Quick thoughts: That was the best team basketball we’ve played in a while, especially for an entire game (maybe the first time since our 7-game win streak). Not only did everyone pass, but everyone made shots too!! All nine players scored, with three in double figures. Like we’ve said all season, if Erick Green gets help, we have a chance to win. That happened, and we took a pretty talented team on the road to overtime.
The Hokies had a nice blend of man and zone today, but spent the majority of the time in man. We weren’t very good at either. The team gave up 78 points in regulation, but people don’t really talk about defense because the offense showed up. Tech lost track of Scott Wood too often and until late, C.J. Leslie got whatever shot he wanted. Six players on State scored in double digits.
Effort was excellent. They could have easily just said, “Hey, we’ve lost 7-straight, why even try today?” But they didn’t, they fought and fought, and almost got a win. The last thing we needed before the Duke game was overtime, so much for that. We can hope the players get enough rest before Thursday night. The best and most rewarding thing for the effort of late would be a win over Duke. I can dream, right?
I don’t know about you guys, but I got confused about 900000000 times today, there were two C.J.’s, two Browns, and two Woods that played. Sometimes I had no clue who they were talking about. That’s got to be a record of same names.
Point Guards: Erick had 29, shocker, right? Some of his moves were pretty incredible, at one point in the second half he spun, pulled-up, and swooshed it. Seems like he has a different move every game, too. Notice his eight assists? Yeah he could probably earn that every night if his teammates made their shots. He had a costly turnover at the end of the game but did too much in the game for that to matter. He’s tired. His knee is bothering him. It’s obvious and will affect him for the rest of the year.
Marquis Rankin didn’t play too much, and fouled out, but did make a very important layup to get the game within 4 with 18 seconds left.
Shooting Guards: Robert Brown was 4-12 with 8 points, but took ZERO threes today. That’s an improvement, now he knows unless it’s wide open he shouldn’t shoot it. Shot selection is important, so we’ll keep an eye on that as the season ends. He was second on the team in assists with 3 and took much better care of the ball. He finished with 2 steals but gave up a 4-point play to Scott Wood late in the game. In crunch time, he was on the bench, with Will Johnston on the court.
Will had two 3-pointers but after a couple good games defensively, he was terrible today. Every player he guarded got away from him and scored.
Forwards: Jarell Eddie had the worst good game of his career. He finally shot well and made the bucket to send it into overtime, but was terrible when he drove and turned the ball over three times. Every chance he got close to the hoop was a wasted possession. He only played 22 minutes but this was the first time he’s shot great in a while. He was 7-13 and 3-5 from three. He averaged .8 points per minute on the court; this should spark him for the rest of the year.
Marshall Wood, y’all!!! Just a little, “I knew he could do it” before I talk about him. I wrote this in the very first recap: “He is going to be a star for us. In the two open practices I attended before the season, he was incredible on the offensive side. Many have discussed how well he’s rebounded for a freshman, but boy does that kid have a stroke.” Give him a full year to get acclimated to college basketball and he will be one of the guys our offense goes through next year. The past three games, he is 9-16 (56.2%) from the field and 7-14 (50%) from behind the arc. If we’re going off a pure production standpoint for who starts, I’m not sure why Marshall shouldn’t be rewarded next game. He had trouble against C.J. Leslie but as the game went on he figured him out. He finished with a double-double and played a career-high 31 minutes.
C.J. Barksdale made his first jumper but was relieved of his duties for the much hotter Wood.
Centers: Cadarian Raines has a pretty solid post game, WHEN he’s within 5 feet of the hoop. Outside of that, he hardly makes it. The most frustrating part is when he gets the ball about 10 feet away, and is predetermined to shoot. I’ve talked about this in previous posts, and it continues to happen. BE PATIENT.
Honestly, I don’t really remember Joey van Zegeren other than the questionable rebound foul.
Stat of the Game: NC State shot 43 free throws, Tech shot 7. A lot of people complained about the foul calls, but when your team hardly penetrates on offense, don’t expect to go to the line very often. The refs may have gotten a little quick with the whistle when State had the ball, but there weren’t too many glaringly bad calls.
Mike’s Player of the Game: Green scored 29, but Marshall Wood had a career-high 14 points and 16 rebounds. He definitely gets the honor. Oh, and
We have DUKE coming to town next Thursday. It’s a 9:00 p.m. tip, EVERYONE should be there.