Tag Archive | "Niemo’s Notes"

Niemo’s Notes | Looking Back at Friday and Forward to Sunday | 03.13.10

Let’s look back at what went wrong on Friday and how much we have to sweat it out on Sunday.

Friday’s Analysis:

Wow, it was a fun, but rough couple of days in Greensboro.  Good time had by all, though the Weekend Warrior is going to be the end of me.

  • The Hokies are now 0-2 in ACC Tournament games at the Greensboro Coliseum and just 1-8 all time there against current ACC teams.  Unfortunately, the tourney is going to be there four of the next five years so VT better figure out how to win there.
  • The loss snapped the Hokies’ streak of winning their first tournament game in 10 straight tournaments, including the last three ACC Tournaments.
  • I really liked the half-court trap Seth employed early in the game.  It created a lot of turnovers from the canes and forced their bigs to handle the ball away from the hoop in uncomfortable situations.  The canes had 18 turnovers for the game to just eight for VT.  Despite that, Tech had just a 16-10 edge in points off turnovers.  VT had 13 steals compared to just four by the canes.  miami does not have strong ballhandlers and that trap really exposed that.
  • Tech’s two starting guards and top two scorers, Delaney and Hudson, were just 8/31 from the field yesterday.  They made just one shot combined in the second half and scored just 1 point in final 15:55.  The miami 2-3 zone dared the Hokies to shoot threes.  Tech was hitting them early, and Terrell Bell was nailing them all game, but VT really struggled to hit outside shots in the final 32 minutes of play.  VT was just 3/12 in the second half and Bell hit all three of those.  Hudson and Delaney were a combined 2/14 from behind the arc.
  • I can’t be hard on Malcolm.  Every player, even a star, has an off day.  It just came at a terrible time – in the ACC Tournament.  What also concerned me was the way Durand Scott owned Delaney, who was manning up Scott, in the final three minutes.  Scott had 9 points in the final three minutes and was unstoppable on the drive and finishing.  But in hindsight, Scott may just be that good.  The freshman really had a coming out party this tournament.  He had 38 points in the final two cane games, including 21 against duke.  So he’s pretty good.  Still, it was a rough day on offense and defense for Malcolm except for his four steals on defense.
  • Delaney had scored at least 13 points in every other ACC game this season.  miami held him to just 7.  He had reached double digits in all but two regular season games.
  • I have to wonder if Dorenzo Hudson’s conditioning was off.  He hadn’t played in nine days and he has missed a lot of practice time due to his foot injury.  That has to effect your endurance at some point.  Yet he gutted out 39 minutes of play yesterday, including the whole second half.  Zo came out hot as a pistol Friday, scoring 11 of Tech’s first 15 points and 13 of their first 22, but had just three points the rest of the way.  He had just one point in the second half.  After starting out 4/5 from the field, he was just 1/11 in the final 30 minutes.
  • Jeff Allen continues to be a beast.  The inner tube posted his third double-double in four games.  He had 18 points and 11 rebounds and was the only offense Tech had in the paint.
  • Terrell Bell is also playing really well.  He hit double digits in points for the third time in four games with his 12 points, all on three-pointers.  He had reached double digits just four times all season before this recent stretch.
  • The Hokies were not good on the offensive glass, despite the fact miami was missing leading scorer and rebounder Dwayne Collins.  Tech gathered just 21 percent of their misses (33 percent is average), while miami got 38 percent of their misses (not too bad for the Hokies).
  • The Hokies actually made more threes than the canes (6-4), which was a huge surprise.  If you had told me miami would go just 4/16 on threes and commit 10 more turnovers than the Hokies, I’d have assumed VT won by double digits.  But the fact VT shot 24 threes is not a good thing.  That 2-3 zone miami ran was pure genius.
  • Tech was just 61 percent from the line, a rare off day there.  Delaney had just three attempts, six below his average, and he only made one.
  • miami scored on five of their final six possessions in the front court, largely thanks to Scott.  VT simply couldn’t answer.
  • It was a rough tournament all around for high seeds.  Who’d have thought the 11 and 12 seeds, easily the two worst teams in the league (nc state and miami) would make the semifinals.  On both Thursday and Friday three higher seeded teams lost.  For the tournament, five teams seeded at least five seeds below the team they were playing won.  Crazy.  Just shows this was a down year for the league and all teams are pretty much equal.

Selection Sunday:

A week ago the Hokies seemed like a lock but now they’ll be sweating bullets Sunday.  Let’s look at VT’s resume:

  • 10 ACC wins
  • 23 total wins
  • 4th place in the ACC regular season (ahead of three tourney “locks” – clemson, wake, and gt).
  • RPI #59
  • Wins over RPI #33 clemson, at #34 georgia tech, #36 wake forest, and on a neutral court against #61 seton hall (another bubble team)
  • 8-7 against RPI Top 100 teams (VT just lost a top 100 win because georgia fell out)
  • 3-4 against RPI Top 50 teams (including 3-1 against teams 26-50)
  • 6-4 in their final 10 games

That is a pretty solid resume, but the weak out of conference schedule (and in conference for that matter – they played the bottom five teams twice and the top six teams just once) is constantly mentioned by the so-called bracketology experts.  miami and nc state’s runs were actually a good thing (of course beating miami would have been better).  But now both are firmly in the Top 100, so those two miami losses aren’t as bad.  And it makes that weak in conference schedule a little more legit.

The Hokies also know they were left out two years ago despite winning 9 ACC games in the regular season and one in the ACC Tournament against a team that made the Big Dance, so they have to be worried.  But the Selection Committee is human and I think the snub two years ago that led to Seth Greenberg’s famous “certifiably insane” line about the committee will actually work in VT’s favor.  They know they snubbed VT and the Hokies won 10 conference games this year and 23 overall.  They may feel pressure to put the Hokies in this time.

Now let’s look at the bubble.  The bubble teams you hear about are VT, illinois, rhode island, minnesota, mississippi state, ole miss, seton hall, florida, dayton, and uab.

  • VT (RPI #59)
  • mississippi state (54) beat #23 vandy on Saturday in the SEC semis but lost to kentucky in the title game in an amazing battle.  kentucky sent the game to overtime on a putback that left Cousins’s hand with .1 left on the clock.  Then Wall hit a wild three to put the game away in OT.  But as Hokie fans know from two years ago when VT lost to unc in the ACC semifinals in the final second, close does NOT count to the NCAA Selection Committee.  This loss was huge for the Hokies.  The bulldogs now have 23 overall wins and 11 SEC wins but it may not be enough.
  • minnesota (60) absolutely crushed #5 purdue in the Big(11)Ten semifinals by 27 but then lost to ohio state by a similarly huge margin in the Big(11)Ten title game.  They are firmly on the bubble right with the Hokies.
  • Speaking of the Big(11)Ten, illinois (72) lost in 2 OTs to ohio state.  Losses, no matter how close, haven’t seemed to impress the committee (like VT’s last-second loss to unc two years ago in the ACC semis).  So this is good for VT.  And their RPI is awful.
  • florida (56) was 10-8 in the SEC but lost four of their final five, including in the quarters of the SEC Tourney to miss state.  I think the bulldogs are solidly in over them and I think the Hokies would beat out the gators if it came down to the two of them.
  • ole miss (62) lost their SEC Tourney opener but had won four in a row before that.  They don’t have any real big wins and finished 9-8 in the SEC.  Again, I like the Hokies over them.
  • rhode island (40) got smoked by temple Saturday in the A-10 semis.  And they are 4-6 in their last 10.  I think the rams are done (good for the Hokies).  But that RPI is pretty high compared to the other teams on this list.
  • seton hall (61) – how could the committee take them over the Hokies, who beat them on a neutral court?  I don’t think they could.  I’ve seen one projection that has them in and one that has them out.  Hokies shouldn’t have to worry about the hall, who lost in the Big East Second Round (not even the quarters).
  • dayton (55) lost to xavier in the A-10 quarterfinals.  Could the #7 seed in the A-10 (that went 9-9 in the league) really get in over the ACC’s #4?  I don’t see it, though they did beat georgia tech, odu, and xavier.
  • uab (45) has 23 wins, went 11-6 in C-USA, but lost their tourney opener to southern miss.  They’ve lost three in a row.  Again, I can’t see them getting in over the Hokies, but they did beat georgia, butler, cincinnati, and arkansas out of conference so they have some nice wins.  Could be tough to keep them out.
  • Also, unlv and san diego state played for the Mountain West title.  Lunardi has both in (though san diego state just barely), as does Jerry Palm (again, sdsu is a higher number seed).  So a unlv win would be good for Tech. Update: san diego state won, of course.Both are likely in.
  • utah state (31 in the RPI) played new mexico state for their conference title Saturday.  utah state seems to be in, new mexico state will not be without a win.  Update: new mexico state won – again, not good for the Hokies.
  • the ohio state win over minnesota Sunday would be good as would be a ky kentucky win over mississippi state.

Posted in 2009-10 Season, ACC Tournament, HomeComments (4)

Niemo’s Notes | 03.06.10


  • THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME IN SIX YEARS IN THE ACC THE HOKIES HAVE EARNED A FIRST ROUND BYE. Think about that for a minute.  Top third in the league 67% of the time… in basketball.  Plus 3 football titles (50%).  Yep, VT owns the ACC.
  • Key to the Game: I said VT had to hold gt to 33% of less on offensive rebounds.  The jackets got 13 offensive rebounds in 47 opportunities (just 28%).  That = win VT.  The Hokies were absolutely great on the glass and Manny Atkins was a big part of that with 7 boards.
  • This is TechHoops.com, not techHoops.com (those of you that regularly read this site get the joke).
  • Terrell Bell got his first career double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Jeff Allen got his second double-double in three games with 17 points and 10 rebounds (and 26th of his career).  He’s averaging 20 ppg and 11.3 rpg over the last three games.
  • Victor Davila had 10 points tonight (I think 8 were on dunks), his first 10 point game since 12/9.
  • Malcolm Delaney’s four made 3-pointers (4/7) were his most made threes since 12/22 when he also hit four against umbc.  He is 7/13 on threes in the last two games.  Malcolm was 20/84 (24%) to start ACC play before the last two games.
  • Delaney also chipped in 9 assists yesterday, tying his season high (he had 9 in the first miami meeting).  It was one below his career high of 10 which he set twice last year.
  • VT had 16 assists, their most since the second unc game eight games ago.
  • Lewis Witcher scored two points, giving him six in the last two games (he had two points total in Tech’s first 14 ACC games).
  • Manny Atkins had a career high 7 rebounds and 5 assists, and set his ACC high with 5 points.  One of the assists was a great pass on the break to Davila that set up a dunk (nice to see the Hokies pass on the break).
  • VT is now 10-3 all time against georgia tech, including 6-2 in ACC play.
  • VT is 3-1 at georgia tech since joining the conference.
  • The Hokies had lost four straight regular season finales until today.
  • Tech shot 51% from the field, just the fourth time all season they shot over 50% from the field.
  • VT hit 8/10 threes in the first half (yet led by just 6 at the break), and hit just 1/7 in the second stanza.  How did they win then?  24/29 from the FT line in the 2nd half.  gt was just 11/17.
  • Tech’s 9/17 effort on threes marked the first time all season they shot over 50% from behind the arc.  They were 5/10 against seton hall but other than that were below 50%.
  • VT shot over 71% from the foul line in 13 of their 16 ACC games (shot 81% yesterday).  They shot over 80% from the line in 7 of their final 12 ACC games.
  • The Hokies shot 51% for the game, the jackets just 38%.
  • VT won points off turnovers 15-10 and won the game by 6.  No coincidence in my opinion.  But they committed 6 more turnovers than the jackets.  Tech just did a better job converting them into points.
  • The Hokies started the game with a 14-0 advantage in fast break points, again a huge key to the game.
  • The Hokies will play in the quarterfinals the winner of miami (#12 seed) or fsu/wake (#5 seed).  If wake wins tomorrow, it is wake.  If clemson wins tomorrow, it is fsu.  I’d rather play wake to be honest.  I think fsu is a tougher match-up, and not just because they beat us.

WE MADE THE BIG DANCE!!! How good does it feel?

  • VT finished 3-3 against the top seven teams in the league (not bad, certainly respectable)
  • The Hokies were 7-3 against the bottom five teams, whom they played all of twice (I’d take that)
  • Tech was 3-5 on the road in ACC play this season.  I think anyone would take that.  VT was 3-5 on the road the last three seasons.  They were 4-4 in 2006-07.
  • What a year!  Now we just need Zo Hudson to rest up.

Posted in HomeComments (3)

Niemo’s Notes and ACC Power Poll | 3.1.10

It is officially March so let the madness begin!  Wow, what a turn of events the last week of February was for the Hokies.  They entered the week 21-4 and 8-3.  They exited Black History Month with three straight losses and firmly back on the bubble.  But that’s in the past and the Hokies have to forget about the week that wasn’t and make this the week that gets them in.

Tech has to win the nc state game on Wednesday (first game I’ve called a ‘must’ win all season).  The wolfpack have won two in a row over wake and miami and had maryland down double digits the game before that.  But you simply cannot lose to 4-10 teams at home and expect to make the Big Dance.

Random Thought: If I had offered you an 8-6 ACC record with a week to go, would you have taken it?  I’m not sure I would have.  We knew VT was playing the worst four teams in the ACC twice (it actually turned out they played the bottom five teams with unc’s downfall).  Tech is 6-3 against those bottom feeders (not great, but decent… and 5-2 if you take out unc), and 2-3 against the upper half of the league (same thing – not great but decent).  I guess that isn’t that bad and if the Hokies can pull out both games this week, that’s a strong performance.  But that’s a big if.

ACC First Round Bye and Top 4 Tournament Seed:

We know duke and maryland will be the top two seeds (they play this week).  unc’s win over wake Saturday was huge for the Hokies chances of getting a bye but the clemson comeback win over fsu was disastrous.  A tigers loss would have made it next to impossible for them to finish ahead of VT.  fsu blew a 13 point first half lead (the score was just 21-19 at the half in a game that set basketball back 50 years… and that included a half court shot at the buzzer by clemson).  Then the noles blew a 5-point lead with 90 seconds to go thanks to 1/4 from the FT line and 2 turnovers and lost 53-50 (it wasn’t that close, fsu scored at the buzzer).  With the win clemson swept the two games over fsu.

VT, clemson, fsu, and wake are all tied for third at 8-6 right now.  georgia tech looms in seventh at 7-7.  The first tiebreaker is head-to-head between all tied teams (in this case four teams), so let’s look at that for the four teams tied for third:

  • VT: 2-1 (done with these teams)
  • clemson: 2-1 (at wake this weekend)
  • fsu: 1-2 (play wake at home midweek)
  • wake: 0-1 (have to play @fsu and clemson at home)

Since VT and clemson have the best record against the tied teams, you eliminate fsu and wake and then you move to their head-to-head against each other, which gives the Hokies the advantage over clemson. So right now it is VT #3, clemson #4, fsu #5, and wake #6.  But obviously there is a lot of work left to go and tiebreakers will change as teams fall out of ties.  Obviously the worst case scenario is VT ends up tied with just fsu, or with fsu and clemson (clemson would win out there, then fsu, then VT).

We know this: if VT wins both games this week, they will get a bye in the First Round next week (and make the Big Dance, in my opinion).  After that, it gets a bit murky.  We also know if VT losses both they have almost no chance at a bye.

georgia tech is lurking, too, and have games against clemson and VT left so they can make up some ground and get some tiebreakers.  The jackets are 2-3 against the four teams tied at 8-6.

Some major streaks ended this weekend for the Hokies:

  • 14 game home win streak (every home game this year)
  • 9 game ACC overtime win streak (dating back to Feb of 2006)
  • 6 game overtime win streak – all games (dating back to the xavier half court shot early last year)
  • and of course the 7 game winning streak of the maroon dress jeans (piling on, my undefeated USA Loudmouth pants lost for the first time on Sunday… in overtime)
  • But hey – we finished 4-1 against uva and maryland in football and basketball this year – pretty awesome

ACC Power Poll (movement, ACC Record, RPI):

  1. duke (-) | 12-2 | #2
  2. maryland (-) | 11-3 | #25
  3. clemson (^^) | 8-6 | #27 (moved way up with win over fsu)
  4. VIRGINIA TECH (v) | 8-6 | #52
  5. fsu (^) | 8-6 | #41
  6. wake (vv) | 8-6 | #29
  7. georgia tech (-) | 7-7 | #33
  8. bc (^) | 5-9 | #101
  9. unc (^) | 4-10 | #87
  10. nc state (^^) | 4-10 | #110
  11. miami (-) | 4-10 | #102
  12. uva (vvvv) | 5-9 | #114

Note: I updated the RPI rankings as of Monday morning

Posted in 2009-10 Season, Around The ACCComments (0)

Niemo’s Notes | 2.22.10

Update: The Hokies are sitting two spots away from being ranked in both polls.  Tech has the second most votes of “Others Receiving Votes” in both polls.  VT is very close (4 points away) from being ranked in the Coaches Poll, farther away in the AP Poll.  You have to wonder if duke hadn’t hit those last two three-point shots, and the final difference had been single digits, if that would have made a difference.

The ACC has just one team ranked – duke at #5 – Polls – maryland is sitting just behind the Hokies of Others Receiving Votes.


  • Tech is now 0-3 on Sundays in ACC play.  They are 8-1 on any other day of the week.
  • VT is 5-0 in ACC weekday games, which is a good omen heading to bc on Wednesday.  In fact, Tech’s only weekday loss all season was on a Friday night to temple (which you could technically count as the weekend).
  • Brian Zoubek, aka Frankenstein, was the story in this game.  He had just 3 points but grabbed 16 rebounds, including 8 on the offensive end.
  • duke as a whole had 23 offensive rebounds.  VT had just 23 defensive rebounds, meaning duke got the ball back on 50% of their misses.  This was one of my 2 biggest keys to the game, and VT got a ‘D-‘ in this area.  Tech could not get stops as a result and this is what killed them ultimately.  It almost seemed as if duke intentionally missed to certain areas.  While that isn’t true, what is a fact is how good duke is at being in the right spot for offensive rebounds.  When someone shoots a three from the corner, a big man is setup on the opposite side to get the long rebound if it bounces over the the other side.  The duke guards just let their bigs (Zoubek is 7’1″) take care of things.  As a result, duke dominated VT 27-9 in second chance points (or third, or fourth).
  • The blue devils are also so good at getting open looks.   They are one step ahead of it.  In the half court, the man with the ball pulls up just inside the three-point line so he can actually be the screener for the man coming to help.  Numerous times they would flip the ball behind them and the man receiving it would have an open three.  On VT, since they pull up well beyond the three-point line, you can’t shoot out of the pass, you are too far away.  And on misses they always know where the open man is to kick the ball out to.
  • duke shot just 29% for the game… and won.  Ugh.
  • VT shot just 33%.  They could not knock down open looks all game as we said they had to.  Another key to the game, and again VT did poorly.  Hudson and Delaney were just 8/31 from the floor, barely above 25%.  Though Delaney was feeling it in the second half for a while.
  • The biggest thing missing for Malcolm right now is he is not hitting his pull-up jumpers and/or runners around the free throw line or just inside the paint.  This is a shot a guard absolutely must be able to hit.  You beat your man off the dribble, get to the FT line or lane, and they either softly float up a one-hander or shoot a jumper.  Malcolm is not making this shot and it is why his FG% is dropping below 40%.
  • Malcolm also had a rough night defensively, especially on inbound plays.  I counted at least 5 times duke had a wide open look off an inbounds pass under their own basket.  At least 3 times Malcolm (from what I could tell) got lost and didn’t get to the man pulling up for a 15-18-foooter.
  • I talked a week ago about how I liked that Erick Green keeps shooting when open.  But dude needs to start hitting shots.  Erick is just 2 for his last 22 over the last 7 games.
  • VT was 2/20 on threes, duke was 10/30.  At the half duke had made just 1 2-point FG!  They were 1/12.  duke only made 8 two-point FGs for the entire game, less than the 10 threes they had.
  • VT was 15/16 (94%) from the line – it was all Hudson and Delaney though.
  • Smith, Singler, and Scheyer had 34 of duke’s 35 halftime points.  They finished with 63 of duke’s 67 points.
  • VT’s bench outscored duke’s 8-1.
  • Turnovers were a big key for the Hokies.  Tech did a decent job here (both teams had 11… sure seemed like more than that).  The Hokies had a 14-12 edge in points off turnovers.  When you aren’t getting defensive rebounds, you have to create turnovers.
  • We had an absolutely great crowd at the Clarendon Hard Times Cafe last night!  It was packed to capacity!  Thank you!  And as Davey said, Ryan Miller was huge for Team USA!  My lucky USA pants helped lead the good guys to victory.
  • Up next is a vital game at bc on Wednesday for the Hokies.  7 PM on ESPNU.

Posted in 2009-10 SeasonComments (3)

Niemo’s Notes | ACC Tournament Seedings | 2.20.10

Saturday featured four conference games take place with just the VT @ duke game remaining to occur.  The shocker of the day was nc state easily defeating wake at home.  This definitely hurt Tech from a NCAA Tournament standpoint, since wake and clemson are VT’s marque wins, but was huge for the Hokies in the ACC race.  The thriller of the day was georgia tech and maryland.  The lead changed four times in the final 15 seconds, with maryland hitting a three at the buzzer to turn a loss into a win.  Yes, the jackets lost again on the road and are now 1-6 away from home on the season and 6-33 in the last five seasons.  Not only are they awful on the road, they are also cursed.

There are basically two weeks to go in the season.  Before I get into the Hokies’ chances at a bye in the First Round of the ACC Tournament, let’s look at the standings through Saturday’s action:

  1. duke 10-2
  2. maryland 9-3
  4. wake forest 8-5
  5. florida state 7-5
  6. clemson 7-5
  7. georgia tech 6-7
  8. uva 5-7
  9. bc 4-8
  10. miami 3-9
  11. unc 3-9
  12. nc state 3-10

What is the first thing you notice when you look at the standings?  For me, it was that the five teams the Hokies play twice this season are the five bottom teams in the league now.  For four of them, that was expected, but unc’s season continues to get worse, losing at bc on Saturday.

The next thing you notice is how the Hokies are sitting pretty for getting a first round bye.  Even if VT lost out, four of the teams couldn’t finish ahead of the Hokies.  With one VT win the rest of the way, that number goes up to six based on match-ups remaining.  Now let’s get to the real math.

If the Hokies win three games the rest of the regular season, regardless of who they are against, Tech will get a First Round bye.

Now let’s look at the scenario where Tech wins two of the remaining five and finishes at 10-6:

  • Eliminates everyone but duke, maryland, wake, fsu, and clemson from having a chance to finish ahead of VT.
  • Based on the games remaining, at least one of wake, fsu or clemson would finish with seven losses.
  • That would leave just four teams that could possibly finish ahead of VT (the top four seeds get a bye).
  • VT has the tiebreaker on clemson and wake, so a 2-way tie with either of them, or a 3-way tie with both of them, goes to the Hokies.
  • A big game to decide the rest of the way is clemson at maryland Wednesday night.  If clemson loses that game, they no longer could finish ahead of VT and would mean wake and fsu would have to beat the tigers (clemson has a murderous four games left), and wake would have to beat fsu and win out.  Then duke, maryland, and wake would finish ahead of VT, with fsu tied with the Hokies and the noles would get the tiebreaker.  And that excludes a lot of other games still left to be played.

So as you can see, if the Hokies can win at least two games the rest of the way, it would take a minor miracle for VT not to miss the Thursday action in the ACC Tournament and take the floor for the first time Friday.

Random Stat: The Hokies had 21 blocks through their first eight ACC games but have 26 in the last three games.

Posted in 2009-10 Season, Around The ACCComments (0)

Niemo’s Notes | Maroon Pants Stay Undefeated | 02.05.10

My beloved maroon Wrangler “dress jeans” are now a perfect 5-0 with last night’s victory.  I picked these beauties up in Dallas when I was down there in the Fall.  Since then, the Hokies have been unstoppable (much like LA Gear in the early ’90s).  I’m not sure what “dress jeans” really means, but these things are hot!  And I should have purchased a bigger size because they look painted on me.  Some people rudely call them my “cheerleader” pants, but who’s laughing now with a 5-0 record?

Here are the victories they have led the Hokies to in person:

  • Football at maryland
  • Football vs nc state
  • Football at uva
  • Basketball at uva
  • Basketball vs unc

They will not be at the clemson game, though.  The perfect record will be put on the line next Saturday against uva (unless I decide to wear black pants as part of the silly “blackout”… but more on that later.

Other, less important notes from the game last night:

  • Wow, what a crowd!  The crowd was in it and super intense from start to finish.  That is one of the most fun games (crowd-wise) I’ve ever seen in the Cassell.  And the number of unc fans was way down from past years when they seemed to have 25% of the crowd.  But we still made sure the ones that were there knew they lost on the way out.
  • This victory was especially sweet since unc beat us at home in football on a Thursday night.  They beat us in our “main” sport, we beat them in theirs.  Sweet justice.
  • Tech is now 11-0 at home on the year.  The last time they started out 11-0 at home… nah, I don’t really feel like researching that, sorry.
  • I said I’d take a split last week and this week.  We got a split last week and will get at least that this week.  But heck, I’m greedy, I want to get to 5-3 and be back in firm position to get an ACC Tourney First Round bye at the halfway mark.
  • Hot: Hudson stayed hot on threes.  He hit 2/5 (though he missed his last 2 and only took one in the final 30 minutes).  Zo has now hit 15 of his last 31 threes.
  • Not: Delaney still is in his shooting slump from deep.  He hit just 2/9 three-pointers last night and now has hit just 4 of his last 29.  I’m not sure if the shoulder/ankle injuries are affecting him, the practice he missed because of those injuries are affecting him, or it is just a slump.  But that long three he hit in the second half to put VT up 7 with 12 minutes to go when he was barking for the ball was a huge momentum builder.  And his jumper inside the arc is looking much better (he even got an ‘and-1′ last night which he never seems to).
  • Malcolm needs to make better decisions on the break.  At least twice last night he shot threes when the Hokies had numbers in transition.  He missed all of them.  That is not what you want out of a 2-on-1.  Heck, the other team knows he is going to shoot, if he actually passed, especially off a shot-fake, the other man would be wide open.  Tech needs to do a better job (mainly Hudson and Delaney) of making decisions in transition, they should lead to easy buckets (or at least free throws).  And with VT’s offense, a two-pointer is just fine.
  • That block call on Delaney with 12 minutes to go is the second worst call I’ve ever seen in my life (behind a villanova/g’town call of a few years ago).  No, Malcolm wasn’t set, but he slide correctly right in front of the unc ballhandler who plowed into Malcolm.  The defender is allowed his position.  That was just an awful call and could have really hurt VT since it was Malcolm’s fourth with 12 minutes to go.  There were a lot of other questionable calls but I’ll leave it at that other than…
  • Can you imagine how many free throws Delaney would shoot if he played for unc?  He leads the ACC as it is with 149 attempts, but imagine the extra calls he’d get if he wore that nancy-looking powder blue.  Teams that are 2-4 (and now 2-5) should not be getting calls like that.  OK, I’m done.
  • I liked Jeff Allen’s effort last night.  Even though he only hit 4/14 from the field, he really took it at unc.  He has to be a factor EVERY NIGHT.  And his effort on defense was outstanding.  Jeff was giving it everything he had, really battling the heels big men inside.
  • I liked what I saw from Erick Green last night.  Even though he was 0/5 from the field he never hesitated when he had a shot.  He is a shooter and VT needs him to shoot when he has open looks.  All his shots except for on that charge were good looks.  Keep shooting.  And Green is getting much better at getting VT into their offense, dribbling pass the hashmarks so the first pass can be down low or to a shooter in position, instead of back near half court just to advance the ball.
  • Rebounding: what a tale of two halves.  Tech got mauled on the glass in the first half, allowing 9 offensive rebounds to the heels (VT had been #1 in the ACC in league play in Defensive Rebounding Percentage before last night) while only grabbing 3 offensive boards themselves.  unc had a +10 advantage on the glass at the half.  But Tech actually finished the game with more offensive rebounds than the heels, 14-13.  While 63% isn’t a great Defensive Rebounding Percentage, it is still decent against a big unc lineup, and is the reason VT was able to forge ahead in the second half.  On the other end, the Hokies were getting every 50/50 ball in the second half it seemed, keeping many possessions alive.  Allen, Bell, Davila, and Thompson all had 3 offensive rebounds.
  • unc had 20 bench points in the first half.  John “Beanpole” Henson finished with 14 and David “Under” Wear had 12 for the heels off the bench.  unc had a 33-10 advantage in bench points.  While somewhat meaningless, that actually did hurt VT since the subs had to play so much last night with all the foul trouble.  By the end, all but one Hokie on the floor had 4 fouls.
  • So how does the worst shooting team in the league keep winning?  VT had a +9 advantage in turnovers (10-19) and outscored unc 17-8 in Points off Turnovers.  There’s your win.  And it would have been even higher if Delaney took better shots on the break, but let me cut the kid some slack, he finds ways to get it done.
  • The Hokies now have a better winning percentage  against unc than nc state or fsu since joining the ACC.  Yeesh.  Tech needs to bottle the intensity they had last night and uncork it on the lowly pack-ers next week in Raleigh.  VT Records Versus ACC Opponents
  • OK, now let’s take care of tiger-bait on Saturday!

Posted in 2009-10 Season, HomeComments (4)

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