Buzzketball Rolls Syracuse 83-73

The Hokies run away from the Orange to snap a two game skid.

[Mark Umansky]

2016-17 is not just a year of improvement for the Virginia Tech men's basketball team, it's also one of systematically exorcising the demons in the program's recent past.

Coming into the night, Buzz Williams' team had played Syracuse three times. The first was his ACC debut, and saw a scorching comeback fall just short with a Malik Mueller shot at the buzzer. Tech lost 68-66.

The second time the two met in 2015, Buzz's bunch let a double digit lead slip away in the second half. Tech lost 72-70.

In the third matchup a year ago? The Hokies blew another late lead, and collapsed down the stretch into overtime. Just in case you're missing the pattern here, Tech lost. 68-60.

So when Syracuse came into Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night, history was on their side. The problem for the Orange, however, is that history can't guard Hokie forward Zach LeDay on a baseline dunk. And the redshirt senior had plenty of them during Virginia Tech's 83-73 win.

LeDay and company were in dire need of a turnaround after losing to NC State and Florida State, and played with intensity from the jump. The big man had 22 points, and continuously broke into Jim Boeheim's vaunted 2-3 zone for easy dunks.

Fellow senior Seth Allen came back from the concussion that forced him to miss action against the Seminoles, and chipped in with 11 points and 5 assists of his own. Even more importantly, Allen acted as the team's primary ball handler for most of the night, as point guard Justin Robinson struggled with foul trouble.

"I thought he (Allen) played with great poise," Williams said. "I told he and Zach, I thought tonight they both played like redshirt seniors, and that's what we need from them."

And while the elder statesmen of the group had big nights, they were far from the only ones who contributed to their squad's success.

Ahmed Hill and Chris Clarke constantly broke out in transition. Clarke also played the vital high post position on offense, winging the ball quickly around the opposing zone. The old adage about attacking Boeheim's defense is that you either have to shoot over it or directly attack it, and the sophomore was set to do the latter.

He consistently found LeDay roaming the baseline and wings cutting to the basket, who then attacked the rim vigorously. All but three of Tech's second half field goals were made close to the basket, success which left longtime Cuse coach befuddled.

"They were making a direct pass from the perimeter which has never happened to us," a less-than-loquacious Boeheim said postgame. "Our center just wasn't in good position."

Up next, the Hokies stay home and host 20th ranked Notre Dame on Saturday, who Tech fell to in heartbreaking fashion in 2016. Another chance for Buzz and company to prove themselves against a ranked opponent, and yet another demon to put behind them.

A Few Quick Thoughts

Syracuse is the perfect example of sanctions hitting a program hard and fast. The Orange's schedule is littered with high profile blowouts, and took a turn for the abysmal when they fell to Boston College by 15 earlier in the year.

Let me rephrase, when they fell to the worst team ACC team we've possibly ever seen by double digits. I was under the impression that anyone who loses to BC by more than 10 was automatically relegated to the CAA.

Remember, Cuse may have gone to a Final Four last year but that masked the impact NCAA penalties had on the program. The Hokies are a good team, but Boeheim's team simply didn't have the length, quickness, and wherewithal to contain on the defensive end.

And when they switched to a full court press in the second half? Forget about it.

Tech continuously shredded it, ripping open their lead for good.

One last note. It's hard to understate how important LeDay is to the Hokies, but this extended quote from Williams is a decent indicator:

"Zach doesn't come across as if he's really intelligent, but he's a really good kid and he's smarter than you think. You just have to spend some time around him to realize that he knows what's going on.

"He cares so much. Obviously his first two years (at South Florida) he lost, a lot, and was considered a bad player. He worked incredibly hard in his sit out year, and then we had an 8 game ACC improvement in his first year here. He just cares about winning."

It's good that he cares about winning, because he's doing a lot of it during his last run in Blacksburg.

Comments

Great write-up!

But don't you "exorcise" demons?

Edit: Thanks for correcting it

"Jerod Evans had more moves on that run than Bayer has aspirin!"

-Mike Burnop, 9/24/2016

I hate it when my demons get flabby.

Did you tell him about the Twinkie?

"Jerod Evans had more moves on that run than Bayer has aspirin!"

-Mike Burnop, 9/24/2016

Thanks for the recap...excellent work!

Got to love tonight's results. Tech wins and FSU beat Duke by one more than we did. Duke was without Amile Jefferson which is much tougher for them to replace than Allen. FSU fans did an excellent job of harassing Allen all game. They went crazy when he took a tough foul that sent him flying into the baseline out of control.

They went crazy when he took a tough foul that sent him flying into the baseline out of control.

Which is not ok. That is not an "excellent job" of harassing someone. Boo a player all you want, that's fine. But there should never be a situation where it is ok to cheer when someone takes a hard foul, especially any type of foul that send him "flying into the baseline out of control" like you so aptly put it.

Allen is a shitty player, and has some stuff he needs to figure out. But there should never be a time when we're cheering a foul that send someone flying into the baseline in a manner that he did tonight.

/end rant

To be fair to the crowd, Allen was out of control as he went down the court and there was the appearance that it may have been a clean block when the cheering started, Allen carrying into the baseline was as much about his own reckless approach as when he was touched. This game also was the first time Duke had faced FSU since Allen tripped Xavier Rathan-Mayes last season.

In another incident that has now been brought to light, Allen is seen going hard for a ball up against the FSU bench and fairly or not, he is being accused of using a two hand shove against an FSU assistant coach. Some will argue he was trying to catch himself but others will say the full extension of his arms used was excessive and unnecessary and he did it with intent.

Allen went down hard all because of himself, and he deserves all the shit coming his way

"My favorite cocktail is bourbon on ice. It makes the ice taste better." - Jimmy Russell

"Nobody will say it, so I'll say it"

On first review of that I thought it was fine and he was just checking himself. But after the second time I watched it I'm definitely calling BS. I would like a duke fan to put their hand on the bible and try to tell me if that was the duke bench and coach K standing there he would have done the same thing.

EDIT: I also love the fact that he literally can't go a game without being in the spotlight for something questionable. He's clearly lost all benefit of the doubt and if he keeps this up we will have to create a website with a counter tracking how many days its been since Grayson Allen has exemplified the outstanding moral character of the prestigious Duke university

Agreed. The jump/swat for the in-bounds save was fine. But most everyone is going to curl up to protect the head/torso from hard impact OR put out the hands with arms bent to absorb the impact like shocks on a car. ALLEN, however, decided to help along Newton's Third Law by placing additional force with his hands/arms against the coach in order to arrest his motion.

TL;DR - Allen's a clown and needs to be removed from competition.

"Jerod Evans had more moves on that run than Bayer has aspirin!"

-Mike Burnop, 9/24/2016

Leg for Newton's Third Law.

foresthokie
US Navy Vet
Screw Kaepernick

Agree. After my fist look, I thought it might be incidental, but after the second look, it appears clear that he shoves the coach out of the way. Guess he just wanted to land in the guy's chair......

Where'd you get video of LOLUVA's secret practice drills?!? It wasn't a radio broadcaster was it ?

Run to Win. Pass To Score

Don't worry, Seth Greenberg has already taken to Twitter to condemn anyone who sees any fault whatsoever with this video.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

Scrolling through the responses to Seth's tweet and seeing Duke fans whining about FSU fans chanting "Fuck you Grayson" ...who cares? When did we get so soft?

Just so happens I agree with the chant.

"My favorite cocktail is bourbon on ice. It makes the ice taste better." - Jimmy Russell

Pat Nar-douche-i would call that pushing off and offensive pass interference

Man, who does this besides someone who has some serious aggro issues? First instinct rather than using your arms to brace yourself is to shove a guy 90 degrees to the direction of your fall? How does that help arrest your fall? Amazing.

'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'

I was thinking how I don't feel so bad about the FSU loss. Didn't have Seth Allen and I thought they started well, kept fighting throughout.

It's the NC State loss that was just embarrassing.

___

-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.

Dat Seth Allen fake doe

really works when you have a couple breakaway threes put in from that top corner. Who dishes for a three on a breakaway? That's right, we do.

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).

lol all I could think of when reading that

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

Much needed win to get back to .500 in conference. Said before the season that the ACC is loaded and I expect every team that makes it to .500 in conference will likely be a tourny team. Of course, I'm hoping we finish much higher than that, I'm just saying that's the bar we need to clear. Let's clear it comfortably.

Take that DINO BABERS!

Oh wait, wrong sport /s

Let's Go

HOKIES

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this game.

Go Hokies!

My two trips to the Dome this past year were both Hokie losses. I was waiting for this. How many years until we play them again in football?

___

-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.

Not enough.

"And then the real chess match began." - Justin Fuente

A mere six, thanks to the wonders of the 8 game conference schedule. Twelve until our next loss in the dome.

so is that a benefit or a detriment to our schedule? You know, that two generations of students will come and go before we have to play in the dome again?

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 gives us old timers a chance to impart some wisdom. "Gather round, young ones, and let me tell you why you never look past a game in the Dome..."

Specifically to that God-forsaken building, a major benefit.

Every time I think how much I despise BC being our permanent crossover game, I remember Syracuse and know it could be worse.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching when Chris was dribbling up court with 5 seconds to go. We are a pretty decent team, but I always feel that hand on my chest getting ready to rip my heart out and show it to me.

https://youtu.be/mk2E1CoGe98

foresthokie
US Navy Vet
Screw Kaepernick

Interesting strategy to just park LeDay on the baseline most of the night. Not much movement from him: he basically seemed to be hanging out waiting for the ball. And it worked. Some excellent passing to get the ball through the zone to him, and it led to some really easy baskets. The surprising thing to me is that Syracuse never really adjusted their zone to cover him.

His positioning and success in doing it were so obvious, I was also amazed that the Orange weren't able to adjust and shut him down. The first half dunk on the reverse side of the hoop, while starting flat-footed was awesome.

Probably the same reason we never adjusted to NCSU last week... They didn't have the personnel to do it.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

This is the negative side of Boeheim refusing to ever pull himself out of a 2-3 zone. The key to beating the zone is getting the ball into Clarke at the top of the key while keeping shooters on the perimeter corners, which keeps the base outside defenders committed, leaving only the central defender to deal with Clarke in the lane and Leday on the baseline. Clarke then has to choose either to take the ball in himself or fake in and drop off a pass to Leday who should have established himself on the opposite side of the lane than Clarke

I am certainly not a basketball wiz, but our seats are in the "end zone" and the cuse 2-3 zone often looked like an umbrella. 5 guys equidistant from the basket, guarding four of the good guys. I guess our offensive spacing caused this. Longish drive for a Tuesday night game, but worth it. My next game will be the night we go for the UVA sweep.

rather be at the Rivah.

Buzz actually talked about this post game. The more you spread the zone out, the higher the two guards at the top will have to play. And the higher the two guards play, the higher the two forwards in the corners have to play. If everyone else is moving up, the center in the middle also has to move up.

So basically Tech forced pressure with ball action outside the arc, got Cuse to move the zone further away from the basket, which gave LeDay plenty of room to operate. And after he was established, it was easier to get the ball to Clarke and Allen in the high post, which lead to open shots. It was pretty clinical.

We have a great hi-lo game when the other team isn't too big, not sure how that will work against other teams in the ACC that might throw the 2-3 zone at us mid-game.

Playing against zones in city league this year I have determined that I have no idea how to beat it when I'm on the court and that it was probably the invention of the communists.

Rip his freaking head off!

This team is also loaded with some of the best passers I've seen in Blacksburg in years. They make great ball fakes which cause the zone to move almost as one, and then deliver a deft little pass to just the right spot. And they are a confident lot as well. It really is a matchup nightmare for a zone team, decent range from behind the arc and really good interior passing.

"Don't go to, go through"

The ACC is going to be a grind, so its good to see us continue the winning trend at home.

Maybe some of you basketball gurus can help, but it seems to me like J'Rob is struggling a bit... forcing things, not playing particularly good D (not being lazy, just out of position a bit). I really like him, but he seems to be in a funk right now.

Is it football season yet?

you mean his 0 pt, 5 foul night he had?

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).

Let me rephrase, when they fell to the worst team ACC team we've possibly ever seen by double digits. I was under the impression that anyone who loses to BC by more than 10 was automatically relegated to the CAA.

Remember, Cuse may have gone to a Final Four last year but

Let's not forget just how they got that Final Four bid and the team who choked away the huge lead as time was winding down...

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

The same team you are referring to also lost a football game to Richmond.

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

they fielded their bball team to play football against Richmond? Watching that game, this is totally a possible explanation...

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 mean.....

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

Let's also not forget, we still have to play BC twice this season.....

I believe you meant to say "we get to play BC twice this season"

If there were ever two guaranteed ACC wins, those are them...unless you are Syracuse.

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).

BC just beat NC State, so don't assume anything.

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).

Took everything UNC had to beat Wake Forest too last night.

Maybe there is something to the point where its very hard to win on the road in the ACC

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

I like all the dunks

"I promise you I will keep getting back up as long as you keep pushing forward." -Michael Brewer
"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

It is just fun to see offense in Blacksburg. Offense other than Erick Green or Malcolm Delaney, as much as love those two guys. Offense that consists of 20 assists in a single game, not over the course of one or two weeks. Plus our football team has an Offense.

I've been a VT fan since 2005. This year's football team is my favorite team, beating out the 2010 squad by a hair. Every game was a thrill except for Cuse and GT. They were either blowout wins, comeback wins, back and forth down to the wire (Pitt), just a lot of fun. A high character team. And this year's basketball team is by far the most fun I've ever had watching basketball.

Exciting times in Blacksburg! Join TKPC today! Join the Hokie Club today!

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

Offense other than Erick Green or Malcolm Delaney, as much as love those two guys. Offense that consists of 20 assists in a single game, not over the course of one or two weeks.

Definitely agree that this team is more fun to watch, but, in defense of Malcolm and Erick, I think the style of play was likely the cause of system/coaching/their teammates.

Twitter me

I think you would have liked the 2004-05 fb and b-ball teams.

It was kind of nice having "..., ACC leading scorer" following their names, despite what it meant for the rest of the team.

___

-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.

So if we win all of our home games and lose all of our away games, do we dance?

That's what it's all about

the away loss to BC would prob keep us out

It would be tough. Winning out at home would include wins over ND, UVa, Miami, and Clemson, all are projected to be tournament teams at the end of the year, so that would certainly work in our favor. That said, UVa is falling off, and ND is a low ranked team, so we wouldn't exactly have any major marquee wins. Sucks that we only get UNC, UofL, and FSU on the road, because that would really help. Home wins against BC, Wake, GT, and Cuse aren't really going to do much resume-wise outside of padding wins. But yeah, win the remaining home games, beat BC, and maybe sneak in another road win (Pitt, Miami or Clemson?) and we should be comfortably in.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

Yes.

And when they switched to a full court press in the second half? Forget about it.

Not gonnna lie, got a little nervous towards the end with the press when got a quick cluster of points off turnovers from the trap to cut it to a six point game. Once we figured out how to break the trap though, it was time for some sportscenter dunks!

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

Remember when Syracuse and Duke were good at Roundball...

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"

KCCO

Did anyone hear Dino Gaudio throw some shade at Greyson Allen during his call of the VT Cuse game last night? He was talking about TripGate and how he thought it was taking away from the actual stories of college basketball when he said something to the effect of "Oh well, next year he'll be playing 8 minutes a night on Sacramento."

He will never suit up for an Nba team! Dude better like Europe a lot if he wants to keep playing

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

Listen to this guy... he has #sauces

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

I would love it if he were a bench player in the NBA and went in for mop up minutes and tried to trip Zach Randolph or Boogie Cousins.

Feel bad for JR. He got absolutely jobbed by that one ref. Two horrendous calls.

How is this a foul?
https://youtu.be/o28lqYUVJCk?t=4216

And this one... if this guy is reffing in Tienamen Square in 1989 the protester is called for a block and the tank awarded free throws.
https://youtu.be/o28lqYUVJCk?t=5324

'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'

The first one I agree with you, but the second is a foul and if you watch the call the official gives to the scoring table you will see what he is calling. Robinson grabs the jersey or shorts of the player near his waist with his right hand. He doesnt get whistled until the player tries to leave his feet and is obstructed.

Both of those situations should have been avoided because JRob should never have been guarding those players. The team needed to find a way to switch off players there so JRob is guarding someone slightly more size appropriate.

That first one was a complete joke.

I also don't remember at what point in the game it was, but I think it was Outlaw got called when the Syracuse ball handler clearly extended his arm and pushed off.

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

I think you're referring to this. There was definitely a push off, but it appears as if there was some contact on the arms beforehand.

https://youtu.be/o28lqYUVJCk?t=27m32s

That's the one. I don't know though. Yeah, a slight contact, but seems like a real ticky tacky call

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

Wasn't quite sure where to put this, but I just saw that Buzz has put Galloway on full scholarship heading into the spring semester

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

Puttin that history degree to good use

Outside its night time, but inside its LeDay

So listening to 99.9 in Raleigh on the way home yesterday and they started talking about NC State basketball and the loss to BC. Eventually, one of the guys just goes on a "Do you want to be Virginia Tech, who we pat you on the head and say "get them next time" for any loss, or do you want to be an actual basketball program?". Went on this rant using VT as an insult for about 5 minutes before a commercial.

Dammit, I wish we got to play them in Cassell this year.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

Oh, we'll get them next time alright.

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

Lol, most of their fans would take Buzz in a heartbeat. Too bad Buzz wouldn't take NC State in a heartbeat.

In Sam Rogers we trust.