Buzzketball Flexes on Georgia Tech 76-56

The Hokies bounce back from their loss in Durham as they roll Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

[Mark Umansky]

Georgia Tech is not a good team.

That's the first thing to understand when unpacking the Virginia Tech men's basketball team's 76-56 win over the Yellow Jackets Saturday in Atlanta. Not to disparage Josh Pastner or the way his team is playing, but a 20 point win in February is indicative of one of the two teams, and it wasn't the Hokies.

But that shouldn't take anything away from their total domination. The men in maroon looked good early, and after a back-and-forth opening 10 minutes, they took control. Buzz Williams' squad was at their best bombing away from three, attacking the rim, and disrupting passing lanes.

Point guard Justin Robinson bounced back from an off performance against Duke to lead the way with 18 points, four assists, and 20 oh-my-god-how-did-he-see-that passes. Freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker hit six of his nine attempts from the field, and used his pterodactyl arms to cause problems on the defensive end.

"I think we're continuing to improve in all of the different facets defensively," Williams said in his post-game press conference. "That's all we've been doing since Miami. I think the numbers reflect that. Any win, any game, regardless of locale, regardless of opponent in this league I think is incredibly hard."

Justin Bibbs hit a few crucial jumpers while things were still close, and tightened up his defense after Georgia Tech came out hot. Kerry Blackshear wasn't flashy, but did a wonderful job guarding Yellow Jacket center Ben Lammers, and used his quick feet to jump passes inside (he wound up with four steals).

Possibly the most fun part of the matchup was watching Tyrie Jackson face off against his brother Tadric. Though Tadric is a starter and Georgia Tech's best offensive weapon, Tyrie checked in earlier than usual for a head-to-head sibling battle. And while Tadric lead his side with 17 points (though only shooting 6-17 from the field), Tyrie lead all players with high-flying alley oops.

The Hokies opened the second half on a suffocating 21-3 run, and the result became apparent quickly (yes, Pastner and company scored three points in TEN minutes). Robinson, Blackshear, and Bibbs all sat for long stretches while Jackson and his energetic group of freshman closed up shop.

"We haven't done anything, literally anything, offensively since Miami," Williams said. "And I think that because we spent 100 percent of our time defensively, I think that in an unspoken way it helps our guys understand the difference between great and perfect shots. I think it forces them to move the ball because of what we're trying to accomplish defensively. I thought we shared it, the first 30 minutes of the game, I thought we shared it as well maybe since we've ever been here. I'm thankful that those other guys got the minutes that they were able to get, because I think down the stretch that will be really important."

And though their opponent has had serious problems over the last month, this was an important outcome for a Hokie team still fighting its way through the NCAA Tournament bubble. With their last four games all coming against ACC schools locked to make it in March (Clemson, Louisville, Duke, and Miami), a win over the cellar-dwelling Jackets was critical.

Had they dropped this one, Tech (the real one) would have had to win three of their final four to have a chance. This would have been a bad loss, regardless if it was on the road or not, and Buzz's bunch did what they needed to do. They took care of business, with authority.

Tech has Clemson on Wednesday as the first of a three game stretch in Blacksburg. Though they sit on the back end of the Tournament (ESPN's Joe Lunardi—as was said ad nauseum on the ESPN2 broadcast—has the Hokies as one of the last four byes), they may have a little more room for error than we thought. CBSSports' Jerry Palm has them as a nine seed, and USA Today's Shelby Mast has them as an eight seed.

The variance between the experts is interesting, but I think that one more regular season win will send them dancing for the second year in a row. But as nice as a comfy Saturday in Atlanta may have felt, there's still more work to do.

Comments

Pterodactyl arms, classic

"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

Between those 🐖 dunks and Bruce Arians nearby in VT attire, was just an overall good day to be a Hokie. Wish I could figure out how to get a picture from my phone to this post, snapped a shot of Bruce Arians at the game. (Help Desk advice welcomed)

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Go to https://imgur.com/, upload the picture.

Using the "insert image" icon at the top left of the comment box, paste the image URL you get from Imgur.

Boom.

YOU sir, get a leg for your assistance today.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Didn't even notice him there!

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

I was dumbfounded when I seen him there. My immediate thought was "I ain't TKP'ing hard enough if I don't post this picture on the site." Lol

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

I guess pigs are flying now

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Freshman Nickeil Alexander-Walker hit six of his nine attempts from the field

On behalf of myself, Joe, and the entire TKP Staff, I apologize for missing this joke. I now see my mistake, and will work to get better.

#nice

As Buzz says. #getbetter

Nice write-up!

So now I have to ask...
🤔😕

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

six of his nine attempts

6.... 9.....

That team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked! I've seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

What are we, in middle school? LOL

Yes

I feed off of nightmares

Momentum as the tourney approaches..... it's a GOOOOOOD thang!!

I don't think GT's coach lasts very long there. Their players' body language was horrible the entire game, and they keep losing.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

They gave him a huge contract with rather large buyouts, only way out from under it will be he is found guilty of something in all the external mess he is tied up in or the fill a few trucks up with cash. Its been a really terrible season for the team between injuries to key players, the resignation of an assistant coach, suspensions for star players to start the season, and the head coach embroiled in several lawsuits as well. He has been bringing in solid talent but can only do so much if that talent cant get on the floor.

I see. I just wasn't impressed with any of their players' body language and overall demeanor on the floor. In Buzz's first season, despite only winning 2 conference games all season (hard to believe that was just 3 years ago), the team always played hard and never flat out mailed it in. As a Hokie fan, it was fine to watch. As a basketball fan, it was painful.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

When you're down 35 in a basketball game, it can be very easy to have unfavorable body language.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Yeah I was thinking, what if you were an outsider and watched the Hokies play Duke? You might have drawn a lot of these same conclusions watching that game.

As an insider, I thought we almost gave up in the Duke game. I am hoping we get vengeance.

Me too especially since it will be my first game in Cassell in almost ten years.

By the way, none of our previously poorly officiated games hold a candle to the home cooking Kansas got against the Cousins yesterday. Bob Huggins got himself ejected at the end of the game after pointing out the 35 to 2 free throw attempt discrepancy between the two teams. Kansas hit 26 of the 35 and won by 12.

Kansas was whistled for one shooting foul on WVUs 61 shot attempts.

That game was ridiculous. I know that here in the ACC we like to say that the home team gets an extra something-something from the refs, but in the Big 12, Kansas gets favorable treatment wherever they play and at home it's absurd. WVU is an aggressive defensive team, but that doesn't explain that they only shot two free throws. Ridiculous.

I can't decide who is worse... This guy or TV Teddy.

Is it football season yet?

A Big 12 Coach once tried to test me
And I ejected his liver
With some fava beans and a nice Chianti

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Fff fff fff fff fff fff

"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

This was a must win game and the boys delivered!!!

1-0 every week

Wow, worked 100% on defense since Miami? That's unheard of. Props to buzz for taking decisive action on such a glaring weakness.

I had recorded the game and skipped over commercials and most of the commentator banter so I may have missed it, but did they ever put up a shot of Malcolm Delaney (I think it was him) sitting in the front row behind the scorers table? His name was on the assist list they put on screen a dozen times throughout the game and he was in the fricking building! It would be shameful broadcasting if ESPN had a million shots of the Jackson family five in the stands and missed on Malcolm.

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

Pig(s) flew.

Bede's assists are almost poetic.

Can I call drink on Joe?

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

I love how 5 seen the pass before anyone else on the bench and knew something big was about to happen.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]

Lets play a game called "Is that Fred Savage, or is it Josh Pastner?"

via GIPHY

20 oh-my-god-how-did-he-see-that passes

Robinson is a wizard

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