BUZZKETBALL CENTRAL: Virginia Tech Hokies (18-8, 7-6) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-15, 4-9) Noon ESPN2

GAME INFORMATION
Date/Time: Feb. 17, 2018 / Noon
Opponent: Georgia Tech
Site: Atlanta, Georgia (McCamish Pavilion)
Radio: Virginia Tech IMG Sports Network
Talent: Jon Laaser & Mike Burnop
TV: ESPN2
Talent: Mike Couzens & Cory Alexander
Live Stats: HokieSports.com
Game Notes: Virginia Tech
SIRI 145 (Internet 955)

Don't let the loss cost you two.....

Buzzketball looked like it was walking around in concrete shoes and were caught between defending the perimeter and defending the lane, not exactly doing either. Duke had a season best performance from the perimeter and missing Bagley seemed to be a positive, as the Blue Devils worked better as a team. The Hokies will need to reverse that trend since they face a Yellow Jacket team on the road in another nooner snoozer. Buzz will need to get these guys energized early.

Georgia Tech has been dealing with a combination of injuries and questions about their coach all season, as Pastner is now being investigated by Georgia Tech regarding allegations of sexual assault stemming from an incident with a woman in a Houston hotel while he was still the coach at Memphis. This investigation was opened after the woman opened a countersuit to Pastner suing her for defamation. There are also allegations about recruiting improprieties made by a booster involved in the same defamation cases, as the booster claims he paid for flights, food and clothing for Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson with Pastner's knowledge. This led to Okogie being suspended the first six games of the season, and Jackson was suspended for three games. Sophomore guard Justin Moore also was suspended for two games for a separate NCAA rules violation at the start of the season.

As if the focus on their head coach wasn't enough, Tech put assistant coach Darryl Labarrie on paid administrative leave in November as they investigated a reported recruiting violation. Labarrie resigned his position ten days ago as the investigation progressed.

Injury wise, the Yellow Jackets lost starting point guard Jose Alvarado for the season four games ago to a fractured elbow. They also lost backup guard Curtis Haywood Jr to a leg injury a few games into the ACC schedule. Sylvester Ogbonda has missed the majority of the season with a sprained MCL. In terms of playing through injuries, the Yellow Jackets have Ben Lammers playing with two injured knees, graduate transfer Brandon Alston playing through a sprained MCL, and Josh Okogie has missed time with a dislocated finger on his shooting hand.

All of this has led to a rather disappointing season for the Yellow Jackets, who are 11-15 on the season so far, with a 4-9 record in ACC play. Their signature wins on the season were upsets of Syracuse and Miami.

The Yellow Jackets are coached by Josh Pastner, in his second season at the helm of Georgia Tech. In his seven previous years as the head coach of Memphis, his team won 20+ games five times. He led Memphis to the NCAA Tournament four times. Georgia Tech has responded well to Pastner's coaching though.

Defensively, the Yellow Jackets have used a variety of defenses, especially zone defense to confuse opponents so far this season. Earlier this season, they used a 1-3-1 zone that completely threw UNC off. Other times they are found in a more traditional 2-3 zone. Defensive pressure though is what they really focus on. This is a team that relies on its defense to make its offense go. Creating turnovers and limiting possessions is what keeps this team in games.

Offensively, Georgia Tech runs a constant motion offense but with more traditional size on the court than many of the 4 out, 1 in offenses the Hokies have seen recently. They rank in the bottom 100 in multiple offensive categories. Scoring, 3 pointers attempted and 3 point shooting all are worse than 300th. One thing Pastner teams are usually noted for is assist to basket ratio but so far this season, the Jackets have struggled even there.

What does that mean for the Hokies?

The Hokies need to determine early what going inside is going to be like. The Jackets come in third in the country in blocked shots per game at 6.6. If the Hokies are not able to get the Jackets bigs off the blocks than they will need to focus on finding offense through their mid floor or perimeter shooting. This is another heavy dose of zone defense, which fortunately the Hokies have managed to break in the past. Clarke will spend a majority of his time on the high post and forcing the Jackets zone to account for Blackshear on the blocks. This should collapse the zone inwards, allowing good open looks outside. If they are going to over pursue scoring down low than they need to ensure they get fouls called rather than throw away possessions.

The Hokies have an opportunity to essentially lock down a team tonight which will force all kinds of issues offensively for the Jackets. They struggle mightily when given a dose of their high paced defense. I would hope that Buzz has his guys turn the pressure all the way up, especially coming out of the gate.

I would expect a moderate pace to this game, especially if Georgia Tech is struggling to score. They are going to want to limit scoring to give themselves an opportunity to get back into the game. The Hokies can ill afford to be lulled though or they will find the Jackets running by them on transition offense. The Jackets are constantly trying to find quick ways to the basket if possible. One thing though to keep in mind is that even the Jackets big are long lean players that move up and down the court with ease.

If the Hokies can establish and maintain a larger lead in this contest than they should not be extremely challenged in terms of a comeback, simply because the Jackets offense isn't really built for making large comebacks right now.

Yellow Jackets Backcourt

Josh Okogie (#5) 6'4, 207 Lbs Sophomore Guard is averaging 19.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.3 APG and 1.7 SPG. He is shooting 39% from behind the arc and 44% overall. Okogie is the guy you have to always know where he is because he can go games of moderately impressive play and then boom, blow the doors off. In the last six games of ACC play he has scored 20 or more points in five of those contests. He is playing close to 36 MPG so far this season.

Tadric Jackson, (#1) 6'2, 215 Lbs Senior Guard comes in averaging 11.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 1.9 APG. He is going through a drought of perimeter shooting this season, shooting 25%. While his overall averages are up because he is playing more minutes, he has struggled to be consistent all season in most facets of his offensive game. This is the older brother of the Hokies Pig Jackson.

Brandon Alston, (#4), 6'5, 195 Lbs is a graduate transfer from Lehigh University and is originally from Herndon, VA. He is giving the Jackets about 23 MPG while averaging 5.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 1.5 APG while dealing with a sprained MCL. His role will likely increase with Alvarado out for the season.


Yellow Jackets Frontcourt

Ben Lammers, (#44), 6'10, 241 Lbs Senior Center is averaging nearly a double-double with 11.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 2.5 BPG. Lammers is going to be difficult to deal with down low all game. Blackshear needs to be able to play his most minutes of the ACC schedule so far. Lammers does not bother to shoot from outside but his interior scoring is at 46% while shooting over 73% from the line. He is dealing with injuries to both knees so his mobility is slowed but he has greatly improved his defensive discipline, staying out of foul trouble most of the season.

Abdoulaye Gueye, (#34) 6'9, 208 Lbs Junior Forward, is averaging over 25 MPG and comes in putting up 6.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.8 SPG and 1.3 BPG. He is shooting 46% from the field, 20% from behind the arc and only 61% from the line.

With the recent injuries, two freshman forwards have been called upon to play more minutes. Moses Wright (#12), 6'9, 210 Lbs and Evan Cole(#3), 6'9, 211 Lbs. They have combined for 6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1 APG so far this season but in the last contest Cole played 35 minutes, scoring 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block.

What to expect from Georgia Tech?

The Yellow Jackets are a team that is prone to foul trouble at 16 per contest but spread across only the starting five essentially. Opponents are taking 20 attempts per game at the line though which is a major factor in the Yellow Jackets record this season. Taking that into account and with the Hokies prevalence to get to the line, this could easily shoot up to 25 attempts or more.

The Yellow Jackets rely on a rotation essentially their starting five plus one big and one guard off the bench. Expect them to feed the ball down low to Lammers and allow him to work with his back to the basket. Lammers on Blackshear will be the matchup to watch most of the evening if Blackshear can stay on the floor.

Expect to see Georgia Tech switch defenses several times. I expect to see a 1-3-1 zone to start with unless the Hokies begin hitting perimeter shots. If the Hokies are hitting their shots than the Yellow Jackets will likely switch to a man to man defense.

Offensively, expect to see the Jackets move with or without the ball, especially around the perimeter. Pastner is a big fan of pick and rolls, and a high assist to basket ratio. This is still a work in progress with this team so the Hokies need to take advantage of this inexperience to force mistakes and change the possession game.

The Hokies

Tech should aim to keep this game as high paced as possible because it is when this offense is at its most effective. They need to take advantage of transition basketball but not out of control. The bad, rushed passes after defensive stops have to be limited to allow the Hokies to build a solid lead in this contest. If the offense is moving then the Hokies can avoid the sluggish play like we saw against Duke.

Tech needs to be ready to utilize the baseline and the dribble drive pass to keep the ball in an open Hokies hands. Don't succumb to allowing the Jackets to clog the lane and then block shots over the top. Robinson and Clarke need to drive and draw contact without allowing the Jacket bigs to get their hands on the ball. Tech can ill afford to have Robinson on the bench for long stretches.

Blackshear needs to be able to hang with Lammers in this game. If Blackshear is forced to the bench for long stretches than Lammers could have a career night which would not be good for the overall result.

Hill needs to come out of his funk, as it appears his confidence has been shaken. Bibbs and Hill both need to have an impact on this game from the outside to open up the floor for Clarke and Robinson.

Highlight of the Duke Game

It didn't hurt as badly as it looked.

In Closing

Georgia Tech will look to funnel offense through the Hokies mistakes. The Hokies have to find a way to play a clean bill of a game. Don't give the Jackets the momentum to stay in this game. Take them apart systematically by playing hard-nosed defense and then not making mistakes on the offensive end to get them going.

The most critical thing for Tech in this game is energy from the start. Tech has to be in this game mentally right from the start. It's a road game, I am not sure what the student environment will be like, but they have to find a way to keep this game even or build a lead early.

This is a game that talent wise the Hokies should be able to run away with it. That's if they come to play 40 full minutes of basketball the way they are capable of. If they don't, than this game could change entirely.

Georgia Tech may win the lane in this contest both offensively and defensively. That can still happen and Tech wins the day by getting clean perimeter looks, knocking down mid-range shots, and realizing when driving in isn't going to be effective. Stay out of the trap the Jackets regularly set down low and everyone should do well.

It's an away game in a bad time slot but its still ACC college basketball. They have the talent to beat this team but it will take a total team effort considering the experience they are going up against on the floor. Robinson and others need to find their way to the rim or the line and if we can get even half as improved performance at the free throw line as we got last game, we should come out of Atlanta with a win. The Hokies win 81-67 by coming to play defense and converting that into transition and second chance baskets.

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

Comments

LETS GO!!!!

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

HOKIES!!!!

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

Zone offense was so passive vs Duke, 5 in particular. Concerned if GT goes with a lot of 1-3-1. Need Hill and Bibbs from the corner.

Hope to see Pigg get some run against his brother

Edit your post. Please.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

Sir I'm gonna need you to say Hokies.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

What are we drinking Hokies?

Keep calm, Gobble on

Assam tea. It's not even noon. Too early to be talking about booze.


It's never too early to start drinking.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

You need to earn that TKP name sir

Keep calm, Gobble on

Wake up 30 mins until game time that's how you do it

I feed off of nightmares

They open the broadcast with a "What's up next" segment. What a joke.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Threes for everyone!

VB born, class of '14

Tadric go away plz

I feed off of nightmares

Tadric asserting family authority right now.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Here we go again...Jackson avg 11 ppg. Already has 13.

Edit: I should have posted earlier. Pretty much shut him down right after I said it. I prefer my crow lightly salted.

We put the K in Kwality

Love the passing from our guys today.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Pig with the slam!!!

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

my kind of shot!

Go Hokies

Loving the defensive effort this game

Keep calm, Gobble on

Robinson's passing is so beautiful

VB born, class of '14

Defensive intensity is on point today

We need one more run before halftime as an early dagger.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Yep I would like a 15 point lead going to halftime

I feed off of nightmares

I was being selfish hoping for back to back threes for a 20 point lead haha.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Anything over 15 and im gonna be lit

I feed off of nightmares

What about 14?

NAW is feelin' it!

Go Hokies

Justin Robinson could very well have the highest basketball IQ of any point guard we've ever seen in Blacksburg. That pass save was incredible.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

Grit hustle play by 5 leads to a Clarke layup. Money.

VB born, class of '14

the GT crowd is very quiet. let's keep it that way

Go Hokies

All I want is the Hokies to keep the intensity up and got a solid road win.

Keep calm, Gobble on

Beating GT would qualify as a road win, not sure how big it would loom on our SOS.

But gotta beat the bottom half too,

The Dude Abides

Great play on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Ugliest part of the game so far was that final possession.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

New drinking game! Drink everytime the commentators continually talk about assist. See you all on the other side.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

I'll would be only buzzed if I play this game

I feed off of nightmares

And take a shot for every time they mention brothers playing against each other.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

That might make me drunk

I feed off of nightmares

Seeing some of the latest bracketogists projecting more teams in from Big 12 and SEC. than the ACC, not sure what basketball they have been watching,SEC maybe this season but definitely not the Big 12

Embellishment much?

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Looking sharp on defense today. And NAW is getting to the basket at will.

I'd like to see up keep cashing in with our transition play.

The Dude Abides

GT with 1 second half point so far. I like it.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

It's been a long time since I've been bored by a basketball game because WE'VE been up by such a commanding lead.

That in itself is exciting enough to keep me watching.

Also, HOKIES!

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Hopefully the guys on the bench get lots of playing time down the stretch.

Bede and Jackson with a nice link up there!

VB born, class of '14

Would love to see Hill get in the rest of the game and find his groove.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

30 point lead and not even half way through the 2nd

1-0 every week

Hahahaha doubled their score

F you, Paul Johnson

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Was that Bruce Arians across from Hills mom in the stands??

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Lol, yeah, I was just commenting on that. Lots of sharp eyes here!

Am I the only one who saw Bruce Arians across the isle from Pig's mom?

Is it football season yet?

Yeah I saw that too, you beat me to it

I say we do like Alabama does and add him as a "consultant" to our football staff. That Kangal would look good on the sidelines.

Was that Bruce Arians sitting near Jackson's mom?

Yes. Buzz had him speak to the team last night

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Wow, that's awesome! Seems like it really helped!

Yes Bruce and his wife are there, per a VT twitter or snapchat I saw. Good eyes!

VB born, class of '14

When was the last time we ripped an ACC team a new asshole like this, let alone doing it on the road.

Is GT really THIS bad?

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Combination of a lot of talent missing, those still there playing hurt, and a ton of outside distractions. Just no way they could gel as a team with all that going on.

We have 20 assists on 24 field goals so far (12 left in the 2nd). That's tremendous!

VB born, class of '14

I'll take it joe

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Malcolm Delaney watching today. I'd love to see him back on campus, he did work during his time.

VB born, class of '14

That dunk miss made me happy in all the right places

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

PJ Horne has had a rough go at it during garbage time.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Along with Pig

Is it football season yet?

Yeah, he has been trying way too hard. May be trying to show off for family which is understandable.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

I love his effort! I think he'll be just fine. But he's been trying a little hard the last few minutes of the game

Is it football season yet?

Only thing I would have liked to see more after we got the huge lead would have been to focus on getting Hill a ton. of outside shots, his offense is going to be way more important to this team than Ammermann getting some cute free throws

Going to need a gif of Ammermans face after he almost banked in that free throw.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

ACC road win! yes!

Go Hokies

I'd like to see us stomp them in Football by 20+, too

VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804.
Rockin the Bakken.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

A much needed "Get Right" game after the total dud against Duke. Even got some quality minutes for Pig and Bede in the first half and then a ton of experience minutes for them (and Horne) in the 2nd half which also allowed our usual rotation guys to get some rest. Always good to sneak in some extra rest for your starters this time of year.

The scrubs played like scrubs but I'm sure that was good minutes for them going forward

No need to be so insulting after an awesome win

I wasn't being insulting at all. I just said that was good minutes for them and I'm sure they got a lot of tape for when they take over in the coming years. Would you feel better if I said "the backups played like backups"

When this team plays with solid defensive intensity I think they're capable of beating anyone.

Wish Med would have gotten into a groove. No clue what's up with him.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Is there anywhere I can find the all-time records. They're not on hokiesports and I can't seem to find them in a google search.

Outside its night time, but inside its LeDay

What records are you looking for? If you mean individual records, they are available on Hokiesports.com but in a non-friendly way. Click on Men's Basketball, go over to the More tab on the far right, select Media Guides, I believe in the 2017-18 Media Guide the records start on page 138.

Big positioning day ACC wise for the Hokies. Syracuse beat Miami which puts us ahead of both of them in the conference. If Wake Forest beats NC State than the Wolfpack would also be a game back of us, although we should have the first tie breaker over them. Hate to cheer on the Tar Heels but if they can knock of Louisville it puts them with the same conference record as the Hokies with a game still to be played against them next Saturday. We could end the the day tied for 5th in the ACC if things go our way. Still a lot of basketball to be played though.

I hope we win the rest of the games and I go crazy

I feed off of nightmares

Pig and Horne may eventually be recruited over, but it's good to see them bringing some energy and ability from those last spots on the roster. Pig has a nice shot, good rebounder. As he gets older, I expect he plays with a little more control as his brother has done in his career. Horne has a nose for the ball, a nice jumper and long arms. It's just hard to get time for a guy that is closer to 6'4" than 6'6" in the post. I like his game.

A solid rebound win on the road. Just gotta go 2-2 and we are comfortably in the tourney for the 2nd year in a row (would be the 2nd time thats happened ever!)! Hoping we can get rowdy and beat a solid Clemson team on Wednesday. Gotta keep up this play without a ton of turnovers (besides garbage time at the end of today's game).

Next three games at home vs Clemson, followed by Louisville and Dook and finishing the season at Miami. I love our chances of 2-2 finish.

2-2? I'd be disappointed if we go 2-2. I expect at least 3-1 and 4-0 wouldn't be a stretch. In Buzz We Trust. LET'S GO!!!

I don't know what a Hokie is, but God is one of them!

Per Sagarin's ratings we're playing the #25, #19, #1 and #28 teams. We're #44
Counting home-court advantage we're slightly favored by Sagarin vs Clemson & Louisville. I'd say finishing 2-2 would be a good thing and is a fair expectation.

I know everyone freaked out over the St. Louis loss, but they've moved into fourth in the A10. Finally showing the team that played us in MSG. Their new additions have finally gelled and they are a tough out. Making a late push for an NIT bid. They could very well end up ~100 RPI.

Win one more game, and we're safe. The optics of losing four straight to end the season would not bode well, but overall resume still should be enough with an ACCT win. Breathe easy guys...I think we go 3-1 and get as high as 6th seed in the tournament. The committee owes us one.

Always choose joy.

The committee owes us one.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay