The Game of Basketball

I thought it was important that this was seen, and the game thread is already up to 300 comments, so it probably would have just gotten buried...

Anyway, what we saw tonight wasn't indicative of either team's abilities. UVA is not a team who shoots 70% from the three-point line in 20 minutes. We aren't a team that shoots sub-30% from the three-point line. Simply put, this game was all mental.

Up till tonight (and including tonight), UVA has been next to unbeatable. They are playing the best basketball of any team in the country right now. This was a top ten matchup in their arena where their last loss was against us. They were a very hot team looking to get revenge, and they did it from the outset. They played with swagger, confidence, and discipline.

Our players, on the other hand, came out flat, tight, and undisciplined. JRob was regularly rattled by that one little guard they had (can't think of his name). Every time they hit a 3, we rushed the next offensive possession. Our guys weren't thinking straight all night because, from the outset, they felt like they were the worse team.

Of every sport I've ever watched, I believe basketball is the second most mental with hockey being first. Basketball is not like football where you get a break after every play to recooperate. It's not like soccer where one team possesses minutes at a time without much resistance from their opposition. It's nit like baseball or softball where there's literally a break after every pitch. There is a possession change nearly every 20 seconds, and each of those 20 seconds can yield a moment that changes the momentum and complexion of the game. When there is a stoppage of play that isn't a timeout, the ball is back in play 10-15 seconds later, unless you're shooting foul shots which carries momentum as well. Since UVA believed they were going to win from the tip and our guys were playing not to lose, they had the momentum from the start and rode it to the finish line.

The next time we play these guys, it will be different. They won't be playing for revenge or pride; we will. We'll have the home crowd celebrating every one of our little moves. We'll come out with the swagger and confidence that UVA showed tonight. How UVA responds remains to be seen. If they respond like they did last season when we jumped on them at their place, we'll have a good game on our hands. If they respond like they did against UMBC or WVU last season, we'll run them out of the building.

The bottom line is, they're not 20 points better than us. Better than us? Probably. If we played 10 times, I imagine they'd win 6, maybe 7 times. But as much better than us as they showed tonight? No way.

Time to move on from tonight. Good teams don't let one game affect their next. We need to beat Wake Forest soundly and keep the train rolling until we meet the Wahoos again.

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

Comments

Since UVA believed they were going to win from the tip and our guys were playing not to lose, they had the momentum from the start and rode it to the finish line.

There lies one of the many problems that has reared its ugly head in VT's last three games. What did UVa do differently that they came in convinced they were going to win, and we came in essentially hoping to not lose? I think you summed the feel of the game perfectly in that one sentence. A thought I had after the game was that, in the bubble that has been 4 conference games, UVa exemplifies a team that is learning and growing from one game to the next while VT is a team that is learning and growing only during a single game. There doesn't seem to be any consistent growth from game to game. Right now, I'd bet the house that VT will be a one-and-done tourney team again this year. But that is right now, and there is plenty of time and talent to change that. I wasn't convinced the Hokies were worthy of their ranking (it seems the 2018-19 Hokie curse bled over from football to basketball as well) and was waiting for a good looking game (win or lose) to prove me wrong...but alas I am still waiting. The pieces are all there, but we keep struggling to put them all together for each game when we should have most of the puzzle solved by this point.

I hope you are right and I am wrong, though!

What I've seen out of this VT team the last couple weeks is a team that is not used to winning the way we have. They aren't used to playing with a target on their back each and every night. When you win and are ranked high, you're going to get every team's best shot. This is the first season we have seen this as we have entered conference play in a really long time. Our players simply didn't know how to handle it. I think this loss will help them in that every team won't be trying to end their win streak. They'll still be ranked high which will garner a lot of team's best efforts, but it won't be quite like if we had beaten UVA tonight.

UVA is a team that has played this the last couple seasons. They know what it's like to get every team's best shots. They know what it takes to take these shots and still be successful, and they know how ugly it can get if they aren't ready.

I'm not worried about this team. It's not like any one player has regressed a bunch with the exception of Justin Robinson who I believe is just in a slump and will snap out of it at any point. Even Ahmed Hill has defeated the notion that he is a horrible player once conference play starts and has scored well the last couple games (albeit at a lower percentage).

I can assure you we will be fine. You can take solace in me saying that because I was ready to scorch the earth during football season.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

I'll never understand why KJ pops out to double the point guard at the 3 point line while his man sits in the lane. Several times he was scrambling to pick up anyone at all on defense.

I never understand KJ in general....some games I'm like: "Damn, this dude's severely improved". Other games I'm like "Damn, this dude is doing the same dumb shit"...

He works hard which I like, I just feel like he's our missing piece and if we could get a better player/athlete to fill his position, we would succeed more.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

UVA definitely came out going for the kill, their offense and particularly their passing was incredibly crisp while we were dancing around the perimeter way too much in the first half, the first 5-7 minutes of the second half showed what kind of game this could have been, we came out firing, got into the paint, hit some shots, and got a couple stops unfortunately it was too little too late.

VT '17

I think Buzz stayed with the double in the post too long. Every time we doubled the post player they got an open or late closing 3. And they were nailing those. I also thought Bede was leaving the most dangerous shooter to help on a less dangerous player; and LOLUVA was good at getting the ball back to the uncovered shooter. Sure wish we had a big man who could defend the rim without help and without fouling out.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

This. Buzz went ALL IN on doubling the post and relying on athleticism to recover and contest. UVA exploited this with kickouts and extra passes to get countless open looks, especially from 3, with many being largely uncontested. You give any top 5 team that many open looks from 3 and fail to make any significant defensive adjustments, you're gonna have a long, long night.

Having a conversation with you is like a Martian talking to a Fungo.

#JustinTime

we adjusted, it just wasn't soon enough. Missing all of our open 3's early in the game really set us back too

The bottom line is, they're not 20 points better than us. Better than us? Probably. If we played 10 times, I imagine they'd win 6, maybe 7 times. But as much better than us as they showed tonight? No way.

They were consistently getting open looks because our defense was a complete mess last night. When you allow shooters to consistently get that open at this level they aren't going to miss. On the other end of the court, we couldn't get anyone open and most attempts had a hand in our face. On top of that, they whipped our asses on the boards coming away with endless second chances on offense and cleaning up almost every shot we missed on the other end.

It was a thorough ass kicking that would repeat itself every time as long as we played like we did.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

When you allow shooters to consistently get that open at this level they aren't going to miss.

I present as counterpoint: VT Basketball for the past week.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

no friggin joke. How many times last night did an open 3 pt shot go halfway down the bucket then rattle their way back out in the first 10 minutes alone? Those go in and we're going blow for blow with them behind the arc. Instead we hit 7/21 and they hit 13/24 (with 10 of those makes in the first half)

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Just to emphasize the point - they were 10/14 in the first half and 3/10 in the second.

They made bad shots we missed good shots...the rest was a spiral of momentum and frustration.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

This was a top ten matchup in their arena where their last loss was against us.

We are one with UMBC

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

We'll be fine. They shot lights out. Yes, some of those were open looks due to bad defense, but some of them were also just ridiculous. I think the second half definitely showed the kind of competitive game it should be. Are they better than us? Yes. But do I think we'll beat them at home? Yes.

Question: is everybody still drunk/hungover (but in the bad way) from last night, yet??

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

This UVA team beats VT 8 out of 10 times on a neutral court. They are better, period. More size, elite shooters, and an NBA wing in Hunter. We have one legit big, and a couple of slashers and a good PG. Outlaw is a good spot up shooter but not near as good a player as Jerome. They are just better right now. Sure if Buzz had Nolley and Clarke to work in the rotation, it might be different, but Bennett has more depth anyway. No conspiracy, they are much better than we are right now.

The bottom line is, they're not 20 points better than us. Better than us? Probably. If we played 10 times, I imagine they'd win 6, maybe 7 times. But as much better than us as they showed tonight? No way.

I think UVA is probably around 15-20 points better than us at JPJ, without Clark and Nolley. Under these circumstances, I see us beating UVA at best 2 times out of 10. In Cassell, with our current roster, I still think UVA is the favorite by a couple baskets, but, if we can keep it close, we can definitely beat them.

Pretty crazy that every time we beat UVA it's a 1 possession game. Every time they beat us, it's a blow out.

Twitter me

Exactly.. we can barely beat them when we do shows they are just a better program. They were 17-1 in the ACC last year. It's not a fluke. The fact that we can hang with them on occasion is a testament to Buzz. Uva is an elite program - one of the best in the country - right now. They are not some lucky plucky team.. they are a Duke/Kansas/Kentucky program right now.

I think they are certainly better than us by a bit. I think people are getting caught up in the top10 ranking when we hadn't really beaten anyone to earn that yet. Yeah, we only had one loss but our OOC schedule isn't exactly stuffed and we have played poorly so far in ACC play. I wasn't worried about where we ranked prior to this game and I definitely don't think it is important now.

Sometimes the other team is better than you. I think that was clear last night. It wasn't just a matter of them hitting all their shots. They were working our defense hard. And their defense was sufficating us on the other end. We looked super uncomfortable.

That said, the season is long and improvement hopefully never stops. Let's hope we are a better team when they come to Cassell.

They were playing a man to man version of the old Temple match-up high perimeter defense. We couldn't get near the paint until there was 10 seconds left on the shot clock. You would think the dribble drive would work, but the have good size too. They are a legit 1 seed type team.

We either needed to be shooting lights out or have the athletes to penetrate properly. Unfortunately, we didnt have either last night.

I only saw a about half of the first half last night, but from what I saw there was no team in the country capable of beating UVA last night. When I saw the 1st half stat flash some time between the 6-10 minute mark in the half that showed UVA was 8/10 from 3pt range and we were 3/9 I was pretty sure I knew what the outcome was going to look like.

Good post.

It a major award.

I have a 10ft one of those lamps.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

photos or it didn't happen

FOSTERS: Australian for defense

Where did you get? Where do you keep it? How do you transport it? I have SO MANY questions.

Where did you get?

It was a major award

Where do you keep it?

In the front window, so the whole neighborhood can see said major award

How do you transport it?

In a large wooden crate labeled 'FRAGILE', to let everyone know its Italian-made

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

A comment on last night and the season as a whole... the defense has been much improved from the past couple years, but I would love to know the percentage of easy shots we give up on possessions where we double the post

Game went as expected for me. I would've been happy with a 10 point loss, but oh well.

Bright Sides:

Basketball rankings mean absolutely diddly squat.

Losses in basketball are almost forgivable and don't really mean a lot unless:

You're on the bubble
You're in the late season running for regular season conference championship.
You're in the tourney

We get to watch UVA have a dream season while getting NCAA favoritism, just to fall to this year's UMBC or in the Elite 8, which means (to me at least) they accomplished nothing other than a few banners which celebrate you losing.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

And knowing Buzz is at the helm, this will turn into a lot of teaching moments. One game doesn't end the season in January.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

I'm not worried let's throttle Wake forest and everything will be alright

I feed off of nightmares

I'm looking forward to UVa being a 1 seed in March...

I'm looking forward to (well, hoping for) LOLUVa going on to win every game til we play them again. Then we beat them in Cassell and we send their season into a tailspin. They lose a few more en route to a first round ACC tourney loss followed by losing to a 14 seed in the opening round of the NCAA.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

While I love this forecast, I'm pretty sure LOLUVA won't be playing in the first round (or second round) of the ACC Tournament.

I would love to have a basketball season where we didn't have some sort of crippling attrition. This should be the season (and it will still be a great one by VT standards) where VT basketball makes a Sweet 16 or Elite 8 run. But both the Clarke and Nolley situations have created size and depth problems that good teams will exploit.

Is it basketball season yet?

Golf is more mental than basketball is for sure.

I'm not worried. UVA is a flight above everyone else right now, and are serious favorites to win it all. We're a good basketball team, quite possibly the best we've ever seen here at Tech. We'll make the tournament with a favorable seed and hopefully make a run. I can guarantee you that NO team will want to face us in the tournament, we're a scary team.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

Golf is more mental than basketball is for sure.

yes, but we're talking about sports, here. If you want to start roping in hobbies, I'm sure we could rattle off a lot that are more mental than basketball. Sudoku, for instance...

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I find that the people who don't think golf is a sport have never played it before.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

Must not downvote opinions.

Whatever it was, you can't blame it on orange uniforms