VT 70, GT 65

Summary After being down by 11 at one point in the second half, Erick Green scored 10 straight points to get the Hokies back in the game. However, the offense soon became stagnant, when Green forced shots and turned the ball over. A late rally by the Hokies and a missed 3-pointer by Mfon Udofia sent the game into overtime.

In overtime, it was all Hokies. We got out on a 7-0 and Georgia Tech was never able to regain momentum. We spread the ball around and four different players made a basket. A perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe buried the Ramblin’ Wreck’s hopes.

Quick thoughts: I’d like to congratulate Coach James Johnson on his first career ACC victory. This was a big, big, big win for Virginia Tech, and should provide a much needed confidence boost. The players were finally rewarded for their hard work in practice and showed a tremendous amount of resiliency.

The Hokies out rebounded GT 43-32, one of the better margins this year. C.J. and Cadarian were both very physical and Jarell added his usual amount of rebounds. The guards did a great job securing the long rebounds too.

Virginia Tech looked more aggressive on offense than in past games but couldn’t get shots to fall. We had plenty of open looks but too many shots went in and out. We’re so close to getting our offense back, as seen in overtime. Erick had a supporting cast with both Robert and Jarell stepping up, and it wasn’t a coincidence we looked more fluid and went 5-6. Maybe that overtime was exactly what we needed.

Our defense looked much improved today thanks to a few changes. When a pick was set, our big man didn’t come up to either hedge or trap. It seemed to work pretty well and we also mixed up the defense by switching into a 2-3 zone for the end of the game. This caught GT off guard and caused them to have even more trouble. Overall, I’m not sure if our defense was THAT good, or if we caught a break and a team finally shot poorly against us.

Point Guards: Erick Green started the game pretty slow. He missed free throws and was 3/7 from the field at the half. He took over the game late, scoring 16 points and adding two clutch free throws to send it into overtime. I’m starting to believe it is impossible to stop Erick. They doubled teamed him and forced the ball out of his hand, but he still found a way to score. Between his off-ball movement, steals, and transition baskets, he’s the perfect storm for opposing teams.

Marquis Rankin has made no improvement in his second year at Tech. Today, he was a liability on offense and turned the ball over multiple times. He has been unable to manage a game, and usually has finished with more turnovers than assists. For a “true point guard,” that’s unacceptable. And for his great on-ball defense, he fouls more than Jeff Allen as a freshman.

Shooting Guards: Robert Brown had a pretty strange game. He finished with 10 points but shot 2-11 with his two makes coming in overtime. While many people complained, I loved his aggressiveness to take shots and drive, something I wish more of our players would do. While he did miss, it opened up opportunities for others. His aggressiveness was rewarded in overtime, when he made a layup and pull-up jumper.

Will Johnston had to force a deep three as the shot clock expired and missed his other three pointer too.

Forwards: After the game against BC, I thought Jarell Eddie would come out firing. I was wrong, and he again failed to find his shot. He was so close to getting it going, but each of his shots hit the back of the rim. His biggest points came in overtime when he sank a three and followed it up with two free throws to seal the game.

C.J. Barksdale had 11 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. James Johnson benched him on his lack of effort, and he has responded perfectly. I think that was exactly what he needed to understand what it takes to play in the ACC. He fought and fought for rebounds and showed how deadly he can be offensively.

Christian Beyer’s minutes were limited due to C.J. performance, so he never really got involved. He was blocked badly but that was because of his limited size.

Centers: Joey van Zegeren got the start over Raines, but wasn’t physical enough at points to get much playing time. Another offseason to build more muscle and a slight change in mindset should do him some good. We finally ran a pick and roll with him and Robert (the teams most nifty and underrated passer), and Robert hit him perfectly in transition for a flying dunk.

Cadarian was very physical and had a few offensive rebounds late in the game. He was more patient offensively and if he didn’t have a good luck at the hoop, he passed it away.

Stat of the Game: Georgia Tech did not make a basket for 9:52, from the end of regulation to part of overtime.

Mike’s Player of the Game: Erick Green gets the award again. At one point he scored 10 straight points for the Hokies.

Bright things could be on the horizon for Tech as they might get Marshall Wood back for next game and face two beatable teams at home in Wake Forest and UVa. If they can get back to their old ways offensively, combined with being a little better defensively, a run could happen.

The Hokies were rewarded with a win and get a week off to rest and prepare for Wake Forest. The game is at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on the ACC Network and ESPN3.

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

Comments

This was a very exciting game... I'm glad we came out on top of it. Going 0-3 to start conference play would have been devastating. As you said, we have two winnable games coming up in Wake and #LOLUVA... Also, having the full week of rest and getting Marshall Wood back will do wonders for our team just by having the depth back alone.

GO HOKIES! LET'S TURN THIS THING AROUND!

I believe in the Brew Crew.

Wasn't able to watch the game, but it sounds like we finally played like we should, aside from Jarell Eddie and Robert Brown's continued shooting woes. Hopefully we carry this into next week.

I love Virginia Tech, regardless of the outcome of every game.

Can we have one year where our team is not decimated by injuries?

JVZ is so soft. I think he has the potential to be a good center but he doesn't finish anything strong. Raines has really turned it on since JJ got pissed at him a couple games ago. Erick Green is just a machine and should get serious consideration for ACC POY.

Rip his freaking head off!

Still need to get better

Green is arguably the best transition scorer in the NCAA. Everyone else is struggling though. Brown keeps forcing his little runner which isn't working and he is turning the ball over a lot. Raines can't score to save his life. He needs to get more physical. Barksdale has gotten better since being benched but still needs to play up to his size. Eddie has struggled shooting and when Eddie struggles, we struggle. He is usually our 3 point go to and hasn't been the last few games. I did like the zone though. We don't run it enough. I remember one instance where Brown went to double team the ball and left Udofia open for a 3 that he drained late in the game. I feel like the past few years we've been such a streaky team. When Green and Eddie are making shots, we are hard to beat. But when we shoot the 3 ball only 20%, we get worked. I hope we can get back on track shooting with everyone. We'll need it coming up. Erick Green can't do it himself

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them. So I'm going with God. I'm going with Virginia Tech." -Lee Corso

I like Browns aggressive, and it will start to fall. I'd much rather have him try that than us pass it around the arc and force up a prayer as the shot clock expires. To be successful, we don't just need Erick and Jarell, we need Robert playing well too. The offense can't rely on just two people. In the game against Boston College, Erick had 24 and Jarell had 21 but it still wasn't enough to win the game. I think this game might have given us the confidence we need, I'm hopeful, at least.

I think we need a little more work on our 2-3 zone but it was very successful. More practice with it should allow us to understand how active everyone must be for it to work.

You right

Yeah I forgot to add Brown in there too. Those three are our main scorers. Just wish we could have a presence in the paint. It just shows that our three main scorers are guards (Eddie pretty much plays as guard) and shooters. So if we struggle shooting, it's gonna be a LONG game. Even last year with Zo it was the same thing, although Davila was a pretty good presence down low. Even Wood when we get him back prefers to shoot than than post up. Last year all the close games we had with UNC, Duke, and UVA were games where we had high shooting percentages, especially from three. Until we can get some post presence, I just feel like the game depends on how we are shooting that day.

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them. So I'm going with God. I'm going with Virginia Tech." -Lee Corso

i think the team needed this from a moral standpoint. so many losses in a row has to kill a team. hopefully this is the start of getting them back on track

tyrod did it mikey! tyrod did it!

Yeah the losses had to be getting in their heads at this point. Hopefully they can get back on track a bit now

And we have a few winnable games coming up. If we can just pull it together here we can salvage something out this season.

Rip his freaking head off!

Serious question

Why didn't we hit the JUCO ranks in the offseason to fill all of our scholarship holes?

Recruiting

Because JJ is more focused on getting ACC-caliber players that fit into his system than just going out and offering players just for for the sake of numbers. Not saying Juco doesn't have potential recruits, but JJ wanted to save his scholarships for players he really wanted in my opinion.

You hit the nail on the head. We didn't want to pick up players just to have bodies, and then be stuck with them for the next few years. James Johnson knew we'd be limited, but wasn't going to jeopardize the future success of the team just to have a couple more guys this year.

Well, that's the beauty of going for JUCO players, they generally only have 2 years left.

That being said, I think we have a couple walk-ons who are contributing much more than expected, and I think they might be deserving of scholarships by the end of this season if they keep it up. Definitely Christian Beyer, at least.

Cavs

Anyone else notice when they interviewed JJ they put in the box below him he was the head coach for UVA?

VTMidge-Andrew Shields

Frustrating

It was abysmal. Listened to most of the game on the radio and I watched OT on TV and of course they do that.

Terrible

ACC Network has terrible broadcasting. I remember for this year's football game at BC, they showed BC's starting lineup and they used Coleman's picture for their running back. Then later on they show their running back (David Dudeck [a white guy]) with the on screen stats and the picture on that was a black dude with a fro. Just terrible broadcasting.

"I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them. So I'm going with God. I'm going with Virginia Tech." -Lee Corso

picture of the acc network fail

Q&A with From the Rumble Seat

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Kendall Fuller - future Thorpe winner
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