Hokies Exorcise ACC Demons in Winston-Salem

Virginia Tech drops Wake Forest on the road 83-75.

[Henry Skutt]

Last season, the Hokies lost to Wake Forest in the final game of the regular season. This year, the storyline was different. Virginia Tech went into Winston-Salem and picked up a crucial road ACC win, 83-75, on Wednesday night.

Buzzketball put together a complete performance, leading from wire-to-wire. Tech was paced by Ahmed Hill with 21 points. Kerry Blackshear Jr. and Chris Clarke co-led the team with six rebounds.

The Hokies jumped out to an early 11-1 lead, courtesy of Justin Bibbs and Hill. The two Tech sharpshooters played extremely well in the first half as they both contributed 13 points.

"I've got great guys who will find me in the corner," said Hill. "They found me tonight and I shot the ball well."
"You're welcome," Bibbs shouted from the back of the room.

Clarke also got into double-figures in the first 20 minutes, knocking down five shots. His 12-point output in the first frame included a three-pointer and an "and-one", showing the skillset the Tech forward possess.

In the second half, the Demon-Deacons put up much more of a fight. Wake started out on a 9-0 run, trimming the lead to just 45-39. Tech immediately responded with three-pointers from Bibbs, Blackshear Jr., and Hill to open it right back up to a 15 point advantage.

"I thought we handled their runs with the highest level of maturity that we have this season," Buzz Williams remarked after the game.

Tech was able to open up a lead as large as 17 in the second frame. In response, Wake pushed the Hokies and trimmed the lead to four with two minutes left. However, Tech calmly converted several clutch layups and free throws to close out the game victorious.

"Last year it was Seth [Allen]," Justin Robinson noted after the game. "This year I'm trying to take a little bit of the responsibility."

The Hokies were able to get past a serious rebounding disparity. Wake finished the game with 10 more offensive rebounds than Tech. Not surprisingly, that was the final difference between the two teams on the boards.

It's not an uncommon theme this season, but the large rebound gap is something Tech has struggled to overcome. Tonight, the Hokies' hot shooting was able to balance it out. Tech finished 12 for 29 (43%) from three and 29 for 57 (51%) total from the field.

"If I was a fan of good basketball, at times I think we play good offensively," added Williams. "We don't play good defensively."

It was a closer than desired contest but by the end of the night, Buzzketball had picked up an ACC road win and will return to Blacksburg at .500 in-conference.

"I think the next step for us is, 'How do we handle this?'," reflected Williams after the game. "I think the guys handled the smacking Virginia gave us with great character."

Virginia Tech travels to Louisville on Saturday. Tip-off is at 4:00 PM.

My thoughts from press row:

First Half: Virginia Tech 45–Wake Forest 30

19:23 ‒ Justin Bibbs misses his first three-pointer of the evening. He's been ice-cold these past few games.

18:09 ‒ Blackshear Jr. picks up two fouls in a two-second span. But then he doesn't. The refs move the foul to Devin Wilson's stat-sheet. Huge break for the Hokies.

15:38 ‒ First media timeout. Tech has looked much better. As a team, they're getting out and running outlets at the pace they want. At an individual level, Bibbs and Hill both have a three-pointer, a welcome sight to fans.

12:30 ‒ Tech Hill is on a roll right now. The sharpshooter has three buckets from deep, matching his total from the preview three ACC games. Tech is up 21-8 and the home crowd is restless. Buzzketball as a team is 4 for 7 (57%) from deep; a much improved percentage from Tech's previous ACC games.

9:43 ‒ The Hokies have a serious height disadvantage in this game. That's not anything surprising, but the Deacons are capitalizing on the opportunity. Wake has six offensive rebounds. Their big man Doral Moore (7'1") is making easy work of Ahmed Hill in the post.

5:28 ‒ Demon-Deacon guard Keyshawn Woods hits a three to close the gap to five. For the first time all night, this arena is loud.

0.0 ‒ Nickeil Alexander-Walker ends the half on a 5 point spurt, hitting a deep three with 20 seconds left and then a layup at the buzzer. Hokies are up 15 at the break.

Halftime Thoughts:

The Hokies are shooting the lights out — 17 for 27 (63%) from the field and 7 for 14 (50% but you knew that I hope) from three. This is the type of shooting performance that will spur a tournament appearance for Tech.

This entire season, the narrative has been that when Tech shoots well, the Hokies can compete with anybody. When they're not shooting well, they'll lose by 26 (hello, Virginia). This matchup is a showcase of the former. Buzzketball is flat-out shooting Wake Forest out of the gym.

Ahmed Hill found his groove in the first frame. His hot shooting from deep ‒ knocking down three of the Hokies' 7 so far ‒ has made this crowd groan audibly every time he's open.

Tech will need to key in on Doral Moore in the second half. His size is something the Hokies can't counter. He's been able to get open whenever he wants on the post, shooting 4 for 6 in the first.

Second Half: Virginia Tech83–Wake Forest 75

18:25 ‒ Wake opened this half much more aggressively. The 15-point lead is down to 10. Blackshear Jr. has picked up his third foul and will now spend some serious time riding the pine.

16:52 ‒ Tech grabs their first offensive rebound of the night. Wake has eight.

14:59 ‒ Blackshear Jr. finally gets some points; as he knocks down a three-pointer. The Hokies lone post player is turning into yet another legitimate threat from beyond the arc. Scary.

11:42 ‒ Hokies go up by 17 on a Hill layup. It's the largest lead in an ACC game this season for Buzzketball.

6:13 ‒ What a sequence. The lead has see-sawed between six and nine (nice) as the two teams have been trading three-pointers.

5:06 ‒ All of a sudden, it's a four-point game. Now is the time for the Hokies to prove what they're capable of. Can they recover in a hostile environment on the road? Or will they succumb to the pressure?

1:07 ‒ Robinson with a seriously fancy layup on the baseline, but Wake responds with a layup of their own. Tech is clinging on to a seven point lead (75-68).

0.0 ‒ Tech ices the game from the free throw line. The Hokies finish the contest shooting a stellar 13 for 16 (81.3%) from the charity stripe.

Comments

Good defense...

"I've never seen two consecutive shot clock violations", said the announcer.

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

Henry, were you at the game sitting in the press area around section 112?

If you weren't, you have a twin... if so, I saw you, dude.

Leonard. Duh.

Yes I was! No twin to my knowledge.

Haha!

I wanted to walk up, but I figured you were busy typing this, and then there's stranger danger. We were a few rows in front of the guy that kept yelling "Curly Joe!"

Leonard. Duh.

Fantastic recap. Great work!

Great recap! Glad to have stuff like this as I wasn't able to catch the game tonight.

Great recap!

I really think for VT to do what they need to do in ACC play, their guards have to do a better job of driving and drawing fouls. The spacing and jump shooting is fine when those shots are going down. When they struggle, they need the foul line to balance out the size disadvantage they will face night in and night out. That 16 free throw attempts needs to be up around 25 just as a starting point.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

...and throw in a few more bubble screens. :)

French, I'm having trouble understanding why Buzz isn't calling more jet sweeps to open up the low post drive, could you help me understand this?
/s

Go Hokies

This is funny. However, basketball was an inspiration for some of the spread concepts. Creating space creates seams. You would think that with so many spot up guys, the opportunities for Justin Robinson, NAW, and Bibbs to drive the ball would seemingly be there. Yet they aren't getting to the line. It is confounding. That is really where the loss of Allen and LeDay is felt- those guys had a knack for slowing the game down and getting chances at the line to steady the ship.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

This guy needs a raise, Joe

JOIN TKPC today!

Go Hokies

It is all about the community, not about the bucks!

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

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

Agree, J-Rob said he is trying to take on that role more. You could see him trying against Cuse and LOLUVA, but he was trying too hard, forcing it, trying to draw contact, and got blocked a ton in those games. He did much better at picking his spots last night.

NAW did a really good job of it late against Pitt; I think he had 3 and-1 plays in the last 10 minutes of the game.

Buzz said in a recent interview, 17 FT's is their target. Last night was 16, but most of those came late. It seems every game is different with fouls, each game has its own rhythm, the ref's get in a different rhythm, etc.

The good news is, this teams knows their identity and how they want to play. So they are very cognizant of their individual and team goals, what they are and are not doing well. Allen and LeDay had learned how to paly and how to win those close games. This team is having to learn how to do that all over again. Butt the Pitt and Wake games show that they are learning and improving. A great sign that they handled Wake's runs so well; they never panicked.

If we can get a win at UL, this team will gain some momentum, and hopefully can keep it going.

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

I like that element as a stopper... if another team is making a run, free throws will kill the momentum.

I wish I had the bandwidth to follow like I used to. Last night, I was a radio listen, unfortunately.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

French
While I agree that they need to penetrate more to score, as they have shown the ability to put the ball in at an incredible rate, believe the Pitt game was something like 78%, the drawing of fouls on drives to the basket is an officiating focus across the NCAA this season with guidance to only call the foul if the defender initiates contact or in the process of the shot makes a motion outside of the approved defensive posture, ie keeping their arms straight up.

Much of this focus goes back to last seasons National title game which turned into a whistle fest. That said, it means it should theoretically be much more difficult for players to draw fouls on drives to the basket this season.

The only player for Tech that I have had issue with dribble drives is Robinson and only because when he draws in a big he still tries to take the shot rather than kick out to an open shooter. I would estimate at least 50% of opponents blocks this season are against Robinson.

I feel NAW is the key. I hate that hesitation dribble he uses in the lane, as it has caused a lot of turnovers. I love the body control that lets him finish where JRob gets blocked. He seems to still be figuring out when, where, and how to go against ACC level competition, but when he picks the right time and opening he looks better than anyone else on the team at it. Bibbs gets to hesitant, especially if the trey is off, and Hill loses control in traffic. Bede shares JRobs height issue in traffic. I was hopefull pig would help, but is not seeing floor time. The ceiling of the season, barring injury, may rest on NAW developing his attack the rim game, IMO.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

According to the announcers, if any opposing players misses both free throws, everyone in attendance gets a free Chik-fil-a sandwich. I've gotta say, that's the most brilliant basketball promotion I've ever heard of. Encourages fans to get loud and engaged, lots of opportunities at any given game, and if it happens the payout is fairly low but fans are happy with the prize.

Well done, CFA and WF.

Yes, near the end of the game the crowd got loud. I couldn't decide if they were screaming for CFA or for the comeback that WF was trying to mount.

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

Mostly for the CFA for what I could tell. There was a local high school band filling on for the on vacation WF band right behind the basket. When the overhead video ran the promotion, along with the cheerleaders holding up CFA noise signs right in front of them as we went to the line in that last 8 minutes (only time promotion applies) they suddenly became more engaged than the WF fans.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Kentucky had the same thing, but not for chic-fil-a, don't remember who, but two missed free throws and everyone got some free food.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Yea UNC does it as well, but they don't use food. If they miss 2 free throws everyone gets a degree.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

Is this the record for most upvotes in first 5 hours after comment is made. Great one!! Joe, can we get some meta on that?

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

This should go plaid.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

Almost there. Three to go.

No electrons were harmed in the making of this comment or post. However, billions of electrons were horribly inconvenienced.

Kenny Banya: "That's plaid, Jerry, PLAID!"

I was in the arena and the funniest part was when KJ missed the front end of two and the crowd got super loud on the second one. But when J Rob had an and-one with no chance to miss two in a row the crowd was noticeably much quieter.

When KJ went to the line, WF thought they still had a chance, but when J-Rob went to the line, many considered his layup the dagger, and they started filing out.

But yes, that was funny. And they were pretty loud, and KJ nailed the second FT, and I thought, how good that must feel.

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

The Wizards have the same promotion but only in the 4th Quarter. Everyone hangs on the second FT after a miss.... Its amazing. I was at Verizon (Cap1) and the Wizards were getting smacked around. In the fourth, the loudest cheer came when the other team missed two free throws.

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 swear it seemed like this was the loudest it got during the entire game.

Some of those Ricky Stokes era VT teams would have run CFA out of business.

Seth Greenberg is holding on Line 2.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

Jay Bilas has us as the 44th best team in the country. Just two spots behind Louisville, our next opponent. The Cards will be a good measuring stick on the road. Wanted to go, but calendar filled up and I will be watching from home.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

This was a good time.

dat pass tho

Chem PhD '16

Clarke was pretty close to getting T'ed up for hanging on the rim.

Naw... you can hang on the rim to protect yourself from landing on someone or flying into them, or landing on the ball. Two of those things may have happened if he didn't hang on for a second longer than "normal". Plus he didnt showboat while hanging on either.

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

plus, I still think about his knee every time he hangs on the rim.

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

Indeed. He definitely needs to make his Landings soft!

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 see NAW growing over the past few games. He is making better decisions, seems more confident, and is becoming more vocal during the last several games. This kid is gonna be good, real good. For sure he won't be a one and done, he needs time to mature, but he's gonna be a great player.

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

I loved seeing him getting fired up last night on a play that he only assisted on. I forget who made the basket, but if these guys are out there cheering for each other like that every night, we're going to have a really cohesive unit by the end of the season.

You can say the same thing about Bede. When Robinson got in foul trouble in the 2nd, he came in and I was very impressed. In a short span, he got a defensive rebound, then got a steal followed by an assist on a well placed pass (IIRC). Playing with a lot more confidence and it shows. I'm very excited about our freshmen this year.

Yeah, other than Bibbs, Bede is probably our best on-ball defender. He's got great potential on that end of the floor. Still needs polishing offensively.

Wilson also does a hell of a job shutting guys down, but yeah I love Bede's potential. And I can't wait to hear all the ESPN3 announcers butcher his name once he starts getting some real PT

They could call him The Venerable Bede...

(Sits back and waits for history majors to pop)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

YES!!!! I'm using this for the next 4 years

Outside its night time, but inside its LeDay

I live in Japan, and my Japanese girlfriend (who I've groomed into a true Hokie fan over the past year and a half) has given him the nickname Wasabi san.

And I can't wait to hear all the ESPN3 announcers butcher his name...

How is it supposed to be pronounced? The WF announcers were calling him "beedee", IIRC. I would have thought it was "beed".

No electrons were harmed in the making of this comment or post. However, billions of electrons were horribly inconvenienced.

"Beedee" is correct, but saying his full name was what they stumbled over when he first subbed in at Wake. I think they introduced him as "Wabeeda" Bede. It's a bit of a tongue twister.

Now I feel like a fool. I was yelling out "Way to go Kevin!!" every time he made a play.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Take your damn leg!

Bede reminds me a lot of Jamon Gordon but with Dowell's jumpshot. Lockdown defender, hard worker, serviceable point guard. I'm really excited to see what he does in the future.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

For his age and size, he seems very strong, especially around the basket. His ability to play physical around the rim on drives and rebound situations has been very important for us. I've been impressed with his ability to muscle up against bigger defenders and still manage to get his shot off.

He missed the shot, but around 8 mins left in the 2nd half he had the ball as the clock was running down. He easily beat his guy on the perimeter and got to the lane for a floater. It was a quick move, but he created a shot when we needed it. With a team full of spot up guys, having someone other than Rob (whose height costs him a lot at the rim) who can create a shot is really important.

NAW and J-Rob both missed floaters. They would both benefit massively from developing that shot. J-Rob needs to pull an Erick Green or Allen/LeDay type off season and take a thousand shots a day. J-Rob is smaller than Green, but if he could develop a slightly more versatile shooting/scoring ability he will go from a good PG to a great one.

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

I thought we handled their runs with the highest level of maturity that we have this season

Love this. It was noticeable, even on TV.

Also, the shooting performance last night shows better on paper than 'cuse and UVA, but I feel like when we're playing near our best on offense the ball movement and shots look very very different.

I can't even handle the word "runs" with any level of maturity so that's saying a lot for them.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I think the 'cuse and UVA defenses have a lot to do with that.

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Devin Wilson with his biggest contribution of the season this far. Love having that kid on the team. It takes a mature, unselfish player with some real knowledge of the game and his team to argue for a foul against himself instead of his all-important big man.

The fact that your 7th or 8th most talented player is the former starting point guard and a senior shows how far Hokie BB has come.

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

There was a moment early in the second which sparked a question about how the TV analysts get their data.

Blackshear and WF player were jostling for a loose ball, and the ball rolled out of bounds. The ref clearly waited for the ball to roll out of bounds before blowing the whistle, and pointed down the court to signal WF ball, but the announcers were calling it as Blackshear's third foul. I didn't get that impression at all from what happened on the court, but the announcers kept going on about Blackshear's quick third foul.

I guess my questions are (a) was that a foul or just an out of bounds whistle, and (b) if it wasn't a foul, and the announcers were mistaken, how would they have their information corrected? (I'm assuming the TV crew keep their own data, in order to feed interesting data to the graphics people and on-air talent.) Do the officials that keep track of such share their data with the TV crew? Would the TV crew find out only when a player gets what they think is their fifth foul, and remain on the court? Just curious at how all this plays out.

No electrons were harmed in the making of this comment or post. However, billions of electrons were horribly inconvenienced.

Typically they have someone in the truck listening to and watching for any errors (or anything else really) and if they catch one they can inform the announcers who can announce the correction.

I think the play you are referring to was a foul (and actually a good call if I am placing what your saying correctly). WF has corner score boards (see article photo for two of them) to show the current stats and foul count per player for the players on the court, that are kept by the official scorers, so if they look up they should be able to see the official foul count. Many arenas have that on the central score board instead of in the corners.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I said this in the game thread as well, but I think this team feeds off of Buzz's energy. Last night he was jacket off and jumping around showing the emotion that we are used to seeing. Our defensive effort was the best I've seen and I hope that continues. A lot of easy points coming off those missed shot clock beating shots that WF was forced into.

Thanks for the summary Skutt.

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

I don't know what it looked like on TV but in the arena, that big guy, Doral, looked huge. And I think we got a little lucky that they didn't get the ball to him more because we couldn't do much about him. I was in a WF section (108) and all the fans were screaming to get the ball to him and it seemed like they just weren't doing that. His advantage really showed in the 2nd half.

Regardless it was a fun time. Quiet crowd but that could have been due to the students still being on break. The high school band covering for Wake's looked like they were having a blast.

Also, me at the concession stand seeing not only beer, but Foothills:

I hope you got the Seeing Double

I had the Hoppyum. it was either that or Carolina Blonde.

Doral used to be a fat dude, props to him for slimming up. He's a player that at least needs to be accounted for now, before he was just a guy to pick up some fouls.

Doral has no ability to move and get the ball when defended by faster guys. He was fronted a lot. The pass to him would have to be perfect every time to keep it away from a fast defender (which VT has a lot of). I saw switch offs with Robinson fronting him and they wouldn't give him the ball. There is a reason the Wake guys are tentative giving him the ball when he isn't wide open.

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

Lucky to get out of there with a W. This team shoots too many 3's when it isn't necessary which got Wake back into the game. Need to get higher percentage shots when you are 10-15 points ahead instead of chucking up 3's.

Matty Ballgame

So the team needs to abandon what they did to get the lead in the first place?

Wake got back in the game on 3 missed three's in a row, but they were all good looks, and the type of look we want. Not sure if Buzz would've called all three perfect or just good. But I would guess 2 good 1 perfect at worst. Maybe you tell KJ, don't take that three in that game situation, but he had already made one, and made another one later (if I have my order of his makes and misses right).

Point is, that is our game, those were good looks, sometimes you are going to miss and they are going to make. With a 15 point lead at half, just about every team in the ACC is going to find the will to make a run and whittle away at that lead.

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

I think this was a hard fought win, no luck come ACC play on the road. I'd argue Wake got back into this game shooting the 3 themselves, not off of our shot selection. Wake just happened to make them back-to-back-to-back, even when contested. That's hard to match. I'd argue that we do go for higher percentage shots near endgame and with the lead, just in the form of free throws.

But with some time left on the clock, in the scenarios like you describe, I really expect this team to continue shooting from deep. There are multiple capable outside shooters and our half court offense is predicated on spacing the floor and finding the uncontested shots, then quickly getting back in position on defense.. If we're unable to get open looks from outside, seems the preferred second option is the drive to the lane and try draw a foul like we saw from JRob last night. Easiest two pointers for this team are going to come from the charity stripe. I don't expect us to try and pound the ball down low against size like Wake, unless just for a paint touch and an outlet pass. KB likes to position himself before the pass. During the last few minutes last night, it was Clarke and Robinson driving to the lane, drawing contact and shooting free throws to close them out.

No. No. Noo, no, no.

This is who we are. Everyone gets so upset with this team because they don't play like you learned in HS.

They don't:

- Start a PG, SG, SF, PF and C. They start 4 wings and a guy who is a little bigger. We don't even play with a PG! Rob is often in the corner when the ball is being brought up the court. The biggest shot of the night was our Center knocking down a 3. Everyone on the team has "the right to initiate the offense."
- Focus on offensive rebounding. I know, we all learned in HS that everyone follows their shot, the PG drops back to defend against the fast break and everyone else crashes the boards. That is not what Buzz teaches. He teaches the guy closest to the basket try to get the OReb, everyone else get back. Why? Because the transition game in college is deadly, you must stop it. The probability of a score on a fastbreak in college is prorbably 65%. The probability of a 3 point shooting team coralling an offensive rebound after it flies off the rim is about 10%. We're not going to get ORebs so don't expend too much energy trying, just make sure they don't get fastbreak points.
- Need to player a bigger lineup. Sure, having more 6'11" guys who can shoot would be great, but everyone wants those guys. Buzz realizes there is a market inefficiency in the 6'6" wing who can play on the block a little. He has always loved those guys. That's who we are. When we are going well, big teams sub out to meet our quickness. If we play to our pace and we do what we do best {Which is to doggedly pursue the best shot possible...that's our identity...what is VT basketball? Doggedly pursue the best shot possible.} ...other teams struggle to keep up.
- Shoot too many 3's. Kids these days shoot 3x more threes than 2's growing up. It's not a low probability shot, it's 45% or greater these days. That's a much better % than you are going to get shooting a 14' jump shot or any shot on the baseline. Buzz is very clear, there are three good shots in our offense: 3-pointers (in rhythm on fast breaks or standing jump shots), layups or foul shots. Watch a game, we do not shoot mid-range jump shots. Ever. Yes, a floater would be good but that's closer to a layup and you can draw a foul better than shooting a jumper.

Everyone wants to make Buzzketball something its not. Yes, its unconventional, but that's by design. He's built his system on the players he can get. One added advantage: It's fun to watch! Ask our central VA friends in a truthful moment how much they like watching paint dry.

Ask our central VA friends in a truthful moment how much they like watching paint dry.

I can't seem to come by any of those truthful moments. According to them, Tony Bennett is the greatest thing to happen to basketball and his style is a thing of beauty.

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)..

Ehh, hard to argue that. He's been pretty remarkable.

Getting them to agree that his style is boring is like getting VT football fans to admit that they would prefer to win like Okie State does. Sure, that might be fun, but Bud Fosters defense is in our DNA.

Ironically, my group of UVA friends was texting back and forth about how dreadful the VT/UVA football game was this fall. My only contribution after it was over was "It was a game that only Tony Bennett could love." They shut up.

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Yeah, no kidding. Talking to one today...

Don't you just love it when your team forces a shot clock violation?

Yeah, I do. We did that on consecutive possessions last night.

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I have no problem with a blazing offense and then a stifling defense.

Leg for the gems in your post.

Are the parts you have underlined or even quoted concepts Buzz has stated or just common college basketball knowledge?

Obviously, I know almost nothing about basketball tactics so I was intrigued by your description of the offense. I looked up one of the quotes and came across this article on his Marquette offense way back in 2009. I am curious, is VT'17-'18 offense is an evolved/mutated version of the one described in the article or if it is something completely different?

That's a great read. I can't see the graphics but the narrative is great.

The two things that I have seen Buzz evolve is that he rarely even bothers playing two posts anymore. Sy and Leday probably didn't play 10 mins together last year. KJB and Horne rarely played together this year. Leday and KJB played together some three years ago. Maybe that's personnel, but I think he just sees the offensive spacing working better with 4 Gs as long as someone like CC or Bibbs can defend the 4.

The second thing is also possibly personnel: less PG. Rob is still the preferred guy to handle the ball, but CC is probably 2nd. And I think he likes Rob in the corner opposite Hill. Those corners spots are critical for keeping the defense spaced.

I like the comments on running out to defend the 3. That's a critical weapon for Buzz's Offense. Get people running at your 3pt shooters and the defense is effectively compromised. You can do what you want if you maintain good spacing. And he wants 3 pt shots that are set shots or in rhythm, but never contested (this is uva beats us). A contested 3 is a bad shot. You must be able to drive off a contested 3pointer.

Finally, I didn't see it mentioned here (but I didn't get thru the whole article) but Buzz is one if the best in the country at set pieces. He looks for 10+ points a game from inbounds plays. The spacing (again) and more importantly, the rhythm to those pieces is superb. In particular, he frees up multiple guys to shoot 3s in rhythm, shots they shoot over and over again in practice. The opposing coach knows it's coming but those cuts and back screens are so precise and he changes them nearly every game.

The only problem last night was the set pieces were not executed that well. I think we turned it over on two consecutive ones (although we got it right back when the WF player fell and was called for travelling.)

On one set piece where we turned it over, Bibbs (I think) was WIDE open in the corner begging for the ball. I'm talking Danny Coale open. I couldn't believe the inbounder missed him.

Only part that drives me nuts is the set shot bit. I think Bibbs and Hill both have interesting looking jump shots, but rarely if ever use them. If they developed their J I think they would be more consistent scorers able to get the J off on days when their 3 is off or their 3 defender is giving them a hard time. Both seem to have sufficient length and hops to make a J very hard to defend.

Nice thread, posts, etc.

This is a great concise description of Buzzketball at this time in VTs team evolution that Buzz is building. Kudos on ur ability to describe it so well in so few words. I think he tweaks the ultimate identity he is trying to get to with the talent he can bring in. So, next year will be better... and different, by definition. Love Buzzketball!

Pain is Temporary
Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever
Let's Go Hokies!!

He's evolved since Marquette. Those teams weren't big but they were mean and tough. That's what was needed in the Big East at the time. If you blinked first, you lost.

But he ran his offense based on space instead of position. That's modern nba basketball, it's okie st football on the hard court. It's not complex. He always had slashers and always won the transition game.

Now, he's found more shooters. He's pushed pace since coming to BBG.

Because the transition game in college is deadly, you must stop it

Still an understated point. It might be confirmation bias, but I don't see teams absolutely dominating us on the glass (especially the offensive glass) as much this season as in the past. Why? Because every coach is downright frightened by our transition game, for good reason. If they send too many guys to crash the offensive boards after a missed shot and don't get the rebound, you can bet one of our guys is open and laying the ball in the opposite hoop 3 seconds later. Getting out in transition as fast as we do actually helps our rebounding.

What also helps our rebounding, hitting more than 50% of our shots. Hard to grab an offensive board if the basket went in.

Those with more knowledge than me can probably chime in, but my intuition is besides the truly transcendant teams like Duke/UNC/Kentucky/Kansas, most teams either need to choose between rebounding and transition.....on both sides of the floor (VT is a really good transition offense and defense).

If we are neutral on rebounding, we are good because we make up for it in transition.

I'm not sure with VT's talent we could be good at rebounding and transition. I think we've made a choice.