Buzzketball Dismantled In Charlottesville 71-48

The Hokies disappoint on the road, and get smoked against Virginia.

[Michael Shroyer]

To beat UVA and their trademark defense, a team has to do a few things.

First, the opponent must hit three pointers consistently. They must also have guards who attack the paint with poise, and wings who directly challenge Virginia's bigs.

The Virginia Tech men's basketball team did none of those things in a 71-48 self-destruction in Charlottesville.

The Hokies struggled in every aspect. They couldn't hit shots (5-17 in the first half), they turned the ball over recklessly (14 total), and also failed to create any resistance on the other end. For a group who couldn't possibly seem to play as poorly as they did against North Carolina last week, they out did themselves.

"The thing that hurt us most was our turnover rate was way too high, in as slow a game as that was," said head coach Buzz Williams. "22 percent of the time we gave the ball to them without a shot, and that's mathematically incredibly hard to overcome."

Outside of one brief glimmer of hope in the second half, when swingman Ahmed Hill had a chance to cut the Wahoo lead to 10, the mistakes and missed shots suffocated the Hokies. Their flubs piled up, as they watched UVA methodically pull away. As far as blowouts go, it was especially excruciating to watch.

"They're not going to change," Williams said of the Hoos' style. "They're the second slowest team in the country relative to pace of play. That's how they play, you can shoot it as fast as you want, and the cumulative part of the game they're going to win time of possession no matter what."

Seth Allen led the way with 14 points on an inefficient 5-14 from the floor. Zach LeDay had 12, and no one else finished with more than five.

Now this all fails to acknowledge the Cavaliers' ability as a group. They're the ninth ranked team in the country, and came within a shot of taking down number one Villanova. Tech's rivals are in the midst of another great year, and are one of the best the Hokies will play, but it doesn't numb the agony of the loss.

Buzz's bunch drops to 16-6, and now have a week off until they travel to Miami. Seven days is a ton of time relative to the ACC schedule, and is necessary to sure up an ailing defense. And after their matchup against the surging Hurricanes?

Tech plays UVA again. In Blacksburg.

And just in case anyone forgot (though you probably didn't), the Hokies won in Cassell last time.

A Few Quick Thoughts

Yes, Frank Beamer was on the bench. Why? No one really knows. Buzz gave a very nondescript answer about him knowing the players, but it didn't really mean much.

Moral of the story: Buzz is a weird guy who sometimes does weird things. And that's okay, even in a blowout.

The defense has been poor, especially over the last four games. But the problem is there aren't a ton of avenues for Buzz to fix it. Playing Justin Robinson and Allen at the same time means one of the two will be matched up against a larger guard, and either Chris Clarke or Ahmed Hill would have to handle a forward. In theory, a zone mitigates some of those concerns.

But would a switch to man help the Hokies' dreadful rebounding? Maybe. UVA had 11 offensive rebounds, including three in a raucous (and demoralizing) opening few minutes. But a change could also lead to foul trouble, easy baskets inside, and other woes protected the rim.

It was troubling to watch how much trouble the Hoos gave Clarke all night. They wanted to limit transition baskets, the sophomore's lifeblood, but he found early success driving right to the basket in half court sets. But other than a pair of quick trips to the line in the first half, the Hokies needed a search party to find him.

Clarke ended 1-4 from the field (0-2 from three) with five points. Less than ideal from one of the team's best offensive weapons.

On a slightly positive note: watching Bennett's Cavaliers is a great reminder about how a coach can turn around the destiny of a program. He took over a squad whose last coach (Dave Leitao) burned out any support left for UVA hoops, ran the team into the ground, and laughed as he peeled away from the ashes.

Buzz took over from James Johnson, a coach who was worse than Seth Greenberg. In case you forgot, Greenberg was the guy who burned out any support left for Tech hoops, pushed many of his players away, and laughed as he peeled away from the ashes.

While Buzz took over a worse situation, he still had to deal with many of the same issues as his counterpart in Charlottesville. Public perception was borderline laughable, and the culture was listless at best.

Both Bennett and Williams came in as complete outsiders, and instituted their own styles. Virginia made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Bennett's third season, after he retooled the roster with players of his choosing. Barring something catastrophic (which isn't out of the question), it's promising that the Hokies may also go dancing in year three of the Buzz era.

But since we're on the subject, there's no guarantee that Tech makes the tournament. Yes, they play in the best conference in the country, but look at the resume.

Their one good win is against a shaky Duke team who can't seem to put anyone away. And the schedule, while manageable, offers plenty of pitfalls (pun not intended, but their game at Pittsburgh is one to circle).

I won't tell anyone to predict more March heartbreak, but it's less of a sure thing than many anticipate.


Could some media person ask Buzz why Sy doesn't play more? I know he's a freshman and is prone to mistakes but its not like our defense of late can be any worse. And from the limited minutes he has played, I think he's done pretty well all things considered. So what's there to lose? I'd legitimately like to know his rationale

He is an offensive liability at the moment, and can't begin to create his own shot because of a travelling issue. His inability to spread the court hurts a lot of our driving lanes. His defense is improving, but 2 quick fouls like we saw again last night makes it tough for him to see the court especially in the first half. This is my 2 cents but I wouldn't be surprised if there's some logic sprinkled in there.

He played a lot last night though. He didn't play well (who did honestly?), but the minutes were there. I was actually thinking the opposite because Sy played probably half of the 2nd half of that game, all while LeDay was parked on the bench. What I don't understand at all is the uptick in Outlaw's minutes while Hill and Clarke are usually the last ones off the bench to start the game.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." - Jay Bilas

I think Buzz stated he starts Oultlaw and brings Leday, Clarke and Hill off the bench to re-energize the team. Outlaw has played better of late, showing some D and rebounding. He has all the looks offensively of a guy who could get you 20+ on any given night. Even showed a pull up game last night. Keep i mind this is his first full season in 2 years and he was pursued by Kansas as a transfer.

'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 agree, Outlaw has steadily improved since we hit ACC play. That corner of the key jumper is what I wish more of these guys had because it forces teams to stay on guys throughout the play which usually opens something up elsewhere or it allows a guy to take a good shot without having a hand in his face because the defenders momentum is carrying them away from the shooter.

Very true- Wilkins killed us with that corner key shot- it was open all night.
For us- there's just not much in the mid-range game it seems. Wish JRob and a couple others would watch some Erick Green video :-)

'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'

That time of possession will get after ya. /s

wow, that sucks. now loluva will have something to throw in our face for the next 10 years of football dominance.

They were certainly doing it in the stands.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Good Lord!

Year 3 is coming up!

Beamer was there for his aura. Buzz was hoping Beams not even remembering the last time he lost in cville would bleed over to our boys. Not so much.

Also, Bennet is the CPJ of basketball and we should all hate him for it. He is making the sport more boring...

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)..

Winning is never boring. I'd take a boring scheme if it made us nationally relavent

This team played 90% man earlier in the season and was very good defensively. We play 90% zone now and are giving up almost 50% FG rate and atrocious defensive rebounding. I don't get it. Sure play some zone (maybe 30%) to save legs but challenge your guys to get in a stance and get stops, and put a body on them at attack the miss for the rebound. But its Buzz' team and he knows them better than anyone, but I'd sure love to hear the reasoning.

'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'

In yesterdays game in terms of UVA offensive rebounds, at least half of them came with a Hokie defender on the inside that remained flat footed. They are getting position but they dont get off the ground. Even when they do get off the ground, many of the Hokies instead of going up with both hands for the ball go up with one hand trying to tip it to themselves. UVA took at least four of those balls away and three led to second chance scores. I am not sure which coach is responsible for teaching rebounding fundamentals but its either not being done well or the coaching is being ignored when its game time.

I completely agree with you about the zone defense percentage. I know we have a short bench but the results show the zone isnt working. Last night, they switched to a three two zone rather than a two three to be able to cover the perimeter better and that worked for the most part as UVA shot only 31% from outside.

I noticed the bad rebounding technique last night as well. It was frustrating when we appeared to finally get some rebounds only for UVA to come away with the ball.

Just glad they have a reasonably nice mid season break (week between games) to rest and work on some of these fundamentals.

I think we moved to zone because we're generally small all over the court and had a hard time containing guards off the dribble. Doesn't make for a good combo in man, and our rotations in zone aren't very good. Very damned if you do damned if you don't.

That game was ugly in person. Couldn't hit free throws or three pointers, too many uncontested shots for UVA, too many turnovers. At least I had free Devil's Backbone to drink.

Turned on RE7 at halftime. About a half hour later realized that halftime was over and 2nd half had started. Checked score on phone. Continued to play RE7.

We're just not a very good basketball team right now.

"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

You enjoying that? Gamefly is supposed to be sending it to me, though I only got it for HDR.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I'm really enjoying it. They really got back to the survival horror roots of the first two. The graphics are incredible and the atmosphere is super creepy.

"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

Sweet. I just upgraded TVs (had a 4k TV but no HDR, now I have both) and wanted to get something that I knew would look good and had a good story. I've never played a Resident Evil tbh so kinda excited to try something new.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

We're just not a very good ROAD basketball team right now.

'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'

Haven't been a very good HOME basketball team either. Played some lesser teams and did not look sharp.

The only game we've lost at home all year was against Notre Dame, who by the way was undefeated in conference play at the time. We're a good team at home.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." - Jay Bilas

Winning a game doesn't always mean you are playing well...

That's fine but it beats the contrary. I'm just saying we've had some impressive wins at home, and that I consider us a good team.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." - Jay Bilas

Its difficult to compete against a great defense when you make so many mental mistakes. Also, with all our athletic guards and forwards it would be nice to see a few more dribble drives rather than relying on an outside shot which was nonexistent for large stretches of the game.

"Be yourself is about the worst advice you can give some people"

All outside shooting with 0 inside rebounding presence is not going to get it done.

I am not sure what has happened but it appears that Chris Clarke is off his game. He has been hesitant to drive to the basket in the last couple of games and the wahoo's didn't even bother to challenge him at the three point line because they KNOW he is no threat there. Those are occasions when he has to drive the basket.

Our passing and ball handling has been slipping. We even fumbled the ball on a break away transition at the basket. Too many turnovers for sloppiness. I could forgive bad passes more than just miss dribbling.

That said, our team still has heart and drive. I continue to think that they can get around these hurdles and get to the big dance. We just need to tighten up our play and find our defense and shots.

Go Hokies!

Hill is really off his game. JRob is off his game as well.
I think Clarke is just trying too hard.

Tweedy can run like a dadgum antelope or whatever. I like to use scalded dog. Do antelopes lumber? Cheetah, OK. He runs like a cheetah. He's fast. - Bud Foster

I agree with the first two strongly and a bit of the last.

I'm afraid that Ahmed is trying to shoot his way out of the slump with no success. I was waiting on the corner three pump fake, go to the cup move and it never came. He just kept shooting 3s. Bad misses too.

He is the key to this team's overall sustained success, IMO.

Tweedy can run like a dadgum antelope or whatever. I like to use scalded dog. Do antelopes lumber? Cheetah, OK. He runs like a cheetah. He's fast. - Bud Foster

Ahmed Hill has been absolutely horrific the past month. I don't what happened to the kid, but he looks like a completely different person on the court. You can actually see the lack of confidence in his play. He needs to get out of it. When we were successful early in the season, he was a big part of it.

Bibbs also had an off night in that he didn't really shoot at all. When he got the ball he was effective with either baskets or from the free throw line.

Bibbs couldn't really get into a rhythm with his foul trouble. Every time I looked up it seemed like he had another foul. After his 4 point play I thought he was going to have a good game.

"Be yourself is about the worst advice you can give some people"

Bibbs was wide open in the corner on numerous possessions, sometimes waving for the ball, and the PG didn't get it to him. He can't hit the shots he doesn't take. No guarantee he makes them, but our PG's need to be looking for him more.

I agree on Clarke. Several times last night, he tried to make end-to-end breaks on his own (and failed miserably) when he had wide open teammates. I wish he would look for the pass in those situations.

The challenge for Clarke at least for this game was that with how UVA backed off him from the perimeter, they were able to clog the lane with defenders against him. Several times he attempted to drive to the rim and lost his handle and turned the ball over. Even if he could find a free throw line jumper it would force the defense to be more honest. Until then, I expect most of our opponents with how teams are scouted these days will continue to do much the same thing. Clarke in the BC game was making more of an effort to be the point guard and distribute than being the offensive mismatch. Not sure why but it appeared to be by design with Buzz. To be honest though, if it will stretch the D back out to him, I would rather see Clarke hoist up some three ball attempts than Leday.

I agree that Clark needs to work on his shot this week a lot. He was definitely nonplussed when UVA left him wide open. I can see other teams taking that approach with him If he doesn't start draining some jump shots. Not to mention his lack of a decent distance shot is his biggest weakness as a player right now.

1 game in the next 10 days, good time to hit the reset button.

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

To me, it is much more than winning and losing right now. This team had to hold off a terrible BC team after building a pretty sizable lead early. The reason? the defense is atrocious. When we play the top teams in the conference, teams I don't necessarily expect us to beat, we look like a JV squad... completely lost. The games against the better teams in the league aren't even competitive. That is the thing that makes me scratch my head a bit.

But, as they always say, things are not quite as good as we think they are and things are not quite as bad as we think they are.

Is it football season yet?

Losing Blackshear for the year really put us behind and put Sy in a difficult situation in his development. We just dont have the depth at this point and it's sad to see Allen and Leday's senior year continue to be in mediocrity.

I see this program on the rise but took a step back due to important injuries. Playing with 7 men in the ACC really doesn't win many games.

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

Whelp, that was another nice, big dump at the toilet known as JPJ. How the f-k do you only put up 48 pts?? Was that more or less than last year (I'm kinda going towards less)?

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

This was an unprecedented poor shooting night for a pretty competent group of shooters. Granted, UVA is known for their stalwart D and low scoring games. We've won games against Bennett that were in the 40's.

But, the hokies were 15% (3-20) from the 3 point line. 35% overall. 14 turnovers and a -15 rebounding margin. You don't stand a chance with that statline.

How the f-k do you only put up 48 pts??

LOLUVA is 1st in the nation in points allowed with 53.4 PPG. So we weren't far off the average for points against them. It isn't helping that this team hasn't been shooting the ball well as of late either. Bad game for us, but you're not going to drop 70+ on em very often on GOOD nights, much less on a crappy night like last night.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

I can't remember the last time I was so frustrated watching a VT game that I had to turn it off to save my walls and possessions from being destroyed. That was the second really disheartening loss, all because of the effort level. -15 margin on rebounding. The Hokies looked like the JV team for Perkins School for the Blind out there last night. Couldn't hit contested looks or open looks from the perimeter, couldn't get any boards, couldn't drive to the hoop without losing the handle or having it poked out.

I worry for the viability of this team because they are not competitive unless they are shooting %50 from the field, because they dont ever have second opportunities, feels like we have a dozen offensive rebounds in ACC play. Defensively, even when they are in position, they miss out on the board. Coupled with over-agression when they get boxed out, leading to dumb fouls. They have really been exposed in ACC play. Our latest wins have been dangerously close to being losses. 2, one point wins and a 6 point home win over lowly BC.

I do not feel confident for this team to make a splash in the ACC tourney or if they make the big dance. They play too poorly away from their home court.

I like Buzz's quick style of play, but man we need some skilled big men to succeed in the ACC long term. I am worried about next year, because I dont see much polish or progression to Sy thus far, and Blackshear will be working off the rust. Chris Clarke is the only sure thing over 6'6" heading into 2017-2018.

I can't remember the last time I was so frustrated watching a VT game that I had to turn it off to save my walls and possessions from being destroyed.

Already forgotten the debacle at NCSU last month, I take it?

"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

Felt like I was scouting for the Celtics in the upcoming NBA draft during that one, more than watching my collegiate team play. We still have the right to swap with Brooklyn this draft, and they suck. Dennis Smith is such an incredible talent, it was a crappy performance by the Hokies but I respected the triple-double show from a PG.

UVA i just plain hate. I can't stand Perrantes and his two douchling understudys in Ty Jerome and the man-bunned loser with 3 first names, Kyle Guy. Those two will fuel my hatrid of UVA until they fade away into insignificance. Also, the NCAA needs to confirm the dates on Shayok's birth certificate, that man looks like he should be taking his own kids on college visits, not suiting up for one.

I can't remember the last time I was so frustrated watching a VT game

You haven't been a Hokie fan very long have you!

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

Lol, about a decade now, but the second half of that sentence is the real context.

Thinking back, the last time I was really that pissed was during that blowout loss in the Carrier Dome during foosball season, coming off the UNC thrashing. Luckily I was at a friends house for that debacle and I don't have quite the same fury for his walls and possessions.

I turned off the tv during the second quarter of the Arkansas game and I knew the Carrier Dome was gonna be a hot mess (because it always is), and never watched it.

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

I can't remember the last time I was so frustrated watching a VT game that I had to turn it off to save my walls and possessions from being destroyed.

I remember a few football games this year that we lost, and also one that we won up in South Bend.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

My solution is just go to all of the games then you can't hit a wall or throw things.

I actually think we'll be in better shape next year. Seth Leday is really skilled ball handler at 6-7, plus Blackshear back with Sy and Walker Alexander who is a ELITE level (like national top 30) player and Bebe who is a national top 75. We'll have more options to go bigger without losing the ball handlers Buzz loves. He actually said pregame last week that he'd prefer 4 pg's on the floor.

'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'

Is there a reason Outlaw isn't getting more playing time? Looks athletic, plays decent D, get a block once in awhile?

He played 18 minutes last night which is close to his season high of 21 minutes. Part of it is that early on he looked lost, as he has improved, so have his minutes for the most part. Most of OOC play he wasnt even a starter and rarely filled in, now he starts every game and plays significant minutes. Not sure how much more you can expect.

Limited minutes to go around for all those combo-gaurds. He's been a 3 and D guy, that's it. Seems to have struggled with his confidence, but more than anything he doesnt put the ball on the floor and can't create his own shot.

Bibbs/Hill have similar skill sets but are better ball handlers/distributors. Outlaw has been better on the glass than either of them though, IMO. Clarke is better in every facet, less perimeter shooting.

How I feel after the game last night:

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

I haven't seen anyone specifically mention it but what were the thoughts of having Beamer next to the coaches? It obviously didn't exactly pan out and I imagine hoo fans found it a little humorous in hindsight.

I am actually a little surprised that this is allowed. Are there any guidelines of who can sit on the bench? I would assume you at least have to be an employee of the university or else I could see USC allowing Snoop Dogg as an honorary coach for a game or something.

you're overthinking it man

and I'm pretty sure Beamer is still employed by VT

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

That reminds me, did anyone else notice (if I wasn't mistaken) Shane Beamer sitting behind the bench at the UNC game? I found that more interesting than Frank being at last night's game given, you know, the last time we talked about Shane.

Ever since the Duke win, the guys have been playing so much more hesitant and you can see that they're thinking too much. This especially seems to be the case when it comes to our rebounding woes. Rather than instinctively reacting, they're thinking, where as before they would just go after the ball.

Our game was flowing before ACC play. No doubt the ACC coaches and teams have done their homework on the Hokies and executed well. But what frustrates me the most as a fan is not seeing the tenacity and confidence that our boys were playing with before. They're getting pushed around in the paint on both ends. When on defense it's leading to easy buckets or offensive rebounds, and on offense it's leading to standing and watching on the perimeter. I'm not going to criticize the coaching because Buzz knows what works best for his team, but these guys have to be more aggressive and play with their instincts. Settling out on the perimeter and chucking up three balls is not going to get you back into games or extend a lead. Attacking the lanes, suppressing the defense to pack inwards, rather than the defense suffocating us beyond the arc, is going to get the results we want. Tough buckets in the paint will create space for elbow and mid-range jumpers off the screen, which can help create a rhythm, and confidence, from all over the floor.

After our break, I hope to see us get back to relentlessly pressuring our opponents. On the offensive end, penetrate the lane and good things will happen. On the defensive end, box out and get after it. Play tough, instinctively, and confident. Right now we're in a rut, but the good thing about this rut is it's all mental and can easily be fixed in so many different ways. Or it can be our demise and keep us from dancing in March. Obviously, I'm hoping this break can provide a turning point in the thick of our ACC schedule.

Party Positive.

7 man rotation is taking its toll.

Tweedy can run like a dadgum antelope or whatever. I like to use scalded dog. Do antelopes lumber? Cheetah, OK. He runs like a cheetah. He's fast. - Bud Foster

Technically an eight man rotation, usually with Allen, Clarke and Leday coming off the bench now. That said, last night, especially early on, we had great movement on offense but poor execution shooting the ball. Even in terms of driving to the basket, we shot five more free throws than UVA usually allows but once again couldnt finish many shots. We shot more from inside the arc than we did from outside if you look at the numbers. Half of our turnovers were from guys losing the ball on drives inside the paint. Clarke, Robinson, and Leday each had two while Seth had one. Last night we couldnt hit the broadside of a barn when we got good shots and UVA did what they usually do in preventing teams from getting many good shots.

As for rebounding on the offensive end, thats a ship that has sailed, as Buzz has ingrained in these guys to get back on defense rather than attempt to get a second chance opportunity. I wish we could find some middle ground but it doesnt appear to be a possibility. Defensively our guys have terrible habits in terms of rebounding techniques. Without seeing practices, I lean on putting this one squarely on the coaches because of how widespread the issue is. They did better boxing out in this game than I have seen in a while but thats where it ended, they failed to box out and then go up for the ball so the UVA guys were able to tip it back by reaching right over our guys heads.

A little bright side. {Don't read it if you're not into optimism}

1. We are 5-5 in the conference, equal on home/away games.
2. There are currently 7 teams ahead of us in the conference, 7 teams behind.
3. Of the 7 teams behind us, they all have pretty significant flaws. We get stuck only seeing VT's flaws and results.
4. Of our remaining 8 games, 6 are against teams below us...3 on the road, 3 at home.
5. We've played like crap for a month, IMO, mostly because Rob and Med have been struggling.
6. Jerry Palm's bracketology this morning had us as an 8-seed, still 10+ teams on the safe side.
7. We seem to be healthy and will get 1 game in the next 10 days.
8. We don't have any bad loses on our resume.
9. We've got Buzz Williams.

Last night wasn't good. We're getting blown out too often. Our rebounding effort is poor. Defensively, we seem to be rudderless currently. But a lot of that can change in short order.

Let's see how we respond.

i think the key is the time off, we have a short bench and maybe we can use the time to figure out some of our flaws (notably perimeter defense and rebounding fundamentals)

if our 2s and 3s aren't making jump shots, why wouldn't Buzz want a bigger Outlaw in to alter shots, pull down some rebounds or at least have a defensive presence? Not trying to look to much into last night, as UVA is an elite defensive team, but our offense has gone stale the past 4 games. Outlaw has also shown the ability to drive to the basket and he shoots around the same % from 3.

The eye test just favors Outlaw the past 4-5 games. Outlaws getting 8-10 less minutes compared to Bibbs and Hill.

I think that is why he is starting, playing more minutes of late. Better defender and better knack for rebounding. Hill and Bibbs are much more dynamic scorers though.

I dont agree with his ability to drive. I literally can't remember the last time he put the ball on the floor and drove to the basket.

60 of 77 shots have come from 3 point land.

He put the ball on the floor last night. It was the first time I had ever seen him do it. He took two dribbles to send his defender into the lane and then pulled up a jumper from the corner of the key. If he could do that consistently, he could easily move ahead of Hill but Bibbs is still the better defender of the three.

Really disappointed in that performance last night. Especially the lack of movement from players off the ball on offense. Seemed as if we were standing around while letting one guy try to drive through the whole defense. Also surprised we didn't see any of Wilson last night. He had a jersey on under his warmups and I figured at least as a change of pace he'd get a couple minutes

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

Wilson is redshirting this year. That's why we haven't seen him yet.

As far as Wilson goes, dont expect to see him play. Word is that he is redshirting and will be back next season. Jackson also goes out in warmups and uniform but he isnt going to play this season either. Having them dress with the team means they can be on the court for warmups and shoot arounds.

I think this is a good decision. We'll need his experience, defensive abilities and more than anything, some senior leadership next season.

Talk about what a crazy career he has had. He went from being our best option at point guard his freshman season to playing WR for the football team and redshirting his supposed senior season with no injury.

For anyone who's watched a lot of pack line defense... have you noticed if setting ram screens (setting a screen for the guy who's about to set an on ball screen) has success? UVA always hedges hard, but since they don't switch off ball screens I figured utilizing a ram screen would put them in position to be unable to do so

Our expected RPI from rpiforecast is 58. Definition of on the bubble. I think we hold on for a bid but we can't lose any of Miami, Clemson, or Wake at home. Home losses just kill RPI, and Clemson and Wake would be additional top 50 wins

This forecast is very worrisome. When you consider the lack of elite wins on the resume (I think really needs a win against UVA at home next weekend) with a number of blowout losses VT will be relying heavily on having strong numbers to get them into the tournament. The good news is that the schedule to finish the season is much more manageable and they could be considered a hot team heading into the ACC tournament.

You are absolutely correct that defending the home court is an absolute must and, with the unbalanced schedule, I think VT is going to need 10 or 11 conference wins to be on the right side of the bubble. Hopefully GT keeps winning and that ends up looking like a much better win at the end of the season than it did when they played the game.

RPI is far from the only thing the Selection Committee uses to seed teams, in fact they are apparently speaking with various computer-rankings owners about developing an improved system.

Any team in this year's ACC that goes 9-9 in conference without any embarrassing losses (either in or out of conference) is a virtual lock at the tournament, especially considering that we went 4-1 out-of-conference and 7-9 in-conference against teams projected to finish in the top 100. Duke also still has the 16th highest projected RPI, so there's our quality win, with another top-50 win at Clemson already and home games against UVA, Clemson, and Wake Forest (all top-50 teams) remaining.

They're using RPI and SOS for the most part this year. Next year is when they're going to move towards stuff like kenpom, which I love, but I still have some issues with in regards to using for seeding.

I'm not sure I agree that 9-9 makes us a lock. Our RPI would still be around 50ish, think we'd need to win one in the tournament to make it 100% safe. But you're right we have a lot of chances to improve our resume down the stretch here. I think we do it

What have we learned in ACC play this year?

And we're bringing a butter knife to a swordfight

"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

And we're bringing a butter knife to a swordfight

It's all about how you use the butter knife.

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

I guess it could be worse - we could be using a spoon

Run to Win. Pass To Score

Because it will hurt more!

Went to the game and as everyone addressed, the team just looked flat and had a terrible night shooting. I'm not a basketball expert by any means but we had a chance in the second half after getting some momentum, and Outlaw missed a three in the corner that would have put us down by nine. UVA came right back and scored and you could see the air taken out of the Hokies and you could tell it was over. They have got to find some resiliency on nights when they don't shoot well, but I know it's difficult with less talent and size against a very good basketball team.

Other notes...

While Cville is enemy territory, that is one nice arena. I'm not sure I want that in Blacksburg though.

I was impressed by the number of Tech fans who came. Lots of people left with 6 minutes left in the game, many of them UVA fans. Their sports culture is embarrassing.

UVA frat boys are the douchiest of the douchiest. (Note, I was in a fraternity.) Other UVA fans were telling them to shut up and sit down.

The UVA student section has now adopted the FSU tomahawk chop and must have done it 15-20 times throughout the night. I asked multiple UVA folks why they are doing the FSU move, the best/most logical response was "Whatever works?" For a school that claims to have so much to offer education wise, you would think they could come up with something original.

The refs, even from the nosebleeds, looked pretty bad both ways.

Beamer was on the bench because he's beaten UVA like 75 times in a row.

After UVA's first basket the student section erupted throwing tons of blue and orange streamers in the air. It was nice to see them be able to use all of those leftovers from the football season.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

Off topic - but why is there a perception that Seth ran the team into the ground? After inheriting the last place team in the BE, he significantly upgraded the talent level, kept VT in the top 25% of the ACC, often upset top 5 teams, and was the last coach to take VT to the NCAAs. He ran a few players off but no more than usual.

He had a rough personality and ran his mouth too much but delivered results on the court. I get that he's been critical of VT since his hasty departure but that is more on the Tech administration's poor handling of his dismissal.

The perception is that way because he was an *sshole. He finally had a season worth getting rid of him and we jumped at the chance thinking it would work out, and then everything fell apart. The team that next season was going to be legit. Though I'm not sure if Finny-Smith stays either way

Much like jewilso2 above... I have to take issue with this statement:

Buzz took over from James Johnson, a coach who was worse than Seth Greenberg. In case you forgot, Greenberg was the guy who burned out any support left for Tech hoops, pushed many of his players away, and laughed as he peeled away from the ashes.

VT basketball was horrible before Greenberg arrived. Seriously bad. We lost to EA Sports All-Stars in one of those preseason scrimmages where you bring in a team that you literally pay to lose to you for your players to get playing time before the games count. In 2003 we stormed the court after beating Rutgers, not because it was a great win, but because the team clinches a bid to the Big East Tournament, which was a big deal for us. Greenberg rose us up from that legitimate pile of garbage that Stokes left, and had us ranked and a 5-seed in the NCAA Tournament within 4 seasons. That year, we were a win over Clemson away from clinching the ACC Regular Season Conference Title crown before stumbling. Yes, things tailed off a bit, but we were still making postseason bids, we were still making noise in the ACC, we were still knocking off teams we had no business beating. We plateau'd, we didn't fall. Mind you, he did this at a time when the support he was receiving from the administration would be considered ACC average, at best.

The program went into the shitter directly because of the debacle surrounding and following his dismissal. We waited until a month and a half after the national title game to announce his dismissal, long after the coaching carousel was picked clean of quality candidates. We didn't bother informing him that he was fired until he heard about it via a press release after the press conference, which looked excessively bad considering he was performing an in-home recruiting visit when it happened. The press conference itself was a shitshow, with more time being spent airing dirty laundry than anything else, with the resounding opinion throughout the basketball community that we had made a mockery of ourselves in the process. Perhaps letting him go was the right call that year, but we went about it in the absolute worst possible way. Our administration burned every bridge, pissed on the ashes, and salted the Earth when it came to their relationship with the basketball community. James Johnson came in and coached about as well as he could do given the circumstances, but it didn't matter to those in charge, because they had a guy they could control leading the program.

tl;dr version: Seth did as well as he could with what he was given. We were terrible before him, we had success, but he was fired because the program plateau'd and his personality was too abrasive for his bosses, who made a mockery of his dismissal. Predictably, we went back to the crapper after he left.

"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

Well said - only thing I'd add is that you have to give Greenberg the benefit of the doubt that he would have recruited another wave of recruits to make another push in the ACC (given he did it a few times). The DFS transfer seemed to be a commentary on the team getting tire of SG but I tend to think that was more with the individual vs. a symptom of the program. Dowdell/Gordon/Vasaillo and then Delaney/Allen/Washington before Green / DFS. Is suspect if supported properly, he could have secured a new class to make a run.

Having said that, his open criticism of the NCAA committee, long-time ACC fixtures and referees did not help himself or the program move to the next level.

We would have brought in a class that year centered around Montrezl Harrell, who immediately decommitted after the firing, and ended up being a solid contributor when Louisville won the title his freshman year in 2013, en route toward being selected #32 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. After playing sparingly his rookie year, he's starting to come into his own this year as one of the breakout stars of the team.

So yeah... you absolutely have to give him that benefit of the doubt. We could have had Harrell and Erick Greene playing together. But alas, it never came to be.

"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

Having Montrezl and Green would've been great but wasn't Green gonna transfer if Seth stayed? Erick was close with Coach Johnson and Weaver made his move when JJ left. Just a horribly handled situation altogether.

"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

You mention clinching a spot in the Big East tournament by beating Rutgers, without describing how weak of a "goal" that was:

When we joined the Big East in all sports in 2000, we were one of 14 teams that played basketball in the conference. For men's basketball, 12 of those 14 teams made the Big East Tournament each season. In 2001, 2002, and 2003, we finished either 13th or 14th in the conference, with either Rutgers (2001 and 2003) or WVU (2002) as the other team left out of the tournament. Literally all we had to do was not be one of the two worst teams in the 14-team conference, and for 3 seasons we couldn't even manage that once.

In 2003, we fired Ricky Stokes and hired Greenberg. That following season (2003-04), we improved to 8th in the conference, clinching our first Big East Tournament appearance, and won our opening-round game. The following season, we moved to the ACC and finished 4th out of 11 teams there. He took us from the bottom of the Big East to relevant in the ACC within 2 seasons, and was repaid in 2012 by being fired in the worst way possible. And we then paid for that by enduring the two seasons of the James Johnson era, both of which we finished at the bottom of our conference, right where our program was before Greenberg came along.

That tourney game vs Rutgers was awesome

"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