Tag Archive | "miami"

miami (17-15) 57, Hokies (9-22) 53


Big thanks to Cathy F!

The Hokies put a bow on one of the worst seasons in program history Wednesday afternoon, losing to miami in the first round of the 2014 ACC tournament, 57-53.

Virginia Tech finished 9-22 on the season and just 2-17 in ACC play – the 17 losses are an ACC single-season record. The Hokies’ only two wins were against the hurricanes, so they had a shot today. But beating a team three times in one season proved too difficult for VT. Or rather free throws proved too difficult, as VT made just 9/17 and Joey van Zegeren missed both free throws with VT down 1 with 10 seconds to go.

As if VT’s overall and conference records weren’t depressing enough, here’s a little stat for you: the Hokies finished the season with just one, solitary win in 2014. That’s it. Since Jan. 1, 2014, some 70 days ago, head coach James Johnson and his battered and bruised team are 1-17. That’s it.

Niemo likes to break down the game and go through the key moments, but at this point, I’m done. I’m sure you, the fans, are done, too. The Hokies, despite not committing a turnover for the first 23 minutes of the game, couldn’t get out of their own way. They went through their typical scoreless/field goalless drought. They missed critical, must-have, free throws when the game was on the line. More specifically, Joey van Zegeren missed critical free throws with the game on the line.

You can’t pin the loss on JvZ, though. He’s actually played pretty well down the stretch this season. And the team had more than had its fair share of opportunities to win this game. But, as we’ve seen all season, the Hokies just didn’t have what it took.

After the game, JJ said he feels “optimistic” about being back next year. You think? He can do the math and so can we. The athletics department is one of only a handful in the country that are in the black each year. That’s not by accident.

Coach JJ is the lowest paid men’s basketball coach in the ACC. He still has three years left on his contract, so call me skeptical if I don’t think new AD Whit Babcock is going to shell out Frank Beamer-type money to bring in a Shaka Smart. Remember, Tech is still paying Seth Greenberg and Jim Weaver a hefty sum of money. I don’t see Whit paying two former coaches and going out and getting a big name.

JJ is going to get another year whether you think he deserves it or not. Personally, I don’t think he does, but he’ll get at least one more year. Gone are seniors Cadarian Raines (who was what, a 4-point guy at best?) and Jarell Eddie. Aside from that, everyone else should be back. Unless they transfer.

There’s enough hope (and hope is a dangerous thing don’t forget) that with the guys coming back next year, as well as some rookies coming in, the Hokies can improve next season. Ben Emelogu, Devin Wilson, and Trevor Thompson look like they could turn into solid players. JvZ needs to be more consistent and Adam Smith needs to stay healthy.

I’d say that next season couldn’t get much worse, but it could. The canes should be much better with transfers from texas and kansas state becoming eligible, so don’t chalk up wins against the u just year.

So there’s your nice pretty little bow on one of the most forgettable seasons in Virginia Tech basketball history. Now excuse me while I go get a damn drink.

Niemo’s Notes (I’ll keep it short):
- Tech reached the 30 point mark in the first half for the first time in 10 games, leading 32-31 at the break. They led by as many as 9 in the first half, 19-10.
- miami went on an 8-0 run early after the break to take control, up 39-34. But VT did battle back and led with less than 2 minutes to go in the game.
- The Hokies scored 53 points on 54 possessions. They finished the ACC season reaching 1.0 in points per possession just once. Not good. And the easy culprit today was FT shooting. 9/17 (52%) is not satisfactory. Wilson missed 4/5 at the end of the first half. And of course, with VT down 1 and 10 seconds to go, JvZ missed both free throws. He was a 36% foul shooter on the season.
- Tech’s 3 turnovers were easily a season low, eclipsing the 6 they had against wake.
- miami’s 57 points were the most scored in regulation in this series this season. Needless to say it was not a point friendly 3-pack of games.
- Devin Wilson had 5 assists, ending his season with 148, easily the VT freshmen record. He had 19 assists vs miami this season.

Posted in 2013-14 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Recaps, Games, HomeComments (9)

Game Plus/Minus | miami 76, VT 58


As you’d expect, it wasn’t pretty for anyone tonight.  Everyone was negative.

Johnston had a team worst -16 in 14 minutes (when you are playing two walk-ons against the #5 team in the country, you know it isn’t going to be pretty).

Jarell Eddie continues his horrible run with a -15 in 22 minutes off the bench.  He has a team worst -8.5 per ACC game.

Brown was just -2 in 21 minutes and van Zegeren -4 in 18 minutes of play, which were the best of a bad bunch tonight.

@miami Season Wins Losses ACC Avg +/-
Player +/- +/- 12 16 15 Per Game
Wood -1 -28 5.9 -6.1 -6.5 -1.3
Brown -2 9 11.3 -7.7 -6.4 0.3
van Zegeren -4 -68 3.5 -6.8 -6.0 -2.4
Beyer -8 -42 2.0 -4.0 -0.7 -2.3
Rankin -9 -129 2.3 -8.8 -6.1 -5.0
Barksdale -11 43 7.9 -1.8 -0.6 1.6
Green -12 -26 14.2 -10.8 -7.4 -0.9
Raines -12 -80 6.2 -8.9 -6.5 -2.9
Eddie -15 -72 8.7 -10.6 -8.5 -2.6
Johnston -16 -59 0.7 -3.1 -4.0 -2.4
TEAM -18 -97 11.3 -12.8 -9.9 -3.5

Posted in 2012-13 SeasonComments (0)

Game Recap | #5 miami (14-1, 23-4) 76, Hokies (3-12, 12-16) 58


Well, what did you expect the Hokies to do on the road against the 5th ranked team in the country, which was coming off an embarrassing blowout loss to wake forest?

Virginia Tech got manhandled Wednesday night in Coral Gables, losing to the hurricanes 76-58 behind 22 points from Shane Larkin and 20 points from Kenny Kadji.

Erick Green failed to score 20 points in a game for just the third time this season. He lead the Hokies with 16 points. C.J. Barksdale scored 12, giving him three straight games with in double-digits. He’s really starting to come on strong – a good sign for Hokie hoop heads thinking ahead to next season. Barks also led the team with seven rebounds.

Robert Brown added 12 points, all in the second half. It tied his career-high for points in a regular ACC game. He scored 16 against duke in last year’s ACC tournament.

Green appeared to roll his right ankle, though there was speculation that it might have been his hip, about midway through the first half. He sat for a couple of minutes and appeared to be in excruciating pain, but did return the game. He had only six points in the first half.

The canes held a 15-14 lead and the Hokies were in the game with Miami struggling to score. And then the dam levies broke and the canes surged ahead courtesy of a 23-5 run to end the half and take a 38-19 lead into the half.

The second half was more of the same. Sure, the Hokies scored twice as many points in the second half (39) as they did in the first half (19), but they couldn’t guard miami, who scored another 38 points in the second half.

Tech shot a hair under 40 percent from the field (21/53) and just 19 percent from behind the arc (3/16). Against FSU, the Hokies were deadly from the charity stripe, against miami, not so much. They hit just 68 percent of their free throws (13/19).

Meanwhile, the canes shot an even 50 percent from the field on 23-of-46 shooting; made 73 percent of their free throws (22/30); and 8/21 three-pointers (38 percent). The canes made more free throws (22) than the Hokies attempted (19).

Next up, clemson. Saturday night, 8 p.m., at the Cassell. It’s senior night, so wear Green in honor of Erick Green, who will play his final home game. Let the sobbing begin.

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Game RecapsComments (1)

Game Breakdown | miami


Stat of the Day: Free Throws Last 8 Games:

  • Hokies: 129 (16.1 per game)
  • Opponents: 211 (26.4)
  • No, I’m not blaming the refs – it is allowing teams to get the ball too far inside and having to foul due to bad defense.  And it isn’t like these were fouls at the end of games – most of these games either weren’t close or VT was still in it (like unc and nc state) and didn’t have to foul.

Bold statement: Shane Larkin should win the ACC POTY (explained below)

Not many positive things to say about this game, but we did avoid the reverse Bear Fight!!!  The defense looked OK for a while in the first half, holding miami without a field goal for 11 minutes and 15 seconds.  11:15!!!  But during that span, Tech was only able to outscore the canes 12-11 because they kept fouling the bigger canes after giving up 2nd chance opportunities.  Yep, they made up just one point because miami simply was too strong and big inside.  Marshall Wood does not have an ACC low post body.  Neither does Joey van Zegeren.  They simply cannot battle inside with guys that basically have a masters degree by now (Reggie Johnson, Kenny Kadji, and Julian Gamble are all 5th year seniors).  Heck, miami’s average player age is 22!

With the score 15-14, Tech had four chances to take the lead and blew them all.  The Hokies would score just 5 points in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

This is an anemic offense and a sieve of a defense.  I hate to say this — but this season can’t end fast enough.  It’s time to go back to the drawing board, and unfortunately, Tech will have to do it next year without their best player in Erick Green.

And let’s face it — VT walked into a bear trap again tonight.  Last week they were facing a duke team that had just lost to maryland.  This miami team had just been soundly beaten by the worst coach in the ACC (wake).  Both teams were laser focused and absolutely pounded the Hokies by a combined 50 points.

Here’s a few of my thoughts:

  • C.J. Barksdale is our 2nd best jump-shooter right now (I’m not kidding… and when your ’4′ is your 2nd best jump-shooter, that’s not good).  He’s really playing well now.
  • Shane Larkin is the ACC POTY.  Period.  I’m convinced.  As much as I love Erick Green and the numbers he’s put up for a horrible team, Larkin is the best player on the best team in the ACC.  He can score off the drive, shoot the 3, and played great denial defense on Green, although EG was struggling with that injury the last 25 minutes of the game.  Larkin is 15th in the ACC in scoring (best on his team), 4th in the ACC (1st on the u), 1st in steals, 8th in 3s made, 7th in assist-to-turnover margin, and his team is #1.  No disrespect to EG, but being the most valuable player on a 14-1 team is more valuable to me than being the same on a 3-12 team.
  • Green was held under 20 points (he had 16) for just the 3rd time this season.  It was partially great denial defense by Shane Larkin, and partially that hip injury.  But no fret, his 24.9 ppg is still 1.7 ppg ahead of Momo Jones (remember him?).
  • When fans count to 10 (or down from 10) when an opponent is shooting a FT, that is really the best heckle of all.  That started against Karl Malone who was notorious for taking a half hour to shoot a FT (I used to go pee while he was on the line and I’d be back before his 2nd attempt).  It is the one thing I think gets in a shooter’s head.
  • miami is going to stink next year.  They lose a ton, and if Larkin leaves for the NBA (he actually isn’t projected as a high pick), then the cupboard will be bare.  But he will likely face an Erick Green situation next year – no supporting cast.
  • After starting 7/18 from the field, miami made their next 13/19 FGs (68%), and 6/9 three-pointers (67%) to blow the game open to a 20+ point lead.  That’s awful defense.  Tech went over perimeter screens tonight (that’s a good thing), but they were so slow getting over them the guard was able to easily drive to the hoop and dish the ball for an easy bucket.  A couple of times the low post defense drifted out to help, leaving miami bigs wide open under the hoop.  I mean, have you seen how hard VT has to work for every bucket?  Opponents get such wide open looks.  It is bad on-ball defense from VT’s guards and poor help defense.
  • In Tech’s last 8 games, they’ve shot 129 FTs.  Their opponents have shot 211.  You can’t blame the refs, that’s being outmatched inside, slow perimeter defense (and guarding with your ‘hands’ instead of your feet), and being overmatched (wait, I guess I already said that but it is worth a 2nd mention).  Tech simply is too small, too skinny, too slow, and too fundamentally unsound in terms of help defense.  And it could get worse next year when VT goes full court press (if JJ does instill that).  Teams may just score quicker… but at least they’ll only be 2s.

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Previews (2-for-1) | Wednesday @ #5 miami (13-1) at 7 PM | Saturday vs clemson (5-10) at 8 PM – Senior Night!


WEAR GREEN ON SATURDAY!

Update: clemson lost to unc by a 68-59 margin on Thursday night. Booker had 25 points and 11 boards. The tigers were down 14 at home but battled back to make it respectable. clemson has now lost 6 of 7 and have to play the Hokies less than 48 hours after the loss to the heels.

Spread: miami by 17.

Forget miami for now, Saturday is SENIOR NIGHT at the Cassell! This means it will be the final home game for the nation’s leading scorer, Erick Green, and walk-on Joey Racer. PLEASE – LET’S PACK THE CASSELL! And we are encouraging all fans to wear GREEN. That’s no disrespect to Joey, or the rest of the Hokies, but think it is a fitting tribute to one of the all time greatest in the history of Virginia Tech hoops, who is having one of the five best seasons in school history (more on him later this week). So get out that Kermit the frog outfit or that St. Pat’s shirt and be green for a night!

Ok, back to the games. The Hokies will have an opportunity at revenge against two of the top defense in the nation (miami is 7th in the land out of 347 teams and clemson is also top 50 in defensive efficiency).

Just like last week against duke, miami is coming off a loss – their first in ACC play at wake this past Saturday, so they should be focused and not overlooking the last place Hokies. wake dominated the canes at home, jumping out to a 19-point first half lead and winning by 15 in Winston-Salem. However, they are still #2 in the RPI (behind duke).

clemson will be playing their short turnaround game against the Hokies Saturday. They play the tar holes at home Thursday night, then have to travel to Blacksburg to play the Hokies less than 48 hours later. The tigers have lost 6 of 7 heading into the VT game. Obviously this is a great opportunity for the Hokies to jump on the tigers, who should be tired and more focused on their contest with unc.

Here are all the goodies from the first meetings with each team:

miami 73, @Hokies 64 (January 30th):

  • RECAP
  • HIGHLIGHTS
  • PLUS MINUS STATS
  • GAME BREAKDOWN
  • OPPONENT HALL OF FAME
  • The Hokies stunned the 6-0 (in the ACC) canes by jumping to a 28-16 lead with less than 6 minutes left in the first half, but a 7-0 run to close the half by miami closed the gap to 3, 32-29 (Marshall Wood missed 3 FTs and a dunk and Green missed a layup). miami continued their run in the 2nd half, starting it with a 9-2 run to go up by 4. They took the lead for good with 11:14 to go as a 10-0 run in the middle of the 2nd half put them up 9. The Hokies were down 4 with 2 minutes left but could get no closer. Shane Larkin, who is Green’s stiffest competition for ACC POTY (and Barry Larkin’s son), paced the u with 25 points and Kenny Kadji added 18 (VT has no one that can guard the 6’11″ inside-outside threat). Erick Green had 30 (11/20 shooting and 5/8 on 3s) to lead VT. Eddie had 14 (4/5 FGs, 3/3 on 3s) and Raines 10.

@clemson 77, Hokies 70 (January 27th):

  • RECAP
  • PLUS MINUS STATS
  • GAME BREAKDOWN
  • OPPONENT HALL OF FAME
  • ROBERT BROWN DUNK VS clemson
  • Unlike the miami game, Tech fell behind big early in this game. clemson was up 12-0 before the Hokies scored with over 6 minutes and 30 seconds gone. Tech battled back to tie the game at the half (33-all). The second half was back and forth but after VT took a 1-point lead with 4 minutes left, clemson took the lead for good with 3:20 to go. Milton Jenning led all scorers with 28 points (20 in the 2nd half including 16/18 from the line). Erick Green had 25 for Tech. clemson, the 2nd worst 3-point % shooting team in the ACC, hit 10/21 from deep including 5/7 by K.J. McDaniels (just a 32% shooter). Note he had 5 dunks at VT last year, he’s a freak athlete.

Preview-u-clemson

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The Wild Turkey Breakdown | #14 miami 73, VT 64


THE GLASS HALF FULL:

  • Quick Start: It was great to see the Hokies come out pushing the ball and not looking like they were asleep for the first 5 minutes.  After not scoring in the first 5 minutes of the previous two games, Tech tallied 10 points in the first 3:34.  And Tech had 22 points (8 for Brown, Green 7, Eddie 5) in the first 10:34.
  • Shooting: miami came into the game #1 in the ACC in FG% Defense and 3-Pt% Defense at 34% and 26% respectively.  The Hokies torched the canes for 54% shooting from the field in the first half and 45% for the game.  From behind the arc, Tech was exactly 5/10 in both halves for an eye-popping 50% (10/20) for the game.  It was Tech’s most made 3-pointers since hitting 14 against unc-g-spot in Game #4 of the season, and only the second time VT has shot better than 37.5% from 3-point range since that game (they were 7/14 – 50% against bc).
  • Robert Brown: He was 1/18 on 3-pointers in ACC play coming in and had missed 16 in a row, but nailed two quick 3-pointers to start the game!  You almost wish he hadn’t shot that 3 in the second half (which he bricked and was way off-line).  Hopefully that didn’t shake his confidence.
  • Jarell Eddie: Jarell hit all three of his 3-pointers and converted 3 FTs after getting fouled on a long ball.  He’s now 9/17 (53%) on 3-pointers since the start of OT at georgia tech.
  • Erick Green: What can you say about him?  That step back jumper is deadly.  But how about 5/8 from behind the arc?!  He continues to find ways to get it done.
  • C.J. Barksdale: Only Hokie with a positive +/- yesterday, putting up a +7.

THE GLASS HALF EMPTY:

  • 3-Pt Defense: 7 for 7.  7 ACC games, 7 opponents have shot a higher % from behind the arc then they average AND made more 3s then they average.  miami came in at 35% on 3s and 6.5 3s made per game.  On Wednesday they hit 9/24 for 37.5%.  That isn’t much higher than they average, but it was higher.  In other words, not one team has had an ‘off’ night from deep against the Hokies.  And 9 made 3s was 2.5 above their average and continues to torment the Hokies.  Lots of points coming from long range.
  • Robert Brown: Scored 8 points in his first five minutes of play last night but then didn’t score in his final 27 minutes of action.
  • Jarell Eddie: That’s great that he hit all 3 of his 3s and was 4/5 from the field… but why only 5 shots?  How, with a guard like EG, can we not get him more open looks on the perimeter?  It’s good he wasn’t forcing shots but we have to get him more looks.
  • Marshall Wood: Had a -10 plus/minus in just 6 minutes of play.  It was like they had a power play of sorts when he was on the court filling in for bigs in foul trouble.  He just couldn’t handle miami’s size.
  • Turnovers: 17.  Awful.  10 in the first half, 7 in the second.  That killed the Hokies.  After just 5 turnovers against clemson, this was a real step backwards.

Posted in 2012-13 SeasonComments (1)

Highlights | #14 miami 73, VT 64


The moving pictures (from when the Comcast Network was kind enough to share them with us) from the tough 73-64 loss to #14 miami.  VT blew a 12-point first half lead and led at the half for the first time in ACC play.

 

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Game Plus/Minus | #14 miami 73, VT 64


Barksdale was the only Hokie with a positive plus/minus (+7… he’s now #2 on the team with a +2.4 per game).   Wood had the worst number with a -10 in just 6 minutes played.

uva clemson miami Season Wins Losses Avg +/-
Player +/- +/- +/- +/- 11 9 Per Game
Brown -11 5 -8 51 11.5 -9.4 2.7
Barksdale -9 0 7 46 7.4 -4.4 2.4
Green -16 -7 -6 36 14.5 -13.7 1.8
Eddie -4 -2 -8 30 10.3 -9.2 1.5
Wood -8 -6 -10 19 5.8 -5.4 1.5
Raines -3 -14 -3 -5 6.8 -8.9 -0.3
Patrick DNP DNP DNP -5 -1.5 0.5 -0.8
van Zegeren -13 1 -5 -17 4.0 -6.8 -0.9
Donlon DNP DNP DNP -7 -4.0 0.5 -1.8
Johnston -5 1 DNP -33 0.1 -4.9 -1.9
Racer DNP DNP -2 -20 -9.5 -0.3 -2.9
Beyer 0 7 -4 -47 1.3 -12.3 -3.4
Rankin -11 -20 -6 -84 1.3 -10.7 -4.7
TEAM -16 -7 -9 -8 11.5 -13.9 -0.4

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Game Recap | #14 miami (7-0, 16-3) 73, Hokies (2-5, 11-9) 64


Box Score

Make it two in a row! Two “moral” victories in a row, that is.

It was a valiant effort and the Hokies certainly gave the 14th-ranked hurricanes all they could handle tonight, but it wasn’t enough. miami overcame a 12-point first-half deficit to beat the Hokies 73-64.

All-intergalactic guard Erick Green scored 30 points to lead all scorers. He hit a career-high five three-pointers. Surprisingly, Green didn’t have to carry the entire load in the first half. Jarell Eddie and Robert Brown each scored eight points in the first 20 minutes to help the Hokies take a 12-point lead.

The second half? Not so much. Green scored 16 of the Hokies’ 32 second-half points. Brown was shut out and Eddie didn’t score a second-half field goal until he hit a three-pointer with :33 left. He did hit three free throws with 2:14 remaining to cut Miami’s lead to 60-56. Eddie finished with 14 points.

Cadarian Raines, who has struggled to put points on the board, added six points in the second and had 10 for the game. Brown finished with eight and Joey van Zegeren was the only other player to score; he had two points.

Coming into the game, the Hokies could not afford a slow start like the one that cost them a loss to clemson on Sunday. Thursday night, at home against No. 14 ranked miami, Tech got off to fantastic start with Green and Eddie hitting back-to-back three pointers.

The hot start got the crowd into the game early and helped push Virginia Tech to a surprising 12-point lead, 28-16, with just under six minutes to play in the first half.

But miami’s NBA-sized front court and lightning quick backcourt shook off the unexpectedly good start by the Hokies and used an 18-3 run to cut VT’s lead to three at the half.

The Hokies hung with the canes for the first nine minutes of the second half, but miami went on a 10-0 run midway through the second to surge past the tired Hokies and take a 9-point lead. That was the ball game.

Closing thoughts:

  • Shane Larkin is a shoe-in for the Opponent Hall of Fame. He came in averaging just over 12 point a game ended up with 25 points, a new career-high in an ACC contest and two shy of tying his career-best (vs. Jacksonville). He also hit a career-high five three-pointers tonight vs. the Hokies.
  • Erick Green score 30 points while the remaining four starters combined for 16 points (Eddie had 14, JVZ 2, Barksale 0, Rankin 0)

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Preview | #14 miami (6-0, 15-3) @ VT (2-4, 11-8) | Wednesday 9 PM


Spread: miami by 9.5.

Note: We’ve added a Poll at the bottom right of the page where you can guess who from miami (if anyone) will make the Opponent Hall of Fame Wednesday.  Vote now!  And check out out our OPPONENT HALL OF FAME PAGE.

Let’s just say this isn’t a favorable match-up for the Hokies.  The canes blow into the ‘Burg riding the gravy train with biscuit wheels.

  • miami is #3 in the RPI, #14 in the AP Poll, #15 in the Coaches Poll and feature the nation’s toughest schedule.
  • They lead the ACC standings by two games.
  • They’ve won 7 in a row and are 6-0 in the ACC, including wins at unc, over then #1 duke (by 27 points, no less — their first ever win over a #1), and over fsu.  They also beat #13 michigan state and held former Hokie JT Thompson to 2 points in a 77-46 win over charlotte earlier in the year.
  • They have 4 senior starters, and the first guy off their bench is a redshirt senior.  Barry Larkin’s son is their sophomore PG and he has become a star this year (12.3 ppg, 4.4 rebounds at 5’11″, 4.1 assists, and 2.2 steals).
  • They have great balance with 5 guys averaging double digit points (all between 10.1 and 14.3), 5 guys averaging 4.4 rebounds or more, 3 guys averaging 1.8 steals or more (all above VT’s leader at 1.4, second is 0.4), and 3 guys averaging 1.6 blocks or more (all above VT’s leader at 1.0).  Durand Scott, who we all remember from single-handedly beating us in the 2010 ACC Tournament, is now a senior and leads the canes with 14.3 ppg.
  • They have 5 guys averaging a 3-pointer made per game, and are 4th in the league in 3-point % in ACC play (Larkin and McKinney Jones shoot 40%).
  • They have four guys over 6’10″ that play mega minutes (reminds me of fsu’s squads of years past) and Reggie Johnson, a 6’10″ 292 lbs. r-senior, is back from injury (10.6 ppg, 9.0 rebounds, 1.8 blocks).  6’11″ Kenny Kadji (a 5th-year senior transfer from florida) averages 13 ppg/7 rebounds/1.6 blocks, and shoots 34% on 3s.  He’s the toughest match-up in the ACC.
  • They have the best FG% defense in the ACC (even better than uva) and the 4th most efficient defense in the nation at 83.9 points given up per 100 possessions (VT gives up 106.0).
  • Their offense is in the top 50 in the nation in efficiency at 109.0 (VT is at 106.8 — 65th in the land).

But, all hope is not lost!

  • Tech has the nation’s leading scorer in Erick Green at 25.2 ppg, 1.5 points ahead of McDermott of creighton Barrel.
  • VT is 4-1 at home against the canes since joining the ACC.  And Tech is 9-5 against the canes overall in ACC play.
  • miami lost to florida gulf coast earlier in the year, so they do take nights off.
  • Could the canes be looking past the Hokies?  They just beat #1 duke and arch-rival fsu at home last week, and play at #19 nc state this weekend.  This is a classic let-down situation.  Can the Hokies take advantage?  Can the Hokies score before the first media timeout and not dig a huge hole?  We’ll see late night (9 PM) Wednesday.  Go Hokies!

Note: The game is being carried by RSN and ESPN3.  In DC, the game is on The Comcast Network (not the same as Comcast SportsNet).

Preview-miami VT

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HIGHLIGHTS | miami (6-3) 65, Hokies 3G.1 (2-7) 49


For the 6th time in 9 ACC games, the Hokies get held to 60 points or less. Here are the moving pictures…

Posted in 2011-12 Season, HighlightsComments (4)

Recap | miami (6-3) 65, Hokies (2-7) 49


Box Score

The Hokies looked listless for the first 13 minutes of the game and trailed by as many as 16 points en route to a 65-49 loss to the miami hurricanes Thursday night.

Tech had nothing offensively in the first 15 minutes of the game. I mean nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. In fact, the announcer said exactly what I was thinking:

“All Virginia Tech is doing offensively is standing in place or throwing the ball away.”

As a result, the Hokies fell behind 20-8 courtesy of a 10-0 canes run. It could have been and should have been much worse, but miami was struggling with bad shots and turnovers and couldn’t take full advantage of Tech’s offensive ineptitude.

The Hokies finally got something going late in the first half and went on a 10-0 run of their own to close the gap. Unfortunately, it came after Tech had fallen behind 28-12. Dorenzo Hudson got the run started with a long jumper, followed by an Erick Green fast-break dunk. Marquis Rankin drilled a 3 pointer and Hudson came back with a 3 of his own to cap the 10-0 run and cut the canes’ lead to 6.

But, the canes stole the momentum at the end of the half with a follow slam with a little more than a second remaining and then the clock ran out giving miami a 30-22 halftime lead.

Senior Victor Davila opened the scoring in the second half to cut the deficit back down to 6 and you thought that just maybe Tech could come back and make a game of it. But alas, it was just more of the same.

Tech shot just 35 percent from the field and 33 percent from the behind the arc. But those numbers are made more impressive because of Tech’s second half, which wasn’t a complete disaster. Their first half shooting percentage had to be in the low 20s.

Green, once again, paced the Hokies with 17 points, but he was the only Hokie to score in double figures. Hudson was the second leading scorer with just 8 points.

And for “Hands of Stone” Davila, it was a nightmare of a game. He turned it over more than a few times and just doesn’t seem to be able to hold the ball. Granted, I have to give him and Cadarian Raines credit because considering what miami’s big man Reggie Johnson did to duke last week, I thought Tech’s “bigs” did an admirable job of keeping the big fella in check.

Defensively, Tech played another solid game. Hands of Stone and Make it Raines did their job against RJ and the Hokies used a trapping defense in the second half that force two turnovers. miami hit some crazy long three pointers and you can’t really pin those on the defense.

There’s not much else to say about this game. Oh wait, but there is. Turnovers, shockingly, killed the Hokies. All 17 of them. Oh, and the 6 blocked shots. The most surprising stat is that VT actually won the overall rebounding battle 40-32.

It was a bad loss to team that Tech is capable of beating. But, they didn’t quit. They kept fighting and it’s good to see because this season is already a “rebuilding year,” and there’s not much to play for other than next season when our young guys will be a year older and more seasoned. I still have high hopes for this young team… if they can stay healthy.

As you know, Niemo will fill in the gaps once he sobers up. It was a road loss to a team that beat duke at cameron indoor, and winning on the road in the ACC is hard (unless you’re fsu or miami playing at cameron indoor), so it’s hard to get too bent out of shape over this loss. But, they could have and should have played better and they know that, so no use in beating a dead horse.

Play-by-Play (we pick up the action a few minutes into the game due to Cub Scouts)
accuracy not even remotely guaranteed

2-6 miami leads
– Eddie misses a three –
– miami turnover, VT turnover –
4-6 Green with a fast break layup
4-8 Luckett scores scores inside
– Davila has it stolen away from him –
– miami misses, Eddie rebound –
6-8 Davila offensive rebound and put back
– Eddie blocks Johnson’s shot –
– Green called for an offensive foul –

U16 timeout (13:27) – 6-8 miami

6-10 Jones scores from the top of the key
– Raines fouled after DFS runs into the wall that is Johnson –
8-10 Raines makes 2 FTs
8-12 Johnson feeds Jones for the dunk
– Hudson has his shot tipped –
– Jones misses for um –
– Green misses, Barksdale with the OR –
– Brown misses a runner in the lane –
8-14 Jones with the fast break slam of the full court pass
– Raines misses the hook shot vs. Johnson –
8-17 Brown buries a long 3 point play
– Brown steals it, fouled at the other end –

U12 timeout (9:37) – 8-17 miami

8-18 Brown makes 1/2 FTs
– miami forces a VT turnover –
– miami turns it over –
– VT called for offensive foul, moving screen –
8-20 Jones with a baseline jumper

“All Virginia Tech is doing offensively is standing in place or throwing the ball away.”

– 10-0 miami run –
– VT misses three consecutive shots –

U8 timeout (7:53) – 8-20 miami

– miami turns it over –
– Davila turns it over again, double teamed while standing still in the low post –
– VT turns it over for the 9th time, “palming” the ball –

“If there’s a mistake to be made offensively, Virginia Tech has done it.”

– Davila mishandles a pass for VT’s 10th turnover –
10-20 DFS cleans up a sloppy miss by Brown
– miami has missed last six shots –
10-21 Kadji makes 1/2 FTs
– DFS misses a baseline drive dunk attempt –
– DFS blocks a shot at the other end –
– Raines has his shot blocked by, guess who, Johnson –
– Johnson fouled at the other end –
10-22 Johnson makes 2 FTs
12-22 Hudson with the leaner
12-25 miami hits a 3 pointer
– Davila has his hook shot go in and out –
12-28 Johnson (the big fat guy) hits a three pointer
14-28 Hudson with a long 2 pointer
16-28 Green off the fast break turnover, dunks it
– miami misses, Green rebounds –
19-28 Rankin hits the open 3 pointer in the corner

U4 timeout (1:15) 19-28 miami

– Johnson misses a 3 point attempt –
– VT doing a good job containing RJ –
22-28 Hudson drills a 3 pointer from the corner
– VT on a 10-0 run –
22-30 miami gets a dunk in the final second

Halftime Score – VT 22, miami 30

– Hudson misses the opening shot, miami rebounds, but traveled –
24-30 Davila beats Johnson in the low post with a quick spin move
24-32 Johnson gets a lucky bounce
– Hudson called for traveling, 11th VT turnover –
– Davila called for foul against RJ –
24-33 Johnson makes 1/2 FTs
– Green airballs a shot, DFS with the nice rebound –
– VT misses –
24-36 Kadji makes a 3 pointer
– miami gets called for its 2nd foul of the entire game –
– DFS gets blocked twice –
24-38 miami makes a nice shot
26-38 Green hits a jumper
26-40 RJ scores underneath
– Green fouled –

U16 timeout (15:20) 26-40 miami

27-40 Green makes 1/2 FTs
– miami a perfect 4/4 in the second half –
– miami is 4/5 in the second half –
29-40 Green recognizes the mismatch and gets the bucket, has 9 points
– miami miss, VT rebounds, Kadji blocked Hudson’s shot –
29-42 miami makes 2 FTs
– Jones blocks Eddie’s jumper –
– miami misses –
32-42 Brown buries a 3 pointer (first points of the game)
– Green misses a fast break jumper, rushed it, despite Brown open on the right wing –
– Green called for the foul –
32-43 Kadji makes 1/2 FTs
32-45 Three miami players combine for a dunk off a miss
– miami foul –

U12 timeout (11:32) 32-45 miami

34-45 Green hits a baseline jumper (has 11 points, extending his streak)
34-47 RJ scores after trampling a small midwestern city
– Raines has his shot blocked –
– VT called for a 5 second violation, at least 12 turnovers so far –
– Raines called for a foul against RJ –
– Brown commits a dumbass foul on a 3-on-1 break, had TWO open teammates on either side –
– Good defense by VT forces miami turnover –
– VT has 14 field goals, 15 turnovers –
35-47 Hudson makes 1/2 FTs
– DFS misses a 3 pointer –
– miami misses, VT rebound –
37-47 Green finally hits a shot
39-47 Green gets the hoop and the foul
40-47 Green completed the 3-point play (14 points)
– miami turnover –
42-47 DFS gets the fast break layup off the turnover
42-50 miami hits a 3 pointer
– shot clock violation against VT –

U8 timeout (6:52) – 42-50 miami

– VT’s trap defense has forced a couple of turnovers –
42-53 miami hits a clutch 3 pointer
– Hudson misses a shot –
– Green fouled by Larkin –
43-53 Green makes 1/2 FTs
43-55 RJ goes over a flopping Raines for a the bucket
– VT turns it over –
– Green drives through the lane, gets mugged, but no call –
43-57 Grant scores
46-57 Eddie hits a 3 pointer

U4 timeout (3:40) – 46-57 miami

– Eddie called for PF, his 3rd –
– Just make this awful game end already –
46-59 RJ makes 2 FTs
49-59 Eddie makes a 3 pointer
– miami misses, VT rebounds –
– Eddie misses an awkward jumper –
– Grant missed an easy layup –
– VT turnover –
– miami running the clock –
49-62 Larkin gets the hoop and the foul, completes 3 point play
– Green misses a 3 pointer –
49-65 Larkin hits a 3 pointer

Final Score: miami 65, Hokies 49

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game RecapsComments (18)

Preview | VT (2-6) @ miami (5-3) | Thursday, 9 PM | ESPN2


Spread:

  • The bad news is VT is 0-3 as road favorites in ACC play this year.
  • The good news is VT is 6-point ‘dogs in this game and Tech is 1-0 as road ‘dogs (uva)!

It has been all about the u lately, and the hurricanes come into this game riding the gravy train with biscuit wheels.  After getting off to their typical slow start in conference play at 1-3, the canes have won 4 straight, 3 of which were on the road and culminating with a win at duke on Sunday.  And don’t think that game was a fluke, the canes led by 14 at the half and even after the blue devils tied it in the final 30 seconds and sent the game to OT, the u responded by scoring the first 6 points of overtime and holding on to win 78-74 for their first ever win at Cameron Indoor, sending thousands of nerds home in tears.

The canes will present a formidable challenge for the Hokies.  While they have basically zero depth inside (similar to the Hokies last year), they have two extremely talented post players in 6’10″, 284 lbs Reggie Johnson (I think I saw him on Finding Sasquatch last week), and 6’11″ florida-transfer Kenny Kadji.  Both are juniors and have been averaging 12.3 ppg and 16.3 ppg in ACC play respectively.  Johnson had 27 points and 12 rebounds against duke.  Those two guys combined for 42 points against the blue devils, while duke’s four post players scored just 18 points.  That’s domination.

miami will have as many as 4 guards on the court at a time.  When they sub out Kadji or Johnson, they’ll replace them with a guard, not a forward.  So if the Hokies can get either of those 2 bigs in foul trouble, it will help negate their size advantage inside.  Swoope and Akpejiori are their backups inside but they play very sparingly.

Speaking of their guards, they love to jack up the 3-pointers.  Their 7.4 made 3s per game is 2nd in the league to duke, and they hit a very respectable 36% of those attempts (3rd in the league).  Malcolm Grant is in range from the time he steps in the arena and will shoot from anywhere inside halfcourt.  He has 135 3-point attempts on the season and makes 33% of those.  Durand Scott you will remember from the ACC Tournament two years ago.  He torched the Hokies down the stretch.  Scott scares you more with his handle than his shot, so you are happy when he settles to shoot from deep.  Shane Larkin (37%), Trey McKinney Jones (34%), and Rion Brown (40%) also like to jack it up from deep.  Even Kadji will shoot from deep.  He is 17/35 from behind the arc on the season, going 4/5 against duke.  But I think the Hokies would be fine with him chucking from out there, meaning he isn’t inside to crash the boards or score in the paint.  Their 3-point percentage and makes are way down in league play, though.  When they are hot, their tough to stop, when they aren’t, they are very beatable.  And if you know ‘the streak’, you know how important 3-point % is.  Both teams are good at defending the 3, so whomever defends it better will win (shocker, I’m sticking with the streak).

miami loves to run the high pick-and-roll.  And imagine this — their screener cuts hard down the lane and they actually feed him the ball!  Or, if you collapse on the screener, that leaves the man with the ball open for a 3.  The challenge is the defender out on the screener has to flash to prevent the man with the ball from driving or getting an open 3.  That means if the screener gets separation, the other post player(s) has to come over to help.  That can lead to mismatches if it is Doe Doe or Eddie up against a 6’10″ 285 lbs. guy or a 6’11″ guy.  If the Hokies play two bigs (as Ryan points out), that will help with the help defense.  But it also can lead to open guys off the ball for open 3s.  For the u, it is all about creating mismatches.  The Hokies will have to really hustle, and help, on defense and the guards will need to fight through screens, going under will lead to open 3-pointers.

Every year I keep thinking the canes will take a step forward, and most of their guys have 3 years of experience now.  The canes of old would lose this game and fall into the lower half of the league.  Will this be the year they finally take a leap into the upper half of the league?

HO-KEY TO WINNING: On defense, double down on Johnson/Kadji, forcing miami to beat you from deep (and hope you can rotate in time/they are off).  On offense, be aggressive and attack their bigs, trying to get them in foul trouble (Johnson is a foul machine).

SERIES:

  • Overall: 10-10
  • In ACC Play: VT 9-4 (Tech was 1-6 against the canes in the Big East)
  • At miami in ACC Play: VT 3-1
  • Last Year: VT 72, miami 68 (@VT)

STARTERS:

VIRGINIA TECH
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 10 Rankin 6-1 Fr 2.8
SG 11 Green 6-3 Jr 15.7
SF 31 Eddie 6-7 So 10.0
F 15 Finney-Smith 6-8 Fr 5.7
C 14 Davila 6-8 Sr 7.5
Bench 5 Hudson 6-5 Sr 11.4
1 Brown 6-5 Fr 7.3
miami
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
G 0 Larkin 5-11 Fr 7.3
G 3 Grant 6-1 Sr 12.7
G 1 Scott 6-5 Jr 13.1
F 35 Kadji 6-11 Jr 12.6
F 42 Johnson 6-10 Jr 11.8
Bench 4/5 Jones 6-5/ 6-7 Jr/ Sr 7.0/ 6.6

STATS:

Note: these stats are for ACC games ONLY (8 for both teams).

VT miami
ACC RANKING IN PARENTHESIS
PPG 60.5 (9) 70.5 (6)
PPG vs 65.2 (4) 67.4 (8)
FT% 78% (1) 76% (2)
FG% 39% (12) 44% (6)
3-Pt% 32% (6) 31% (9)
Made 3s PG 5.6 (6) 6.3 (4)
FG% D 42% (5) 41% (4)
3-Pt% D 31% (6) 29% (2)
Blocks 3.1 (9) 4.0 (5)
Steals 5.1 (9) 7.3 (5)
TO Margin +2.6 (2) -0.1 (8)
Off Reb % 29% (11) 32% (7)
Def Reb % 61% (12) 67% (7)

TRENDING (Freshmen Edition):

HOT:

  • Dorian Finney-Smith – after missing 25 consecutive shots over 6 games, Doe Doe went 5/8 from the floor against clemson, including 2/3 from behind the arc.
  • Marquis Rankin – 8/14 from the field over his last 4 games (8/32 — 25% — before that)

NOT:

  • Robert Brown – the freshman is averaging just 4.9 ppg in ACC play and is hitting just 29% of his shots (he averaged 8.5 ppg and hit 40% of his shots out of conference).
  • C.J. Barksdale – just 6 total points in his last 6 games, including 4 goose eggs (2/10 from the field over those 6 games).

BORING FACTS ABOUT the u:

  • Founded in 1925
  • Type: Private
  • Undergrads: 9.8k
  • They have more out of state students than Floridians
  • Mascot: Sebastian the Ibis
  • Invention: Swagger
  • Film: ‘The u’, an ESPN 30 for 30 film, is definitely in my top 5 sports movies of all time
  • 5 time national champs in football
  • Former VT coaching great, Bill Foster, resurrected their basketball program in the 1980s before he came to VT
  • Notable ‘people’ (alums/part time students): “The Rock” played football at the u in the early 90s, Ray Liotta, Steve-O, Sly Stallone, Gloria Estefan, Ben Folds (Five), Bruce Hornsby, Enrique Iglesias, Jill Arrington (what happened to her?), Roy Firestone, Suzy Kolber, Ryan Braun, Pat “The Bat” Burrell, Rick Barry, and too many football players to name – Ted Hendricks, Jim Kelly, Jim Otto, and Michael Irvin are in the Hall of Fame, Vinny Testaverde and Gino Torretta won the Heisman.

TANGENT: Deja vu all over again — clemson was down 14 to maryland with 7:30 to go on Tuesday.  They had 3 foul shots to tie it with 10 seconds left, but senior Andre Young missed the first 2, and they missed a shot at the buzzer (that in this case would have won the game), and they lost.  They are not clutch from the charity stripe with the chance to tie.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game PreviewsComments (9)

Game Highlights | VT 72, miami 68 | 1.30.11


Highlights from the Hokies’ big win over the canes in Blacksburg.  Tech moves to 4-3 in ACC play while miami drops to 1-6.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, HighlightsComments (0)

Caned in B’burg | Hokies (4-3, 14-6) 72, miami (1-6, 12-9) 68


Jeff Allen Dunk

Boxscore

Jeff Allen recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds to help the Hokies hold off visiting miami for a 72-68 win. Erick Green scored 15 points and had six assists. The sophomore guard from Winchester, Va., has scored at least 10 points in 11 of the 12 games he’s started. He scored nine in a road loss to georgia tech.

VT led the entire final 31 minutes of the game, including by 10 at halftime.  But the Hokies barely survived at the end.  The canes had the ball down two with under a minute to go but Adrian Thomas, a 39% 3-point shooter, missed two wide-open 3-point shots that would have given the canes the lead.  After Malcolm Delaney hit one of two to put VT up three, Garrius Adams missed a 3-pointer to tie the game with 3 seconds to go.  Terrell Bell grabbed the board, got fouled, and VT had a huge win.

After sitting out the georgia tech game for academic issues, freshmen Tyrone Garland and Eddie Jarrell played crucial relief minutes for the starters. Garland hit two huge first-half three-pointers to keep the canes in the rear-view mirror. The Hokies are now 10-10 all-time versus the canes, 9-4 in ACC play and 4-1 at the Cassell.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair until the final five minutes. The canes cut the Hokies lead to one point, 27-26, but Tech closed the first half on a 13-4 run to take a 40-30 lead into the half. Malcolm Delaney played a solid game and led the Hokies with 10 points at the break. Allen and Green each scored eight.  The Hokies were red hot from the floor in the first half, hitting 58% of their shots and 6/10 from behind the arc (after hitting just 1/11 threes against georgia tech).

The Hokies struggled in the second half with poor shooting — 9/21 from the field and 2/7 from three — and couldn’t seem to defend the three-point shot from miami, which hit five second-half treys to cut into the Hokies’ 10-point half-time lead. Sure, the canes can hit the deep ball, but despite having behemoths in the middle, the Hokies “bigs” did a tremendous job of nullifying miami’s big boys.

Tech’s post players include Allen (6-7, 230) and Davila (6-8, 245). Those two essentially shut down the canes’ No. 42 Reggie Johnson (6-10, 303) and No. 45 Julian Gamble (6-9, 258). Allen and Davila combined for 27 points while Johnson and Gamble combined for 10 points.

The Hokies were out-rebounded 30-25, but Allen (11) and Davila (3) held their own against that of Johnson (10) and Gamble (5), 14-15. Tech’s bench scored 10 points (Garland 6, Manny Atkins 3, Eddie 1). Speaking of Atkins, he continues to be clutch from behind the arc. He finished January 10 of 18 from the three-point line.

Tech is back on the road for the next two games, the first of which is Wednesday night in Raleigh against n.c. state. Tip-off is at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on the Deuce (ESPN2).

Niemo’s Notes:

  • This win was critical for the Hokies.  There is a log jam in the middle of the ACC. After duke (6-1), unc (5-1), and fsu (5-2), there are four teams tied at 4-3 in the league for that fourth and final ACC Tourney first round bye (VT, md, bc, and clemson).  Considering what a crap-shoot the Tournament should be, you want to avoid any game you can.
  • The Hokies moved back over .500 in all-time in ACC regular season games.  They are 52-51 since joining the league.
  • The Hokies clinched a winning home record this year, moving to 8-2 with four to go.  VT has only had one losing season in 50 years at the Cassell (thank you, ricky stokes — 2000/01).
  • Random stat thanks to some CSN intern: Tech is now 15-3 in home games on 1/30/11.
  • As Cope mentioned, Garland hit two big 3-pointers.  What he left out (being the nice guy he is) is that Tyrone BANKED in both 3-pointers.  Every announcers favorite cliche – “The bank is open on Sunday… twice!”  The canes also banked in a three.
  • The canes came in shooting 39% from deep, second best in the ACC, but went just 8/27 from deep (30%).  Adrian Thomas was just 1/7 and missed those critical 3s at the end.  VT was much more efficient at 8/17 from deep.  Nice way to rebound from a 1/11 game from 3-point range.
  • miami has lost their last four ACC games by a combined 11 points (pretty easy to pick miami to cover their +9-point spread tonight).
  • Tech has three players shooting over 40% on three-pointers – Garland (45%), Atkins (45%), and Delaney (41%).  It was nice to see Malcolm knock down three 3s, including a clutch one late to put VT up five.
  • Tech did play a lot of man defense tonight due to the canes dangerous 3-point shooters.
  • The Hokies kept the canes in the game in the second half with terrible foul shooting – Tech was just 12/21 from the line.  The Hokies were in the bonus early in the second half but couldn’t take advantage of their charity trips.  Davila was an atrocious 3/9 from the line.  Even Delaney missed a critical free throw with 16 seconds left that would have put Tech up four and iced the game.
  • Erick Green broke a streak of 14 consecutive missed shots by nailing a 3-pointer in the first half.  He had also missed 10 consecutive 3-pointers, dating back to the unc game, at that point.  He shot a respectable 5/12 from the field, but his mid-range jumper was off for the second game in a row.  That had been his break-and-butter the last few weeks.
  • Green went 4/4 from the line tonight and has now made 15 in a row and 28 of his last 29 free throws!
  • Green had 6 assists to just 1 turnover, though it was a terrible turnover – he got called for a 10 second violation in the back court with no one around and him walking the ball up.  Tech was just up four and it was late.
  • Delaney had just 1 turnover after his 8 turnover game versus the jackets.  The Hokies had just 8 turnovers for the game, their lowest total of the season.
  • Jeff Allen was the only Hokie to record an offensive rebound.  He had three and Tech also picked up three team offensive rebounds.  miami had 10 offensive rebounds in 29 opportunities (34% to just 23% for VT).  Tech has to do a better job on the glass, though missed 3-pointers do create long rebounds.
  • Victor Davila did a great job on Reggie Johnson.  Here’s-the-beef had been averaging 12 points coming in, but VT held him to half that thanks largely to Victor battling inside.  His interior defense has improved immensely this year.
  • If you had told me VT would shoot 51% from the field, 8/17 from behind the arc, and have just 8 turnovers I’d have said this would be a Bear Fight win.  But poor foul shooting almost cost Tech the game.  Davila has to get better (48% on the year).

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Recaps, GamesComments (3)

Game Film | miami 70, Hokies 65 | 3.12.10


Recap | Box Score

Posted in 2009-10, 2009-10 Season, ACC Tournament, HighlightsComments (0)

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