VT-WVU Recap

The Hokies suffered their first loss of the season tonight, 68-67, in a tough road test against the West Virginia Mountaineers.

Summary: The Hokies looked extremely unprepared for the Mountaineer’s defensive pressure. WVU extended their pressure way beyond the three point line and Tech had no answer. The Hokies were unable to penetrate inside the defense and were missing the open shots they did have. On top of everything, Jarell Eddie picked up his second foul only five minutes into the game.

The Mountaineers did a great job of contesting Erick’s shots, and didn’t allow him to score until eight minutes into the game. That’s all he needed to get started though, and scored the Hokies next nine points, which barely kept them in the game. WVU proceeded to go on a 13-0 run to take a 12 point lead with five minutes remaining in the half. Would the Hokies be able to come back from this deficit? At this point in the game you could feel the momentum completely on WVU’s side, and I was scared the lead would to continue to grow. The Hokies finished strongly and got the game within six points at the end of the half.

Listening to Bob Knight announce while watching two teams combine to shoot 35% is not the most fun thing to do. Similar to Oklahoma State, the Hokies were allowing the game to be played at WVU’s pace and were failing to get into transition. Our offense is not good in the half-court and it showed. How would come out in the second half?

We came out very fast paced, and shot the ball very well because of it. We forced turnovers and long rebounds which allowed us to speed up the game. Even when WVU would make a shot, Tech made an effort to pass the ball in as quickly as possible and sprint down the court, creating holes in the Mountaineer defense. Tech took the lead only three minutes into the second half, and began to pull away. The Hokies started to look like the better team, with the Mountaineer’s only keeping it close with great shooting from behind the arc. Everyone expected that to end at some point, but it didn’t, they continued to shoot lights out from long range, and the Hokies began trading two pointers with three pointers.

The game was tied at 62 with 2:30 remaining, and every Hokie’s heart began to beat faster. Cadarian was at the line to take the lead with 40 seconds remaining. He missed both, and Robert Brown was called for a foul after what looked to be a clean steal. It began to look like the game was over, but Brown made a crazy bank shot from three to take a one point lead with 15 seconds remaining. With five seconds remaining, West Virginia’s Juwan Staten made a wide open layup to win the game. There was some confusion from the defense on that play; everyone was supposed to switch men, but Robert and C.J. failed to communicate.

Quick thoughts: We let a backup averaging 1.3 ppg get a double-double on us. Not something you expect a team to do and we let their bench score 36 points today. We gave their bigs room to shoot, and they ended up making them, which backfired on us.

They were lucky during the second half, making seemingly every three pointer they shot. Just a little stat to describe their successes: They made only five two pointers but seven three pointers. They shot 34.3% to our 48.6% in the second half, but the threes gave them the win.

Not having Jarell caused us difficulty rebounding. Some of the balls bounced right into their hands, but that also had to do with our inability to box out.
The team almost came through with the win but things just didn’t go our way today. Sometimes it’s like that, and I want to see how we respond.

Point Guards: Well, I’m starting to wonder if Erick is ever going to have a bad game. He comes out every night and produces no matter the circumstances, and teams have yet to find a way to stop him. If he keeps this up, this team will go far and he’ll be making some good money next year.

I don’t like seeing Marquis in the game for 25 minutes. He struggles offensively and makes the matchup 4 on 5. He stood in the corner on offense and WVU didn’t have to respect him. When he does get the ball, he runs out of control at the basket and throws up prayer. I would’ve rather had Marshall Wood at the 3 to help with rebounding.

Shooting Guards: Robert Brown took many ill-advised threes today, but did a great job getting to the basket and finishing in transition. He had a career high 21 points and helped make up for Jarell being on the bench. When there’s a lot of dribbling at the top of the key, it’s nice being able to watch him drive to the hoop and make something happen.

Forwards: Having Jarell in foul trouble was a game changer. Jarell adds a lot to the team offensively, and not having him on the floor for the majority of the day really affected us. We missed his seven rebounds per game, and were unable to find someone to replace his presence on the boards. Not having him was the main reason we were out rebounded so badly.

C.J. played a good game. He was effective on the boards and provided someone athletic and with size down low. He was efficient scoring and provided great defense. The only points Tech really allowed in the post were tip-ins. He finished with a career high three blocks.

I was extremely disappointed Coach Johnson didn’t put Marshall Wood in for more than five minutes. He was effective rebounding and would’ve given us more size against their lineup as opposed to Rankin. In his five minutes of play, he managed to pick up two rebounds and tip a few more to his teammates. He’s more well-rounded offensively compared to Rankin and Marshall was the guy we needed out there to fight for rebounds.

Centers: Cadarian missed his free throws at the end of the game, and that really stuck out. For a guy shooting 70%, I expect him to make at least one. He did fight for offensive rebounds late in the game, but all that comes to mind is the missed free throws.

JVZ had a nice dunk and finished with his normal night, I would’ve liked him to have been more physical rebounding but he had a couple blocks to make up for it.

Stat of the Game: A lot of people will say it was being out rebounded 49-38, 23 of which were offensive. That contributed, but a team almost doubling their three point percentage did us in. The Mountaineers on the season were shooting 23% from behind the arc, and they finished the game over 40%. They made 10 three pointers, and only 14 two pointers, and the game wouldn’t have been close if they shot their average.

Mike’s Player of the Game: Erick Green keeps playing like an All-American. He finished with 23 points, a career high 10 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and ZERO turnovers. He’s had the flue for the past two days and lost seven pounds on top of that. Amazing performance by Green.

The Hokies played 10-15 good minutes of basketball the entire night, and lost by one to a team that shot lights out from deep and had 23 offensive rebounds. People said this game would show what kind of team we really are, and I think it did just that. I can only take positives away from today and even though we lost, I’m extremely impressed with our team and predict we will crack the top 25 at some point.

Hopefully Hokie Nation won’t give up on this team after one loss, and will still come out and support. Let’s pack Cassell Monday night at 7 p.m. against Mississippi Valley State and get a nice bounce back win.

Comments

So.....

...with Rankins performance so far, does that lead us to taking a flyer on a PG recruit in the spring signing? I know we've got one spot left and unsure where to go

I don't think we should waste a spot and try and pick up someone late but now I'm starting to really wish we could've picked up Frank Mason. It was between us and Kansas if I recall correctly. We'll have Donte Clark but I don't know if I want him starting freshman year. The transfer Adam Smith may have to slide over to PG next year (I don't think he'd mind since he'd be starting.)

Between Rankin, Smith and Clark....

We do have three bodies to fill those minutes. Another body will just muddy the water.

Rankin could improve dramatically too, I remember EG being lousy his first year. Rankin needs t mature into that distributor role.

Smith is a 2-guard, despite being only 6'1".

While I'm sure he could play some PG for us in a pinch, he's not someone who's going to be at the point full-time.

That's wide I said slide over.

He transferred to Tech because he didn't like being used as a point guard at UNC-W. Robert will be taking the majority of the minutes next year at SG so if he want's to play a meaningful amount he'll need to slide over and share with Donte and Marquis. I think he'd be willing because he would still get to shoot a lot in our type of offense. We'll see how Rankin develops throughout the season.

I wouldn't be too hard on Rankin. He's only 8 games into ...

... his sophomore season. (Remember how Erick Green looked 8 games into his sophomore season?) Rankin plays well in spurts and he can always improve, although his shot selection yesterday left a lot to be desired.

But according to knowledgeable sources on other boards, VT will look to sign a 5th recruit for the 2013 class and that recruit will most likely be a true PG.

Nah, Eric at least looked like a point guard somewhat. You can already tell that Rankin just doesn't have the court awareness that an effective point should possess. If you are going to be so ineffective scoring the ball, you better be a damn good distributor and ball handler.

Lots of positives today

The unbeaten streak ended which sucks but VT played tough in a hostile environment when they didn't have their A game. Eddie's foul trouble really hurt and, as was mentioned in the recap, the game wouldn't have been close if WVU weren't shooting the lights out from 3. VT came out with the right game plan defensively and WVU just made them pay with good shooting.

I'd like to see Brown with better shot selection, Rankin not look for his shot so quickly and Raines to get more touches in the post but with Green playing this well VT absolutely has the chance to be a top 25 team and be in the mix for the NCAA tourney. Considering where the program was 6 months ago that's pretty amazing.

If we'd shot the ball like we usually do ...

... we'd have won comfortably yesterday. Every team has a bad shooting night every now & then. I don't think this team is going to shoot 27% from 3-point range and only score 24 points in a half very often.

They shot unbelievably well from 3 and they aren't a great 3 point shooting team. There are going to be days like that in a long season, all you have to do is keep fighting and keep getting better. I think our team showed a lot of poise to come back from that deficit at the end of the first half and beginning of the second.

One thing that I was very happy to hear was that a lot of my friends at Tech seemed to actually care about the game. Last year when I'd say that I was going to watch the games they'd just say "Why?". Now everyone is talking all week about where and when we're going to watch. This is an important stretch coming up because it's winter break, people are obviously not going to be at the games. However, if the team can come out of it with no more than 4 losses then the fans are going to show up for ACC play and this team can really make a run.

Rip his freaking head off!

The competition isn't really that tough coming up, is it? Can't we run the table up to the Maryland game?

Two epic goatees. Two epic coaches. Tip of the Spear and The Lunchpail. GRIMES&FOSTER.

It's not an easy schedule. We have Bradley in Vegas who recently played Michigan tough. If we win that then we'll probably play a good Colorado State team in the finals. BYU will be a tough place to play. I think we can run the table, but I can see us losing one somewhere.

Rip his freaking head off!

But we really need to win this tournament right? To improve our NCAA resume? But even if we do run the table, they probably won't rank us unless we beat UMD

Two epic goatees. Two epic coaches. Tip of the Spear and The Lunchpail. GRIMES&FOSTER.

Yea, I'd agree with that. We probably won't be ranked unless we beat UMD. I'll be at that game so we better beat them so I don't have to listen to their fans.

Rip his freaking head off!

lol, you're gonna hear it win or lose my friend

"It's worth it right? It's worth it to lay it all on the line for your brothers!"
"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 (both quotes)

I will be there as well and any fans that live the the NOVA area the Maryland athletic site is selling single game tickets for $50 the last I checked.

UVA: Jefferson's biggest mistake

@pbowman6

I have a bunch of friends at Maryland, if you know anyone that goes there they can get you tickets for around $30.

Rip his freaking head off!

Oh God.

No matter what happens today, or for the rest of the season, let's be comforted by the fact that the Hokies will never look this bad.

Two epic goatees. Two epic coaches. Tip of the Spear and The Lunchpail. GRIMES&FOSTER.

The fact that we were only able to put them away late still scares me. That feeling was made much worse after I saw this clip.