Sorry y’all, this post is up a bit late due to lots of work and little time to do that work.
The Hokies performed extremely well against the top-15 ranked Canes. They were in the game for the majority of the night and had a lead as large as 12 in the first half. Erick Green was Erick Green. Robert Brown came out of nowhere. Jarell Eddie shot lights out. Cadarian Raines showed up. I know, it sounds like the Oklahoma State game. In fact, it was the best Tech had played since that night, at least the first half was.
Thoughts: Only five people scored all night. Erick had 30, Jarell 14, Cadarian 10, Robert 8, and Joey van Zegeren 2. We need more support. It was nice Eddie and Brown showed up finally, but that only lasted for a half. They each were perfect from the floor in the first, and combined for 16 points.
So why did J.E. and R.B. have limited opportunities later in the game? Honestly, I think it was more that Miami’s defense stepped up than anything our guys did. I saw the same amount of movement without the ball from them, Miami’s defense just didn’t break.
The game changer was the last 2 minutes in the first half. Had the Hokies kept the lead at 10 going into half, I think the they would’ve gotten the upset. Unfortunately, an 11 point swing (detailed below) switched momentum for the rest of the game.
Oh, hi effort! Nice to see you again! You had disappeared for a little while but showed up. Can you stay for the rest of the season? Thanks.
Point Guards: Wow. Another 30+ point game for E.G. and career-high set (5 threes). I say this every time, but he can’t be stopped! At one point he made 3 straight 3-pointers in the span of 2 minutes. He’s fun to watch, and can do anything. He reminds me of Kobe a little bit in that he doesn’t get blocked and can shoot over anyone. The best part about the 20 shots he took was that every single one was a good choice.
Marquis Rankin had his worst game of the year. His shots consisted of: air ball, blocked shot, blocked shot, missed layup, and an air ball. His worst part of the night wasn’t even on offense. Time and time again he would fall for a fake and let his man get behind him. With 2 minutes remaining, the Hokies were down by 4. Shane Larkin had the ball, as well as 20 of the team’s points. What was the one thing Marquis couldn’t do? Go under the screen and let him pull-up from three; Miami’s offense for much of the night. What’d Marquis do? He went under the screen and Larkin drained the shot.
Shooting Guards: Robert had his best game since WVU. He was 3-3 in the first half including 2 3-pointers. With no surprise, the offense was excellent, and at one point held a 12 point lead over Miami. When Robert’s good, we’re good. Unfortunately, in the second half he disappeared. He was unable to find open shots and create for himself. I was VERY happy to see his confidence sky high. In warm ups before the second half, he had a swagger about himself when he shot, and let’s hope it continues.
Forwards: Jarell absolutely lit up Miami in the first half. He was 3-3 with two deep shots. My favorite play by him was the hustle he showed 3 minutes in when Rankin shot a three in transition; he was prepared for the air ball and set himself up for the rebound and tip-in. Where’d he go in the 2nd half, though? That’s a mystery to me too. He scored 6 at the very end when the game was out of reach. He was nowhere to be found before then.
Poor Marshall Wood, his last 2 minutes to the half was the worst basketball I have ever witnessed. He missed 3 free throws and a dunk, resulting in an 11 point swing. This was the complete momentum shift in the game. I understand though, he’s still a freshman, he’s a little rusty, but missing free throws is unacceptable.
C.J. Barksdale was the least physical of the 4s and 5s. Not surprisingly, he didn’t perform well. He had 2 rebounds and went 0-4 during his time on the court.
Christian Beyer missed an open three, a shot I approved of.
Centers: Raines didn’t start, but was extremely impressive given the task at hand. The two people he had to defend (both 6-10, one 250 and one 290 pounds) were held to a combined 2-5 and only 6 points. Not only that, he was physical on the boards and ended with a near double-double. His 10 points came on 5-6 shooting.
JvZ had only 2 points, a dunk of course, but had 6 rebounds. I can’ remember a lot of his shots, but he was 1-5 from the field.
Stat of the Game: The Hokies had 17 turnovers which limited their opportunities to score, and a couple turnovers late in the first half completely changed the momentum of the game.
Mike’s Player of the Game: Green has now scored 30+ points 3 times this year, and 2 times in the past 6 days. The season’s over, so let’s enjoy Erick as much as possible these last 12 games. He’s an incredible player who deserves every last bit of attention.
I think last night was a great performance that the entire team can build on. If we play like that every game, we would beat a lot of ACC teams. Remember, Miami is an EXCELLENT and veteran team.
Next game is Saturday at noon against UNC. It will be on the ACC Network and Watch ESPN. This should be a great matchup as both teams love a fast paced, high scoring game.