So that was fun. Something we certainly haven't been used to for a month (no really, our last win came January 19th). The Hokies ended their 9-game losing streak with a win over Florida State and it was nice to see the players finally rewarded for their work.
Quick thoughts: Tech made 17 of their last 18 attempts from the free throw line. It was interesting to see FSU start to foul with over two minutes remaining in the game. Their plan backfired.
After a very sloppy start, Tech's ball movement was good for the majority of the game. The players were patient and ended up with a lot of open looks. The team shot 50% for the first time in 12 games, and only the 5th time this season.
Defensive intensity and effort was excellent for every player today. Each of the Hokies' runs came after a couple great defensive series. Hopefully the players realize this is the effort needed day in and day out if they want to compete in the ACC.
Point Guards: Erick Green scores when he wants. At random points in the game he decides he wants to score the next ___ points, and he does. Today, he went on a 7-2 run to give Tech a 9 point lead with 6 minutes left. Similar to every other game ever, he gets what he wants on offense. It's scary to think next Saturday will be the last time I see him play in person.
Marquis Rankin had one his best days offensively, but was still ineffective with running the half-court sets. He finished with 8 points and shot well. Unfortunately for Marquis, he became ill at halftime and left the game three minutes into the second half.
Shooting Guards: Robert Brown came off the bench for the second straight game, but made the most of his opportunities on the court. He sat for the first 14 minutes, but proceeded to score the Hokies next 6 points. His floater was great and he made extremely smart decisions. He passed up a few open looks from three to get it to a teammate for an easier shot. Really proud of the way he played and no bone-headed moves from him.
Will Johnston made his impact on DEFENSE. I know it’s pretty surprising, but he finished with a career-high 3 steals. He failed to sink a wide-open three.
Forwards: Jarell Eddie did NOT have his shot today, his two attempts from three were way off and he didn’t shoot for the remainder of the game. He was solid from the charity stripe at the end but looked hesitant all day.
C.J. Barksdale set career-highs for points in consecutive games. His knee looked like it bothered him a little bit but it sure didn’t affect his effort or stroke. He was one rebound short of a double-double (his 9 boards were 5 more than any other player) and that's solely from his effort. I’d love to see his season end on a positive note and give him confidence heading into the offseason.
Marshall Wood played sparingly, but drilled a three and had an and-1 chance later in the game. Coach Johnson decided to stay with Barksdale for much of the game.
Centers: Between C.J. playing the 5 at some points, and Joey van Zegeren in the game, Cadarian only played 17 minutes. His beautiful up and under move works every time and I have yet to see why he can’t become a dominant player next year.
Joey has become a fouling machine. He picked up four fouls in only eight minutes of action. He was physical on offense and took it hard to the rack, something we haven’t seen out of him.
Stat of the Game: The Hokies made 25-30 (83.3%) of their free throws while Florida State was 13-23 (56.5%). Florida State led the ACC in free throw percentage before tonight's game.
Mike's Player of the Game: I've got to go with C.J. Barksdale. He scored a career-high 17 points and knocked down 8 free throws in last two minutes to seal the game. He's played great the past couple games and continues to display the effort needed to be successful in the ACC.