Tyler Haws 42 points led BYU's hot shooting, and they defeated the Hokies 97-71.
Thoughts on Recent Struggles: Other teams are hot from behind the arc due to how we start the games defensively. We give up so many open jump shots which let the opponent get into a groove and get confident. This game was no different; BYU shot lights out and put the game out of reach before the first half was over. Tech players MUST find a way to close out and get a hand in the shooters face. Those little things can affect a shooters rhythm and cause them to miss.
Transition defense was a big problem today. Time and time again our players didn't get back fast enough. This is from two things, effort, and not paying attention. As a player, you cannot forget to get back on defense, and if you do, you better sprint as fast as you can to get back into position, if it's not too late.
The offense in the first half was terrible. We failed to move the ball (no, passing around the three point line doesn't count...) and penetrate BYU's 2-3 zone. We looked hesitant and scared to shoot. During this losing skid we've quit pushing the ball and lost our aggressiveness. My guess is James Johnson thinks we can't play that way anymore and our guys are tired, but I think they would rather be tired, scoring points, and winning, than healthy and getting blown out.
During the second half, the Hokies looked EXCELLENT in their half court sets; they passed the ball effectively and were able to penetrate the zone. Jarell Eddie became more aggressive and wasn't afraid to fire away. We got open looks because of these changes, and we started to make shots and look more confident. I was impressed by our offense after halftime; we were able to put up 40 points with Erick Green only making two shots.
How are we going to get better? Well, we need to start off the game better defensively. This keeps the opponent from gaining confidence and getting into a groove. If I was Coach Johnson I would make sure I get the players to not give up ANY threes, contest them all, and force the post men to score on us. That means no more doubling in the post, not that it worked anyway.
Offensively, we need to push the ball and be aggressive, that will get us open shots.
Point Guards: Erick Green had his first bad game of the year. It was bound to happen, and at least it occurred during a game where his presence wouldn't have helped too much. He couldn't get anything to fall and finished 4-17 (yikes!), 0-5 from three, and with 12 points. His lone bright spot was his 6 assists.
Marquis Rankin did pretty well defensively. He was the one guy that was actually contesting the BYU's shots.
Shooting Guards: Robert brown did a good job in transition and every time he drove at the basket. He is still having trouble with his 3-point shot and finished 0-4 but he responded from the free throw line, and ended 3-4. He had 13 points and 5 rebounds.
Will Johnston got to play a lot today, but failed to show off his great shooting ability. He finished 1-5 from deep but made 3 of his 4 free throws. It's easy to tell he's a walk-on because he gives maximum effort every play and fights for all 50-50 balls, something every player should do.
Forwards: Jarell isn't quite back to how efficient he was playing at the beginning of the year, but the second half of today's game was a step in the right direction. He led the team with 17 points and was 3-5 in the second but made his final three shots, all of which were tough off the dribble looks. He finished will 7 rebounds and was a perfect 6-6 from the charity stripe.
Christian Beyer had another great game, and was actually used more at the 4 than C.J. today. The walk-on almost finished with a double-double, with 9 points and 11 rebounds. He's slowly becoming the team's best rebounder but showed he can score in the post as well.
C.J. hardly played today. He was subbed out almost immediately, probably because of his lack of effort rebounding.
Centers: Cadarian got to the free throw line 6 times, and missed every shot. He was hardly used today, due to the Hokies failing to penetrate the zone, but when he was, he missed his shots. He had 0 points and 5 rebounds.
JVZ needs to learn how to hang onto the ball. Other than that I have no complaints. He's been a lot better than anyone expected him to be. He was 3-4 and had 4 rebounds.
Stat of the Game: BYU shot 60 percent in the first half having, including 7-14 from deep. Tyler Haws had a career-high 42 points, so we really had no chance. I don't know if it was their hot shooting, or our lack of shooting. We finished 2-20 from long range (I just threw up in my mouth).
Mike's Player of the Game: Christian Beyer gets the award today. He nearly had a double-double and out-played the majority of the team.
Welp, there goes the out of conference schedule. We cooled down after our hot start and it looked like Virginia Tech basketball of old. The second half of today's game gave me confidence we'll get it together, but seven wins in the ACC would be good after how we've been playing lately. If we get hot again, who knows what will happen.
We have another long break before next Saturday's game at Maryland. It's a noon tip off and I encourage all of the NOVA Hokies to make an attempt to get out and support the team.
Now that football season is over, I thought it was a good time to thank all the staff here, for all of the hard work they do on the site. I love reading everything about our team and have learned so much since finding the site over two years ago. I've seen it grow to something truly incredible, providing the most, and best, insight of all Hokie sites out there. Ya'll don't know how much time and effort they put into the site. Hopefully we can hope for better things in 2013, starting off with some coaching changes, and then get ready for 'Bama. Have a happy New Year and Go Hokies!