Buzzketball Beaten Down By Florida State 93-78

Hokies drop their second in a row to the 12th ranked Seminoles in Tallahassee.

And we're back into the ACC meat grinder.

Just seven days after an eye popping win over Duke, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team lost their second consecutive game. This time, a 93-78 shellacking against 12th ranked Florida State in Tallahassee.

The Hokies entered the afternoon with a deficit, as senior guard Seth Allen didn't make the trip after sustaining a head injury against NC State. With Allen absent and freshman Khadim Sy coming back from an ankle issue (which kept him on the bench in Raleigh), Buzz Williams had a limited rotation to work with.

Though Williams and company did all they could to compete, Leonard Hamilton's team just kept coming. The Seminoles used 12 men to swarm the ball for 40 minutes, causing the Hokies to cough up 16 turnovers and countless fast break points.

Tech opened things up with a frenetic tempo, which worked briefly. Point guard Justin Robinson and wing Chris Clarke probed the paint, and found shooters around the arc. But their biggest advantage early was an ever-changing defense. The Hokies threw as many looks as possible at FSU, forcing five steals over the first 10 minutes.

But, much like in their loss to the Wolfpack on Wednesday, Tech simply failed to get stops. Buzz's bunch has given up at least 44 points in each of their last five halves, and struggled mightily on their road trip.

Clarke (22 points/8 rebounds) and Zach LeDay (19 and 7) did their best against the plus-sized opponent, but they failed to keep pace. Without his veteran backcourt mate, Robinson battled problems with giveaways and fouls. The sophomore ended the day with eight points—though just 2-7 from the field—and four assists to five turnovers.

Another problem with Allen's absence was the lack of a secondary ball handler behind Robinson. Clarke took the reigns, almost by default, but the offense experienced a noticeable dip without a point guard on the floor.

The team heads back to Blacksburg in an effort to correct things over their upcoming three game home stand. First up is Syracuse on Tuesday, a team who's been up and down as much anyone in the ACC (though they come in winners of two straight).

The Hokies have a ton to get right, and not much time to do it. But it's the curse of playing in a conference this deep, and if they want to prove themselves a tournament team, they'll need to come back strong at home.

A Few Quick Thoughts

The defense struggled mightily for the second straight outing. Not only did the Seminoles get out and run in transition, but consistently beat the Hokies in the half court. The FSU guards got in the lane, found whichever big man was available at the time, and let the ball rotate from there.

But their success wasn't about the obvious size advantage at hand, Tech beat a similarly huge Seminole squad twice last year. The difference this time is that the bevy of guards Leonard Hamilton has at his disposal broke everything down off the dribble.

The Hokies were never going to be a juggernaut on that end, but have to be better to live up to their postseason aspirations.

With Allen out, Tech had five adequate defensive players available. The key word there is adequate, because they all have their flaws. But Buzz can't play five guys for the entire afternoon, which meant minutes for the combination of Sy/Ty Outlaw/Matt Galloway. Nothing against them, but let's just say none of the three would make an All-ACC defensive team. More minutes for any of them makes getting stops an even taller task.

The struggles also directly correlate to the team's offensive production. They're at their best when a wing grabs a rebound and streaks up court, keeping their opponents scrambling as the ball whips around the perimeter. And so the fewer misses the Hokies force, the more difficult things get on the other end.

Comments

The Noles really clamped down on us on D. Their length and aggressiveness really seemed to bother us. Many times the passing lanes were eaten up by the wingspan of the defenders.

@vtscottyb

Will Devin Wilson be able to help us this year?

Edit: Spelling

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I'd like to know the answer to this as well

Is there a basketball scholarship available for him next year?

EDIT: I think I can answer my own question....

Here is who I see on the roster for next year:

Hill
Sy
Blackshear
Robinson
Clarke
Seth LeDay
Bibbs
Outlaw
Fullard
Tyrie Jackson (Not sure if he is a walk-on or scholarship)

Newcomers:
Bede
Alexander-Walker

I only count 11 or 12 so looks like they would have one available for Wilson.

more interesting question: can he be on scholarship as a football player and not actually finish out the season because he switches to basketball? You know, since we aren't LOLUVa and therefore football and basketball season actually overlap.

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 don't think he plays football again next year. He participated in senior day and wasn't really a contributor this year so I think he would switch back to basketball full time and get a basketball scholarship.

I would go with this. Tyrie Jackson is a scholarship player so Devin Wilson would be the thirteenth scholarship unless Buzz finds someone else over the next few months. Then you may see some creative accounting.

Not surprised, not upset... When they bring the effort on D, and have a couple shooters working with their NBA size, they are legit top ten. This was a 10-11 pt game until the last 10 seconds, with us playing short handed on the road vs a REALLY good team that played really well. So not much to be super disappointed in.

'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'

Gotta hold serve these next 3 games at home. Losing home games kill RPI and Syracuse and ND are playing really good ball, I think we need at minimum 1 win between those two.

And I forget what post game thread it was talked about in, but Seth Allen, despite his at times frustrating inconsistency, is the one who makes this team go. Really missed him today, need him back Tuesday against that Syracuse zone

I'm surprised SU beat Miami and Pitt this week after losing by 15 to BC, 30 to SJU and by 7 to Gtown, the latter two at home.

They cut down on the rotation an insane amount, they're only playing 6 guys now. 3 of their starters didn't come out of the game, didn't play a guard off of the bench. The guy off the bench played 36 min so its really almost 5 guys the whole game. It's working for them right now, but I'm not sure if thats maintainable

The last two games show how desperately little depth we have. I know Blackshear is out too but damn these injuries reveal a short bench.

VB born, class of '14, Semper Paratus

It doesn't help that 60% of our roster is wing players

Why not? 60% of Buzz offense is wing players.

Except currently the other 40% is point guards and Zach LeDay

Hopefully Allen can come back soon and get the team back to playing better defense. Next three at home are big.

"Most students who are there want to be nowhere else... Once a Hokie, always a Hokie." - Chris Fowler

Whelp, that went well. Not a great start to the New Year.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

And let's not forget the turnover problems this team has had over the last two games. Fix the sloppy play, hit free throws and today's game would have been entirely different.

Is it football season yet?

As I have said before, with all of these injuries and size deficit, our margins are razor thin. I am not saying we have to play a perfect game, but the unforced errors have to be kept to minimum. A lot to do and a short time to do it.

Seems like the boys were trying to play their game and share the ball, but a six foot arm would appear out of nowhere and swipe it away.

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

I will say that I am not blaming the refs for the loss, the turnovers and and weak D let that happen, but between the NC State game, and the FSU game, man I just one to see one game called evenly.

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

You will. It's just gonna be in Cassel.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows