Buzzketball Season Four Ends In the Tournament

In a familiar story, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team falls in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, this time to Alabama 86-83.

[Mark Umansky]

A sloppy, dramatic night that leaves you feeling empty, angry, and physically ill. If there was ever a basketball version of a bender, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team's 86-83 loss to Alabama in the first round of the NCAA Tournament would be it.

And as those things often go, there were some close calls. There were some embarrassing outbursts, and there were more than a few moments where things almost went off the rails before they eventually came crashing down.

It's probably best to start at the end, with the play most Tech fans will take away after the loss.

Now let's be clear: this is NOT the reason the Hokies were bounced in the first round for the second straight time. This wasn't the sole cause of a defeat that had been brewing for the previous five minutes. It didn't lose the game for Tech, but it effectively ended it.

Down four with exactly one minute remaining, point guard Justin Robinson came up with a steal in the backcourt. After Nickeil Alexander-Walker missed a three, Robinson (who else?) grabbed it. He was then called for an offensive foul on the play above, which wasn't only a turnover, but the junior's fifth foul. To make matters even worse, Buzz Williams was called for a technical, giving Alabama a free trip to the line and the ball back.

What was once a chance to cut the deficit down to just a single possession ballooned into the Tide taking control. They then led by seven and never looked back.

Just as I think it's foolish to completely dwell on the call, I won't go too far into the technical on Williams. But this just about sums it up:

For the second straight outing Buzzketball lost control of both their emotions and their actions, leading to heartbreaking finishes.

But there are many more reasons to blame other than a single questionable whistle from a referee. The Hokies turned it over 14 times, didn't hit their shots in the second half, and were outpaced by their opponent.

As Bama sped Robinson and company up, things seemed to break down on both sides of the ball. Kerry Blackshear picked up five bad fouls in just 18 minutes. The offense was all over the place, especially down the stretch. The defense was gashed by the high pick-and-roll, and gave up too many open threes to count.

The Hokies didn't play their best, bringing a disappointing end to a season where they exceeded many people's expectations. In January, they were supposed to be too small and too sloppy to make any noise in March. But then they did.

And yes, this one will sting for a little while. But just like the bender, give it a few months to shake it off and we'll all be ready to do it again.

One quick thought

Just think about this for a second.

Three years ago, first-year Hokie coach Buzz Williams' squad took Duke—the eventual national champs—to overtime in Cassell Coliseum. Though it may seem like a common occurence now, Tech had just a pair of ACC wins and were desperately in search of a season-defining victory.

They didn't get it. The Blue Devils won in overtime and continued their quest to the confetti. The win that gave Tech fans hope came in the ACC Tournament, when their last-place squad won game in the first round (over 11th seed Wake Forest).

This isn't another praise party for Buzz. It's great (and borderline miraculous) that he turned the program around as quickly has he has. But it's his job. He gets paid millions of dollars to work hard, hit the recruiting trail, and coach his tail off.

No, this is about the three players who remain from that 10-win group. Devin Wilson, Ahmed Hill, and Justin Bibbs have seen it all. Hill flipped from Marquette (a perennial tournament contender at the time of his commitment) to follow Buzz into a rebuilding job. Bibbs committed to James Johnson, stuck through the coaching change, and grew from a spot-up shooter into the most complete guy on the roster.

And Wilson, who quickly became the face of the otherwise-dysfunctional Johnson administration, became synonymous with "team first". He's the one who saw his playing time decline in each of his four seasons. Who left for an entire year to play football, and still worked his way back for one last run.

Yes, Hill's coming back, but those three guys deserved back-to-back tournament trips together. They deserved all of the 20-win seasons and top-10 wins they could get. And quite honestly, after what they've been through and what they helped build from the ground up, they deserve more than a first round exit.


Feels like this season was a disappointment but, I feel in time we may look back on it differently.

Im mad as hell we left games on the court at least 4 times this year and we should have pulled outta this one. Long term I hope we look back on this as another step

Keep calm, Gobble on

Posted this in another thread, but think its worth noting UVA in year 4 of Bennett was playing in the NIT and had just one tourney appearance with a first round exit.

Doesn't excuse any fixable issues (defense), but I think is important perspective wise as we evaluate this season after the fact. Heck, I was on the record back in late January thinking we wouldn't make the dance.

i love how much talent we are bringing back next year and should without a doubt have an easier ACC schedule. Yes this loss stung because we were in it all the way up until that technical. But being there was still crazy fun.

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies

This game had every element of the classic VT loss this season. Strong first half capped off with the opponent hitting a buzzer beater, sluggish and sloppy start to the second half, Blackshear playing with zero awareness and fouling out, lazy double teams and close outs leading to career nights for opponents hitting threes, a questionable whistle and an emotional lack of restraint that served as the final nail in the coffin. I don't want to sound completely negative because this season was still a success, but goddamnit if this game didn't perfectly encapsulate everything wrong with Buzzketball in 17-18.

Nobody in a white jersey in the buzzer beater shooter's zip code was also a theme this season. No, I didn't run the deep Pomeroy numbers on it, but we have to give up more open looks from 3 than most teams.

This season was a good stepping stone considering our basketball history. 2 consecutive tourney appearances since forever is a good sign of progress.

However, this was a huge disappointment for me taking the game and tournament in a vacuum. We should have done better. This is the third time in a row we made the same mistakes. No one to blame but ourselves for this one.

The refereeing wasn't even that bad. It was inconsistent but they were not out to get VT. We messed it up for ourselves yet AGAIN and that is really irritating me. A team this experienced should not have lost in the first game of the tournament. Thus, in that context, this season was a little disappointing for me.

MVP of the night is the Alabama team barber

MVP indeed

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The hair wins... maybe we should give it a go. Clark is leading the pack

My takeaways from the season:
1. This team has HEART
2. This team couldn't keep their emotions in check

The clutch 3 and the Sexton turnaround were daggers.

But I'd have gotten the same T that Buzz got. IF you are going to call a foul, then you have to call it a block. It wasn't a bang-bang play. Defender's right foot was almost out of the lane (it's on the black block) when Robinson is in the air and sets it simultaneous with the collision. Incompetent for NCAA level officiating.

It's the same scenario that happened earlier where Alexander-Walker (I think) was fouled after the missed 3 pt attempt and went to the line for a 1-1.

Robinson should have been at the line shooting free throws to potentially tie the game.

Yeah that 1-and-1 for NAW on a clear shooting foul was followed by a 2 shot-foul for bama on the other end for what was a clear fight for a loose rebound. I thought those were calls my kids rec league refs could get right but supposedly the best in the business just flat out sucked. We couldn't capitalize for sure but thats why college basketball will always be limited in my excitement, b/c college refs are just too bad to make any game about the players on the court. I would almost rather you get rid of them and play streetball style, calling your own fouls.

This is absolutely spot on- nailed it.... those guys were bush and made the game about the officiating.

'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 am huge fan of this team and really enjoyed the heartburn of this season. But these last 3 games all fall at the feet of Buzz. I just can't get by the fact that all three games had the same issue with no real adjustments over that amount time.

I love this team but kind of scratching my head after the way we ended the season, just feels like we left a lot out there that could have been a better story.

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

What was the same issue? What should the adjustment have been? I'm having trouble putting my finger on just one issue.

I'm disappointed we lost, but I'm not upset. The 8/9 matchup is always going to be a tossup every year, and realistically, speaking, we were probably going to be bounced on Saturday against Villanova even if we had won. So really, you can't be too upset that the scoreline didn't finish in our favor.

That being said, I think there is reason for concern for this program going forward. Even considering the fact that we're only a few short years removed from being terrible, we're starting to see some long term trends that we just can't seem to shake. Our 3 point defense has left a lot to be desired for a while now, but this season took it to a new low. I vividly remember back in the early parts of this season how much it was being questioned even to Buzz in postgame interviews, and it was always brushed aside. Well, looking back over the season, there is a common thread where teams knock us off by getting unbelievably hot from 3 without us adjusting to take it away. It cost us both games against UofL, at least 1 game against Miami, the ACC tournament game against ND, and the NCAA tournament game against Alabama. We gave the shooters enough time to find their shot, and when they got it, they torched us routinely. I'm beginning to worry that this isn't a product of luck, but a major weakness of the defensive scheme we've decided to employ.

I could go into more, like our tendency to not step on a team's throat when things are teetering towards getting out of control in our favor, our habits of picking up cheap ticky tack fouls throughout a game, and a 3 game streak to end the year where we completely lost our offensive selves for a excruciatingly long stretch to end the second half, but those points are already being debated in detail elsewhere. I'm disappointed the season is over, but at the end of the day its a capper to the first time in 30+ years that we went to the tournament in back-to-back years, and with Outlaw and Sy back next year with the addition of Landers Nolley, there is every bit of reason to think this team won't just be back next year, but better than ever for a run to a 3rd consecutive trip to the big dance.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I've had the same beef you're talking about with this team all year, and the inconsistency down the stretches I feel attribute to depth and confidence (lack there of). Why didn't Bede and Pig getting more minutes in the early parts of the season, only to get sporadic ones here and there in tight games at the end of the season? 5 can't be the only guard pressing ball handlers 30 feet from the hoop; it's tiring and our help defense is so wishy-washy at times, that the helper crashes too late leaving their guy wide open for a jumper. Blackshear consistently getting into foul trouble shows that his mental toughness needs to improve; he needs to understand that there's nobody on the bench that can provide similar output that there is a negligible drop off (I love Horne, but he plays too timid at times for being a smaller forward). If we had the kind of depth now, that we should be have next year (on paper at least) at all the positions, we probably would have avoided at least one or two of our late game crumbles. Quality depth and minute dispersion really goes a long way, and it showed to be our Achilles heel; we just got tired, and I felt like Buzz had a hard time trusting other guys with minutes in crunch time.


I can't fault Blackshear when half the calls against him are BS.

'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 think that we all underestimated the loss of Outlaw. Especially after Ahmed Hill went 1st team all milk carton.

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

Honest couple of questions:

and with Outlaw and Sy back next year with the addition of Landers Nolley, there is every bit of reason to think this team won't just be back next year, but better than ever for a run to a 3rd consecutive trip to the big dance.

Is this the expectations or just simply the goals? Also, will it be enough to at least get us past the 1st game of the tourney??

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Its hard to set any goals for Tournament play, because it really all comes down to matchups. Do I think we'll have a better team? I mean, it can be argued that, assuming NAW returns and we stay healthy, there is no reason they shouldn't be better, and almost have to be. Med was supposed to be our 3 pt specialist all season and... Struggled. Getting Outlaw back should add another offensive weapon to our offensive sets and make us legitimately dangerous from 3 again. Our 3pt defense can really only improve, and getting another athletic big in Sy, with an extra year of weight training to bulk him up, should make us a little more formidable down low. Plus, you'd expect Horne to now have enough experience to be able to roll in and out of the lineup more often.

What will define us next year won't be the big victories that we get. We get a couple of them every year, and with Cassell being the nightmare barn for visitors that it is, we'll get a couple next year as well. Plus, the VT-UVa rivalry in basketball is quietly becoming legit with the teams having split the last 3 years, despite UVa's prominence. No, what will define us next year will be our ability to win the games we should. It'll be how we handle the teams between 5th and 9th in the standings that will determine how we go. If we can sweep those teams at home and pick up a win or two on the road, we'll be in a position for that double-bye and a potential S16 seed (1-4) in the NCAAs. To me, that's how I would define success... are we going to be a higher seeded team next year than we were this year. If so, we're still headed in the right direction.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

No, what will define us next year will be our ability to win the games we should. It'll be how we handle the teams between 5th and 9th in the standings that will determine how we go.

This. During the ~4ish years before Buzz I would always look at those tams between 5th and 9th in the ACC and think "What does VT need to do to get there?" Now that Buzz and company have taken us to the tourney in consecutive years I'm looking at the top five teams in the ACC and think "What does VT need to do to get there?" and the answer that sticks out is "consistency." The top teams year in and year out are almost always on point every night. Even if they're not, those teams are so talented that they can often make up for those flaws in other areas of the game and still win. If we want to eventually have a national perception like UVA, Duke, UNC then we need to consistently win the games that we're expected to.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Granted three of the top 5 ACC recruiting teams cheat at every chance, but that's what VT needs to do to get there- Recruit on the level of a Syracuse even (who cheats) not to mention Duke, UNC (who cheats) and Louisville (who cheats). Historically those are the top 4 recruiting teams in the conference. If we want to beat Duke - yes I know we beat them by 1 at cassell- consistently, and get a double bye in the ACC and 2-4 seed in the NCAA, we need to recruit at that level. Period. PJ Horne was our backup 4/5 and he is 6'6 with no other ACC offers. bottom line.

To be fair, we were two choke job losses in our last 4 games from being a double bye in the ACC. The UL and Miami games were easily in reach, but we just didn't finish. I would think that a jump to Duke level recruiting would bump us up a lot more than just that.

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)..

45 years of basketball history negates 2018's "choke jobs" in my opinion. This team was not on that level consistently at all. Yes a college team can win any game- as we have witness this weekend, but for VT to consistently escape the 8-9 game/bubble, we need to recruit better - or implement an elite system and get guys to execute it- Like Huggins, Gregg Marshall, Tony Bennett- those guys aren't on the bubble every year- Neither is Duke, UNC, Louisville (9 times out of 10).

I'm nervous that Sy won't be improved enough to make a positive impact next year. The guy we saw out on the court last year had zero impact.

Let's Go...

Agreed- watching how many 6'08-6'10 competent offensive "bigs" teams like Wichita, Xavier, WVU, etc, etc, etc have - THOSE kids are out there. We just choose not to recruit/sign them apparently.

A few things:

1. Those types of players are in demand everywhere, so the competition for their services is extremely high.
2. College basketball recruiting is highly regional. We aren't helped by having a bunch of big-time programs with history competing for recruits within the Mid-Atlantic.
3. The coaches at the three schools you specifically named (Wichita St, Xavier, WVU) have all been at their schools at least 5-7 years longer than Buzz. They have a longer track record at those programs than Buzz.

All that being said, I think Buzz has recruiting trending in the right direction. The fact that we're still in the hunt for 5* prospects like Armando Bacot (2019) and Isaiah Todd (2020) shows me that Buzz & his staff are swinging for the fences.

Should Five's bucket on the charge call have counted? I've seen buckets count if the ball was already in the air before contact was made with the defender. The rule might be if the ball is already in the bucket, I'm not sure at all on this rule though.

Sucks to lose this game as it was very winnable. Looking forward to see the team do bigger things next year.

Celebrating touchbacks.

It 100% should have, which would've made the technical even worse.

For any official worth a crap, its a no call, play on. There was no advantage gained by JRob and the Bama player flopped.

Total BS to make a call like that with 50 seconds left in a NCAA game, fouling out a player, and removing points. Bush league officating making the game about themselves.

'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'

100% this. When it happened this was my reaction. I would give the officials a "C" grade on the night, they were inconsistent, but I think part of it was calling some ticky tack stuff to settle down some of the chippiness in the second half. The problem was they continued to call it too late and started to influence the game too much.

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

The foul called against Robinson around the 1 min remaining mark was insane. Even the announcers said he is entitled to his space.

From my perspective on this game, Wilson is ALL HEART. Thank you, Devon! Unfortunately, Blackshear is the Achilles heel of many of the games this year. He does have some good moves and can on occasion hit the 3-ball yet very proficient at fouling. :-( He is supposed to be "our big inside", but, how can this be achieved when he has minimal vertical or even goes for the rebound. (Was the heel injury/surgery the cause?) I recall 1 game this year where he was assertive and he rocked, but that was 1 game.

It seems we run out of gas at the ends of the last critical games when we had the ability or were in control from the outcome.

Well, there's always next year and a new collection of recruits to add to the mix.

I'll keep the faith, but this one hurt. Hope springs eternal (Oh yeh, spring football!)


I feel like you can't just put this on Blackshear. He's our only big and that just can't work, of course he's gonna get gassed, he's gonna get fouls, the issue is we have no one with his size to put in after these things happen. We don't need a 7 footer or anything but we do need more than 1 reliable Blackshear sized dude to put on the floor. I'd be curious to look at Blackshear's PT/games in foul trouble vs our losses/close calls.

A common theme in our close losses is Blackshear not doing (or being prevented from doing) what he does best. He is great at catching the ball down low, taking at most one dribble, turning, making a move and getting the basket and/or the foul. When he's shooting threes or trying to get dribble penetration, bad things happen (turnovers, fouls). I don't know if we credit Bama's D for forcing him out of his comfort zone or blame KJ for trying to be a square peg in a round hole, but either way, there seems to be a correlation there.

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)..

He looked like a deer in the headlights most of the night. But yes, he needs help.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

He just needs to get more consistent. There were games last year where he was fantastic both offensively and defensively. I specifically remember one play, I think against Louisville or FSU where he was isolated at the top of the key against a big and pulled a beautiful spin move to get an easy basket. It's just at times he makes head scratching mistakes, like most of the team.

specifically remember one play, I think against Louisville or FSU where he was isolated at the top of the key against a big and pulled a beautiful spin move to get an easy basket.

We needed that KJB last night & against ND (not deer-in-headlights KJB).

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

I agree. I think some of the troubles can be solved by Blackshear playing a little smarter (how many games has he entered with 4 fouls and picked up the fifth in what feels like a minute) and part of it is the roster. Buzz needs to get another Blackshear and another Horne on this roster. We need a lineup that can run with two 6'8" guys or Buzz needs to find a way to have Horne and Blackshear on the floor together and still fit within the offensive framework.

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

this season ended after we beat duke

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)..

Damn hangover from those fawking little leprachauns

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"


This year's Buzzketball team feels like 2003's football team. I can't help but feel like we should have gone further. Not that I don't love Med, Bibbs, and DW, but I also can't help but wonder if new blood coming in will help us keep our composure a little better. It seems clear that the officiating deck will be stacked against us until we start consistently overcoming it through our play on the court, and that starts with keeping cooler heads. I still have high hopes for next year.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Med will be back next season.


Hopefully this season will be good motivation for him in the offseason.

How confidant are you in that?

'95 @UVA, '95 Sugar Bowl, '96 @Miami, '99 flip, '03 v Miami, '05 Bourbon St., '09 Coale, '14 @OSU

I think if he's Med's confidant, then he's probably pretty confident in his assessment.

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)..

With how his season went and Buzz's history of high turnover, I wouldn't be surprised if he leaves the team.

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

The fact that we are now invested in these guys and disappointed in a first round exit from the NCAA Tournament is great. From where this team was 4 years ago, it's almost unfathomable to me. Great season, and thanks for a great run to Wilson and Bibbs!

'07 Mechanical Engineering

"Touchdown, Tech! I have never enjoyed saying that more"
-Bill Roth

I know we are all disappointed in the ending of an otherwise fantastic year of Hokie basketball. However, I think to put it in perspective we should look to how good we could be next year.

We lose Bibbs and Wilson, and that sucks. I'll miss the heart and defense those guys brought their entire careers. However, the core group of Robinson, Alexander-Walker, Clarke, Blackshear, and Hill is formidible. Add to that getting Sy (and potentially Outlaw) back, Nolley being a huge get as a bench wing... along with progression from Bede (who looked great last night) and Horne? That's a solid group with senior leadership that could make a deeeeeep run. I know its a long way away, but I'm already feeling good about the team next year.

[All of this assumes Alexander-Walker returns, which I think is about 70/30 likely right now].

I dont get why people think NAW might leave. Is it because he was a highly rated recruit so its assumed he will leave early? I watched about 10 games this year, and while he is a good player, nothing I saw had me even close to saying "This dude is a NBA first rounder next year."

Well yes, its mostly because of him being a very highly ranked recruit. The NBA does not draft based on production, but based on projection.

He has been seen on multiple draft boards, albeit in the second round. You just never know how scouts are going to view someone of his talent.

The NBA does not draft based on production, but based on projection.

That seems odd to me but im not familiar with the NBA or the draft. Thanks for clearing that up.

For him, and for VT, he needs to stick around another year.

Totally agree, I think with development he could be a late lottery pick. I'm not sure if this is a thing anymore, but leaving without signing an agent would be beneficial if he really wants to see where he stands. I think he does that and comes back when he realizes he'd be a late 2nd or UDFA.

NAW with another year or 2 in college under a legit collegiate weight training regiment could be scary. He's got the game, and we see flashes of it a lot. Get him stronger so that he can fight through the defense on his drives, and I think you'll see the kind of offensive explosion we have seen out of JRob recently, only to a much, much higher level.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

Last night I saw him drive through three defenders and lay it in a few different times. Like you say, if he can get a little stronger and learn to do that consistently along with stay deadly from outside, he could be reallll special. I'm excited for him to be the feature wing next year.

hell, if anything, I have thought JRob is starting to look like the NBA prospect that we thought NAW was going to be this year.

If NAW can keep progressing and reach his potential next year, we could have a very dangerous team.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

I agree. 5 was awesome this year. Just in this game he had a couple drives and scores that left my mouth open.

Including that last one, that was a MAN's shot! We know how it ended, so I don't need to go there, but that was a move!

Edit: And JRob knew EXACTLY where to take off to avoid that foul (and perhaps get one in his favor) and make that shot. That was perfect execution. That was why he was so shocked at the call - you could see it in his demeanor afterwards.

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

I totally agree. After losing the two best players on the team from last year, I thought we might struggle a lot more this season. To finish with a winning record in the ACC, and to beat so many high-ranked teams, shows me that we are becoming a program that expects to win. And I love that.

I admit I don't follow VT basketball as closely as I do football, so I just looked at the roster to check player eligibility, and I'm thrilled with what we have coming back. We need more size, but our guards are outstanding, particularly Robinson. That dude is worth 10 wins next year practically by himself.

Also, I don't even get the talk about Alexander-Walker leaving early. He's a really nice college guard, and if he works really hard and improves a LOT he could eventually turn in to a Malcolm Delaney or Erick Green (which would be fantastic). But he's not an NBA prospect. He should be at VT for 4 productive seasons.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

But he's not an NBA prospect.

Thats not what the scouts think

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

That's great and all but check the date on that article - November, when we were playing against the Helen Keller School of the Blind and Nickeil was dropping 30 a night.

I disagree with the point that he's not an NBA prospect, but I think it should be noted that this article was published before anyone knew anything of substance.

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

I only scanned the article, but I didn't see where any NBA scout was quoted. I have heard about him being listed as a likely 2nd round pick at some point, but those guys don't usually make an NBA roster. If you left college to be a second round NBA pick you made a very poor life choice.

I'm not trying to criticize the guy, and he could definitely play in the NBA one day. Malcolm Delaney is currently making $2.5 million/year with the Atlanta Hawks after spending 6 years in Europe, and I could see NAW having a similar career path. But he doesn't look like a player who is going to be on an NBA roster in the next 2-3 years. That's just my completely non-expert opinion.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

Why didnt Buzz put Chris Clarke on Sexton at some point in the game?

I hope Buzz uses the off-season to incorporate more structured offensive sets into his offensive approach. In almost every close game this year we had periods down the stretch riddled with turnovers, bad shots, and as Brian said "off the rails" play. Even the close games we won (uva, duke, nd) we had a bad turnover in the last minute only to get bailed out by the other team and a put back bucket off of a bad miss.

At the end of games when every possession counts, structure helps reduce the pressure felt by the players. They can go to a play they have practiced over and over with confidence, where they know exactly what their assignments are. This will also help develop the young guys quicker. Pig and Bede have had a few moments where they go into a rhythm and made plays in a game but for the most part are lost and unable to meaningfully contribute.

The referees contributed to the loss but it wasn't on them. Bama played tough physical basketball, after all elbows to the face are just part of it right? Sexton should have been ejected from the game when he threw that elbow into JRob's face with 10 minutes to go. But no technical, not even a foul called. Even the announcers saw the elbow. Per their discussion later, the forearm for Sexton was horizontal not vertical, it was deliberate.

We missed baskets and made silly fouls. It happens all to often for some of our players.

For some reason our plays off inbounds and time outs as the season got longer. That needs to be corrected for next season.

Biggest error in the game was we sat players with three fouls in the second half and let the Bama players with 4 on the court get away. We needed to continue to drive to the bucket and get those players out of the game.

First of all, let me say Brian you did an excellent job this year. Great insight on all your contributions. Now to the fun stuff. Until we get a legit #5 down low and some depth at that spot we will struggle. I'm talking about a guy who takes no prisoners when he goes to the glass, whether it's offense or defense. KB is not a #5, he is a #4 who has been forced to play down low, which is why in my opinion he makes so many bone headed plays. We should have a solid core coming back, but we also need to develop a super star and then both the annpuncers (who I thought were completely biased) and the referees will start to give this program the respect I feel they have earned now. No way a T gets called on Coach K in the same scenario because the ref knows he will not be calling games with Coach K any more. But all in all this season is a step in the right direction

I dunno about this. I think the problem with KJ is that he's not planting his ass at the #5 spot and thinks he can spread his game out to the perimeter like Joel Embiid. The last thing we want him doing is consistently ball handling and driving. He allows himself to get out of control A LOT when he does that, and ends up making a silly mistake that gets whistled for a foul or a turnover. He's at his best when he's posting guys up and allowing himself to dominate the 6 foot circle around the rim.

"I regret nothing. The end." - Ron Swanson

The MAIN problem with KJ is that he has no legitimate backup at the 5. I am a PJ Horne fan, but I don't think that he is a 5. Hope Khadim comes back with a vengeance next year.

In Bud we trust

Does anyone else remember Dream's first year? He had a lot of growing up to do. We can't just crown him our savior as center and then be disappointed when he plays like someone who's had a year off big boy bball

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 am hoping this past year has helped with that growing up, but I think it will just be a wasted year with all of the transfer drama. Hopefully the full year in the S&C program and with what will be a full offseason for Sy, we can see some results. Either way, from what I have seen, Sy's ceiling is coming off the bench. Buzz still needs to recruit another starter quality big.

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

To begin with, Buzz has done a phenomenal job rebuilding in just four years. It really is amazing what he has done in Blacksburg. I'm glad he is a Hokie!

With that being said, I do think this year was a slight step backwards, at least in my mind. I know the records and achievements look very similar, but...

Last year we literally limped into the NCAA Tourney with 6 man rotation. That team had grit and determination for days (granted, most of that came from Seth Allen and Zach LeDay). But to finish the season the way they did after Clarke went down and after J'Rob rolled his ankle was really amazing.

This year we stayed healthy, thus having a full roster, played together all season long, and arrived to the end of the season with a whole lot to play for and opportunities to take huge steps. It wasn't to be... we simply couldn't rise to the occasion in any situation during the final stretch.

Is it basketball season yet?

Buzz needs to find a couple of bruisers that can protect the rim. And maybe find a defense minded bench coach that can help his defense. His small team gets caught to often leaving men open trying to defend the rim and perimeter. The lack of defensive cohesion really hurt them last night. I was not this calm about it last night. I think I'm in the doghouse today.

I think I'm in the doghouse today

Me too. I was POed after that game ended.

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

A lot has been said so I won't reiterate much, but man I just have to say that J Rob shut Collin down. Yea he had 25 points, but 8 of those came on free throws during garbage time. He had only three points in the first half on 1-4 and it was a completely lucky bank three. In the second half he started scoring mostly on Bede when 5 got in foul trouble. He then hit a couple jumpers, one somehow died on the back of the rim and the other a very impressive fade away.

Everybody will talk about Collin, and he is a super talented player that deserves it, but J Rob won that battle last night. He shot the ball better, had more assists, less turnovers, played much better defense, and would've won us the game if he played his usual 36 or so minutes. I truly think next year he will be the best point guard in the ACC and should be talked about as one of the best in the country.

I will also mention this, we had a winning schedule in the ACC with the HARDEST conference schedule. Good things to look forward to next year.

Feel for the seniors! Love those guys! But once the heartbreak wears off for them, they'll be very proud of all they accomplished in their time at VT.

What is being missed in this thread, which is huge, is that two freshman classes in a row now have the expectation and experience of making it to the NCAA tourney and playing in an NCAA tourney game. Bede, Horne, and NAW all had big minutes in that game. Blackshear, Clarke, and our entire roster know what it takes to make it to the NCAA and know what it feels like to lose in the 1st round. This will lead to some big time experience and senior leadership down the road, which will immediately influence incoming freshman.

I would love to have gotten the 3 seed in the ACC tourney this year (1 point away) and this win against BAMA. But otherwise, this program is exactly where it should be in what has been an impressive rebuild. NCAA appearances and numerous regular season victories over top 10 teams, going 1-1 against UVA and Duke the last two years.

"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'm ok with it, we would've never won the Tournament.... we're still young and have some better recruiting coming in.

I can't complain much about a loss that exists only because a shitty 3pt shooter got super hot and there were 2 circus shots made by ALA in the last 2 minutes with elite level defense being played.

Future is bright, lets go for 3 in a row next year.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

I don't think the loss was terrible but saying we wouldn't have won the whole thing so that makes it ok is a point that falls flat for me.

1. We have arguably the best 3 wins of any team this year. We proved we can beat anyone. Its no guarantee we would lose to nova like some assume
2. Winning it all isn't the only thing you can acomplish in the tournament. Final 4s get remembered, especially from lower seeds and upsetting number 1s. That's how you build program reputation

Honestly, this makes me appreciate the bowl system a little more. Everyone with a bowl invite has a good chance to end the season with a win. For March Madness, only 1 of the 68 best teams ends with a win. Everyone else is left with some measure of depression.

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 second half of that game was some of the sloppiest, most disjointed basketball I've ever seen, from both teams.

The JRob foul was awful but the refs called some questionable ones on Bama too. VT was in the bonus with 16 minutes left in the second half and at the end of the game none of them had fouled out! That right there is concerning. VT should have taken it straight down the lane and continued to try to get to the line every offensive possession.

Also, Clarke was absolutely invisible this game. I thought that was pretty disappointing.

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

I am still pissed off, days later. This roster shows no killer instinct, no ability to close. I don't really care about the marquee wins or overall winning record in ACC play, ending your season with 3 straight bullshit losses where your team showed no fight down the stretch is unsettling and makes me flat out angry. If not for that lucky putback from Chris Clarke against Duke, this team would have ended the season with 5 straight losses, 4 of which they wasted leads. Heck, i bet they would have been rightfully left out had they lost that Duke game and closed the season the same way. Buzzketball 2017-2018 was a disappointment for me.

At this stage, I just want to protect our home court and win a god damn tourney game. VT collapsed with epic proportion in the ACC tourney, then got a good first round match-up IMO, against a freshmen heavy lineup, and still squandered it.

I'll gripe about that same thing I started the season with - Buzzketball has a big man problem that no spree of wings can fix. I blame so much of our inability to close out on shooters due the help defense we employ when the ball gets around the paint. Between that and the defensive switch resulting from screens when playing man, our small roster got exposed far too often.

We better hope Sy sticks around this time, else next season we will graduate KBJ and have Horne + whatever recruit we sign to head into the following season. This team does return plenty of talent 1-4, let's hope they learn how protect a lead and close a game heading into next season.

KBJ is a redshirt sophomore.

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

You are correct, I had forgotten he got the shirt last year after surgery.

He still tip-toes around, doesn't put any weight on that left heel. Thought that was what he had surgery on, what'd they fix?

Surgery did not "fix" that, IIRC there is nothing that can be done about his condition with his left heel medically. surgery was for something unrelated.