VT-MVSU

The Hokies continued to prove they are a second half team after outscoring Mississippi Valley State 40-25 in the second to get a 70-49 victory and their eighth win of the season.

Summary: The Hokies looked like a team that was still thinking about their loss only two days prior. They looked tired and not focused on the task at hand which resulted in sloppy play to start. The Hokies gained a 12-2 lead in the first few minutes based on pure talent disparity, but promptly allowed MSVU to go on a 20-8 run and take a 22-20 lead with only 6:31 left in the half. Yes, a team that was 0-5, had lost four starters and a head coach from last year, was leading Virginia Tech. But as they have in almost every game, the Hokies did a great job finishing the half and took a six point lead into half-time.

At halftime, Joey Racer wrote “effort” on the board and Coach Johnson wrote “attitude”. The team listened, and dominated. The defensive intensity increased, rotations got better, turnovers started to occur, the pace became fast, and with 10 minutes left, the game was out of reach. The Hokies managed to create a 33-8 run to span both halves and the start to the second half was identical to the past three games. If the Hokies can learn to start BOTH halves like that, the team will be unstoppable. Virginia Tech kept their lead around 20 points for the rest of the game and had every walk-on in with a minute remaining. Sloppy game, but a win is a win.

Quick thoughts: Hokies looked like they had a hangover from the WVU loss and took MVSU pretty lightly. I don’t know if this had to deal with foul trouble, bad attitude, or simply being tired, but at one point in the first half Coach Johnson had Green, Rankin, Beyer, and JVZ in the game.

I love how we have been ending the first half and starting the second so well. It’s clear we are a second half team.

We may have only scored 70 (who would’ve thought we’d be complaining about that this year?), but we got the win and get to rest until Saturday.

Point Guards: Still battling with flu-like symptoms, Erick Green continued to perform. He scored 23 points on only 13 shots and made all six of his free throws. He finds a way to score every time down the court, and doesn’t need an open look to make it. He got to rest a few more minutes tonight than normal and will get a week’s break to fully recover.

Every time I call out a player, they have to embarrass me the next game. Marquis Rankin played great, and I hope we get that performance, or even half of that, out of him every night. He scored a career-high 10 points on 3-4 shooting and was perfect from beyond the arc. He played effective defense and distributed the ball well in transition; we got everything we could’ve out of him tonight.

Shooting Guards: Robert Brown had his worst game of the year. He had three fouls in the first half and was unable to get into a rhythm. His four points were a season-low and he shot a measly 22%. Marquis took his place and a thrived tonight, so his presence wasn’t missed as much.

Will Johnston took two threes and missed them both, so no notable contribution from him.

Forwards: Jarell Eddie had another bad shooting night and even missed three free throws. His one highlight of the game was a SC Top-10 worthy dunk that got the crowd excited to start the game. He did show how much he means to the Hokies rebounding though, by grabbing 10 boards and almost finishing with a double-double. He was missed against WVU, and it was good to get him back. I hope he can return to his successful shooting and get a little confidence back. I cannot stress enough how much he improves our rebounding and I’d love to see a stat for Tech’s +/- with rebounds while he is on the court vs. on the bench.

C.J. Barksdale had another productive evening offensively and has really shot his mid-range jumper better lately. I know earlier in the year I said I cringed every time he shot it, but he’s starting to actually make me want him to take that shot. The pick and pop with him and Erick could become a deadly weapon in our otherwise lacking half-court offense.

Marshall Wood played another smart game. I specifically recall him going up for a dunk and deciding to move by the defender to avoid the charge and make the layup. That is something you don’t see out of a freshman, and he’s only going to get better.

Christian Beyer got the most minutes of his career tonight. While on the court, he proved to be one of the best on the team at boxing out, and was able to score his first points in college. This was a great performance for the walk-on after racking up 5 rebounds in his short time in the game.

Centers: Similar to Robert, Cadarian Raines had his worst game of the season. He was 0-4 from the field and fouled out of the game. He did, however, contribute four offensive rebounds in only 12 minutes of action.

Joey van Zegeren made up for Dot’s poor play with his most well-rounded game of the season. He had 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks. All three of his made baskets were dunks and he showed his athleticism by catching two alley-oops from Green. He finished his night swatting back to back shots late in the second half.

Stat of the Game: The Hokies had nine blocks on the night which tied their season-high. The blocks allowed them to do what they’re best at: Get into transition.

Mike’s Player of the Game: Erick Green again. /YAWNS. Ya’ll, I ‘m getting tired of giving this award to him! All kidding aside, the team goes where Erick goes, and with him playing like an All-American, we’ll go far. He tied Bimbo Coles nine straight 20+ games to start the season and is playing at a different level and it’s a blast to watch.

Like I said early, this was an ugly win but it got the job done. The team should be able to come out next weekend focused and ready to compete. We’ve shot poorly for the last few games, especially from deep, and I would like to see us improve in that area next game.

The Hokies take on Georgia Southern at 2 p.m. Saturday and I hope to see y’all out there!

DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

its a good thing the delta devils cant shoot for shit, because they would have had a sizeable lead in the first half.

"At halftime, Joey Racer wrote “effort” on the board and Coach Johnson wrote “attitude”. The team listened, and dominated."
-love it

"We're your family right?!? You love your family right?!?-Dadi Nicholas
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Player of the Game

Christian Beyer - 14min, 5 rebounds, 2 made FTs - from a walk-on.

It's unlikely we'll see him much on the floor the rest of the year, but that dude gave us great effort in what started as a lackluster game.

Beyer

If had two or three more inches on him he'd be in the permanent rotation, but you can't teach size. Watching the practices, he is one of the hardest workers on the team besides Green.

They never look at "ugly wins" come bubble time. A win is a win, and the best part was that Green, Brown and Eddie all got to sit and rest their legs. It wasn't their fault that this game (or tournament) was scheduled, but they handled it extremely well.

Just keep winning because we could leave Vegas with two important wins.

Rip his freaking head off!

Rankin must have heard me!

I have been really critical of him, he just hasn't seemed comfortable out there. He looked good last night. JVZ was active as well and we did a much better job doubling the post (of course their big guy sucked).
Cadarian was bad. 0 points, 4 rebs, 5 fouls against MVSU? It seems to me his conditioning isn't up to par. He did have that good dish to CJB though.
Erick was Erick, Brown was off but still was active. Even when Eddie's scoring isn't there, he's our best rebounder

Also fwiw, Joey had 10 pts

EDIT- no he didn't, I'm an idiot

Open 3's

It's seems like it's been happening a lot during the last three games especially. Guy's on the opposing team being left with clean looks from 3 and us praying they don't convert them. If the Okie State sharpshooter, Forte had shot better than 2-11 from 3 and MSVU had a guy besides Usher that could hit from 3 the games would have been drastically different. I'm just concerned for when we start playing teams in the ACC who make those shots.

Rebounding

There is nothing you can really do about all the long rebounds on long shots but we have a big problem rebounding once we bring the double team in the post. I'm sure coach Johnson sees this but we need to clean it up before conference play against teams that are athletic across the front line. Other than that we did what we needed to do which was win and limit some of the minutes for some of the starters.

UVA: Jefferson's biggest mistake

@pbowman6

thought about this during the game

We obviously need to push the tempo to be at our best, but a few times during the game it seemed like we were just trying to get in half court sets. Do you guys think we were tired (2 day turnaround, that would be concerning) or did JJ call off the dogs to practice a style we aren't as comfortable with? Did anyone else notice this?
Edit:I guess I was just imagining things

Also, Erick Green can score at will. Can't give him enough praise

RIP Stick It In

The sloppy play

It may have been a bit of an attitude thing. Not so much that these guys felt like they had an easy blowout, but that they knew they were supposed to win easily. I was at the chalk talk at D2 yesterday, and Coach Johnson basically went through his scouting report on the other team. All things on that scouting report pointed to us scoring 100 points. The Delta Devils were supposed to be slow getting back in transition, a poor shooting team, and not great offensively on the whole, with the exception of Usher. I assumed this would mean that we could get lots of rebounds and defensive stops, and then play fast the whole game, and it seemed as if Johnson assumed this as well. He tried to play up the importance of this game and how this Mississippi Valley is better than their record, but ultimately sounded like he expected an easy blowout. He basically said something to the effect of "If we just stay relaxed and play our style of basketball, there's no reason we shouldn't win tonight". That's true. And I like the confidence, but if he told the team that, they probably thought they could just go through the motions and win easily.

I want to start going to the chalk talks. How forthcoming is JJ? From what I've seen/heard, I imagine he's excited to talk to students about the team

RIP Stick It In

Yesterday was my first one. It was pretty cool. He's really friendly with everyone, when I showed up he was going around to individual tables and talking with everyone. He was asking kids if they had tickets and whether or not they were going. One guy said he couldn't go because he was having problems with his girlfriend and JJ offered to give them both tickets. He was like "I'll give you both tickets, and she'll have so much fun at the game that all of your relationship problems will be solved". Another thing that I liked was that he wasn't afraid to talk about the things the team hadn't done so well. He ended it with a Q&A session that he specifically said was open to questioning things from the WVU game. He treated every single question from students with dignity and respect, offering lengthy and detailed responses. Even questions as simple as "Can we expect to see Will Johnston play tonight?" got a few sentences in response.

i'm becoming more and more convinced that coach johnson is the shit.

"We're your family right?!? You love your family right?!?-Dadi Nicholas
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

I'm really impressed

with Coach Johnson thus far. If he keeps this up, he can f my girl ANY day

Timing

Best to have an off night against a team like this, just hope they get rested and come out swinging saturday.

Saturday

Will be another glorified scrimmage, although GSU should present a little more competition. The "A-game" needs to show up in Vegas against Bradley and hopefully in the tourney championship game. Win those 2 and we will be solid with our OOC record, and only have a tough visit to BYU left to contest. Must win 2 out of those 3 to keep NCAA dreams alive, preferably all 3.

VTCC '86 Delta Derelicts, Hokie in Peru

It's gonna be a long season of fighting for some respect. I mean come on, Virginia and Florida State over us, really? I know it's early, but that's just ridiculous.

Haters Gonna Hate

Rip his freaking head off!

Agreed. I got excited when I saw Lunardi's bracketology on the AP twitter page and then was disgusted that the Hokies weren't on the list.

I believe in the Brew Crew.

Victories

Are the only thing that will change minds.

VTCC '86 Delta Derelicts, Hokie in Peru