Hokies Stumble Late, Fall to Wake Forest 89-84 on Senior Day

The short-handed Hokies couldn't overcome a second-half offensive flurry from Wake Forest and finish the ACC season at 10-8.

Buzz Williams shows his displeasure with an official. [Mark Umansky]

For much of Saturday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum, Senior Day stuck to script. Lacing it up for the final time in Blacksburg, Seth Allen and Zach LeDay seemed destined to cap their Cassell careers with another victory, guiding the Hokies to an early double-digit lead over visiting Wake Forest with apparent ease.

But the Demon Deacons, their own dreams of March conceivably hanging in the balance, refused to go away. Hampered by early foul trouble from star big man John Collins, the Deacs trailed by just five at the half, the score not at all indicative of how the Hokies controlled action throughout the first 20 minutes.

But much to the Hokies' chagrin, a different Danny Manning unit emerged from the locker room for the second half, one powered by the imposing length of Collins and the scoring brilliance of sophomore Bryant Crawford. A former standout at WCAC power Gonzaga HS, Crawford's game-high 26 points ultimately proved too much for Buzz's bunch as the Hokies fell 89-84 in their regular season finale.

"I think they're very talented. I think what they've done since (Danny Manning) has been there speaks for itself," said Buzz Williams. "Collins is an early-entry pro. Crawford shot 14 free throws, five assists, zero turnovers today...I really like the complexion of their team."

LeDay paced Tech with 24 points and 10 rebounds, closing out his brief but decorated Cassell resume with yet another double-double. LeDay, an undersized forward who at times has struggled with bigs of Collins' caliber, went toe-to-toe with an All-ACC performer and more than held his own, missing just once from the field en route to an impressively efficient afternoon.

Allen did his part as well, repeatedly getting to the rim against a Wake Forest defense that had a nightmarish time keeping the former Maryland standout out of the lane. But it wasn't quite enough, as the Demon Deacons offense cruised to a 47-point second half performance with a shooting percentage eclipsing the 60% mark.

T(re)y Outlaw, Cooling Down Just five days removed from setting a new Virginia Tech record for three-pointers made in a single game, Ty Outlaw began his descent back to Earth Saturday afternoon. (And yes, it's a good thing that shooting 3 of 6 from deep qualifies as "coming back to Earth"). Outlaw inconceivably found himself wide open for a few good looks in the first half, but the Deacs stuck to the 6'6" wing much tighter throughout the final 20 minutes. More importantly, despite his clear ability to score from deep, Outlaw still hasn't shown an ability to do anything but that — shoot. If he wants to become a legitimate scoring threat in the ACC, Outlaw will need to improve off the dribble.

Up Next: Brooklyn The Hokies finished with a 10-8 league record for the second straight year, but make no mistake, this team's resume is far superior than a year ago. There shouldn't be much bubble drama for Tech in Brooklyn, but an opening round victory would relax any remaining doubt for the more pessimistic side of Hokie Nation. That opportunity will come on Wednesday evening at the Barclays Center, as the seventh-seeded Hokies anxiously await the victor of Tuesday afternoon's clash between Wake Forest and Boston College. If the Hokies were to get past their first matchup — granted, potentially an unwise assumption — a date with second-seeded Florida State would lie ahead.

Perhaps not built for the day-to-day grinder that is the ACC Tournament, Brooklyn will be a tough test for a Hokies team with an increasingly shrinking bench. But if nothing else, Tech has proven they can put the ball in the basket, and that's a good place to start. The three-point line figures to be the ultimate equalizer for the Hokies throughout Championship Week, and if they can find a way to get stops on the defensive end (and avoid the freak-show known as North Carolina for as long as possible), an intriguing run isn't completely out of the question.

Buzz Williams' Post-Game Presser

Comments

Wouldn't play UNC till the finals. Get FSU in the second round if we were to win. Defense needs to tighten up in a hurry if we want to make a run up in Brooklyn, probably getting Wake Forest in the first game and then FSU in the second game is two straight really good (elite in WF's case) offenses

Wouldn't say we "get" to play FSU. They're like a mini Louisville, tons of size and depth; two things we do not have.

I don't hate our matchup with FSU actually. It's usually tough for big guards to stay in front of smaller quicker guys like Allen and Robinson but they're going to be able to muscle their way into the lane and attack the offensive boards. Would probably be a shootout. Concerns me a lot more that we would be playing them for our second game in two days since we have no depth

Yep, and we got FSU at the wrong time in Jan. Without Allen and FSU playing their best ball of the year.

I'm gonna assume a WF victory on Tuesday which would put us into a quick turnaround rematch. I'm OK with this because we'll be rested compared to them.

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

-Mike Burnop, 9/24/2016

I don't know whether to relish a rematch because we should have won this game and will next time or to be terrified of a rematch because we should have won this game and could manage to lose next time.

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).

The answer is "Yes."

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

-Mike Burnop, 9/24/2016

Just got back a little a while ago from the game. We were down low today, so we got to see things up close.

I've been to a lot of ACC basketball games and I'm not sure I've seen a group of officials botch things up like they did today. Wake shot 33 free-throws to our 17, all while doing exactly what we were doing. One official seemed to have it out for Buzz from the start... Danny Manning had his ear the entire game, even stalling an inbound play at one point. But the same official would even look towards Buzz no matter how much he wanted a conversation.

With around a minute left one of the other officials said something to Buzz that lit him up. He stormed on the court yelling, "What did you just say to me?!" He said it over and over again. Even during the break (official TO), he was desperately trying to get the attention of the official and nothing... I'm not sure what was said, but if couldn't have been good. Never seen Buzz like that before.

With all that being said, we did get a couple of cheap whistles blown against WF today a couple of times. But they were few and far between and they seemed to come right after a couple terrible one's against us.

Let's get this back on Wednesday night!

Is it football season yet?

Thanks for clarifying what happened. They showed him chewing out the official on the broadcast but never went into detail on why. That makes a lot of sense because you rarely see Buzz lose it like that.

There was also that incorrect goal-tending call, that cost VT a possession at a crucial moment at the end of the game.

We have not had a game where the officials felt the need to be a big part of the game for a long time. When the officials make the game about them, its an issue. For some reason, the small contact that has been let go for the past month, which allows us to get in to a flow and play fast, was being called. This crew is as bad as the Pat Driscol crew, which is just horrendous.

'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'

Hate to say it but I feel like the 2 minutes we played Galloway dramatically shifted the momentum and might have ultimately cost us the game. We were up 39-28 with 5:06 in the 1st half when he entered. Wake Forest's Woods went right after him to get two and 1 opportunities. Galloway was unlucky on his 3 attempt that bounced out but those couple possessions seemed to give Wake Forest life and they closed the gap while Collins was on the bench for the rest of the half.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Paul Johnson.

Thought the same exact thing when I was watching that spell. It was plain to see that Galloway is not a D1 player at this level of competition.

PDXHokie

Say he had a bad game. But to say he "is not a D1 player at this level of competition" is unnecessarily insulting to him and Coach Buzz.

And Buzz didn't put Galloway in a good position defensively, allowing Woods to isolate him like that.

Agree 100%. The kid has been a loyal, hard working contributor to the program from day 1. He deserved a few minutes of playing time.

For anyone to say that he and/or Buzz is the reason we lost the game is nit picky and just not true.

Always be yourself. Because the people that matter, don't mind. And the one's that mind, don't matter.

Nobody said he wasn't loyal or hard working. Unfortunately at this level of competition there's a strong argument to be made that the only players "deserving" are those giving the team the best chance to win. It didn't look like Galloway gave us the best chance to win yesterday. Buzz has repeatedly talked about the fine line between winning and losing a game and I don't see how it could be argued that Galloway's minutes produced a positive outcome in that regard.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Paul Johnson.

Yep, that substitution changed the whole feel of this game.

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.

Galloway did not help; but we were still leading at the half. The real killer in that game was Allen, Bibbs and Hill going 3 fo 14 from 3 pt land.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

I'm getting to the point where I cringe when I see Med attempt a 3. He hasn't been putting up decent numbers from distance since OOC play.

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

When you live by the three, occasionally you die by the three.

I don't know if it cost us the game or not but playing him was a big mistake. After that first foul/and 1, I think Buzz should have taken him out. The wake player knew who was against him and took it right at him. Galloway might have the biggest heart but those were 5-6 points in a span of 1 minute we gave up or could have prevented with a better defender on him

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Agreed. You obviously can't know how the game would have played out otherwise based on 2 minutes in the first half. We can say it helped Wake gain momentum and close the deficit before halftime. Who knows how the second half could have gone after that, but the final score of the game was close enough that it was clearly significant.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Paul Johnson.

Buzz said in his post-game interview that the foul situation necessitated it. He understands that when just 1 guy gets in foul trouble it makes everything they are trying to do on defense much more difficult, especially when Ty, who plays the 4 is the one with the foul trouble... His word were, "Whey Ty is out, then Justin is playing the 4, which isn't ideal... then you have 3 guards at the other spots... it just makes everything very difficult."

That is a paraphrase of sorts... But I imagine Buzz made the decision he felt was best at the moment.

Is it football season yet?

That game had a very Clemson 2007 feel to it.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

I hope to god there is never another game like that.

In 4 of the last six loses, Hill has scored 3 points or less. He was hot all of December and into early January. He's going to have to return to that form for VT to make an unexpected run in the ACC or NCAA tourney.

I expect VT to play a lot better, should they get to play Wake Forest again. If they win that, they could definitely upset FSU (a team that is due to slouch every now and then).

At the same time, I feel like if VT impresses in the ACC tourney (and win 2 or 3 games) their NCAA tourney road won't be much easier than if they don't win any ACC tourney games at all. If they win 2+ ACC tourney games, I expect them to get the 7 or 8 seed (matching them up with a 1 or two seed). If they only win one game in the ACC Tourney, I expect them to get a 9 or 10 seed.

But if they lose their first ACC Tourney game, I actually think they could get an 11 seed. Granted then they could have to end up with a playin game. But the one and two seeds this year are scary and I like VT's chances more as a Cinderella 11 seed. Sometimes I feel like the ACC just beats each other up and a spectacular ACC Tourney from VT could still result in an early NCAA exit.

We seem to run a much better Offence off the high screens. When we gontobthat weave stuff up top it tends to big us down. Wake also did a nice job of scouting or tendeencies on kicking out for threes, were able to pick a lot of passes when we tried to pass out of the lane for a three. We really miss having Clarke cutting in as an option. Would love to see someone else pick up the role of cutting to the back side of the hoop moving forward so we keep opponents honest on their D when the ball goes into the lane.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Huh, so that's what it feels like to be powerf-k'd at home by the refs and conference officials.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

All Carolina Conference

Rip his freaking head off!

Only other piece I had a question about from this game....is Johnny Hamilton applying for a medical redshirt or is he just so gone from the program that explains him not being out there for Senior Night

I haven't seen him on the bench since he left - or sometime close to that point. I thought that was how Matt Galloway got put on scholarship as well.

Last I heard is he is out of the country right now. Don't think the odds of him returning next year are particularly good.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

I wasnt really expecting him to return to Tech but maybe to college basketball. Figured if he applied for a medical redshirt, he would take it as a graduate transfer.

Anyone going to Brooklyn/have any suggestions on where to stay for someone that is going? 20-30 minute drives aren't a big deal to me

Rip his freaking head off!

I would look into AirBnB or HomeAway for a place. Usually they are affordable and pretty much in every part of the city.

"Facyson is a baller."
-CFB