Buzzketball Destroyed By NC State 104-78

The Hokies crash back to earth at the hands of the Wolfpack.

[Mark Umansky]

Coming into their game in Raleigh, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team was ranked in the top-25 for the first time since 2010. The emphasis in that sentence should be placed on was, due to the 104-78 demolition the Hokies sustained at the hands of the North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Buzz Williams' squad began the game flat, fell down by double digits quickly, and then continued to be steamrolled over the course of 40 minutes. Freshman center Khadim Sy was scratched just before tip, meaning the Hokies had to play even more undersized than usual, but their problems extended far beyond a size difference.

Tech was run off the floor early, suffering a total defensive breakdown from the first TV timeout until the final whistle mercifully sounded. Wolfpack guards Dennis Smith Jr. and Terry Henderson controlled the game, and found little resistance from the other side.

Add additional productivity from forward Abdul-Malik Abu (20 points and 11 rebounds) and swingman Maverick Rowan (13 off the bench), and State continued to add insult to injury.

Yes, the Hokies did their best to fight until the end, but it was never going to be enough. The Hokies were down 25 points at intermission, and never stood a practical chance for a comeback.

Not one player on the roster had a good night. Zach LeDay led the way with 16 and six boards, but wasn't particularly efficient and struggled with the State front court. Ahmed Hill had 17, but sat for long stretches with foul trouble.

The bench squad of Seth Allen and Ty Outlaw (the only two non-starters to see the floor) were completely ineffective. Chris Clarke didn't have his best outing on either end, and Justin Bibbs was absent as a shooter.

All of which ended in an absolutely forgettable performance for the Hokies, which they'll need to move past quickly.

Thanks to the difficult nature of the ACC, things won't get any easier. After this shellacking, Tech heads down to Tallahassee to play a Florida State team who just beat UVA in Charlottesville. Yes, the big New Year's win and AP poll ranking were nice, but they both could be far in the rearview mirror after Sunday.

A Few Quick Thoughts:

The defense was terrible, which is where this game starts and ends. Against Duke, the Hokies did a tremendous job grabbing a defensive rebound, and moving in transition. On a countless number of possessions against the Blue Devils, Tech had a hand in a shooter's face, got their hands on a board, and immediately pushed.

It made for great highlight plays in the New Year's Eve upset, however against the Wolfpack, we didn't see the same kind of breaks outs. And the reason is very simple.

When you let your opponent hit 64% of their shots, it's a hell of a lot harder to get out and run. Therefore everything Tech did on the offensive end was much more difficult. LeDay and Clarke consistently found traffic in the lane, and everyone's shot was just a bit more contested with the State defense already established.

Yes, the ACC will be a bloodbath this year. At least 10 different schools could make the tournament when all is said and done. But this result is an absolute disappointment for Buzz's bunch. Not only did they play poorly, but they borderline no-showed (particularly on the defensive end.) NC State is an okay team, but not one which should beat the Hokies as badly as they did.

The loss should serve as a brutal wake up call to fans who wanted to make postseason assumptions after their win over Duke. This wasn't even close to the same bunch who won in Cassell Coliseum four days ago. And if this kind of Jekyll and Hyde mentality persists throughout the rest of the conference schedule, we're all in for a long winter.


Can we go back to 2016 now? 2017 is not starting well for VT athletics...

Was there, you could see it on the guys faces, no energy from the get go. The only energy you saw was in the form of frustration.

"And guess what, you've wandered into our school of tuna and we now have a taste of lion." -Allen Gamble, The Other Guys

Matt Galloway made a brief uneventful appearance. I really wish Donlon would get some run. I know he is not nearly as talented as the guards but he is steady and efficient when he is in the game. Really feel like when we are making the same mistakes over and over he could be one player that could steady our roster especially when we could also use a little bulk down low.

Donlon is a good player but a GREAT teammate, he is always the first to high five someone and the first to console a teammate who is hanging their head. He should have gotten more time in our games a the beginning of the year.

"And guess what, you've wandered into our school of tuna and we now have a taste of lion." -Allen Gamble, The Other Guys

Greg was one of my old roommates. He had surgery on both his knees (yes at the same time)
I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it?

Keep calm, Gobble on

And I thought the JC Coleman double ankle sprain was bad.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

I did not see all of the game but I did see Galloway come in, cause a turnover then was taken out of the game immediately after that play.

Wrong game!

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

No, this happened in the NC State game as well. He went in for a baseline inbounds play, tipped the inbounds pass, which was then tipped again by the NC State player out of bounds and then Buzz put in one of the guards that was in foul trouble already in the game. Buzz essentially has been putting Galloway in the last two games in situations where fouls occur most often in basketball games so he doesnt risk his better offensive players picking up a ticky tack foul.

Really missed Khadim's size down low, he probably would have played 20 minutes vs Abu and Anya.

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

UVA lost to Pitt.

UVA lost

I will always leg this. Period.

It's 1:04am and UVA still sucks. Just like football.

There's always a bright spot to cheer us up, thanks LOLUVA.

It's a long season. Can't put too much stock into one game. Got to move on to the next one.

We also need to remember we won against two top ten teams last year, loluva and Miami, won ten games in the ACC, and still ended up in the NIT. Can't blame that all on one loss to a nobody early in the season. We need to hone our road game, without doubt. It will be crucial to win some road games if we want to make the dance. I hope, and believe, that we will.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

We also lost to Alabama State, destroyed by St. Joes, Iowa State and West Virginia and had zero quality wins in the non conference.

We can go 9-9 in conference and make the tournament.

Always choose joy.

Honestly I feel that 8-10 should get there, as long as our quality non-conference wins retain their quality through their respective conference schedules. 7-11 might still be good enough, as long as we have a decent run in the ACC tournament. Last year, we were 19-14 after the ACCCT, and were a fringe bubble team. Improve that by a game or two and we probably would have made the NCAAT at 21-12 while being squarely on the bubble at 20-13, and that's without the non-conference success we've had this year.

Not that I'm expecting us to do worse than 9-9. I'm really hoping that we at least keep up with last year's 10-8, but certainly wouldn't complain about an NCAAT berth regardless of our conference record.

With our Out of Conference there's no chance we go at 7-11. 8-10 would be a stretch too. Our out of conference schedule was awful outside of Michigan, losing to Texas A&M was really bad. We're gonna have to steal some on the road in conference and can't really lose many at home. Stretch coming up is big, @FSU then three straight home games. Can't lose a lot of home games with the way RPI is set up

I still think that 20-12 (assuming a win in our first ACCCT game) with 9+ wins against top-100 teams in the RPI would be more than enough to get us a spot.

Hopefully we go 10-8 or better and are a lock for a spot so none of this even matters.

Number 2 non-conference RPI helps.

Rip his freaking head off!

So Pack > Hokies > Duke > GiT?

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"


and, if UNC wins
UNC > Pack > Hokies > Duke > GT > UNC...

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)..

David Teel provided injury updates on Sy and Allen.


Waho's suck
Uva swallows

One game, breathe in, breathe out, move on. No one expected to go undefeated.

Question: could this be considered the vent post game thread for hoops?

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I will grant that Tech had trouble buying a basket and couldn't seem to understand the concept of rebounding shots that might not actually go in.

But I was very disappointed with the referee's. They called a technical on Leday for something the TV audience never saw in the first few minutes saying that they were going to eliminate the rough stuff. They also called one on State. That is good and fairish... Then they completely ignored hard blocks, elbows to the head, State shoving our players to the floor. Even the announcers were amazed at some of the things State was getting away with.

In the first half, my mom and I watched State get away with at least four travels that weren't called in a span of five minutes.

We were having a bad night, and were going to lose. The ref's made the game worse.

The other frustrating thing was that it was like the announcers were instructed to not question the referees at all. They never discussed or showed replays of ANY of the fouls. I would be OK with never hearing Jason Capel call one of our games again.

Who cares? We were busy getting beat in every facet of the game, why do the refs matter at all? They probably made some mistakes, but none of those hurt us more than losing every single baseline cutter.

Rip his freaking head off!

One thing to understand with Buzz led teams, he doesn't emphasize offensive rebounding, he emphasizes preventing easy transition baskets. That's why on a miss from the perimeter you often see that there are already two or three Hokies back in the defensive end by the time the opposing team collects a rebound. That said, if you are going to play that way you have to do two other things to win. Shoot better and not give up easy interior baskets to your opponent. Tech did neither of those things so it enhanced the loss dramatically.

Some of the poorest defensive effort I've seen in a long time from VT. Never thought I'd see this from a Buzz team. Really disappointing. This has been a junk yard dog effort team since Buzz got here and we looked like toy poodles. Would love to hear what he said post game.

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

Well that was fun. My hope is that the boys find the silver lining in this and see that yeah we can beat some of the best in the nation, but that doesn't mean we can coast. This needs to be a wake up call. Play our game and we can beat anyone.

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

I still think we can win more than half our ACC games

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Absolutely. Don't know if it was the case, it just seemed like they were still in their heads about beating Duke, and came out completely flat. Maybe Fuente needs to get to them and start preaching 1-0

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

Definitely. The key is to go 7-2 or better at home and then try to steal at least 2-3 games on the road.

Last night was one of the more "winnable" road games which makes it frustrating but we really need to pick up 2-3 out of @Clemson, @Miami, @Pitt, @BC

The other 4 @FSU, @UNC, @UVA and @Louisvlle will be much more difficult.

I really hope that we steal at least 2 out of @UNCheat and @LOLUVA

@ NC State is never truly a winnable game for us. We've always struggled to get wins in there, even back in the Greenberg days when we were good and they were bad. They get serious Tobacco Road home cooking going their way in that place.

Really, we need to hold our own at home and pick up 1-2 road wins in ACC play, and we'll be set for postseason play. 9 ACC wins with the out of conference result we had should have us comfortably in.

"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

I really think this can be a positive learning experience going forward.

One of the announcers last night made a point I think has merit, we've always been the hunter and never the hunted. Meaning, we are always the scrappy underdog and we fight like it. Now we were the big dogs coming in and they played complacent almost like they were expecting magic to happen.

The Hokies got punched in the mouth and never really recovered. Notice that Buzz wasn't getting pissed he was letting them go. They will remember this feeling going forward and will fight to get back and will be motivated to fight to keep it

Keep calm, Gobble on

This is what happens when you drink too much Duke on New Year's Eve. Turrrrible Hangover.

Leonard. Duh.

You're right, but you can never drink too much Duke.

Alright, time to thought vomit about this one for a few.

When I got to my seat in the arena and then saw on here that Sy was out, I knew we were in trouble. I said yesterday that their bigs would be a handful for us, and that was with Sy playing. What I didn't expect was the complete lack of situational awareness we had out there on defense, the complete and utter carelessness we had with the ball, and the look of a team giving up from about the 10 minute mark in the first half through the end of the game. Defensively, that was the worst effort I've seen since the Ricky Stokes era. We had lead in our shoes, and our defense fell back on a high school level of reaching and not moving the body. When your body isn't in position, you're either getting called for the foul, or you're allowing an easy layup. What was even more unusual for us was the lack of the collapsing help on defense when a guy would get beat that we've been seeing all year. That was so unlike what we've seen out of this team all year.

Offensively, to say we were anything less than a mess would not be doing our performance justice. Ice cold from 3 plus a complete inability to score down low plus a horridly unusual night of carelessness with the ball will do this. Yes, we scored more than 70. Great. That has more to do with the number of possessions we had due to State's ability to score at will than anything good we were doing. We had a nice little run to start the 2nd half, but at the first sign of fight from State, we wilted under the pressure with 3 straight fast breaks broken up by either a bad pass, a poor dribble, or getting oneself into a bad position with the ball. Once again, very unlike anything we've seen out of the team this year.

One thing I was warning those of before the game, and it came to fruition, was the 9pm tip. Road teams in ACC play historically come out flat when the game tips at 9pm. Its something that happens to every team in this league, and even the elites have issues with it. Even worse, there were issues on Tuesday night with travel where Buzz apparently wasn't able to get into town until very late at night. He was supposed to show at a speaking event for the Alumni Chapter, and had to cancel after earlier delaying a couple hours because of the timing of their arrival. So I'm not terribly surprised to see that we were that flat last night. The team didn't get a good night's sleep, and tip was after what normally would be the time a game would end in conference play. And there was the aspect of the mental lapse after the big win over Duke, where teams in ACC play always have a letdown after knocking off Duke or UNC (just ask NCSU, they have a habit of it).

Another thing that I have to address. The refs. Did they cost us the game? No. Our issues described above were the main culprits of last night's result, however, I do fully believe they influenced how big the spread ended up being. We came in as an undersized squad, especially after Sy went out. They were always going to take advantage of this, and it was always going to be the difference. However, when you're going to whistle touch fouls on VT, you need to whistle them on NCSU as well. Too many times were our guys mugged down low only to not have the whistle blow to calling a simple reach on us on the other end. And don't get me started on the ridiculous flop Anya did to get a charge on Robinson. There is no way on God's green earth that man got bowled over by a 6'1 185lb point guard, no way. That one play was everything you needed to know about how that game went all balled up into one. As I said, its not the reason we lost, but its likely the main reason we lost by 30 instead of 10-15.

All in all, an ass whuppin that we can hopefully learn from. I hope Buzz is able to use this to drive home the point that we are a good team, but we don't have the talent to just show up and win in this conference. If you don't come ready to play, you will get your ass kicked. And they better learn this quick, because our next game is Florida State, a team that does everything NCSU can do, but do it much more effectively and efficiently.

"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

I want to know how many points Smith Jr. scored while playing with 4 fouls. I don't know if it's the ref's fault or our own for not pushing the issue, but it seemed like the last 10 minutes he was the only one scoring for NCSU...

EDIT: I take it back. Stats say he only had two fouls. I could have sworn the announcers said he was playing with four personal fouls...I guess that was my problem right there: listening to the announcers.

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)..

They even had a graphic showing he had 3 fouls, then he got another. How do they screw that up so badly?


or maybe ESPN stats has it wrong. I'm not sure what I'd rather have: a crappy sorry excuse for game coverage that gets stuff like this wrong or a team that let a future NBA star play 15 minutes with 4 fouls on his way to a triple double...

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)..

Defensively, that was the worst effort I've seen since the Ricky Stokes Ricky "Program Bomb" Stokes era.


Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I've played and coached basketball for most of my life. I've always considered myself a student of the game, particularly at the HS and college level. The philosophy followed by ACC officiating crews for the last 2-3 yrs has caused me to question EVERYTHING that I have learned or seen. Ever.

On another note, Dennis Smith is a straight up pimp-baller. He's going to be trouble next year in the NBA.

Leonard. Duh.

All solid points. To further emphasize the impact the officials had, we had gotten the game back to within fifteen points at 55-40.
1) That is when Leday went up for a layup, got cartwheeled by Anya and Abu, but the officials said it was a clean block by Anya, no call. Foul probably should have been on Abu, which would have been his third at the 16:13 mark
2) Follow that up on the opposite end, Ahmed Hill comes up with a rebound and then proceeds to get mugged in the lane by Rowan and Dorn, where Rowan drops it off to Smith for an easy dunk. Another no call as Hill ends up laid out on the floor.
3) Going back the other way, Justin Robinson gets called for the charge on Anya, when Anya was partially inside the circle, meaning it cant be a charge. Should have been a shooting foul, sending Robinson to the line for two. It would have been Anya's third foul at the 15:42 mark and his fourth would have been at the 15:15 mark rather than ten minutes later.
4) On the other end, Clarke tipped a ball that Rowan touched while trying to save and NC State was awarded possession. Hill then gets called for his third foul before the ball is even inbounds on some very minor contact from both players. Smith then got an easy dunk because Anya cleared Hill and Leday out of the lane with an no whistle two hand shove to Ledays back.
5) A couple of fouls on each team with Clarke getting one free throw in followed this and then Allen got hacked by Abu with no whistle which led to a turnover and easy layup by Rowan.

Score went from 55-40 out to 63-41 in about a minute and a half. Major impact by the officials at the most critical point in trying to come back for the Hokies. Game was never that close again.

And here's the problem. If you're a player, how the hell do you even adjust to reffing like that?

Even if they called it fair, we still lose that game, but come on, that was some bad home cooking last night. And, of course, every State fan around me in the stadium was bitching endlessly about how the refs had it in for them and how they were calling it unbelievably unfairly in our favor throughout the second half.

"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

That was one of the more infuriating sequences I've seen in a long long time.

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

That was one of the key sequences that I referred to as bad officiating helping to cost us the game. As I said before, I think we might have still lost the game, but the ref's ended our 10-0 rally more than anything NC State did.

To be fair, on your first two points I do agree, but we also didn't help ourselves either. It almost looked like we were trying to oversell the call to the refs, which in turn made our players look out of control. That will never get you a call from the ref.

I was hoping our players would eventually start penetrating the lanes and moving the ball around to try and find/build some kind of momentum on the offensive end, but no one seemed to be in it, especially on the defensive end. Definitely one of those of games where we didn't show up after an emotional win, but will pay off in the long run. I'd rather lose this game now than in March.

Party Positive.

A question on your third point: Doesn't it not matter if Anya was partially inside the circle since JRob was coming from the baseline and not in the process of attempting a move to score?


Robinson was driving the baseline and was not out of control. He could have made the move to try to score on a backside layup but that's not for the officials to determine. They could have ruled it shooting or on the floor but it still should have been a block rather than a charge. It would have been Tech ball rather than Wolfpack.

For the second game in a row the announcers said we beat Cal this year. We haven't played them, but that would be a decent win. If they keep saying it does it become true?

Rip his freaking head off!

Sure! VT 89 Cal 74.

Yeah. That seems plausible.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

UVA beat Cal this season so mentally these announcers are crossing our Thanksgiving tourney in California with the Wahoos win over Cal in Cal 56-52

That's what I had been figuring, but it's 2 games in a row which is pretty ridiculous. At that point it seems like ESPN is handing them an incorrect facts sheet before the broadcast.

Rip his freaking head off!

Not sure how the ACC Network employment is handled. I would imagine they are subcontracted to ESPN in some capacity, meaning they likely dont even have the full support of the network in preparing for games. There is obviously also some affiliation with Raycom Sports since last nights game was televised on its network of channels. Tough to know, but I would guess their support is skeleton crew at best. Probably some right out of college stats/information person in the background.

Every time the announcers confuse VT with LOLUVA I feel dirty... like someone just grabbed me...

According to Boulware, the Taint Tickle Maneuver is a regular thang...

I did not get home in time to watch the start of the the, so streamed a little to the phone. Looked so bad
I turned it off. Got home and turned on the TV. Was bad enough I turned down the volume and just kept it on in the background to hope for a comeback that was not going to happen. I avoided looking at this thread until now because I was very disappointed in how we played, and did not want to be reminded of it, but especially I did not want to see VT fans dumping on the team. None of that here - glad I checked in. Feeling better about VT hoops already. Thanks Guys!

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I know just how you feel. I really tried to be a trouper and stick with the show, but with about six minutes to go, I packed it in. My wife had done so earlier, she's a big fan, but couldn't take the disappointing play any longer, so she went to bed. When I came in soon after, she remarked that she didn't remember me ever not watching the whole game, regardless of play or outcome, and I couldn't really remember missing more than the last minute or two of a decided game, at least in the last couple of decades. Buz had tried to prepare the team for just what happened, so hopefully they'll get the lesson. Still and all, we'll win more than we'll lose, I believe, and hopefully our best games are yet to come. Like my dear departed momma used to say, "The sun don't shine on the same dog's butt every day".

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

TL;DR comments.

My quick thoughts as I turned the game on mid-way through the first half and saw us getting stomped already. The bit that I did see it appeared as though any time NCSt decided to move down the lane to the basket (or whatever the proper basketball terminology is) they seemed to go uncontested. I know I saw Chris Clarke literally watch one NCSt player drive right past him with no one else to defend in the slightest. I saw a couple of similar efforts as well in the few minutes I stomached to watch. Turned it off at the half.

Talk about not showing up they got straight dominated. If that was by Duke maybe I could understand. And I can understand that we'll lose some games....but by that that NCSt team?? If it was by 1-6 pts I got it. But man that team just harkened back to yesteryear when the win against Duke made the season regardless of the end. And we all looked for signing day, spring ball and the end of summer and another football season.

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

You have to realize though that "that NC State" team had the #4 Recruiting Class in the country last season behind Duke, Kentucky and Michigan State. Basketball is very different than football in this regard. Those kind of classes immediately impact a program because you are effecting five spots, rather than 24+two deep. Also with basketball, many high schoolers come in with a frame that can handle the sport more so than with football. They may bulk up over the years but its not necessary depending on the type of game or position they play, more prevalent with guards than big men usually.

The NC State class had two five star players, two fours and a three. All five were in the top 200 nationally. Four of the five were in the top 58 players in the class.

Look at the effect that class had on the game last night.

Dennis Smith Triple Double on the night, 34 minutes, 27 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and 5 steals. Could have been worse but he went 9-15 at the line.

Omer Yurtseven, 13 minutes, 4 points, 4 rebounds and a block

Ted Kapita, 2 minutes, 1 rebound

Markell Johnson, 9 minutes, 4 points, 1 assist and 1 steal

Darius Hicks, 5 minutes, 2 points, 1 assist

Total impact: 63 minutes, 37 points, 16 rebounds, 13 assists, 6 steals, 1 block

Thats 31.5% of their minutes, 36% of their points, 40% of their rebounds, 61% of their assists, 55% of their steals, and 17% of their blocks last night.

The scary part of these numbers is that Ted Kapita was not allowed to work out with the team until the day before the season started, Omer Yurtseven also couldnt work out with the team until the day before the season started and was then handed a nine game suspension by the NCAA for eligibility issues, so he missed almost all of their OOC schedule.

Our most recent class missed the entire game, since Sy was hurt, Leday is sitting out a transfer year and Jackson appears to be redshirting.

Welp that one was tough to watch until the final buzzer. So we lost to a decent team that we should've beat, it happens. Good news is, that puts us on par with pretty much everyone else in the ACC. Just gotta learn from it and move on. And if there's any coach I trust to use this as a teaching moment, it's Buzz.

Has there been any word on Seth Allen or Sy?