VT-URI Recap

The Hokies continued their fast start under new head coach James Johnson tonight with a 69-50 win against Rhode Island. Here are my thoughts from the game:

A point of emphasis tonight I think was rebounding, and defense. The Hokies did well in both departments by holding URI to 50 points and winning the rebounding battle 42-37. The Hokies also had 9 blocks to help out their defensive effort. Marshall Wood had 4 of those blocks, an outstanding effort by the freshman. For Virginia Tech to win they would need a solid defensive effort to shut down Nikola Malesevic. They did just that, holding him to 1-7 and only 6 points. Last year against the Hokies he had 23 points on 7-14 shooting.

The Hokies got out to a fast start going up 13-0 on Rhode Island and spread the ball around having every starter score in that run. The Hokies really made an effort to push the ball and get out in transition. I saw a lot of good passing tonight and it always looked like the players were making that extra pass needed to get it to the open man. That showed as the Hokies again shot over 45% for the game. I called Cadarian out last game for his lack of rebounding and touch on offense. He must’ve read it because he had he first ever double double tonight by going 4-4 from the field. He also set a career high in rebounding, showing how dominant he can be.

Marshall Wood. Boy does that kid have potential. I mentioned C.J. Barksdale was almost nonexistent last game, and it looks like Marshall Wood will be taking over his starting spot very soon. Wood played 28 minutes tonight as opposed to C.J.’s 12. Once again, Marshall struggled to get his shot going, finishing 2-7 from the field and 0-5 from behind the arc. I promise you guys those shots will start to fall. Once he regains his confidence shooting, he will shock a lot of people. I said he was a great shooter last post, and I stand by it again. Just wait. The two shots he did make though, were in the second half when he took the ball up strong and made the shot with a decent amount of contact. Not only is he talented on the offensive side, he tallied 4 blocks and 3 rebounds on the night, a very solid performance.

Erick Green, what a night he had. He tied his career high in points with 25 and showed how much work he put in during the offseason. He basically did what every he wanted tonight. He drove, he pulled up, and he got a few And-Ones. He finished an excellent 4-7 from behind the arc and finished 5-8 from the line. Here are Joe’s thoughts on Erick:

Robert Brown and Jarell Eddie struggled with their 3 pointers all night, but made it up in other ways. They both got to the basket and made a good amount of buckets in transition. Jarell really showed how much he improved tonight, using a variety of ways to score, he is no longer just a jump shooter. He has also continued his success rebounding with 8 on the night. It’s now looking like Erick, Robert, and Jarell are going to be our go to scorers for the year. Robert is turning into a guy that is going to get points, no matter how much success he’s having behind the arc. He has a nice floater and is very good in transition.

We scored 69 points tonight and shot 7-21 from behind the arc. When we light it up, we will be scoring a LOT of points. Wood will start making threes, Brown and Eddie will rebound form their shooting performance. This team is extremely talented offensively and really can shoot the ball. I also was impressed by the single digit turnovers. Look for that to be a focus this year because of how fast paced we play. I also noticed that teams start to press to try and stall our transition game. I think that will be a common theme throughout the year.

JVZ really stepped up tonight. He showed what he can do when he gets some playing time. In his 12 minutes of action he finished with 2 points, 6 rebounds (extremely impressive), and 1 block. On the point he scored, he showed beautiful touch with his left hand. Look for him to have an increased role as the season goes on.

Marquis Rankin didn’t play again tonight (not sure why) so Marcus Patrick got to play a little. When Johnson played the two walk-ons (Patrick and Johnston), the offense declined quite a bit and URI usually went on a run. I think we will really benefit when Rankin begins to play again.

Last thought on the game: STOP PLAYING ENTER SANDMAN FOR BASKETBALL IT’S NOT FOR THAT AND RUINS HOW SPECIAL IT IS. THERE’S NOTHING WORSE THAN WATCHING 200 COLLEGE STUDENTS JUMPING TO THAT WITH A DEAD ATMOSPHERE. /RANT OVER

Something I thought I would add as well. Please come out and watch the team. Take my word for it, they are a BLAST to watch and really run and get after it. It makes for a very exciting game and you will not regret going. The Hokies will take on VMI this Thursday at 7 pm. Come out and support your Hokies!!!!!!!!

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

Comments

cool tweet showing how fast we're playing.

Refreshing

It is refreshing to not have Greenberg on the sideline. I am trying not to get ahead of myself here with these 2 wins. However, I like the flow and I think we would have struggled to get these wins with Greenberg's antics. Nice to have the program focused on the team and not the coach.

Hokies fan since 1998

Rankin

He has missed about a week or so worth of practice with the death in his family. He will be back in the rotation soon once he gets his legs back and whatnot.

Definitely agree with coming out for fans. Brave the rain/snow/blacksburg craziness to come out whenever you can. This team feeds off the crowd and is amazing to watch when they are feeling it.

I like our new style of play. It also looks like we're showing more effort on defense and additionally are executing from the free-throw stripe (except for Van Zegren). Let's go, Hokie basketball! Hoping for a better result this season than football!

I believe in the Brew Crew.

Good Post. Agree 100%

I was at the game tonight, and I totally agree with you. This team is a really fun team to watch, and they will be bombing the threes when all the shooters (Brown, Eddie, Wood) in addition to Green hit their rhythm. Wood is a great looking kid, I'm really glad he stayed with the program instead of going somewhere else. This is a fun team, with an actual offensive concept. I liked that JJ and the team came over to the student section after the game and high fived them. That was classy. Also, I have been wondering for years why they play enter sandman for basketball. It is depressing. I think they tried to change it up to GNR a few years ago and everyone got upset.

Energy

This team is going to be so fun to watch. I don't know if they'll win a lot of games, if only because they have some issues that will be difficult to overcome (rebounding, lack of depth, reliance on jumpers)....but they will be fun as hell to watch.

The best way I can describe their style of play is that it looks like you and 4 of your closest buddies are playing a pick up game. Yeah one of your boys (or girls) will take some ridiculous shots, can you can good naturedly jaw at them....but it's all in fun, and that's what this team has.

They play like they have fun, like they like each other (an extremely refreshing change from the Delaney/Allen combo) and...probably most telling....they love the coach.

The Demeanor

Of the players is completely different than a years past (granted we are 2 games in) but its refreshing to see the players having fun again. Also I was surprised at how athletic JVZ was.

UVA: Jefferson's biggest mistake

@pbowman6

thanks for posting these mikey!

had to work late last night and didnt get to catch the game until well into the second half. they may not win a ton of games in the acc, but at least they'll be fun to watch.

"I'm just rocking the Fuller"-Kendall Fuller
"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

VMI

This game should be a good showing of how good our defense is. VMI has always put up points. Holding them in check would be a good feat for a young team with a new coach.

About the offense, they seem to be getting more open looks than last year so far. I know the competition isn't up to par with the ACC but a lot of it came out of the system and not because of bad defense. The guys look like they want to run the offense and not just pass and hold. A non stagnant offense is gonna be refreshing to watch if we can keep it up this season.

This team is looking good and I think they're starting to really come together. These next few games are important from an improvement standpoint, but in 2 weeks we go Iowa, OK State and WVU. That'll be the stretch that tells us how good this team will be this year.

Rip his freaking head off!

Can Wood play defensively at the 4?

That's my concern. I like what's he's got, but he's still slight. I wonder what happens when he faces some bulk on the inside.

I've always felt like CJB does the little things, or at least he has to, to earn his spot. So you won't see his contributions in the box score, but his minutes last night were telling. But keep an eye on his progress, he will have to defend well, set good picks, rebound, help on defense, etc.

Sounds like the team is fun to watch!

I have not been able to see them play yet, but hopefully they will be on tv up my way in the near future. I would love to catch a game in Cassell, but living in Ohio it will be difficult. I haven't been to a game since Bimbo Coles!!!

I think we play WVU on ESPN2 in a couple weeks. Doesn't matter the sport, I still hate them.

Rip his freaking head off!