Tag Archive | "unc"

unc (11-4) 60, Hokies (2-14) 56


Hope is a dangerous thing. The Hokies, who fell to 9-19 after today’s 60-56 loss to north carolina, have given fans hope in the last five games by playing tough defense and keeping games close, or at least interesting, for the most part.

However, despite much improved play over the last several games, the Hokies have only one win to show for their efforts. Today’s loss was an even tougher pill to swallow because it means a losing record at home (8-10) for the Hokies for only the second time in the 53 year history of Cassell Coliseum.

Tech started slowly (shocking, we know), but so did the tar heels. After falling behind 11-6, the Hokies used a 10-0 run to take a 16-11 lead. Freshmen Devin Wilson and Trevor Thompson played particularly well against the heels. They didn’t seem intimidated or overwhelmed. They still made some freshmen mistakes, but they’re showing the league’s best that they can compete.

Wilson finished with 15 points and 7 assists, while Thompson had 8 points and 6 rebounds.

Back to the game. After taking that 16-11 lead, unc woke up and closed the half with a 17-5 run that put them up 28-21 lead at the break.

The Hokies, remember, were without Adam Smith, Ben Emelogu, and of course, Cadarian Raines, who did not see a single second of action in his final home game ever as a Hokie. Officially, Raines was out because of an ankle injury, even though he warmed up before both halves and didn’t seem to be favoring either ankle.

In the second half, unc’s James McAdoo finally came to life and started gashing Tech’s defense with a seemingly endless supply of thunderous (and uncontested) dunks. He scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half.

Still, the Hokies didn’t quit. Late in the game, despite trailing by nine thanks to a bad offense charge call against Jarell Eddie that negated a bucket, which then led to a McAdoo dunk, Tech managed to keep it close and even cut the lead to three late.

Eddie, who led all scorers with 18 points, converted a layup with 5.6 seconds left to make it a 59-56 game. Leslie McDonald made one of two free throws to seal the four-point win for the tar heels, who have now won 11 straight games, their longest winning streak since the 2008-09 season.

Meanwhile, Virginia Tech has lost 14 of its last 15 games and have only one win in 2014. With two games left, the Hokies are in dead last in the ACC standings. Tech has clinched the 15th seed in the ACC tournament (i.e. last place for the third straight year), and they’ll play on Wednesday, March 12, against the No. 10 seed, which is miami right now.

One other note on this game: As we mentioned earlier, senior Cadarian Raines, who hasn’t played much at all this season, didn’t see one minute of playing time today. It was his last appearance in a Hokie uniform at the Cassell, and he didn’t get in the game. That just seems odd, but then again, this whole season has been odd in terms of players disappearing on the bench for unexplained reasons. Remember that guy Marshall Wood?

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The Wild Turkey Breakdown | unc


In Virginia Tech’s last seven road games, they have:

  • Had a 9-point lead at fsu with 75 seconds to go (fsu would go on to win the ACC Tournament)
  • Possessed the ball at #7 duke with the score tied and the shot clock off
  • Had the same situation at unc as with duke (possession with a chance to take the final shot)

As you know, the Hokies lost all three games to the three best programs in the ACC.  An epic fail from the line and Mr Big Shot Snaer did them in at Tallahassee (the only road venue VT has not won at since joining the ACC), neither Green nor Raines could make their shots at the end of regulation at duke (and they’d lose a close one in OT), and Green took a tough step-back jumper at unc with a taller defender in his face before Tech would get blown out in overtime at unc.

3 road games, 3 chances with VT in control at the end, 3 losses.  This is a bitter pill especially in the final two instances because you don’t get many chances to win at Cameron Indoor or in Chapel Hill (just ask clemson about the latter considering they’ve never won there in 50+ opportunities).  Tech has won at unc and duke since joining the league (both were in 2007), but wins like this are program builders, or perhaps program rebuilders, and the Hokies missed their chance on Saturday… again.

THE GLASS HALF FULL:

  • Quick Starts: Tech came out and did exactly what I thought they’d do yesterday – play their tails off on the big stage that is the Dean Dome.  Too bad they couldn’t quite finish it and walk off the court a winner yesterday, but they showed again they could compete.  After not scoring in the first five minutes against uva or clemson, Tech jumped out to a 28-16 lead vs miami and a 12-0 lead over unc yesterday.  It is a heck of a lot easier playing with a lead then it is playing uphill all game.
  • The Other Side of the Nation’s Leading Scorer: Erick Green is a really good point guard, and not just at scoring, but protecting the ball.  In Tech’s last three games he has 12 assists to just 1 turnover (he had 4-to-0 yesterday).  As you’ll see below, everyone else has not been as efficient.
  • Raines’s Days: After scoring just one point at clemson, Cadarian responded with 22 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks this week.
  • Defense: In a four game stretch from colorado state through bc, the Hokies gave up an average of 91 ppg and no less than 86 in any of those four contests.  In the six games since, VT has given up an average of 66.5 ppg (in regulation, not counting OT) and held 3 of those teams under 65 points.
  • 3-Point Defense: Holy cow, an opponent had an off night from behind the arc!  This is the first time in 8 ACC games, or 12 games overall, that a VT opponent did not shoot a higher 3-Point % than their season average AND have more makes (3s) than they average.  Tech held unc to 5/24 behind the arc for 21%, both well below their averages.  Reggie Bullock, a 45% 3-point shooter (#2 in the ACC), was just 1/8 from deep.  Zones are usually susceptible to 3-point shooting but it didn’t hurt Tech yesterday, so let’s credit it to improved perimeter defense.  More on the zone below…

THE GLASS HALF EMPTY:

  • I didn’t like the play at the end.  I’d have liked to have seen EG drive and either try to finish (and possibly get fouled) or dish to a post player.  What’s the worst that happens?  If you charge with possession of the ball, there are no free throws for the opponent, so it’s low risk.  Didn’t like the step-back jumper considering Strickland was taller than EG.  But, hindsight is always 20/20.  It goes in and I have this up in the other section.
  • Turnovers: Tech had just 3 turnovers at the half but committed 11 in the second half.  Too many possessions wasted on bad passes. Brown and Eddie each have 8 turnovers in the last two games (Erick Green has ZERO).
  • Offensive Rebounds: Zones are not good for defensive rebounding and the Hokies proved that point yesterday.  unc snagged 19 offensive rebounds in 43 opportunities (44% – way too high).
  • 2-3 Zone Defense: JJ played the zone to  counter their foul trouble in the post and to save energy but I felt he should have scrapped the zone in the final 5 or so minutes and gone back to man, even if it meant some guys fouling out sooner.
  • Zone Part 2: The high post killed us.  Namely McAdoo.  He had 22 points and 10 rebounds.  How many of his points came on wide open jumpshots from the foul line when unc fed the high post?  Why Raines wasn’t flashing out on him faster (or at all in some situations), I don’t know.  But Tech did not adjust and this burned the Hokies all game.
  • Fading Offense: Tech shot 47% in the first half including 4/9 (44%) from behind the arc and had just 3 turnovers.  In the second half, they didn’t attempt a 3-pointer, shot just 32% from the floor, and had 9 turnovers.  In OT they hit just 2/7 FGs, 0/4 on 3s, and had 2 more TOs.
  • Brown: After hitting 3/5 shots including 2/3 three-pointers against miami, Robert fell back into his slump yesterday, going 3/12 on FGs and 0/2 on 3s.  He’s now shooting 26% in ACC play and 13% on 3-pointers.
  • Whistles: unc shot 27 free throws, VT 10.  That’s BS.  The refs game the heels a lot of home town calls which I would not have expected in an off year for them.  And shouldn’t the best player in the ACC get some calls?  He didn’t shoot a single free throw despite averaging almost 8 per game.  Hopefully this was just bad officials and not a sign of things to come.

Well, Saturday was progress.  I remember Tech losing by 39 at unc five years ago.  At 2-5 and as 14-1/2 point dogs, Tech could have laid down yesterday.  If only we could have pulled out that game that quite frankly was ours, it would have been great to shut up those snobby blue bloods.  Hopefully Tech can keep this positive play going AND find a way to win this week, and snap this 4-game skid.

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Game Plus/Minus | unc 72, VT 60 (OT)


Take out overtime and the starters had pretty good numbers.  C.J. Barksdale had an eye-popping +11 the problem is he only played 19 minutes due to foul trouble (keep in mind he didn’t score but had a +11… interpret that as you will… I read it as he is a much better post defender and rebounder than what Tech has on the bench).  C.J. now has the best plus/minus on the season.

unc Season Wins Losses Avg +/-
Player +/- +/- 11 10 Per Game
Barksdale +11 57 7.4 -2.7 2.9
Brown -10 41 11.5 -9.4 2.1
Green -11 25 14.5 -13.4 1.2
Eddie -10 20 10.3 -9.3 1.0
Wood -10 9 5.8 -6.2 0.6
Raines -6 -11 6.8 -8.6 -0.5
Patrick DNP -5 -1.5 0.5 -0.8
van Zegeren -15 -32 4.0 -7.6 -1.5
Donlon DNP -7 -4.0 0.5 -1.8
Johnston 0 -33 0.1 -4.3 -1.9
Racer DNP -20 -9.5 -0.3 -2.9
Beyer 0 -47 1.3 -11.9 -3.4
Rankin -9 -93 1.3 -10.5 -4.9
TEAM -12 -20 11.5 -14.6 -1.0

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Game Highlights | unc (5-3) 72, VT (2-6) 60 (OT)


Hokies fall to 2-6 with a heartbreaking 72-60 loss in overtime at Chapel Hill as Erick Green was held below 20 points (16) for just the second time this season.
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Game Recap | unc (5-3, 15-6) 72, Hokies (2-6, 11-10) 60


Make it three in a row for the Hokies! Three “moral” victories. After that, make it four straight losses for Coach James Johnson and his squad.

For just the second time this season, Erick Green did not score at least 20 points in a game, going more than 16 minutes without a point in the second half as the Hokies blew a 12-point first-half lead and went on to lose 72-60 in overtime in Chapel Hill.

Green finished with 16 points. For the first time since the Hokies beat then No. 15 ranked oklahoma state, and for the first time in ACC play this season, four Hokies scored in double figures. In addition to Green’s 16 points, Jarell Eddie had 15, Cadarian Raines had 12 (his second straight game with double figure scoring), and Robert Brown added 10.

Even though unc is not ranked and is having a “down” season, playing in the dean dome is never easy. The Hokies came out en fuego this afternoon. They exploded out of the gate for a quick 12-0 lead and were playing well and in sync.

Not surprisingly, however, the tar heels didn’t stay cold for long and eventually whittled away at Tech’s lead. The Hokies managed to keep the heels at bay for the first 30 minutes. unc didn’t earn its first lead of the game until midway through the second half, just about the time the Hokies hit their usual dry spell.

While James Michael McAdoo led unc in scoring with 22 points, it was freshman Marcus Paige that had the big day and was quickly inducted into the TechHoops.com Opponent Hall of Fame. Paige, who averages 6.8 points per game, scored a career-high 19 against the Hokies. He also hit a career-best four three-pointers.

The Hokies had their chances, but a combination of ice-cold shooting, poor rebounding, and some questionable no-calls in the final minutes sent the game into OT.

Green and the Hokies actually had a shot to win the game on the final possession, but he forced up a bad shot and air-balled it. unc got the rebound with 1.6 seconds left, but couldn’t convert at the other end.

OT was all unc as the heels outscored the Hokies 17-5.

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Opponent Hall of Fame | unc


After each loss we’ll induct a new player (from the opponent) into the TechHoops.com Opponent Hall of Fame after Tech makes them look like the greatest player in the world.

It was a tough decision between Chaz Michael Michaels (James Michael McAdoo who had 22 points and 10 rebounds) and freshman Marcus Paige, but I went with the frosh because once again we allowed a guy a career high performance from behind the arc:

  • 19 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds
  • Career high 19 points (previous high 15, previous ACC high was 10)
  • Career high 4 made 3-pointers (previous high was 3, previous ACC high was 2)
  • Tied career high with 5 rebounds
  • Made 4 of unc’s 5 three-pointers
  • Had just 20 made 3s on the season coming in and was under 30% as a 3-point shooter

Past entries:

  • miami: Shane Larkin (son of MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin) - ACC career high 25 points (previous ACC high was 18); Career high 5 three-pointers (on 10 attempts, no less); Career high 2 blocks; 3 steals; and 8/15 on 3-pointers in 2 career games vs VT, 39 points (19.5 ppg vs VT, 10 ppg vs everyone else)
  • clemson: K.J. McDaniels - Tied his career high with 17 points. 5/7 from 3-point range (came into the game shooting 31% from behind the arc, averaging 1.1 makes per game, and had made more than two 3-pointers in a game just once in his career with a previous high of 4)
  • uva: Evan Nolte - Career high 18 points (previous high was 15 points and he hadn’t reached double digits in an ACC game before tonight).  5/9 on 3-pointers (hadn’t made more than 3 in a game before tonight but was 42% from behind the arc coming in)
  • bc: Lonnie Jackson.  He was 23/74 (31% from behind the arc before tonight, but went 5/8 tonight (63% – doubling his %).  He finished with 22 points, 8 more than his previous season high of 14.
  • maryland: Jake Layman – 18 points in the 1st half on 6/7 FGs and 4/5 3-Pointers (he came in shooting 17% from behind the arc – 5/29).  20 points for the game, doubling his previous career high.  He averaged 3.2 ppg before this game.
  • byu: Tyler Haws – 42 points on 14/25 shooting (6/8 from 3-point range).  Averages less than half that per game – 20.9 ppg.  Has made more than 2 three-pointers in just 2 other games.
  • csu: Dorian Green – 18 points on 5/6 from 3-point range.  Green was a 30% 3-point shooter coming into the game, but found his stroke against the Hokies, going 5/6 from deep and is now a 37% 3-point shooter on the season.
  • wvu: Kevin Noreen – averaging 2.5 ppg as of 1/8/13, had 14 points on 6/10 shooting and 2/3 on 3-Pointers. He also had 12 rebounds (he has just 41 total rebounds on the season after 12 games played).  FYI: these are his only 3 three-point attempts all season, and he only has 1 other in his previous 2 seasons.

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Preview | VT (2-5, 11-9) @ unc (4-3, 14-6) | Saturday at Noon | ACC Network


Spread: unc by 14.5.

In every game there must be a winner and a loser (except in soccer). And the Hokies have been quite hospitable of late, losing 9 of 13 overall and 5 of 7 in league play. But enough of that, Virginia Tech is going to win Saturday. Let me say it again — THE HOKIES ARE GOING TO WIN SATURDAY! Ah, that felt good.

Yes, I realize the game is at unc. Not unc-g-spot, or unc-charlotte, or unc-pembroke. It is at Chapel Hill. I don’t care. Am I guaranteeing a win? Well, no. That never works for me anyway. But I really do think Tech will win this ballgame, and I’m 51% sure of it! Here’s why:

  • Noon kickoffs stink. heels will come out flat, VT will come out fired up playing in the Dean Dome. Green’s played there twice already so he won’t be in ‘awe’ and Raines and Eddie have also already played there.
  • Minds elsewhere. unc watched a scary injury happen to their teammate at bc on Tuesday (more on that later) and might not be totally focused. Plus, they’ll be shorthanded.
  • unc ain’t that good… by unc standards. They’ve lost 3 ACC games and 6 overall already. Remove their third leading scorer, and they are even weaker.
  • unc ain’t that big (see below – just one guy over 6’9″ and he only averages 11 minutes).
  • The heels love to push the ball — heck, Tech can finally get out and run and gun more! unc has the third fastest tempo in the land. Let’s see if JJ’s style can win out.
  • We are due. WE ARE DUE! It’s time to go out and kick some butt and get a big win! We may just be 5-28 at unc all time, but that’s 5 wins better than clemson (0-for-fifty-something at unc). I’m tired of being negative. I believe, and expect, we can win this game!

P.J. Hairston suffered a concussion in the game at bc, getting run into by a teammate and then hitting his head on the court. After being helped up, he collapsed again onto the floor. He had to be taken off on a stretcher and is doubtful for this game (he won’t play, I guarantee it in this age of concussions). P.J. was Pretty Jacked up after it happened and not having him costs unc their third leading scorer (12.4 ppg) and second best 3-point shooter (38% and 43 makes).

Chaz Michaels Michaels, a.k.a. James Michael McAdoo from the 757, has developed into a heck of a player, scoring 14.7 ppg and snagging 8.7 rebounds. But the sophomore also turns it over a lot and is just a 58% foul shooter.

We’ve documented VT’s problems guarding the 3-point shot. Well, enter Reggie Bullock. The junior guard is 19/46 in his 7 ACC games on 3s (41%). He had 22 at the half against maryland. He’s made at least 2 three-pointers in 8 straight games, including 5 against mcneese state. He could score 30 on the Hokies if they don’t stay out on him and fight over screens (instead of going under).

Leslie McDonald is also a decent 3-point shooter (43% but only 25 makes) and Marcus Paige, their freshman PG, has 20 made 3s at a 30% clip (he’s the one to watch out for if recent trends continue). The heels get a lot of assists (almost double what VT gets). Limiting turnovers will be key against unc (VT had 17 TOs vs miami).

This is not your typical heels squad in the post. They have just one player over 6’9″ and that’s Joel James, who is a freshman that plays just 11 minutes per game. McAdoo is 6’9″ but just 230 lbs, and Brice Johnson, another frosh, is 6’9″ but just 187. Hairston was a physical guard, but that doesn’t matter now. Tech shouldn’t be dominated in the post and match up much better than they did against miami.

So there you have it — Hokie victory. Get the good Scotch ready. We’re winning in Chapel Hill.

Preview VT unc

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HIGHLIGHTS | unc @ VT | 01.19.12


Here are the highlights from unc’s trip to Blacksburg to take on the Hokies on 1.19.12.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, HighlightsComments (1)

Recap | unc (3-1, 16-3) 82, Hokies (0-4, 11-7) 68


For at least a half, the Virginia Tech Hokies didn’t look like the only winless team in the ACC. The Hokies hosted No. 8 unc at the Cassell Coliseum Thursday night and used some hot three-point shooting to take a surprising 39-34 lead into the half.

But the tar heels, still reeling from their embarrassing road loss to fsu – the worst loss ever by unc under Roy Williams, came out in the second half a much different team than a packed Cassell Coliseum saw in the first half.

The second half started off pretty good for Tech with Victor Davila’s spin move to open the scoring and give the Hokies a 41-34 lead. unc answered but Green’s three from the top of the key gave Tech it’s largest lead of the game, 44-36. And then the wheels came off.

Tech’s hot shooting cooled off, unc’s defense tightened up and it was all downhill from there. The heels used an early 19-0 second-half run and never looked back on their way to the 82-68 win. Harrison Barnes led all scores with 27 points.

On the plus side, junior guard Erick Green extended his ACC-leading streak of scoring at least 10 points to 19 straight games. He had 17 points to lead the Hokies, 10 of which came in the first half. Jarrell Eddie scored 15 while Robert Brown added 12.

Meanwhile, struggling senior guard Dorenzo Hudson came off the bench for the first time all season and he played lights out… in the first half. Zo was a perfect 5/5 from the field in the first half, including 4/4 from three-point range and 2/2 at the free throw line. He led the Hokies with 16 points in the first half, but disappeared in the second posting a big zero.

The Hokies got off to their traditional slow start, but also held unc in check to keep it close. Trailing 4-1 four minutes into the game, Green got the Hokies’ first field goal with a three-pointer that tied the game. The heels pulled ahead slightly and held a 17-12 lead before the Hokies exploded for a quick 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 20-17.

From there, the Hokies started raining threes. Brown’s three gave the Hokies a 27-23 lead. Eddie’s trey made it 30-26. Hudson’s triple kept the Hokies in front 33-28. Immediately after that three, Green stole a unc pass, fed Hudson who laid it in at the other end for a 35-28 lead, Tech’s largest of the half.

Brown added a baseline floater and Green buried his second three of the half to cap VT’s first-half scoring. In all, the Hokies hit 8/16 three pointers in the first half and that was the difference. The tar heels did steal the momentum going into the break with an inbound pass and dunk with .9 seconds left.

As we said, the second half was all tar heels.

With the loss, Tech’s fourth straight, the Hokies fall to 0-4 in the ACC and 11-7 overall. They play at No. 16 uva on Sunday at 6 p.m.

SCORES AT THE MEDIA TIMEOUTS:

1st Half:

  • U16: unc 8-4
  • U12: unc 15-12
  • U8: VT 24-23
  • U4: VT 35-30

HALF: VT 39-34

2nd Half:

  • U16: unc 53-44
  • U12: unc 58-46
  • U8: unc 67-49
  • U4: unc 78-61

FINAL unc 82-68

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game RecapsComments (6)

Preview and Review | #8 unc (2-1, 15-3) @ VT (0-3, 11-6) | Th., 9 PM | ESPN


Spread: unc by 6.5

The #8 by-golly unc tar heels stomp into Blacksburg Thursday night, angrier than an old man sending back soup at a deli after being trounced by 33 points at the hands of florida state on Saturday.  But you know what?  There should be some fire in the belly of the Hokies, too, who have now lost 3 games in a row to open the ACC slate.  The Hokies took down the tar holes just 9 weeks ago in Blackburg in football on a Thursday night, so why not make that a tradition?

Normally I focus a lot on the opponent in these previews, but this time I’m going to put the spotlight on us more than usual.  I mean, summarizing the heels is pretty easy:

  • They probably have the 2nd most talent in the country behind syracuse.
  • Harrison Barnes (SF) is the best player in the ACC and will be a top 5 pick in this NBA Draft.
  • John “Beanpole” Henson (PF) leads the ACC in rebounding and blocks, is 7th in points, and is another projected Lottery Pick this year.
  • Kendall Marshall (PG) leads the ACC in assists (by far — 3 more than #2), sits 2nd nationally in assists, and could be picked in the mid-teens in this NBA Draft.
  • Tyler Zeller (C) is also projected as a First Round Draft Pick this year.  He sits at #4 in the league in rebounding, 8th in blocks, and 10th in blocks.
  • They have two freshmen that were McDonald’s All-Americans (P.J. Hairston and James Michael McAdoo (VA)) coming off the bench.
  • As I said, they are going to probably be very hostile and motivated after the whipping they took by the seminoles.  The best chance at beating the heels is when they are soft and unfocused… I don’t think that will be the case Thursday.

But like I said, enough about them.  Let’s look in the mirror a bit critically.

WHY WE ARE 0-3:

If you haven’t figured this out, I’m a stat guy.   Maybe some day I’ll become the Billy Beane of basketball and they’ll make a movie about me where Matthew McConaughey plays me (he wishes).  To me, the numbers tell it all.  Let’s look side-by-side at where VT ranked in comparison to the rest of the ACC at the end of the out of conference schedule (so through the 2nd okie state game), and where VT ranks against their ACC brethren in ACC games ONLY (so a small sample size, but you’ll see what I’m getting at).

STATS:

VT at the end of their OOC schedule VT Thru 3 ACC Games
ACC RANKING  IN   PARENTHESIS
PPG 71.2 (5) 57.7 (9)
PPG vs 59.4 (3) 60.7 (2)
FT% 75% (1) 78% (1)
FG% 45% (5) 35% (12)
3-Pt% 38% (4) 25% (8)
Made 3s PG 6.4 (4) 4.0 (8)
FG% D 39% (5) 41% (5)
3-Pt% D 24% (1) 37% (12)
Blocks 3.7 (4) 3.3 (9)
Steals 6.4 (5) 6.3 (4)
TO Margin -0.6 (4) +5.0 (1)
Off Reb % 38% (5) 31% (9)
Def Reb % 67% (7) 65% (9)

A few things stand out:

  • The Bad:
  • 3-Pt% Defense (-13%): We were #1 in the nation in 3-Point % Defense for most of December.  We are DEAD LAST in the ACC in this stat through 3 games.  What that starts to tell me is maybe it was our level of competition pre-ACC, and that we aren’t flashing out on shooters as well.
  • FG% (-10%): Tech is DEAD LAST in FG%.  And keep in mind, while VT played an awesome fsu defense, wake and bc were near the bottom of the league heading into ACC play.  This stat scares me.  The lack of offense is, has been (for years), (and will be?) a concern.  But to fall that drastically?!
  • Robert Brown may be hitting a wall (or is adjusting to the talent in the ACC).  He is just 4/14 from the field in ACC play, and started 1/7 from deep before hitting 2 late 3-pointers Saturday.
  • Doe Doe also is really struggling.  He’s put up 2 goose eggs in 3 ACC games, and is just 6/25 with 17 total points in Tech’s last 5 games.
  • 3-Pt Offense (-13% and -2.4 makes per game): Most of the ACC has seen their 3-point percentages drop, but Tech’s has been really bad.  They are hitting just 25% from deep, and with their stagnant offense and poor transition game, this has really exposed their offensive struggles.  Eddie is 6/14 on 3s in ACC play, but is just 4/15 from the field in the last 2 games.  The Hokies really needed him to step up Saturday, and he didn’t have a made FG until the final 10 seconds when he nailed 2 meaningless 3-pointers.
  • PPG (-13.5): See above.
  • The Good?
  • FTs: Still #1 in the ACC!  This has been a real bright spot on O… when the Hokies are aggressive and attack the rim.
  • TO Margin (+5.5 and #1 in the ACC!): Wow, imagine being the best in the league at getting more turnovers than your opponent and still going 0-3.  Wait, we are 0-3.  That shows how bad our offense has been — we are getting 5 more possessions per game than our opponents (and 2 really bad ones) and still cannot beat them.
Clearly the bad are outweighing the good.

STARTERS:

VIRGINIA TECH
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 11 Green* 6-3 Jr 16.1
SG 5 Hudson 6-5 Sr 11.4
SF 31 Eddie 6-7 So 9.5
F 15 Finney-Smith 6-8 Fr 6.8
C 14 Davila 6-8 Sr 7.1
Bench 1 Brown 6-5 Fr 7.8
unc^
Pos # Player Height Year PPG
PG 5 Marshall 6-4 So 5.8
SG 1 Strickland 6-3 Jr 7.9
SF 40 Barnes 6-8 So 16.8
PF 31 Henson 6-11 Jr 14.4
C 44 Zeller 7-0 Sr 14.4
Bench 35 Bullock 6-7 So 8.5

* We’ll see if Erick Green is able to return from his knee injury that cost him the bc game and play.  Otherwise, this could get real ugly.  But Erick has been practicing some this week and is expected to play.

^ This is not your typical unc team.  They really only go 3 deep on their bench.  Bullock and Hairston are 2 very tall guards that can also move to the ’3′.  McAdoo is really unc’s only backup post player that plays any significant minutes off the bench.  unc will go small at times and play 3 guards (though with their height it isn’t an issue), and a mix of Barnes, Henson, Zeller, and McAdoo at the post spots.

THE SERIES:

HO-KEYS TO WINNING (yeah, I said it, winning!):

  • Street Fight: unc does not like physical games.  They are finesse at its best.  Tech must have a lotta bit of Jeff Allen in them Thursday.  Maybe save a ball and aim a bit high?  Maybe watch footage of Christian Laettner walking up court?  Nah, I can’t endorse dirty play.  But let’s make sure they have an imprint of all our tattoos on them by the end of the game.
  • Pretend they are #1: Hey, unc could easily be #1 in the land.  And they may be by the end of the year.  Heck, they started #1.  The Hokies love that underdog role, especially against #1.  Well, being the favored team didn’t work (VT was favored in all 3 ACC losses).  So let’s see if Seth can once again tap into his inner-underdog and inspire the boys.
  • Transition: The heels love to run and have a lot of great athletes that can finish on the break.  Tech must get back and force them to play in the half court.  Yes, they are really talented in the half court, too, but we’ll take our chances there.  unc isn’t a great, or even good, 3-point shooting team so if the Hokies can avoid giving up layups, it gives VT a chance.  Meanwhile, the Hokies must share the ball on the break and find some easy buckets.  The heels don’t enjoy having to work on defense, so they can be exploited.
  • Get the Whistles: unc has a LOT of size.  Yep, and another 7-footer (seems like every team but VT has one).  We need this game called close, especially over-the-backs (like the ones the officials missed in the fsu game on Eddie).  Plus, this unc team doesn’t have much depth.  Strange to say VT can go as deep as the heels.  My fear is Tech won’t be aggressive, or when they are, the ball will get swatted away with no fouls.
  • Monsters of the Glass: unc is #1 in the ACC at Offensive Rebounding %, collecting 40% of their misses.  The Hokies must block out and limit second chance opportunities… part of that will be getting the whistles.  Let’s hope Raines can stay out of foul trouble.
  • Shoot for a Higher 3-Pt %!  Hey, 19 times in a row is more than a trend.  The team that shot for a higher 3-point percentage has won Tech’s last 19 ACC games.  The good news is, while VT is hitting just 25% from deep in ACC play, unc is dead last in the league at 20%.  Plus, with unc’s size, the Hokies need to stretch the unc D.
  • Bonus: Support: This game may not be a sellout (wow).  But I still expect the Hokie fans there, which may only be 67% of the crowd there (at best), will be fired up.  And the students will be back.  Early support could help the Hokies, who have crapped the bed to start the previous 3 games.

BORING FACTS ABOUT unc:

  • Founded in 1789
  • Undergrads: 18k
  • Postgrads: 8k
  • Stayed open during the Civil War
  • The Hokies own Franklin Street during football season!
  • Mascot is a live ram named “Rameses”
  • 37 NCAA Championships in six different team sports (20 are women’s soccer… yawn)
  • 5 Men’s bball titles: 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009
  • 42 NCAA Tourney appearances
  • 18 Final Fours
  • 17 ACC Tournament titles
  • unc has not won an ACC football title (or division, or even tied for a title) since 1980.  Neither NC public school has won a title or tied for one since then.  Tobacco Road may know basketball, but the supposed home of great BBQ sure stinks at pigskin

Famous students:

  • Bball: Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Awtawn Jamison, Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, James Worthy, Larry Brown, Tyler Hansbrough, Ronald Curry
  • Other Sports: Lawrence Taylor (guessing he didn’t graduate), Dre Bly, Ronald Curry again (did you know he was the #1 football and bball recruit back in the late ’90s at Hampton HS?  Check out his stats/their margins of victory some time – insane), Moonlight Graham, Mia Hamm, Julius Peppers, Marion Jones, B.J. Surhoff
  • Jim Halpert (character on the Office) supposedly went there – not the real one, the real person went to brown
  • Others: John Edwards, James K. Polk (11th President of the USA), Stuart Scott, Chris Matthews, Andy Griffith, Lewis Black, and Thomas Wolfe

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Game PreviewsComments (2)

Ocho Stinko | unc (2-0, 12-4) 64, Hokies (1-2, 10-5) 61


Malcolm Delaney’s 28 points, including seven three-pointers, was not enough for the Hokies on the road against ACC rival unc. Especially when Jeff Allen follows a career game with four points and seven rebounds against the heels. Despite a 16-point first-half lead, Tech loses 61-64 to unc.

Erick Green was playing well, but suffered a cramp that took him out of the game. Add to that the Hokies were on the road in Chapel Hill against a healthy unc team with 10 scholarship players and it’s amazing they were even in the game in the final seconds.

It is with great sadness we must report that the six-game winning streak is over. It was a good run, folks. A damn good run…

What can you say about this game other than, “We totally saw that coming.” Look, we’re not naysayers or Debbie Downers, we’ve just been covering the Hokies for a long long time. This is the same script that has played out dozens of times. Stop us if this sounds familiar…

The Hokies are on the road against a more prestigious conference rival, which has more All-Americans on its roster this season than Tech’s had in its entire history. The Hokies explode out of the gate and can’t miss or do anything wrong. Then, the wheels come off. The home team gets the majority of the calls, we get in foul trouble, we can’t hit a shot, we turn it over and we eventually give the lead away.

Sure, we keep it close enough to give us hope, but usually a terrible call by the pro-unc or pro-duke officials, or a stupid play by a veteran ensures a win for the other team.

Look, considering the Hokies had eight scholarship players, two of which are true freshmen, it’s amazing that they played as well as they did. The Hokies sprinted to a 16-point, first-half lead, 31-15, but didn’t score a point in the final 6 minutes and 23 seconds of the first half, allowing the tar heels to go on a 9-0 run to pull within seven at the break.

Jeff Allen was on the bench for most of the first half with a pair of fouls. Green suffered a severe cramp that sat him down for most of the second half. Delaney had three fouls and Terrell Bell had four down the stretch.

The second half was painful to watch. You just knew where the game was headed. And when unc finally took the lead and the 20,000 in the Dean Dome were screaming their damn bloody heads off, you knew there was no way the Hokies were going to win this game.

Mad props to Manny Atkins, who played well off the bench, hitting three of his four three-point attempts for nine points. The sophomore buried two huge treys in the second half to keep the Hokies in the game.

We could right a recap, but it would read just like so many we’ve written before. Hokies started hot. They took the lead. They went cold. They gave up aforementioned lead. They lost. End of story. Roll credits.

The good news is, the Hokies are back home Saturday night against a pretty weak wake forest team. The questions are: 1) Will the Hokies led unc beat them twice (now known as the boise state effect) and 2) will the Hokies have enough healthy players to put a team on the court?

We’ll be there live at the Cassell as the Hokies look to even their ACC record. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.

Niemo’s Notes:

  • Jarell Eddie showed some flashes in the first half.  He had a nice jumper fading to the baseline, and scored 6 points in 12 minutes.  This looked like the Eddie of the first few weeks of the season.
  • Tyrone Garland played about as bad of a game as you could play.  Everything he touched turned to turnover, and unfortunately because of Green’s injury, he had to play a lot a good bit (8 minutes).  He looked like a freshman tonight with 3 turnovers and no points.
  • unc won this game on the glass.  Tech could not get a defensive rebound to save their life.  Up 52-50 coming out of the under-4 timeout, Henson (a 34% foul shooter) bricked two foul shots as you knew he would.  But unc grabbed the rebound, and Barnes hit a jumper to tie the game.  Instead of up 2 with the ball and 3 minutes to go, the game was tied.  Delaney quickly missed a jumper and Barnes drained a 3.  Huge momentum swing.  The heels grabbed 42% of their misses (18 offensive rebounds).  Tech grabbed just 22% of their misses (8 offensive rebounds).
  • Tech had 18 turnovers, their highest total since unlv and 5 more than they had in any of their last 8 games.
  • VT had 13 steals — their third straight game with 10+.
  • Tech’s 11 made three-pointers were a season high.
  • The Hokies led from the 18:05 mark of the first half through the 9:35 mark of the second half.  The final 9:30 minutes were nip and tuck.
  • We need Dorenzo Hudson!  This is the third time this season Delaney has taken a shot at the end of a game in a critical situation and he’s 0/3 (purdue – went to OT, st. bonnie – went to OT, unc – lost).  He settles for tough, long jumpers with a man in his face off the dribble.  Need to try something different like have him come off a screen without the ball or have him drive and and dish.
  • The Hokies this year remind me of one of my buddies when he’s trying to seal the deal with a girl at the bar — he’s pretty good for most of the night and it looks like it’s gonna happen.  Then he falters at the end, can’t close the deal, and goes home empty handed.  As a result, he has no date for the dance.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Recaps, GamesComments (24)

Official VT at unc Viewing Party | Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon (Arlington, VA) | Thursday at 9 PM


Join TechHoops.com again at the Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon (Arlington, VA) on Thursday night to watch the Hokies take on the boys in powder blue!  The Hokies have owned ESPN Thursday Night Football for years, now they look to take down the heels on ESPN’s featured Thursday night basketball game.  We’ll be on the second floor of the Clarendon Hard Times in the Hokie-themed area.  Come enjoy some chili and the nightly drink specials!

Location:

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Preview | VT (1-1, 10-4) @ unc (1-0, 11-4) | Thursday at 9 PM | ESPN


Spread: unc by 6

Coach Beamer talked a few weeks ago about how Virginia Tech needed to win a big game against a top five team.  A few days later they laid a gigantic egg.  Coach Greenberg pleads each year for why the Hokies deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament.  Then they fail in their key games that would help clinch an invitation, such as losses to kansas state, unlv, and purdue this year (and too many to name in past years).  Well, the Hokies don’t have many opportunities to defeat a top team this year, but this is one of them and it is time to stop the talk, and walk the walk.  The Hokies have just five games left against teams currently in the RPI top 100 (luckily all five teams are in the top 40).  Virginia Tech needs to swagger into chapel heel and take down the boys in powder blue (#20 in the current RPI) on Thursday night in their only meeting of the regular season.  And you know what?  They can do it.

Join TechHoops.com at the Clarendon (Arlington, VA) Hard Times Cafe (second floor) to watch the game!

Thursday will be just the third road game of the season for the Hokies, and their first since playing at unc-greensboro on November 21st (yes, pre-Thanksgiving).  But most of these Hokies have played in the Dean Dome a few times and should not be intimidated.  The current senior class got blown out by 39 at unc their freshman year, but were right in the game last year until late.  The heels were just 5-11 in the ACC last year and lost some key cogs like Ed Davis, the Wear twins, Deon Thompson, and Ed Graves.  Tech should not fear the name on the front of the jersey because the names on the back simply aren’t any better than the Hokies, at least of those left for VT.

This is a team of great depth versus a team of great tragedy.  unc plays 10 guys at least 12 minutes per game (mpg) and no one plays more than 27 mpg.  VT has four guys averaging more than 30 mpg, and that’s not including Dorenzo Hudson.  Erick Green, his replacement, has averaged 33 mpg since entering the starting lineup.

This is the proverbial game of McDonald’s All-Americans versus guys that eat at McDonald’s.  unc has three 5-star and five 4-star recruits on their roster.  That includes Harrison “Big Mac” Barnes, the #1 player in the Class of 2010.  And John “Grilled Snack Wrap” Henson [since he has zero fat... or meat... on him... he's still a beanpole].  Reggie “McNugget” Bullock goes dipping from deep and can drain the three off the bench [he was a 5-star from last year also].  Tyler “McRib” Zeller is long and saucy at 7′ and leads the heels with 14.5 ppg.  Dexter “McChicken” Strickland is the most forgettable starter, but he averages 9.5 ppg and leads the team in steals, but is not a good three-point shooter.  In fact, most of their guards are not other than Bullock.  Larry “Filet-O-Fish” Drew is still starting at point guard and is still terrible.  Why nickname him Filet-O-Fish?  Because he’s only good a couple times per year, the rest of the time he makes you sick.  The 4-star junior is shooting just 38% from the field and 19% from behind the arc, and averages just 5 ppg.  His backup is Arlington, VA’s Kendall “McCafe Mocha” Marshall, a slick point guard who shoots better than Drew and has more assists and fewer turnovers despite playing 9 fewer mpg.  Leslie “Ronald” McDonald gives unc 8 ppg off the bench and is their best three-point shooter (24/53 – 45%).  Justin Watts and Knox combine for another 10 points off the bench.

Then there’s El Ocho, the Hokies eight remaining scholarship players.  All they’ve done is gone 4-0 since Hudson and Raines were shut down for the season.  And Tech has won six in a row since Erick Green went into the starting lineup.  He’s scored at least 11 in all six games (13.7 ppg), has 17 steals, and 20 assists to 6 turnovers.  Jeff Allen has also stepped up.  He’s had at least 11 points and 9 rebounds in nine straight games.  In the last six, he’s averaging 15.8 ppg and 11.7 rebounds per game, and was the ACC Player of the Week last week.

HO-KEYS TO WINNING:

  • Pacemaker: uva almost beat unc on Saturday, leading by as many as 11 in the second half.  The heels came back and pulled out a 62-56 win.  But the key for the hoos, and what will be key for Tech, is they shut down the unc running game.  The heels were held to just four fast break points.  As a result, the heels were held almost 20 points below their season average.  Tech needs to limit the easy buckets unc gets on the break, and that means…
  • Limiting Turnovers: During the Hokies’ six game winning streak, they are +33 in turnover margin.  Since the Hokies don’t have the size of the heels, they need to get extra possessions to compensate for the fact they will likely be out-rebounded.  The hoos didn’t do this, getting outscored 13-8 in points off turnovers, and the result was a loss.  Tech needs to win this category.
  • Windex: VT must be better on the glass than they were against the noles.  unc is not as good of an offensive rebounding team as florida state (who are #1 in the ACC), which is good news since fsu dominated the Hokies with 17 offensive rebounds to just 5 for VT, and a 12-3 margin in second chance points.  But Zeller and Henson are both excellent offensive rebounders, as is Knox off the bench.  Tech cannot give up a -12 edge in offensive rebounds again and expect to win.
  • Compete in the Paint: Expect the heels to go at Jeff Allen down low.  If he guards John Henson like I expect, Allen’s breath could knock over the beanpole Henson.  Henson is a terrible foul shooter (34%), but Allen cannot be the one giving up the fouls.  If Henson has an easy bucket, foul him and force him to beat you from the line but it needs to be help defense.  Bell is certainly athletic enough and has long arms to defend Henson at times when Allen is out or guarding Zeller, but Bell will likely be on Big Mac Barnes a lot.  Davila should draw Zeller.  Victor needs to do what he’s been doing well lately, and that’s working hard to keep his opponent from catching the ball down low.  Tech doesn’t need Davila to score a lot in this game, but they need him to work his butt off on defense and help relieve the rebounding pressure on Allen.  Jeff is averaging 33% of VT’s rebounds over the last six games.
  • The Zone* and the Lost Arc: Tech is just 9/37 from three-point range in their last three games, including 1/8 against fsu.  Meanwhile, VT’s opponents have hit 20 threes in those three games.  That’s one of the flaws of a 2-3 zone – you are going to give up three-point shots if the opponent moves the ball well, or can get inside the arc and kick it out.  But unc is similar to VT in makes per game (5.5) and shoot just a slightly higher percentage (35% to 32% by VT).  The threats from deep Tech needs to guard are McDonald #1 (24/53) and Bullock #2 (18/48).  Both are off the bench so the Hokies need to be aware when they come in.  Barnes has made 18 threes, but hits just 31%.  No one other than those three have more than six makes on the season.  So I’d expect to see a lot of zone from the Hokies since the heels aren’t a great 3-point shooting team.  We’ll see how well the heels do against it having had several days to prepare for it.  And the Hokies need more than one made three-pointer in this one.  Zeller and Henson combine to average four blocks per game, so Tech cannot depend on a ton of points in the paint.  Look for Delaney to step up (I know I keep saying that).  But he hit a couple of threes at unc last year and loves the bright lights of national games.
  • Ocho-Cinco: If El Ocho is going to get their fifth straight win (El Cinco), they need to keep doing what their doing: protect the ball and find ways to run.  I know I said VT needs to set the pace, and they do, but they cannot put this game in quicksand like uva did.  The Hokies have won six in a row because they’ve pushed the ball (Green and Garland) at appropriate times.  They must continue to do that and find ways to get easy buckets so they don’t have to always operate in the half court.  Tech just needs to limit the number of transition opportunities unc gets and avoid turning this into a track meet that favors unc, and will tire the depleted Ocho.

*I’m not sure how much we’ll see the zone trap past half court on Thursday.  It worked well the few times it was used Saturday against fsu, but they don’t have the number of offensive options unc has, especially in the front court.  And Drew and Marshall are both good passers so they could burn it.  That said, it is good to mix things up at times just to force unc to adjust.  Tech could just go to the 1-3-1 half court zone to compliment the 2-3 zone.

SERIES:

  • unc 60-13
  • In ACC play: unc 7-3
  • The teams split last year with unc winning at home in the ACC opener for both 78-64, while VT won at home 74-70 in early February.
  • VT did win at unc during the 2006-07 season, a 81-80 overtime win to sweep the season’s two games
  • VT is just 5-27 all time at unc

STATS:

  Virginia Tech unc
PPG 70.9 79.4
Pts Against 59.7 67.1
FG % 47% 46%
3-Pt % 32% 36%
FT % 70% 64%
Leading …    
Scorer Delaney – 18.6 Zeller – 14.5
Rebounder Allen – 9.8 Henson – 8.4
Assists Delaney – 4.0 Marshall – 4.1
Steals Green – 2.0 Strickland – 1.5
Blocks Bell – 1.4 Henson – 2.7

Stats of Note:

  • unc is #3 in the ACC in PPG at 79.8 while VT is #1 in Scoring Defense at 59.7
  • unc is dead last in the ACC in FT%, largely thanks to John Henson
  • The heels are #2 in Defensive Rebound % while VT is #9 in Offensive Rebound %; unc is just #5 in Offensive Rebound %
  • unc and VT are near the bottom in 3s-made-per-game (9th and 10th)
  • Henson is #2 in blocks per game at 2.7
  • Green (VT) and Marshall (unc) are 1 and 2 in assist-to-turnover ratio (a So and a Fr)
  • VT has 3 of the top 10 in terms of minutes per game, unc has no one averaging even 28 minutes per game

STARTERS:

unc has had the same starting lineup for all 15 games this year.  VT has had the same starting lineup except for Erick Green who replaced the injured Dorenzo Hudson and has started six in a row.

Position Virginia Tech unc
Guard 11 Green – 6-4 11 Drew – 6-2
Guard 23 Delaney – 6-3 1 Strickland – 6-3
Wing 1 Bell – 6-7 40 Barnes – 6-8
Forward 0 Allen – 6-7 31 Henson – 6-10
Forward/Center 14 Davila – 6-8 44 Zeller – 7-0

BORING FACTS ABOUT unc:

  • Founded in 1789
  • Undergrads: 18k
  • Postgrads: 8k
  • Stayed open during the Civil War
  • The Hokies own Franklin Street during football season!
  • Mascot is a live ram named “Rameses”
  • 37 NCAA Championships in six different team sports (20 are women’s soccer… yawn)
  • 5 Men’s bball titles: 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009
  • unc has not won an ACC football title (or division, or even tied for a title) since 1980.  Neither NC public school has won a title or tied for one since then.  Tobacco Road may know basketball, but the supposed home of great BBQ sure stinks at pigskin

Famous students:

  • Bball: Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Awtawn Jamison, Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse, James Worthy, Larry Brown, Tyler Hansbrough, Ronald Curry
  • Other Sports: Lawrence Taylor (guessing he didn’t graduate), Dre Bly, Ronald Curry again (did you know he was the #1 football and bball recruit back in the late ’90s at Hampton HS?  Check out his stats/their margins of victory some time – insane), Moonlight Graham, Mia Hamm, Julius Peppers, Marion Jones, B.J. Surhoff
  • Jim Halpert (character on the Office) supposedly went there – not the real one, the real person went to brown
  • Others: John Edwards, James K. Polk (11th President of the USA), Stuart Scott, Chris Matthews, Andy Griffith, Lewis Black, and Thomas Wolfe

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Previews, GamesComments (8)

The Crowd | VT vs. unc | 02.04.10


Want to know what it felt like to be in the Cassell at the end of the unc game Thursday night? Here you go. Feel the intensity as the students (and rest of the crowd) go ape to Enter Sandman.

Posted in 2009-10, 2009-10 Season, Games, HighlightsComments (0)

Game Film | Hokies 74, unc 70 | 2.4.10


Recap | Box Score

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

Game Film | #9 unc 78, VT 64 | 1.10.10


Recap | Box Score

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

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The Wild Hokie Club!

The Hokies are experiencing their worst season since the ricky "program bomb" stokes era. Sure, we could have quit on you, but did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!

 

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