Hokies Get Bullied in Chapel Hill, Falling to UNC 91-72

The Hokies are licking their wounds after being bullied all night long by the #9 Tar Heels.

[Michael Shroyer]

Heading into Thursday night's clash in Chapel Hill, rational Virginia Tech fans knew it would take a monumental effort to overcome the disadvantages on paper. A program that annually pulls in multiple McDonald's All-Americans, Roy Williams' Tar Heels have size, skill and depth that few programs in the nation can match.

That combination was on full display in their conference tilt with the Hokies, where the #9 Tar Heels ran Tech ragged en route to a 91-72 win.

Similar to Florida State, the Tar Heels (19-3, 7-1 ACC) posed an extremely challenging matchup for the undersized Hokies (15-5, 4-4 ACC). Carolina's starting frontcourt of Justin Jackson, Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks features on virtually every notable watch list and runs 6'-8", 6'-8" and 6'-9". Jackson is deadly from all over the floor, Hicks is a grinder inside, and Meeks displays stunning athleticism for a 290-pound post player.

Where Buzz typically finds success by constantly changing up Tech's defensive looks, he was never able to find anything that stuck against the Tar Heels.

To start, the Hokies focused on shutting down the paint and forcing the Heels to beat them from deep. Ultimately, the shooting ability of the Heels caused complete disruption on the defensive end, as talented shooters Joel Berry II and Jackson drained triple after triple. Meeks, Hicks and Tony Bradley packed the key, constantly out-leaping and out-muscling Tech to rebounds.

It became abundantly clear early on that the only way the Hokies would be able to overcome their defensive shortcomings would to play lights out on offense. Initially, Tech looked to be in business.

The Hokies jumped out to an early 8-2 lead behind steady play from guards Justin Robinson and Seth Allen. The two looked confident to start, banging home threes and taking their defenders off the dribble.

Tech regularly initiated their offense off a high ball screen from Khadim Sy or Zach LeDay. Whereas the high screen game featured more as a pick-and-roll against Clemson, Thursday night's strategy appeared aimed at providing the two guards with some space to operate.

As Allen or Robinson came off of a successful screen, they essentially had position on both their man — usually Berry or Kenny Williams — and the post defender. This forced one of the three remaining Carolina defenders to collapse as a help defender, creating an open Hokie to pass to. If that help didn't come (or arrived late), the ball handler would keep to the basket.

The offensive set worked well for the first 7 minutes, putting the Hokies up by as many as 6 points. But Roy Williams and his team adjusted to the Hokies' game plan, and began to sag back into the key. The Hokies went nearly 5 minutes without a field goal midway through the first half, struggling to find open looks and forcing long-range shots. Carolina took full advantage. A one point Hokies' lead became an insurmountable 11 point deficit at the half.

Coming into Thursday night's game in Chapel Hill, the focus was clearly going to be on how the Hokies frontcourt could matchup with Carolina's bigs. After 20 minutes of play, the Hokies sulked into the locker room having been thoroughly dominated on the glass. Carolina held a 26-10 rebounding margin, including a gaudy 16-1 edge on the offensive boards.

Those offensive rebounds led to easy put-backs for guys like Meeks and extended possessions, many of which resulted in daggers from the perimeter. For the second straight game, the Hokies allowed an opponent to match or surpass their season average from behind the arc in the first half. UNC shot 8-19 from three to start, opening the game with triples on 7 of their first 11 possessions.

The Tar Heels basically called Buzz's bluff. Discussing how challenging it was to gameplan against such a deep and talented roster, Williams noted, "Do you want to give them one pass or zero dunks in transition? Do you want to get in rotation and they just pulverize you on the offensive glass? Or do you want to at least be in front and hopefully affect the shot on a contest and have inside position? As far as the numbers that we pay attention to, relative to the complexion of our roster, we thought that was best."

Tech started out looking to limit the damage in the paint, throwing bodies at the Carolina post players and forcing the Heels to beat them from behind the arc. And beat them they did. Even in hindsight, the approach makes a lot of sense. If you neglect the paint, Meeks and Hicks would simply abuse the Tech forwards and pick up easy points and draw useless fouls. Better to take your chances against lower percentage shots and increase your odds where you are at your biggest disadvantage.

Carolina hit a couple of early threes that stoked confidence and forced some adjustments from the Hokies. Tech began to extend their zone, but Jackson and Berry kept firing from long range. Tech began switching up their sets, only to get beat off the dribble.

"Whenever you shoot a 3, it gives you more confidence knowing we're great on the offensive boards," said Jackson, who led all scorers with 26 points. "When we can shoot the ball like we did tonight, it just adds another aspect to our game."

Six different Tar Heels scored from distance, and the 14 made threes set a new season high for Carolina.

The smoke-and-mirrors defensive approach from Tech created its own set of problems. Similar to Sunday's game at Clemson, the Hokies struggled all night to stay in front of the basketball. While they were working hard to chase the ball and close down perimeter jumpers, they ultimately found themselves out of position inside. Unable to effectively box out a physically superior frontcourt, the Hokies were abused on the glass.

It certainly wasn't for a lack of trying. Guys like Chris Clarke and Zach LeDay looked absolutely gassed during stoppages in play. Being forced to expend so much energy on the defensive end makes it all the more difficult to succeed and stay focused on offense. Tired legs and a weary mind take players out of rhythm, disrupting their focus and stifling their confidence.

The Hokies frontcourt of Clarke and LeDay combined for 21 points and only 6 rebounds. To put that in perspective, those two are #1 and #3 on the team in scoring and average a combined 28.4 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.

Seth Allen and Justin Robinson each tried to put their teammates on their backs, to no avail. If you had never watched either of these teams play this season and tuned in for Thursday night's primetime contest, you would have wondered how Tech made it this long with only 4 losses. The Hokies looked so unsettled offensively and largely ineffective on the defensive end, that you would think Tech was an ACC bottom feeder.

As the Carolina lead steadily increased, as did the Hokies inability to play within themselves. They began to press, jacking up ill-advised shots and missing open teammates. They simply looked overmatched.

They never quit. They continued to battle until the final buzzer. But when you find yourself in a hole that deep (and you're on the road), you have to play absolutely lights out on both ends of the floor while getting a lot of fortunate bounces. Instead, UNC continued to make all of their open looks and dominate the paint.

Justin Jackson's game high 26 points came on 10-20 shooting, including 5-12 from distance. He also chipped in 3 boards, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Kennedy Meeks finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds, terrorizing the Hokies in the paint all night long. And UNC point guard Joel Berry II notched 15 points (on 5 made threes), 3 boards and 4 assists. 15 different players saw the floor for Carolina, 11 of whom scored.

The Hokies were led by Seth Allen, who finished with 19 points and 5 assists. Justin Robinson had a solid game, dropping 17 points and 7 assists. And Zach LeDay battled his way to 12 points, but finished the night with more turnovers than rebounds.

Thursday's loss was tough to watch. But again, it was always going to be an uphill battle. Tech has shown an ability to punch above their weight class, but they've regularly had issues hanging with teams that possess clear size and athleticism edges. And to be frank, sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the opposition.

Carolina shot the lights out. If a couple of those first half three-pointers were misses, it would have been a completely different ball game coming out of halftime. The three-pointers surrendered continue to be a worrying trend, but it's hard not to believe that Buzz and his staff will work hard to make adjustments.

The Hokies will need to have short memories, as they play host to Boston College on Sunday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 PM.

Comments

Only watched the first half, but UNC was hot and even when they did miss they just got the offensive rebounds and put backs. Our guys were way too complacent missing outside 3 pointers. We had success when we drove, but didn't do it nearly enough.

Med needs to get it back together and Clarke needs to be more assertive offensively.

We all need to be more assertive on the boards. We went through the majority of the 1st half with only one foul - that tells me we are not playing aggressive enough on D and on the boards.

Also, I agree that we can't keep settling for outside 3 pointers - when we drive, we score or we get fouled.

Sy needs to beef up and take the ball to the rim strong.

Hard to be assertive on the boards when you are giving up a decent bit of height all over the floor.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic.

We had next to no one near the basket for most of our outside shots. Seemed more by design, which was more confusing. I understand preventing transition baskets, but you can't just hoist up 3s all game with no potential for offensive rebounds.

Outside shots have a tendency to produce long rebounds. We have a massive up hill battle to win interior offensive rebounds, so Buzz is playing to what we can pick up.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic.

To paraphrase Buzz, do you send guys to the boards for a rebound you're not likely to get or do you try not to give up a easy bucket in transition?

problem was we still gave up a ton of easy buckets, but got very few, if any, second chance points.

No...the problem was that it was a terrible matchup - on the road - for VT. Face it, this team is going to look pretty good against most teams but is really going to struggle against the few long, athletic (and some not-so-athletic...see Texas A&M) teams in country.

A great effect, but against the cream of the crop all-American team, what were we really expecting.. if our outside shooting is not completely on, it2a formula for a long game, and UNC always play their bigs all the way through the game even when they're clearly an overwhelming control. Classless....

Keep your head up, we will win more games and get to the tournament if we take one game at a time.

Not sure how it's classless when they have the depth to do it.

They do, but I believe he is referring to the fact that Roy played all of his starters until about 2 minutes remaining in the game. UNC was up 26 with 8ish minutes left and kept in their starters and kept shooting 3s.

He actually started subbing a little before 2 minutes left. Why would shooting 3s at the end of the game be classless? It's a lower percentage shot. I'd rather see a team with a huge lead swing it around and then jack up a three. It would be classless to continue pushing tempo and driving to the basket.

Leonard. Duh.

Unless you play VT, then the 3 is a pretty high percentage shot, since we dont really seem to challenge them

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

Exactly! I'm glad someone else sees and understands it.

note the time, score and players involved...

what UNC did wasn't that out of the ordinary. they shouldn't have to just run out the shot clock because they're up by alot. buzz didn't sub out his starters so unc shouldn't feel obliged too either

But, but that's different.....it's us!!!!!

"Don't go to, go through"

Teams can also come back from a -20 point deficit if you're not paying attention. This is the ACC we're talking about, UNC would have been smart to keep the heat until the game was over.

I hate UNC as much as the next guy, but calling them classless for that is just being a sore loser. We've shown we can come back from huge deficits this season (Michigan, Notre Dame, etc.)

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

As someone in the game thread said, UNC was hitting threes from Raleigh. Hats off to a night of ridiculous shooting for them.

They made some tough shots, for sure. But their % wasn't that great. They also made some easy 3's, got to the rim too easily and fed the blocks without any perimeter pressure. It was a defensive cluster.

But their offensive rebounding #'s were the difference in the game. I can understand when VT has low offensive rebound numbers, that's what Buzz values....getting back on D and stopping run outs instead of trying to get offensive rebounds with a small team who runs a spread offense. But to give up that many offensive rebounds is fundamentally against Buzz' philosophy, even against a big team. Most of those offensive rebounds were effort rebounds, not size rebounds.

A very disappointing performance all around.

Most of those offensive rebounds were effort rebounds, not size rebounds.

This

I understood the philosophy sticking to getting open 3 looks all night even if we're missing them. You're just not going to take it inside with that big of a size disadvantage. I had no problem with that. What I understand was that the shooter always bailed after the shot to play the fast break. The shooter should have a better idea than anyone on the court as to where a rebound could go and follow their miss. We could have at least gotten a couple of second chance opportunities that way.

Again, they were bigger and they showed it. Unless you're lights out from beyond the arc against a team like that you have no chance. Let that one go and make sure we get the next one at home.

Until VT can have an inside presence, we are going to struggle inside and outside. It just continues to feed itself and if the other team is nailing 3's, well then it is basically game, set and match. We will get there in time (recruiting) until then we need to win all the games where we can match up.

The refs were giving them charges on blocking fouls, blocking on charges, a couple walks, and general the normal hefty home court advantage that UNC and Duke carry at home. That said, they out muscled and just plain out shot us.

The good guys never quit and kept trying to get back in the game. But when your opponent is dropping three's from NBA range and is a foot taller in the paint.

Since the Duke game, I've come to two conclusions....Duke is not the team I thought they were, we are not the team I thought we were.

*disclaimer - I did not think we would be running the table in the ACC or anything, and I realize the ACC is a tough league. But, we are making way to many careless mistakes, and a lot of times, doesn't seem like we're playing with the same heart and energy that we saw in the Duke game.

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

I went to the game with my boys. The crowd there is electric - definitely one of the top home court advantages from an atmosphere perspective. We had a great time despite the score, and found the UNC fans to be polite and respectful. You could tell their players were feeding off the fans, and likely helped their shooting percentages considerably. Going in felt we needed UNC to come out a little flat, but I felt like the crowd kept that from happening. We really need Hill to regain his form. After missing badly on his first 3, he seemed tentative on offense and got lost. Sy needs to work on lower body skills. He could not command position on offense, and wanted to try to wait for a rebound instead of boxing out aggressively. The officiating was actually about as good as I could have hoped for, with a few missed calls both ways from what I could see. We forced too many passes, and missed communications on defense often had two players coming out for one shooter, leaving us out of position for both defense and rebounding when he passed. We also seemed to often have too many players running out for a fast break on offense or waiting for the ball to come to them instead of fighting for the ball. Hopefully Sy and Lawson can take their extended minutes here and grow from it. This was the hardest game on our schedule this year from every perspective. Lets move on and go 1-0 next game.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

*insert Dwayne Lawson joke here*

Lawson

*checks basketball roster*

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

I found myself extremely frustrated at the lack of rebounding. UNC has talented bigs, but wholly crap, we couldn't buy a board last night.

The worst of it was when I think Clark/Leday fought for the same ball, which should have been easily grabbed by one. It got tipped behind them and I think Meeks through down a 2 handed jam in their faces.

Our perimeter defense also still leaves a lot to be desired.

I cracked many of beers last night watching this crapfest.

Box out and make your damn free throws!

we couldn't buy a board last night.

Its hard to buy a board when we're not even really going for the ball. Even when we had guys around the rim, their rebounding was passive at best, and most of the time it seemed like they were standing flat footed watching the UNC players outwork them for the ball.

To me, this is the most frustrating thing about this team this year. I just don't see the scrappiness and determination that we've seen even the last couple years to make us a challenge for the better opponents. We see spurts of it here and there where the team can make a run, but something feels off about this team 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 Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

I find it funny that when we play at a similar level and win a game, everyone praises this team for its scrappiness and grit. But when we play with that same level but get beat by a legitimate national title contender, the sky is all of a sudden falling on this basketball team.

UNC has ridiculous size. We weren't crashing the boards because we were getting back on defense to stop their well known fast breaks. Which we did. They just were hitting from everywhere outside the paint.

This is a tournament team. We will make the tournament in March. And you know what? In year 3 of Buzz, that's fucking impressive. At a point this season, we were 12-11 in the previous 23 ACC games. Before that? 12-48 in the past 60.

The fact that we kept this within 19 is a good sign. Allen had 19 last night, which is great to see from him. Robinson had a quiet night but still put up 17. Everyone who thinks that we aren't as good as expected to be this year just needs to realize that UNC is one of the best teams in the country, just like FSU. Should we want to win these games? Absolutely. Should we expect to? No.

I would agree with most of what you said...except for the beginning. I just didn't see that same level of "scrapiness and grit", and haven't seen it since Duke. Yeah it pops up in flashes during games, but the careless way we handle the ball, lazy, sloppy passes, leading to lots of unforced turnovers, both in the wins and losses since Duke, shows me that the team is not playing with that same level of "scrapiness and grit".

I do think we will have a tournament team on our hands, but since that Duke game, the squad just hasn't looked the same, even in the wins. Maybe just me

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

I find it funny that when we play at a similar level and win a game, everyone praises this team for its scrappiness and grit. But when we play with that same level but get beat by a legitimate national title contender, the sky is all of a sudden falling on this basketball team.

I disagree. I dont think they played with much scrappiness or grit last night. They played down, on the road, against a national title contender. Guaranteed L given that.

I think the ACC is a league where the expression of 'anybody can beat anybody' is especially prevalent. But the Hokies didn't show up in Chapel Hill and they got 'Bullied'. I don't think there is any reason for us fans to praise a night like that.

I understand the plan to get back on fast break, but that doesnt excuse all the defensive rebounds they missed last night. Who cares if they were good in transition if they can't get the damn ball after a missed UNC shot. 22/43 was the breakdown last night. That's a painful margin. Last night isn't a 'bad loss', but it was not an inspiring defeat.

I agree with you 99%. Just pump the brakes a slight bit on the tournament team part. I think we get there but its up in the air more than I think some fans might realize given just how tough the ACC is. After the BC game, we have a brutal stretch. 2 against UVA with Miami in between. 0-3 is certainly on the table for that stretch, and if its happens, it can be a tough uphill battle to get back to .500 in conference, which I think is gonna be the cutoff for ACC teams that make it the Big Dance. I'll be more comfortable saying we're a tournament team after seeing us pick up a game during that stretch.

Here's what we have left:

Home -- BC, Virginia, Clemson, Miami, Wake Forest
Away -- Virginia, Miami, Pitt, Louisville, BC

If we pick up one road win, we can afford to lose one home game and still be .500 in conference.

Going to try to summarize off of everything I have seen above.

First Topic, Calling UNC classless for playing to their strengths is not necessary. UNC usually runs a pretty tight eight man rotation of players. Last night, If you go look at the actual box score, you will see that Coach Williams played 15 guys. Some of them you only saw in the last couple minutes, but those would have been walk ons beyond the 13 scholarship guys. He still played three or four of his non rotation guys for between four and nine minutes each. His backup rotation guys also saw additional minutes that they normally wouldnt have gotten.

Its counter-intuitive to a coach to spread the minutes out that much even with a lead, especially for a period of time that could have seen Tech come back, which as was pointed out above, we have done several times this season. You also have to consider that even though the coach may want to spread it out more, its a delicate balance with the players, who are looking to draw NBA attention as their ultimate goal.

Looking at the starters. Meeks, played 2 less minutes than normal. Hicks played 3 more minutes but look at his stats, his scoring was half what he normally puts up, so I could see Williams leaving him out there to try to scrape together a normal performance. Jackson played one more minute than average but he was having a career night and coaches dont usually mess with special nights. Kenny Williams played a few more minutes but again like Hicks, he was having a terrible offensive night. Berry played his usual and scored his usual. You also have to remember that one of their primary backup guys, Theo Pinson, did not play in the second half as a precaution after rolling his ankle in the first half, so there were additional minutes to go around there. Pinson played six minutes when he usually plays sixteen. Pinson is also just back from a major foot injury that saw him miss the first 16 games of the season so you can understand them being careful with him. Thats an extra 10 minutes of floor time to spread around.

In terms of fouls to rebounds, last night, especially in the first half, the officials had swallowed their whistles for the most part. We only had one foul, UNC only had three. Not many people were getting whistled. We get more into rebounding below.

Rebounding

Offensive End: Its Buzz coaching style to prevent transition baskets rather than pursue offensive rebounds. Another aspect of this is that when you play a four out one in style offense like Buzz does, you only potentially have one player underneath typically when a shot is put up. Making this worse, the team has really shown a tendency to stand around on offense now rather than be continuously moving across the lane and around the perimeter. This lessens the chance that there will be a second player down low to even think about going for a rebound. Bottom line, until Buzz changes how he wants things done, dont expect this part of improve much. I also think the lack of focus on offensive rebounding has a serious impact on rebounding as a whole, because I think players spend less time working on this aspect of their game, be it by watching opponents tendencies in game film, or practicing high pointing the basketball coming off the rim or even the basics of getting yourself turned to the basket while maintaining position on your defender to properly box out and be able to go get the rebound. Too often our guys are flat footed, facing away from the basket, and have the ball taken right over their heads.

Defensive End: There are quite a few areas of concern here. First major impact here, is loss of height on the roster. This is the third season in a row that Buzz' team has lost/benched at least two players on the team for the majority of the season. This impacts almost everything he does as a coach, to include defensive style, player rotation/positioning, player minutes, and even player aggressiveness. This season it was Blackshear and Hamilton along with Jackson and Wilson redshirting, with Seth Leday and Nick Fullard sitting out and with Hudson/Pierce also gone by transfer, last season it was Pierce, Clarke, Outlaw and Hill with Adam Smith gone by transfer and Mueller off to play in Europe, prior to that it was Joey Van Zegeren in season with a massive list before the season started with C.J. Barksdale, Ben Emelogu, Marshall Wood, Trevor Thompson and one other that escapes me at the moment.

Another aspect of this is the hit or miss nature of transfers. Seth Allen obviously has been a big get for Buzz, as has Zach Leday. Henry was never what we thought he might be though and the same can probably be said for Hamilton, so thats three years of big men that had minimal impact. Outlaw missed an entire season due to a medical issue and this season has looked overwhelmed at times, although these last two games might have been arguably his best performances as a Hokie. He led the team in rebounds last night with five. We have yet to see what Seth Leday and Nick Fullard will add.

Looking at just this season, Buzz is down to ten guys that CAN play, he regularly plays eight of them. I for one dont understand Donlon not getting more run, even though he isnt as talented, if for nothing else to give them a slightly beefier look for short periods in some of these games. That said, because he is only running eight guys and especially only two at the center spot in Leday and Sy, it impacts how aggressive either of those players can be because they cant afford to be out due to foul trouble.

Second order of business, rebounding in the two-three zone that Buzz seems to have to employ against teams that are taller than us, based on his short bench and his short players. We tend to go to a zone defense to try to protect our shortfalls. This creates issues with covering opposing teams closely. It also spreads us out from the center of the court more than a man to man style might, limiting those near the basket to rebound. Even inside the zone, we differ in how many teams play this style because we tend to front our coverage rather than play behind the offensive player to try to prevent interior passing due to the height differences. This means that when the opposing team shoots, we are automatically in a poor position to rebound because the down low offensive player(s) are to the inside of our defensive players.

We also seem to have trouble rotating to the corner threes. Hill, Outlaw and Clarke all struggle with this. When this happens and the shot goes up from the corner three, our guy is usually moving away from the basket while the shooter following his shot is stepping towards the basket and can easily get inside our man there. This means that shots from the corner three, we are at a disadvantage on all but the opposite side of the zone, where a kick off the rim in that direction should be to our advantage. Three point shots also tend to kick off hard when missed so even those that kick out into the high lane leave our guys in a bad position compared to their offensive counterparts because once again, our guys on the perimeter are facing the opposing player with the back to the basket, so the opposing player is more likely to see a shot go up and be able to step inside for a rebound before our guys react and turn inside.

This same concept applies when an opposing player drives to the basket from the corner rather than shoot, because momentum takes them towards the basket while our guy is moving in the other direction. Those defensive players not covering him still have their backs to the basket so they are late to react to any drive. We saw at least four of these last night.

Lastly on rebounds, when the opposing player has a half foot on everyone else, already has inside position and misses, many times the ball comes right back to them, so they get an offensive rebound of their own miss and put it right back in. This happened numerous times last night, especially with Meeks.

Last night was bad in terms of rebounding although much better in the second half considering they finished with 19 offensive rebounds and most of those were in the first half. Some of it was effort level, some of it was fatigue, some of it coaching philosphy but you also have to remember one thing: UNC came into the game #1 in Offensive Rebounding in the nation and they finished with 2.3 more than their season average.

Aside from the lack of O rebounds, seems we played well.
I'll take 50% FG and 35% 3-PT. It was amazing how many 3's UNC hit.

Their run of threes in the first half (how many in a row did they hit?) while we were forcing (and missing) ours dug such a deep hole that it really wasn't a game after that. We don't have the D to force enough turnovers to overcome that.

I love our team. We are a threat to make the tournament, which is amazing progress. UNC however is a legit threat to win it. Playing at their place and them shooting the way they did...it was a mismatch.

The plus I saw was that our guys were still playing hard at the end. Can't let a game like this cost us more than one game.

Yeah playing hard with that sort of deficit it a good thing. Gotta admire that.

Does anyone know why it seems Buzz doesn't recruit a lot of power forwards and centers? The 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes only have shooting guards and point guards. Is it his philosophy or are we just not having any success recruiting big guys? Apart from Sy, we really don't have any guys over 6'8'' that consistently play. I love what Buzz is doing with this program and we are worlds away from what we were under Johnson and even better than we were under Greenberg, but the one criticism I have is the lack of bigs that can battle it out in the post.

I am the heartbeat of Blacksburg. A fortress built out of stone but made with champions.

Buzz' preferred offense is a four out, one in style motion offense which really only calls for 1 big on the floor at the same time. He also prefers speed and athleticism over lumbering size, hence why even the bigs he does bring in tend to be long lean bigs. He has to account for scholarships across a four year spectrum as well, so right now he looks at having Sy and Blackshear together for the next three seasons. I would expect to see him identify a big or two either late in the 18 class or as part of the 19 class. He already has BJ Mack committed in 2019. I would expect another growth spurt for him before he gets to Tech and he is already 6'7. Another unknown is how much Nick Fullard will play considering he is a walk on transfer sitting out this season. He is 6'10 and 240 lbs. Seth Leday is also 6'7 albeit a bit lighter than his brother at the moment.

Can anyone speak on how well Fullard and LeDay have been doing in practice? I know someone on these boards has been raving about Pig Jackson, but has there been any word on these other two redshirts?

Notre Dame and Florida State go down again today. And UNC is getting crushed on the road at Miami.

"...When we step on that field, they bleed like we bleed and we're gonna show the world."
-Corey Marshall

Not just crushed, they brought out the Angry Roy Williams I was hoping we could bring out. Williams threw a chair after a technical foul call on Berry.