Quick thoughts: Joe Harris absolutely killed us. He made 5 3-pointers and was a mismatch for every player that guarded him. C.J. Barksdale was too slow, Robert Brown was too small, and Marshall Wood is inexperienced. All of this led to a career-high 26 points for Joe.
UVa has played incredible basketball recently. They’ve won 7 of their last 8 games and hit 43.4% of their 3-pointers during that run.
I know this is a crazy thought, but I think the team will be better without Erick Green. /GASP. The ball movement was excellent (created wide open looks) in the first half while Erick struggled and became a 1 on 5 battle right after he started making shots. I think the team will be more balanced next year and more depth will ultimately improve the team. We’re extremely young, with only one scholarship senior and junior, the rest are freshman and sophomores. The defense should improve tremendously and hopefully poor perimeter defense will be no more.
Point Guards: Erick Green looked like he was tired. The bulk of his shots were short and he didn’t seem like the same player. He was 4-17 with only 1 point in the first half. He did have 21 second half points, 11 of which came from free throws, but was extremely inefficient. He must get rest before the next game or we can all expect similar results.
While Green struggled, Marquis Rankin provided a spark off the bench with 5 first-half points. He made a three in the corner and had a layup finally fall. He was 0-2 in the second half and missed both his free throws.
James Johnson brought in the walk-ons with two minutes remaining. Marcus Patrick proceeded to get his first 4 points in a Virginia Tech uniform with two pull up jumpers. Yes, he outscored both Robert Brown and Jarell Eddie.
Shooting Guards: Similar to past games, Robert Brown had difficulty scoring. His shots were straight but long (again), and he rarely looked to drive past players. Brown played limited minutes and had very little impact on the game.
Will Johnston got the first start of his career over Eddie. Will played a whopping 28 minutes and made one 3-pointer, but didn’t contribute too much. His physical attributes limit him but he hasn’t been the liability on defense like we saw in the first few games.
Forwards: Jarell Eddie played only 14 minutes and went 1-7 while on the court. He is now 2-21 (1-14 from 3) in his past three games. He must change something in his shot, or mindset, because frustration how now taken over. The thing that bothered me was his best defense of the night came on the possession after he made a three. He needed to give that effort throughout the game, not only when he shot well.
Marshall Wood came off the bench after C.J. Barksdale was unable to guard Joe Harris. His biggest contribution came on offense though, when he made two 3-pointers and a jumper on the baseline. It was awesome to see his shot finally fall, and I predict we will rely on Marshall to help Erick score for the rest of the season.
C.J. gave up 3 treys to Joe Harris in the span of 2 minutes. He was promptly benched and played limited minutes for the rest of the night.
Centers: Cadarian Raines’ effort was phenomenal. He racked up SEVEN offensive rebounds. You simply don’t get those without trying. I saw him fight through guys to get the ball and he gave us multiple tries to score.
Joey van Zegeren got 4 rebounds and picked up 4 fouls in 14 minutes. Not exactly a dominant performance.
Stat of the Game: UVa was 9-19 (47.4%) from deep. It’s hard to beat a team when they shoot lights out from three. The Hokies lost track of Joe Harris too many times and it cost them.
Mike’s Player of the Game: This was a really weird game, so I’m not quite sure who to give the award to. But I think Marshall Wood gets it purely because it was his best shooting game of the year.
The Hokies face NC State at 2 p.m. this Saturday. The game is on ESPN2 and will be a matchup between two of the best point guards in the ACC, Erick Green and Lorenzo Brown. The Hokies look to stay competitive and get off their 7 game skid.