Hoops Scoring Output Redux

Thanks to a suggestion by RiVAHokie, I'm taking this opportunity to do a quick follow-up on a post I made in the February about the drop in scoring output from the 2010-11 season (70.3ppg) to the 2011-12 season (65.1ppg).  The TL;DR of that post is that team scoring was down, and that the contributions of the leading scorers were down.

I updated that spreadsheet with the end-of-season stats for 2011-12 and added a line for the 2012-13 stats.

What a difference a season makes.

Joe Dirt Phillips

Joey Phillips has been consistently good at fullback this season. He's delivered some bone-crushing blocks, and has shouldered the load since Riley Beiro was lost for the season. Through the magic of Twitter, we learned another thing about Phillips tonight. He has the best haircut of any player on the team. Tailback J.C. Coleman tweeted the following picture.

And if that wasn't enough, Phillips tweeted this picture of and himself starting masher (guard) Brent Benedict.

Yes, that is an American Flag tee shirt, and it is awesome. If Benedict and Phillips don't make it in the NFL, the better make a run at the WWE tag team championship.

Early National Recognition for Erick Green

Like much of HokieNation, I'm bummed we're not ranked. I think the team deserves to be. The 7-0 record, Tech's best start since best 1982-83, speaks for itself. The win over now #23 Oklahoma State, Tech's first win over a ranked non-conference opponent since 1995, will be a bullet point on the Hokies' resume come March. Naysayers will point out weak competition to start the season, and they would be correct. However, teams can only play their schedule, and Tech beat Iowa and Oklahoma State, their two biggest challenges to date, by double-digits.

The Hokies play an up-tempo, fun brand of team basketball, and their leader is receiving a lot of attention from the national media after his 7th game of putting up 20-plus points.

Rob Dauster of CollegeBasketballTalks named Erick Green his Player of the Week.

Virginia Tech to Play Rutgers in Russell Athletic Bowl

Update (8:30 PM): It's official.

Update (7:45 PM): It's all but official.

Also, an interesting tidbit: Rutgers is on a five-game bowl win streak.

VT-Oklahoma State Recap

image via HokieSports.com

After today's game, I can officially say that James Johnson is the right man for this job. The Hokies upset #15 Oklahoma State 81-71 this afternoon in a crazy environment at Cassell Coliseum.

Summary:

Ten seconds into the game, Erick Green picked up his first foul. Physical play and missed shots by Oklahoma State helped the Hokies to an early 7-4 lead. A little more than 2 minutes into the game, Erick picked up his second foul. He was immediately subbed out. This got me worried. How would we play without Erick for the majority of the first half?

The ACC is the WCW

Reading Joe's tweet over the weekend comparing modern day ACC to WCW in its dying days really got me thinking. As someone who was (is) a huge wrestling fan, it made me realize that there are some pretty uncanny correlations in the paths of both organizations.

For those not familiar with WCW, World Championship Wrestling was a major league pro wrestling organization in business from the late 80s through early 2001, although its history extends much further back than that.

VT-Iowa Recap

The Hokies came out firing on all cylinders tonight in their first big win of the season. They took down the Iowa Hawkeyes in the ACC-B1G Challenge 95-79. Here are my thoughts on the game:

Five Games In: A Basketball Preview

Work hard, play hard, have fun. This is apparently the mantra of the 2012-2013 Virginia Tech men's basketball team. I'll admit it, I was a little more than skeptical to what sounded like a ploy to sell tickets.

Well, what may have started as a gimmick to fill Cassell Coliseum, is instead ringing true on its hardwood. This team is a fast paced, "shoot if you're open" bunch that looks like they legitimately enjoy playing for their coach and with each other.

Gone are the days where Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen embarrass themselves on national television (on College GameDay, no less) because it is painfully obvious that they know nothing about each other.

I told Joe that I would put together a basketball preview, but only on the condition that I am allowed to watch the first five games first. Coming into the season, it was really anyone's guess as to the offensive system/philosophy being installed and I wanted to be able to write an informed, smart preview.

So without further ado, let me break down the roster, ask some important questions and predict the results for the remainder of the season.

LINEUP ANALYSIS:

Point Guard: Erick Green

Thank god he's back. That's really the only thing that needs to be said...but just for kicks let's break it down anyway.

9 Consecutive Wins

Editor's Note: Hokie Wartooth wrote his own Commonwealth Cup story with some Dr. Seuss art, and it's absolutely glorious. Read and pass it along.

The Final Seconds

Mike London's use of Virginia's second-half timeouts was, to say the least, baffling to me. London used all three timeouts, two different times, to ice Cody Journell, and not to extend the game. Kickers really aren't any more or less likely to make or miss a field goal when iced. Also, this season Tech allowed game winning scores against Cincinnati and Florida State with 1:43 and 2:13 remaining on the clock, respectively. Coming into Saturday Journell was 5-5 on kicks of 20-29 yards, and 6-8 on kicks of 40-49 yards. Journell missed a 42-yard attempt, but nailed the 29-yard game winner. The distance coupled with the wind swirling around Lane probably had more to do with Journell's miss than London's mind games.

London tried to rationalize his clock mismanagement to David Teel, instead of owning the mistake.

Getting back to you. 40 sec left thought process.

1. PK missed previous one.

2. Make them run/handle FB.

3. did not want expend the last two TO and concede 3 pts. Even with poss 30/25 secs left.

4. They would be kicking off with the wind. All kickoffs from the opp end to our locker room were ALL touchbacks.

Time to turn our attention to Hokie Hoops

Now that the regular season is done for the Virginia Tech football team, and with only a lower tier bowl remaining, it's time for Hokie Nation to turn its collective attention towards the basketball team.  With their first 5-0 start since 1984 there is a certain amount of buzz surrounding this year's edition of the Hokies on the hardwood.

LET'S CELEBRATE

For the most part, that was an extremely tough game to watch. The defense made stops, held Virginia to 7 points, and forced turnovers. The offense did as little as possible to win. O'Cainspring had 95 plays to work with, but only managed 303 total yards. Also, thanks for the assist Mike London. Your clock management on Tech's final possession was something fiercely beautiful. There were some excellent individual efforts which will no doubt be highlighted here before the goal.

The only things that are important right now is we beat UVA, again, and we're going bowling, again.

Talk about the game here, and we'll get back to you after the weekend.

Virginia Football Primer, Photo Edition

I hope everyone had a safe and gluttonous Thanksgiving. Hopefully there was not too much tryptophan cannibalistically consumed yesterday! HokieNation's annual Turkey Day tradition of beating the britches off the Wahoos has finally arrived. #NINESTRAIGHT. Let's do this.

Much has changed since 38-0. The Cavaliers (not surprisingly) lost their bowl game to Auburn on New Year's Eve. Naturally, Mike London called the 43-24 drubbing "progress" and immediately hit the recruiting trail.

"Hey Coach, you have a minute? It's really important!"

"...uh ok. Just wanted to inform you that the practice facility is on fire. LIKE YOUR JOB."

Q&A with Lambeth Field

This week I did a Q&A with Hamilton Riley of Lambeth Field. My answers to his questions are here.

TKP: Okay, before we get into game related stuff I want to talk about Mike London. What is the general Wahoo consensus on him? Do you think he gets any slack from fans and facility even though for underperforming (especially this season) simply because he's not Al Groh?

Lambeth Field: Overall, there is a very, very minimal voice of opposition for London right now. I would absolutely agree this season has not turned out the way a lot have wanted, but in year 3 of his tenure, we have all learned how bare the cupboard really was when Groh left. Notwithstanding, there does need to be some decisions made about some assistant coaches, but London will get another full season before anyone seriously brings up the issue.

TKP: That being said, if this game goes as badly as the last two have do you think he'll feel a little bit of heat on his coaching seat?

Lambeth Field: I don't think so. It might make for a good story for local media, but like I said above, he will need another bad season before anyone at UVa will start churning up the question.

Maryland, B1G, and #VT4SEC

Maryland's defection to the Big Ten came as surprise. Both parties did a good job at keeping a lid on the negotiation. The first leak hit Twitter on Friday evening, the announcement was Monday afternoon. Also, Maryland? I think ACC fans respect the quality of their basketball program and their fans enthusiasm for it. On the other hand, Maryland football, the money maker in college athletics, perpetuates the notion that all ACC stadiums are at half capacity on Saturday's, and the Terps haven't been relevant in the ACC since before the 2004 expansion. It's a move driven by money on both ends. Maryland expands their television footprint east and could be worth, "as much as $200 million annually for the Big Ten in cable subscription fees," and, "Maryland stands to make nearly $100 million more in conference revenue by 2020 with its switch from the ACC to the Big Ten".

Create the Narrative: Boston College Film Review

Like last week, there were a lot of positives that came out of Chestnut Hill. The defensive line again delivered a ton of pressure on the quarterback. The secondary essentially took away the Eagle's downfield passing game. The offensive line delivered their best effort run blocking since the Duke game. Seniors Marcus Davis, Martin Scales, and Randall Dunn made huge plays.

At the same time, I came away with a sour taste in my mouth. Boston College has been poor running the football this season, yet dictated the pace of the game by running between the tackles against the Hokie 4-4 scheme. The linebackers were terrible taking on lead blocks by H-backs and got pinned inside on counter and zone plays, and the defensive tackles (especially J.R. Collins and Luther Maddy) played with poor pad level and looked like they were playing on roller skates on throughout the game. And perhaps most disturbing, Logan Thomas had his worst game since East Carolina last season.

My Hate Week began with a sense of apathy and frustration despite the victory, but the dam broke after I read the following from noted sportswriter, author, and (former) Tech faculty member Roland Lazenby.

You Shouldn't Need a Reason to Hate UVa

"Hate is a bottomless cup; I will pour and pour" — Euripides

I asked VTBox, BilldozerVT, Furrer4Heisman, and Brian to contribute to this post. They obliged, and we are all better for it.

It's Hate Week

An Introduction — Joe, VTBox (Graphic)

I don't hate UVa for the traditional reasons. I didn't grow up in a neighborhood that had VT and UVA flags jutting out from garages. None of my high school friends attended college in Charlottesville. If Hoos want to wear ties to games, slug back bottles of wine, and nibble on cheese at tailgates, then YOLO.

However, Virginia fans remain the worst. The masses only support their program when it's convenient. When it is popcorn and movie night, when a spring practice travels to their neck of the woods. They leave Scott Stadium bare-assed for a noon-thirty kick against Wake Forest. They sell their tickets, their dignity, and any chance at home field advantage Thanksgiving weekend to Maroon for a couple bucks. They quit on their team early, and they do it without a second thought. It's all too easy for them to check out.

Virginia fans care more about Tech losing than UVa winning. They are quick to point out Tech's losses in BCS games, lack of a national championship, and every other Hokie disappointment. They are even quicker to deflect the fact they haven't sniffed a victory against Tech in 8 seasons.

The Fallout

A lot of stuff happened on Saturday, and I felt like writing about it.

Late season losses by top teams usually blur the national championship picture, but not this year. Stanford and Baylor upsetting Oregon and Kansas State, respectively, cleared the path for a Notre Dame-SEC national championship. Notre Dame has one game remaining, a road trip to Los Angeles against USC. The Trojans are 1-3 in their last four games and may be without quarterback Matt Barkley, if the report of a separated shoulder is true. Alabama and Georgia were 4th and 5th in last week's BCS rankings and they both host games during rivalry week. Auburn hasn't beaten a BCS team this season. Three wins in a row, and suddenly Georgia Tech has a pulse, but their competition has been anything but stiff. That upset isn't improbable, but is unlikely. In any case, I think the favorites will prevail. Which team can you tolerate hoisting the crystal, Notre Dame or the SEC representative?

Les Miles' speech definitely comes from the heart, but there's some showmanship in there too. I would strap it up and play for The Hat in an instant.

Also, there's this GIF.

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