG % 47% 42%
3-Pt % 34% 31%
FT % 71% 71%
Leading
Scorer Delaney 18.9 Shumpert 16.5
Rebounder Allen 9.3 Shumpert 5.7
Assists Delaney 4.5 Shumpert 3.4
Steals Green 2.1 Shumpert 2.5
Blocks Bell 1.3 D. Miller 1.9

DISSECTING THE jackets STING:

The yellow jackets are as close to a one man band as you can get this year.  Junior guard Iman Shumpert leads them in almost every meaningful category.  He’s the lone star remaining from last year’s team.  Three of their top four scorers from their 7-9 team last year have moved on, all of which were low post players.  Derrick Favors was a lottery pick of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and Gani Lawal went in the second round to the Phoenix Suns.  Zachery Peacock exhausted his NCAA eligibility.

As a result of the jackets’ losses inside, they play three guards most of the time, which account for almost all their production.  Their top six scorers include five true guards and Brian Oliver, a wing who’s shot the most three-pointers on the team.  georgia tech barely gets even 10 points per game from their low post players.  Their bigs are just out there to rebound and block shots.

The jackets had been on a roll, stomping unc by 20 and wake by 35 in what may have been the worst game played ever by an ACC team (wake, that is).  The tar heel game was closer than the final score.  The mistake the heels made is they played georgia tech’s game (out of control), and the jackets got hot late.  unc also missed a lot of easy shots.  But both of those games were at home.  When gt went to uva, they gave up 43 first-half points to the worst offense in the ACC.

Offense:

  • Style: In a word – chaos.  gt plays up tempo.  The jackets will have never met a shot they didn’t like.  They will push the ball and take terrible shots all game long, and if they fall behind, they’ll make even worse decisions.
  • The jackets don’t value possessions.  They’ll turn it over a good bit.
  • gt is dead last in the ACC in FG% (42%) and 3-Pt% (31%).
  • The jackets are an average offensive rebounding team, grabbing 34% of their misses.
  • Shumpert is very athletic and a great slasher, but settles for three-pointers at times (28%).  He gets to the line a lot when he’s aggressive.
  • Rice is their best shooter (49%, 35% on 3s) but was awful against uva.
  • Oliver shoots the most 3s but hits just 31%
  • Morris, Udofia, and Mo Miller will also jack up 3s but only Morris shoots for a high percentage, and he rarely shoots.  Udofia is more of a slasher, but gets out of control at times.

Defense:

The jackets are No. 7 in the nation in steal percentage, and No. 1 in the ACC with 9.7 steals per game.  So they are a good defense, right?  No chance.  As all Paul Hewitt’s teams do, they gamble a lot.  They’ll take risks on steals, even at the risk of giving up easy buckets or fouling.  I also don’t think they work very hard on defense.  That’s why Greenberg’s teams win — they sellout on D, while Hewitt’s and Sidney Lowe’s teams seem to treat defense as a necessary evil to get the ball back.

  • Style: pressure.  gt only pressed uva on one possession in the first half.  But I’d expect to see more of it against the Hokies to force VT into a more up tempo game.  The jackets mostly run a man-to-man full court press that you really just need to get the inbound pass in and then clear out, but gt also will use a full court trap.
  • gt is 9th in FG% defense in the ACC.
  • The jackets, who are dead last in 3-point shooting on offense, are also dead last in 3-Pt% defense.  Opponents are hitting 40% from deep on them.  uva hit 5 in the first 7 minutes.
  • gt is No. 1 in the ACC in defensive rebounding percentage.  At least their bigs do something well, although Shumpert is their leading rebounder.
  • Shumpert leads the ACC in steals, Rice is No. 8 [Green for VT is No. 2].

HO-KEYS TO WINNING:

  • Stump the Shump:  Unlike VT and Delaney, Shumpert’s best games usually do come in their wins.  Iman has shot under 50% from the field in all nine losses, and has shot 50% or better in five of their nine wins (including both ACC wins).  He’s shot 36% in those games, versus 44% in their wins.  Tech must limit his easy buckets and force him to beat the Hokies from deep, where he’s just a 28% 3-point shooter.  But he’s so athletic he can beat you backdoor on an alley-oop.  The zone should limit georgia tech’s ability to clear and side and isolate him to penetrate.
  • Stick to Your Style: georgia tech wants this game to be a track meet.  uva did a great job of slowing them down, while unc and wake did not.  If the Hokies can keep this to a half court game for the most part and not allow gt to get easy transition buckets, they will get rattled and start launching bad shots.  VT still must run though when the opportunity presents itself.  This will also take whatever crowd there is out of the game.
  • Cash in from Deep:  gt, as I mentioned, let’s opponents shoot 40% from deep.  The Hokies have to knock down their open looks.  I’d expect Manny Atkins to have a big game, playing so close to his hometown of Stone Mountain, and because he’s been red hot from deep of late — 8/13 last four games.
  • Whistles are Music to VT’s Ears: georgia tech is extremely aggressive on D.  They aren’t afraid to reach and bump.  If the refs don’t call it tight, it will lead to more steals in all likelihood for gt.  Plus, since the jackets have no talent inside, Tech doesn’t have to worry too much about Allen getting in foul trouble if the refs are calling it tight (hmm… not sure I really believe that but it sounds good in theory).
  • Big Game from the Big Donut:  Jeff Allen is too athletic for the 6-11 David Miller (a poor man’s Luke Schenscher), who will likely guard Davila.  Miller doesn’t have the quickness and wing-span unc’s John Henson had to block Allen’s shots.  And Kammeon Holsey is a freshman with just four blocks.  Brian Oliver (6-6, 220) is too light to stop Allen down low.  Jeff needs to go at the jackets and have a big game.  That will also help free up Atkins, Bell, and Delaney on the perimeter for three-pointers.
  • Expiration Date: Will the Hokies be fresh playing three games in six days?  The jackets will challenge them with pressure.  Hopefully Tech won’t wear down in the second half, which could lead to transition points as VT’s legs get tired.  gt goes 4-5 deep on their bench and no one plays more than 30 minutes.

BORING FACTS ABOUT gt:

  • Established: 1885
  • Type: Public
  • Mascot: Buzz
  • The term ‘ramblin’ wreck’ comes from the makeshift motor vehicles gt engineers were using for projects in South American jungles in the late 19th century.
  • Students: 13,750 undergrad (NERDS!) and 7,000 postgrad (NERDS!)
  • Notable Alums/Students: President Jimmy Carter, Jeff Foxworthy, several astronauts, Chris Bosh,  Matt Price, Dennis Scott, Stephon Marbury, John Salley, Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra, and Stewark Cink.  John Heisman coached gt.
  • ACC Basketball Titles: 3 (last in 1993)
  • ACC Football Titles: 3 (one less than the real Tech who has been in the league 25 fewer years) — last – ’09

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game PreviewsComments (12)

VA Tech (23-7, 10-6) 88, ga tech (7-9, 18-11) 82


Malcolm Delaney’s 32 points and 9 assists led Virginia Tech to a huge 88-82 victory over the georgia tech yellow jackets in a very physical game in Atlanta. The win clinches fourth place in the ACC and guarantees the Hokies a first round bye in the ACC Tournament which gets under way Thursday in Greensboro. The win also almost assuredly will mean an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the Hokies when bids go out a week from tomorrow.

With second leading scorer Dorenzo Hudson unable to go due to a bad bone bruise in his right foot, the Hokies got a balanced scoring effort and actually outrebounded the much larger yellow jackets, who feature future NBA stars Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors, 38-36. Jeff Allen had 17 points and 10 rebounds while Terrell Bell came up huge with 14 points and 13 boards playing in his home state of Georgia. Victor Davila also had a nice game with 10 big inside points.

Freshman and Georgia native Manny Atkins, seldom used this season, got his first career start in place of Zo and had a solid 5 point, 5 assist, and 7 rebound performance. Manny also cut down on the turnovers that had plagued him earlier in the season.

Unlike the previous two seasons when the Hokies faced must win games on the road to close the regular season – at clemson in ’07-08 and at florida state in ’08-09 – this time the Hokies took control of the game early on. Virginia Tech trailed 8-7 at the first television timeout, but from there went on an 11-0 run to seize control of this game. The Hokies hit 8 three-point bombs in the first half, led by four from Delaney. The Hokies led by as many as 11 in the first half and led 45-39 at the half.

The second half started with very rough and physical play on both ends. Lawal was whistled for a flagrant foul on Manny Atkins as he went for a layup with just over 12 minutes to go and it turned out to be a four point possession for the Hokies after Atkins sank both free throws and JT Thompson nailed a baseline jumper. The Hokies extended their lead to 73-56 with just over nine minutes left, before the jackets started to chip away at the lead.

The lead was 80-74 after a three by Iman Shumpert (16 points before fouling out) at the 2:10 mark, but the jackets never got closer than three points, 83-80 after a Favors (18 points) lay in with 36 seconds left. However Delaney (14-17 at the line) and the rest of the Hokies were clutch with their free throws and the Hokies held on for the all important win.

For the third straight game Jeff Allen stayed out of foul trouble and had a huge presence against georgia tech’s inside players and also connected on two threes. However Jeff did sustain a shoulder injury during this game and the severity is not known as of right now, though it didn’t appear to be too serious. Hudson’s status for the ACC Tournament won’t be known until at least Wednesday or Thursday.

The Hokies are assured of the fourth seed in the ACC Tournament no matter what happens in tonight’s or tomorrow’s ACC action. The pairings will not be known until games are completed tomorrow. Stay tuned to Techhoops.com for more!

Posted in 2009-10 Season, Game RecapsComments (4)

Preview | VT (9-6) @ georgia tech (7-8) | Sat., 4 PM | Raycom


THE SETUP

The stakes at hand for the Hokies on Saturday are real simple:

  • Win and they’ve punched their ticket to the Big Dance
  • Win and they’ve earned a First Round bye in the ACC Tournament

I truly believe the Hokies have a great shot at winning the ACC Tournament.  They played the two first place teams very tough – they had two opportunities to beat maryland last weekend in 2 OTs and led duke on the road with less than 10 minutes to play.  But the Hokies have to earn that first round bye to have a real shot.  It is too much to ask for the Hokies to win four games in four days.  VT will garner a first round bye with either a win this weekend against georgia tech, or if wake beats clemson on Sunday in Winston-Salem (Go deacs!).

More importantly to most Hokie fans though is that NCAA Tournament bid.  Pretty much all the talking heads that do bracketology have the Hokies in the tourney right now.  A loss to the jackets though would put in back in the Committee’s hands (depending on what VT does in the ACC Tournament).  Leaving it up to the NCAA Tournament Committee is something that has not faired well for Tech the last two years.  But with a win Tech gets to 10 ACC wins and 23 overall and there is no way they don’t get in with that resume.  The Committee would have to be certifiably insane to not let a team in with those marks.  That would be like a bouncer shutting out a 5’9″ blonde with D’s from a club.  But with a loss to the jackets and we drop down to a 5’6″ brunette with C’s but a couple extra pounds.  Good, but not a sure thing.

VT won’t have history on their side Saturday.  Home teams have dominated ACC games this year, winning around two-thirds of the games.  But road teams were 5-1 last weekend (gt was the only team to win at home).

Another thing working against the Hokies is they have lost their regular season finale four years in a row.  Three years ago it cost them an ACC regular season title, losing at home to clemson.  Two years ago it likely cost them a NCAA Tournament bid at clemson.  And last year it pull the nail in their NIT coffin at fsu.

THE SERIES

The Hokies have absolutely owned the lesser tech all-time.  VT is 9-3 against the jackets, including 5-2 in ACC play.  The Hokies are even 3-1 in Atlanta, including 2-1 since joining the league.  Tech has won two in a row in the series but both were in Blacksburg.  VT won 76-71 last year in the only meeting.

THE OPPONENT

The Good News: georgia tech is absolutely horrible on the road, going 1-7 in ACC play this year and 6-34 (think about that for a minute) over the last five ACC seasons.

The Bad News: This game is in Atlanta where the jackets are 14-1 this year, including 6-1 in ACC action with wins over duke, clemson, and wake.  The Hokies will really have their work cut out for them to win on the road on georgia tech’s Senior Day.

georgia tech, despite going 2-14 in conference last year, were a trendy pick to get a bye (top 4 seed) this year due to their recruiting class.  But as usual, freshmen haven’t been as good as people thought, georgia tech (thanks to Coach Paul Hewitt) has underachieved, and gt still can’t win a road game.  They sit in 7th place and can only move up to the 6th seed at best for the ACC Tourney.

Despite Virginia Tech’s past success against gt, this is the exact type of team the Hokies struggle with.  The jackets have good size (every starter is 6’5″ or taller), and have talent inside.  6’9″ Gani Lawal is an absolute beast.  At one point earlier in the year he was my pick to be the ACC Player of the Year.  But he’s fallen off a bit on the scoring end, averaging just 13.5 ppg (he is their leading scorer).  Gani has been held to single digits in five of the last nine games after scoring 10+ in 15 of the first 18 games.  But he also grabs nine rebounds per contest.  Gani also blocks 1-1/2 shots per game.

Despite being a shot blocker, he doesn’t foul much and rarely is in serious foul trouble (read: he doesn’t work that hard on defense, just likes blocking shots).  But he has a solid mid-range game and great low post moves.  Lawal can play facing the hoop or with his back to it, and has close to 100 offensive rebounds on the year.  gt should be feeding him the ball more than they do, he’s their best player right now.

With Lawal slipping slightly on the offensive end, 5-star freshman (and ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year) Derrick Favors has stepped up his game.  The 6’10″ top 5 recruit from a year ago has shot 50% or better in 12 of the last 14 games.  In gt’s last four games he’s averaging 16 ppg and just under 10 rebounds.  Yeah, he’s good and is really peaking right now.  The good news is Virginia Tech shouldn’t have to worry about facing him next season, or Lawal for that matter.  Favors should be yet another one-and-done jacket (Kenny Anderson, Stephon Marbury, Thaddeus Young, and Gilbert Arenas’s buddy Javaris Crittendon).

The jackets then start three guards.  Early in the year freshman Mfon Udofia was seeing a lot of action at the point but his time has all but evaporated.  Now Iman Shumpert is seeing most of the minutes as the floor general.  He is yet another stud point guard recruit of the jackets.  His numbers have actually gone down this year in almost every category, but that is the Favors factor.  Shumpert can score 30 like he did against unc or 24 like he did against bc, or he can get shutout like he did in consecutive games against wake forest and unc in the second meeting.  So you never know what you’ll see from him.  Iman doesn’t have a great assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and will still make dumb decisions.  georgia tech in general makes a lot of mistakes, averaging 16 turnovers per game (third most in the ACC).  That is great news for the Hokies who need turnovers to fuel their transition game.

The other two starting guards are mostly role players.  6’6″ D’Andre Bell is a Terrell Bell clone.  Tall and lanky but a good defender.  D’Andre is also very selective about the shots he takes.  He is hitting 45% of his threes, but has shot just 29.  At the other guard is freshman Glen Rice, Jr, yes, the son of Glen Rice.  While that Rice was a match-up nightmare – a tall guard that could shoot from anywhere inside half court, his son does his damage inside the arc.  Rice has shot just 45 threes, but he has hit 47% so he can be a threat if he gets hot.  He hit 4/5 threes against wake and hit 3/6 in their last game, a loss at clemson.  Bell and Rice average just 11.6 ppg combined.  They remind me a lot of how Hudson and T-Bell were before Zo realized what a great scorer he is.  Rice could get to Zo like numbers soon.

The jackets have three guys on their bench that average more than Bell or Rice.  And because they love to press, they depend on their bench a lot.  No one averages even 29 minutes for them.  Zachary Peacock is a dependable commodity off the bench.  The senior has averaged in the 9-10 point range the last three years and is a great mid-range shooter.  He is hitting 51% of his shots this year.  He also shoots over 40% on threes, though again averages less than two attempts per game.

Freshman Brian Oliver (yes, another descendant of a NBA player and in this case a former jacket) gives the jackets 7.7 ppg off the bench.  Almost all his damage is from behind the arc – he is also shooting over 40% on threes and has made 56 of them.  The funny thing is his dad was more of a low post player, so they are opposites in their game, just like the Rice’s.

Finally is the aforementioned Mfon Udofia.  The 6’2″ freshman was bombing treys early in the year but is in an Erick Green like slump of late – he’s hit just one three-pointer in their last 10 games.  He’ll only see about 10 minutes.  In his place, the forgotten stud recruit guard has seen more time – Maurice Miller.  Miller has played 17 or more minutes in the last five games and has averaged just under 7 ppg in that stretch.  Yes, they have a lot of depth at point guard, they just aren’t that good compared to their expectations and all turn the ball over a lot.

georgia tech plays an uber aggressive style.  They press full court and love to trap.  Unlike clemson’s press that is really about creating turnovers, the jacket press seems more interested in either stealing your wallet or seeing how many bruises that can inflict.  They will mug you.  If the refs are letting them play on Saturday, VT is in trouble.  The Hokies can get easy looks by making extra passes, and getting the ball over the press as they do so well.  Or take jacket live-ball turnovers and convert them into transition opportunities, something VT has done a better job with of late (i.e. not settling for 18-foot jumpers on 2-on-1 breaks).

On offense the jackets also will be aggressive.  gt shoots 46% from the field, 2nd best in the ACC, and 37% on threes, 3rd best in the conference.  They don’t mind getting shots up quick and then they will rain down on the offensive glass like a tsunami.  Again, let’s hope the refs are calling over the back and the Hokies must do a good job on the boards.  They must get in position to box out and have everyone helping.  Then look for an outlet and burn the jackets up the court.  But secure the ball first.

And the jackets weakness on offense if foul shooting.  They hit just 65% from the line.  This could be key in a close game late – foul early if behind.

SIX PACK OF KEYS TO WINNING:

  • Hat Trick for Allen: Jeff has scored 43 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in 77 minutes in VT’s last two games.  The Hokies absolutely must keep him on the floor.  Two quick fouls in this one and the Hokies are in a world of hurt.  Tech needs him as much for his defense against Lawal or Favors as they do for his offense.
  • Make the jackets Earn their Points: Even though georgia tech shoots a solid 37% from behind the arc, I’d rather force them to beat you from there.  Don’t let them pound it inside and get easy buckets in the paint, or crowd-riling dunks from Favors or Peacock or Lawal.
  • Windex: And if you force georgia tech to beat you from three-point range, that means you have to get rebounds to get stops.  VT must box out the aggressive jackets, and then look to push the ball to use their aggressiveness against them.  gt grabs 39% of their misses – the Hokies need to hold them under that (around 33%) to win.
  • 4-Star Turnover: The jackets have three 4-star point guards, one from each of the past three years.  But they average 6.5 turnovers per game combined to just 8.6 assists (read: throw the ball to Lawal and Favors!  Their PGs are selfish.).  The Hokies need to do what they’ve done all season – win the Points off Turnover battle by turning jacket mistakes into transition hopes.  Get easy buckets off gt before they can set their press up.
  • Read Your Calendar: It is March and VT needs to start playing every game like it is a NCAA Tournament play-in game, because that’s just what this is.  Luckily, it might still be double elimination for the Hokies.  But it is time to crank things up to tournament intensity, and that means not starting 3/13 from the floor like they did the other night.
  • Remember 2008 and 2009: The Hokies were left out of the dance in 2008 when they really felt they deserved to be in.  They didn’t make it last year because they just couldn’t close out big games late in the season (and had bad losses early).  Here’s your chance at redemption.  Here is your chance to say we are crashing the party and there is nothing you can do about it.  Tech’s worked so hard to be in this position, now let’s rip up that NIT invitation.  VT has a lot to play for (NCAA bubble and clinch a First Round bye) while gt has very little to play for (they will be the 6th or 7th seed no matter what).

STARTERS:

Position VT gt
Guard 23 Delaney 6’3″ 1 Shumpert 6’5″
Guard 5 Hudson 6’5″ 41 Rice 6’5″
F/G 1 Bell 6’6″ 13 Bell 6’6″
Forward 0 Allen 6’7″ 14 Favors 6’10″
C/F 14 Davila 6’8″ 31 Lawal 6’9″

Note: Let’s hope Zo’s foot holds up.  He was in a boot most of Wednesday yet played 37 minutes against the pack.

STATS:

  Pts Reb Ast
Delaney 20.5 3.7 4.1
Hudson 14.4 3.5 2
Allen 12 7.2 1.2
Thompson 7 4.7 0.5
Bell 5.8 6 1.7
Davila 5.2 4.4 0.4
  Pts Reb Ast
Lawal 13.5 9 0.4
Favors 11.7 8.3 1
Shumpert 9.8 3.3 4
Peacock 9.2 4 1
Oliver 7.7 2.1 1
Udofia 6.9 2.8 2.2

Hot Hokies:

  • Malcolm Delaney has hit 15/29 shots in his last two games (52%).  He had been shooting 74/205 (36%) in ACC games before that.
  • Jeff Allen has scored double digits in 8 of 10 games.  He had been held under 10 in 5 of the 6 games before that to start ACC play.
  • Allen’s 24 rebounds in the last two games were more than in his previous five (20 boards).  Jeff’s 77 minutes were more than in his previous four games combined.
  • Lewis Witcher has 4 points against nc state on Senior Night.  He had just 2 total points in ACC action before that.
  • Zo Hudson is averaging 18.1 ppg in his last 7 games and has scored in double digits in every ACC game but one.

Not so Hot:

  • VT has been outrebounded in 7 of their last 9 games.
  • Erick Green is 5/40 (13%) in ACC play and has missed 12 shots in a row.
  • Victor Davila has scored 6 or less in 11 straight games and hasn’t hit double digits since December 9th.
  • The Hokies have lost 4 straight regular season finales.

Posted in 2009-10 Season, Game PreviewsComments (6)


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