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:
PREDICTION: ERICK GREEN IS GOING TO HAVE A ZILLION POINTS THIS SEASON.— THE KEY PLAY (@thekeyplay) November 13, 2012
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!!!!!!!!