Tag Archive | "uri"

Niemo’s Bourbon Breakdown | VT 69, uri 50

OK, let’s get right to the tale of the tape from Tech’s tantalizing victory on Monday:

  • Rebounding: GRADE = B-… This was a giant weakness in the opener but Tech was much improved on Monday night.  VT grabbed 71% of rhode island’s missed shots, and snared 29% of their own misses.  That’s a solid ratio, and against a taller team than etsu.   Still not great but definitely an improvement.  And the guys were clearly working harder on the glass, especially Raines (12 boards), van Zegeren (6 rebounds), and Wood (3 boards).
  • Defense: GRADE = B+… Hokies absolutely took Malesevic, who had 26 in uri’s opener and 24 vs VT last year, out of the game.  Kudos to the Tech bigs on that (Barksdale started out covering him then it was a lot of Marshall Wood).  Malesevic made just 1 FG and had just 6 points.  uri was just 1/21 behind the arc and shot just 33% for the game.  VT also blocked 9 shots, including 4 by Wood, after getting just 1 block total in the opener.  The lone negative was they let Munford beat them off the dribble regularly (he was 10/13 on drives).
  • Be Fun and Up Tempo: GRADE = B… Another alley oop!  It failed, again, but you know if Seth was still in charge we’d have never seen another alley oop after the first one failed.  The guys are playing loose, without fear of being yanked for taking a questionable shot.  The Hokies did look to push the ball up the court just like in the first game, but also seemed to bleed more of the shot clock then I’d like at times.  That led to a couple of scoring lulls, including the entire second media timeout sequence.  By my count, Tech had 64 possessions on Monday compared to 70 in the opener, so that tells you things weren’t quite as quick (I don’t think uri was bleeding the clock anymore than etsu).
  • Feeding the Post: GRADE = D… Raines was on last night but we simply didn’t feed him the ball enough.  When a team is transitioning to more up-tempo, it can be hard to settle for setting up the offense and feeding your bigs, but you have to do it.  Raines is a real talent and needs touches.  Tech’s offense needs to work to get him the ball more inside and let the big man work.

The Players:

  • EG – I take back what I said after Game 1 – he has improved and looks fantastic.  Through 2 games he has 46 total points, 10 assists to just 4 turnovers, and is shooting 54% from the field.  Erick looks much better at finishing off the drive (thank you, Chris Paul).  The only negative is I’ve always hated his free throw rhythm – he holds the ball so long and seems to put so much pressure on himself thinking about it (Karl Malone-ish), and is just 13/20 on the year.  I wish he’d quicken his rhythm, but it is a little late for that.
  • Robert Brown – Had some troubles with Munford’s quickness on defense, but Brown is a fantasic offensive player.  He really has a complete offensive game – 3s, pull-ups, driving.  I’d like to see him drive more but for a sophomore, he’s really stepped up.
  • Jarell Eddie – Almost had his 2nd straight double-double with 9 points and 8 rebounds.  He’s giving great effort on the defensive glass and really positions himself well.  Had 2 blocks and just 1 foul, so he’s playing smarter on defense.
  • Cadarian Raines – I thought his post moves looked rusty in the opener but they were sharp last night.  Had a nice lefty hook in the 2nd half and later followed it up with a turn to the baseline and a righty baby hook.  Also added a career high 12 rebounds.  He has to be a great rebounder for Tech, and was last night.
  • C.J. Barksdale – After just taking 1 shot in Game 1, I thought we’d see the improved C.J. we’ve heard about in Game 2 after he hit a jumper on Tech’s opening possession… Those were his only points of the game (and season) and he grabbed just 1 rebound while playing just 12 minutes (Marshall Wood played 28).  Not sure what’s going on, but the light ain’t on right now.
  • Marshall Wood – Very solid game.   4 blocks and 2 nice, acrobatic layups inside.  His motor was running high last night and that was great to see.  He plays tougher than most freshmen.  The problem is he still hasn’t hit a 3-pointer — 0/5 last night and 0/8 on the season.  Wood has no fear, though, and launches whenever he has any opening.  You gotta think they’ll start falling at some point, and you don’t want hesitation, but maybe he should consider a pump-fake and put the ball on the floor and drive – we saw he could finish inside.
  • Joey van Zegeren – Solid night, also.  Only had 1 official block but was battling inside all night.  Grabbed 6 rebounds in just 12 minutes.  Got lost on defense at one point that allowed uri a dunk, but his effort is there, which is all you can ask.
  • Marquis Rankin – on the bench but did not play as he transitions back from attending family funerals.
  • The Walk-Ons – not as successful as in the opener.  Johnston couldn’t slow Munford down at all on help defense but did hit a nice 3-pointer, and Patrick struggled running the point.  The latter will be resolved when Rankin returns to action.  But the two walk-ons that played averaged a +/- of -9.5 tonight, and that’s not a good sign when you win by 19.

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Game RecapsComments (4)

Game Highlights | VT 69, uri 50

Updated to include highlights from the first 10 minutes of the game…
BRRRRRRAHHHH!  The Hokies jump to 2-0!  Here are some of the highlights from Monday night’s action…


Posted in 2012-13 Season, HighlightsComments (2)

Game Plus/Minus | VT 69, uri 50

Here is the plus/minus breakdown from the win over rhode island and cumulative for the season through two games.

vs uri Season
Player +/- +/-
Green 29 43
Brown 27 45
Eddie 21 34
Barksdale 11 17
Raines 14 22
van Zegeren 5 15
Wood 10 25
Johnston -9 -2
Racer 0 0
Patrick -10 -10
Beyer 0 0

You can see Tech absolutely dominated with Green and Brown in the game, and also with Eddie in to a lesser degree (Eddie played 35 minutes, the most of any Hokie).  The news was also very good for when Marshall Wood was in (+10).  It wasn’t as positive when the walk-ons were in today — both Johnston and Patrick had solid negative totals.

Rankin was on the bench but did not play again as he gets back from his family matters.

Note: Again, +/- is the margin when a specific player is in the game, regardless of what they contribute.  For example, if a starter leaves the game with his team up 10 points (+10), then re-enters with his team up 2, and the game ends with his team up 14 (+12 during that second stint), his +/- for the game is +22.  Negative means your team was outscored while you were in the game.  It factors out big time scorers who can’t play defense (A.d. Vassallo).

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Game RecapsComments (4)

Game Recap | VT 69 (2-0), uri 50 (0-2)


This game was over before you could say “ram brutality”.  Tech jumped out to a 13-0 lead thanks to good low post play and fantastic defense and cruised to a 69-50 victory, just missing another Bear Fight (my liver is happy).

C.J. Barksdale, who had just one shot in the opener and 0 points, hit a jumper on Tech’s first possession.  All five VT starters would score before the rams scratched and Tech never looked back.  uri got within 4 in the first half but a late 8-0 put Tech up 36-24 at the break.  The rams never got within single digits in the second half.

The Hokies were led by Erick Green’s 25 points.  The senior was 8/15 from the field and 4/7 from the arc.

Robert Brown added 12 and Cadarian Raines looked much improved from Game 1, adding 10 points and a game high 12 rebounds.  Jarell Eddie just missed double digits with 9 points and 8 rebounds (he had a double-double in the opener).

Big props to freshman Marshall Wood who played 28 minutes (Barksdale played just 12) and had 4 points and 4 blocks!  But Wood needs to stop shooting from outside as much – he was 0/5 tonight and is 0/8 from deep on the year.  But he played tough inside and can finish around the rim.  JvZ also added 6 rebounds in 12 minutes.

Tech shut down Nikola Malesevic, who had 26 in the rams’ opener and 24 against VT last year.  Nikola had just 6 points and 1 made FG in this game.  Xavier Munford, who was 3/19 from the floor in their opener, scored 24 points.  He is now 3/19 on the year from long range (stop shooting 3s!!!), but was 10/13 inside the arc and killed the Hokies off the drive.

Tech cleaned up a few of the things I didn’t like in the first game (rebounding and post play), but I’ll get to that more in Niemo’s Bourbon Breakdown.

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

Preview | rhode island (0-1) @ VT (1-0) | Monday, 7 PM | ESPN3

An old thorn in the Hokies’ side comes to the Cassell on Monday.  The rhodey rams, who are 3-1 all time at the Cassell, including knocking VT out of the NIT Quarterfinals three years ago, head to Blacksburg.  But this is a team that went 7-24 last season, including an 11-point loss at home to the Hokies.

While the Hokies rolled to an 18-point win in JJ’s debut vs etsu, the rams dropped their opener at home to norfolk state (the same spartans that beat #2 seed missouri in the NCAA Tournament so don’t read too much into that).

Tech will have to slow Nikola Malesevic, who exploded for 26 points against norfolk state and had 23 against the Hokies last year.  Meanwhile, xavier munford was 3/19 from the field for the rams including 2/10 from behind the arc.  VT should go ahead and let him shoot as much as he wants.  rhodey shot just 28% for the game, but did snag 15 offensive rebounds so Tech will need to do a better job on the glass.  The rams like to gamble on defense so the Hokies can have success pushing the ball and making the extra pass, or faking and either cutting or taking the ball yourself.

Green had 24 points off the bench in that game in Kingston last year, Eddie added 15, and Raines 12.

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Game Previews, HomeComments (8)

Game Recap | Hokies (25-9) 72, rhode island (26-9) 79 | 3.24.10

Virginia Tech and Rhode Island in the 2010 NIT Quarterfinals.Box Score

Blacksburg, VA — For the second time in three nights, the Virginia Tech Hokies played a nail-biter of a game, this time against rhode island in an NIT quarterfinal matchup. Unlike Monday’s game against uconn, the Hokies were not able to hold on for the win, losing 72-79 to the rams, ending their season.

Tech blew a 12-point lead in the second half as rhode island used a 20-7 run to take the lead and the Hokies had lost their momentum and were unable to sustain a run of their own. The rams closed the game on a 31-12 run to win the game.

How bad was it? The Hokies made only TWO field goals in the final 16:07 of the game. Yeah, it was THAT bad.

Malcolm Delaney led the Hokies with 24 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome 16 turnovers by the Hokies, including five in the first half as a result of the rams’ press. The Hokies kept trying to go over the top of the press, but it only resulted in turnovers.

Dorenzo Hudson had another outstanding performance with 19 points. Jeff Allen threw in a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. However, Allen also committed six turnovers, nearly a third of the team’s total.

The Hokies shot lights out in the first half, hitting 63 percent of their field goal attempts, including 3 of 6 from three-point range. The second half, however, was a completely different story as Tech went ice cold managing just 33 percent on 9 of 17 shooting, and just 1 of 6 from behind the arc.

Tech finishes the season 25-9, tying the 1994-1995 NIT championship team for most wins in school history.

We’ll have more later, right now we need to decompress, throw back a couple of shots and let this roll off our backs.

Posted in 2009-10 Season, Game Recaps, NITComments (6)

Preview | #2 rhode island (25-9) @ #1 VT (25-8) | Wed., 7 PM | ESPN2 | NIT Quarterfinals


The Hokies will try and ram-jam rhode island on Wednesday and punch their ticket to New York City.  The winner of this game advances to the NIT semifinals, which will be played in the Most Famous Arena in the World (which the Hokies own), Madison Square Garden.  Tech will try and set a school record for wins, going for #26.  They also would add to their greatest home season in program history by locking up their 18th home win and finishing 18-1 in the Cassell.

Two years ago in the NIT I talked about how mississippi would be at a disadvantage having to fly to Blacksburg and play a game just 48 hours after a previous contest.  They smoked the Hokies by dominating VT inside.  Last year in the NIT I talked about how baylor would be asleep in the Saturday 11 AM contest at VT (10 AM their time).  They were up by almost 20 before McDonald’s started serving lunch.  So I’m not saying a darn thing here about rhode island having to play in the ‘Burg just 47 hours after defeating #6 nevada Monday night.  In fact, I believe rhode island has an advantage of sorts in this game because they play an aggressive full court press all game and Tech won’t have much time to prepare for it.  That said, the Hokies have abused presses over the last two years and at this point in the season they should have little trouble adjusting to it.

This marks the second game in a row where the Hokies face a former conference rival.  VT and uri battled as Atlantic 10 foes in the late ’90s.  Much like uconn owned the Hokies in the Big East, the rams were a real thorn in the side of Tech.  VT lost  five A-10 games in a row against uri during one stretch, including in the 1996 A-10 Tourney when VT was ranked 15th.  Tech did win their final A-10 game against the rams and beat them again in 2001 in a non-conference match-up.VT is 4-5 all time against the rhodies.

THE opponent:

Offense: rhode island has the 33rd fastest tempo in the nation, but they are a bit of a contradiction.  Some possessions they will rush the ball up the court and shoot the first open look they have inside half court.  But if their transition game is held up, they can show good patience on offense and move the ball very well until they find an open man.  The former style (crazy shots) they don’t really mind because the rams want to wear you down.  Their up-tempo style and full court press are intended to take their toll as a game goes on.  So even though it might cause them to waste some possessions, they still know it is forcing you to be more up-tempo and getting to your legs.  Plus, as you tire, they know they are more likely to get the rebounds on their misses.

Marquis Jones runs the point for the rams and he is a pass-only guard.  He averages less than 5 shots attempts per game and half of those are threes.  Jones has a fantastic assist-to-turnover ratio 2.7-to-1, so the Hokies may struggle to lure him into turnovers.

Keith Cothran is their other guard and leads the team in scoring.  He is an average three-point shooter (32%).  But Cothran, Delroy James, and Lamonte Ulmer (the latter two are starting forwards) all get to the line a lot.  They are aggressive and attack the tin.  Tech must do a better job guarding Jones and others off the dribble then they have done of late, especially against uconn. 

James is a fantastic athlete at 6’8″ and went for 34 against the unathletic nevada team.  But he is feast or famine.  He takes a lot of bad shots and shoots just 43% from the floor, a terrible percentage for an athletic forward.  Force him to shoot jumpers.

Ulmer is rhode island’s best offensive rebounder.  Tech must body him up and keep him off the glass, but if the guards are getting beat off the dribble the bigs have to help and that exposes VT to give up rebounds.

Will Martell has a Kevin McHale-like body.  That is a NOT a compliment.  It looks like the last time he lifted a weight was in junior high.  [Note: Larry Bird once said McHale’s preseason training regiment consisted of switching from Miller to Miller Lite.]  Martell shoots 59% from the field but almost all his points are on easy layups as Jones feeds him, or on put-backs.

Off the bench Akeem Richmond is their three-point bomber.  He shoots a higher percentage on threes (39.6%) than on two-point shots (38%).  80% of Richmond’s shots are three, so you must get out on him and not leave him if possible.  He will not dribble penetrate and never gets to the line, so don’t back off him at all.

Defense: uri will use one of two presses – they will use a full court man press where they are trying to make it difficult to inbounds the ball and aggressively going after passes, or a full court trap where they are trying to get you stuck in the corners and get steals.

Martell is not a great shot-blocker despite being 7-foot but they have four guys averaging more than a steal per game.


  • Read the Press: Delaney must recognize which press uri is in.  If it is the trap, pass over it and get numbers up the court and attack it for layups.  nevada killed the rams early by throwing over the press and the ram’s free safety was pinching too much.  Expect uri to adjust and drop the deep man even deeper.  In the full court man, Delaney can wait for his teammates to get up the floor, then dribble it up himself.  Tech has had very little difficulties with presses so I’d hope that doesn’t change.  VT is 3-1 against pressing teams by my count this year (wins over clemson, georgia tech, and seton hall, a loss to maryland).
  • Star Power: Don’t expect Delaney and Allen to have back-to-back bad games.  Allen had been on a tear before the uconn game, with three double-doubles in the final four games before the NIT.  But he has scored just 6 in each NIT game so far.  And Delaney had put together ACC Player of the Week games against nc state and georgia tech before the miami stinker, then had a fantastic game against quinnipiac before his uconn struggles.
  • Share the Wealth: Malcolm has 29 assists in his last four games and his teammates have stepped up.  Bell has 8 threes in 17 attempts in those four games, and JT Thompson is shooting over 50% in his last six games as he is drilling his midrange jumpers.  Even if Malcolm is on shooting-wise, he needs to keep sharing the rock, especially on the break.
  • Get Some Rest: No one on rhode island averages over 30 minutes per game, no surprise with their pressing nature.  With the minutes Tech’s guards play, they are going to have to find ways to get Delaney and Hudson some rest.  That may mean using some timeouts in the first half, even if Tech isn’t struggling, or getting Green and Atkins some work.  This will be vital on defense too if the Hokies tire.
  • Get Stops: Tech has had several games of late where they have allowed opponents to get 40% or more of their offensive misses.  That cannot happen in this game because rhode island is one of the best teams in the nation at protecting the ball.  The rams turn the ball over on just 15.6% of their possessions, 4th best in the nation.  Tech cannot expect a lot of points off turnovers and must be sure to get rebounds when uri misses.  Plus, VT must find other ways to score, including beating the press up the court.
  • Be the Winningest VT Team Ever: With a victory, the Hokies not only set a program record for wins with 26, they also get a trip to New York City next week.  There’s a lot on the line.  Forget the NCAA Tournament snub and give 100% to win the tournament that wanted Tech, the NIT.  The guys have been diving all over the court in the first two games and need that same effort Wednesday.  VT couldn’t get it done the last two years in the NIT, but this is a new team.


Pos VT uri
G 23 Delaney 6’3″ 5 Jones 6’1″
G 5 Hudson 6’5″ 22 Cothran 6’4″
F 1 Bell 6’6″ 15 Ulmer 6’6″
F 0 Allen 6’7″ 21 James 6’8″
C 14 Davila 6’8″ 32 Martell 7′


VT Pts Reb Ast
Delaney 20.1 3.7 4.5
Hudson 15 3.5 1.9
Allen 11.9 7.3 1.2
Thompson 7.3 4.7 0.6
Bell 6.2 6.1 1.9
Davila 5.4 4.3 0.4
uri Pts Reb Ast
Cothran 14.3 3.3 2.1
James 13 5.2 1.6
Ulmer 11.9 7.4 1.3
Richmond 8.8 1.7 0.7
Martell 7.6 4.9 0.6
Outerbridge 6.1 3 0.3

Posted in 2009-10 Season, Game Previews, GamesComments (0)

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