Buzzketball Methodically Dismantles Overmatched North Carolina A&T

No. 13 Virginia Tech cruised to a 22-point victory.

[Virginia Tech Athletics]

A quiet crowd provided the somnolent backdrop for the Hokies to sleepwalk through parts of the night, but Virginia Tech still dispatched North Carolina A&T with relative ease, 82-60. Prior to the tip, KenPom rated Tech No. 9 and A&T 314th. That's everything you need to know. Buzzketball moved to 10-1 on the season with the victory.

Tech started slow, seemingly uninterested in expending too much effort with a holiday break looming. The Hokies didn't make a basket until Nickeil Alexander-Walker slammed home a steal at the 16:45 mark.

And Buzzketball's first non-dunk shot that dropped was a Kerry Blackshear Jr layup with 15:44 remaining. The Hokies turned it over 5 times in the opening 7 minutes.

However, Tech's offense woke up eventually. A balanced offensive attack helped five Hokies score in double figures. Leading the charge was Alexander-Walker with 20 points. Blackshear contributed 17. Justin Robinson had 14, P.J. Horne put in 13, and Ahmed Hill rounded out the double-digit scoring with 11. Everyone who stepped on the court for Tech scored points.

The Hokies only shot 33% from the field in the first 8 minutes of the contest. But despite the rocky start, they recovered to nearly eclipse their season average, shooting 49.2% (50.2%) on the night.

"I think overall at the beginning of the game, we weren't making shots but we were getting all the shots we wanted," explained Robinson. "They were practice shots. Just wasn't making shots. I tried to keep everybody motivated the right way and tell everybody that we're going to be fine no matter what happens in the flow of the game. Overall, we're in a good groove right now."

Alexander-Walker once again was the bright spot on offense. His 20 points came off of 8 for 14 shooting. He also grabbed 3 rebounds and snagged 4 steals.

"I would say my teammates have done an amazing job," noted Alexander-Walker. "They give me confidence. There's a lot of things that they do that goes unseen. We have a lot of weapons. When Ahmed and Ty space the floor, it makes it easier for me because we have great shooters. P.J., K.J. set great screens. When I'm driving, they seal which holds their man off so that makes it more of a one-on-one game with me. I'm just trying to watch a lot more film than last year. Letting it come to me, letting the flow come to me."

P.J. Horne showed out offensively: 13 points on 5 of 6 from the field and 6 rebounds.

"It's just us two getting reps every day," explained Blackshear. "Having somebody like him in practice to go up against, it's different than some guys I see on other teams. But it's a really refreshing thing. I think we give each other good looks every day because we compete and it's just us two competing every day. I think he gives us a lot."

With Blackshear staying out of foul trouble, the front-court duo played extended minutes together.

"I like the grouping," said Buzz Williams. "We've done it at times, when foul trouble has allowed us to do it. I'm not completely comfortable yet at playing with the burden of foul trouble. But those guys have a good symmetry. KJ's intelligent enough and skilled enough to play both. I think as P.J. has continued to improve, he's quietly demanding more minutes. I think it gives us more size, when those guys are on the floor, we're not the smallest high major team in the country. So it gives us a different dimension. But when they have been as productive individually as they have been, when we can combine that because foul trouble is not an issue, I think it helps our team. It gives us a different look at times.

Buzzketball has 10 days off for the holidays, their longest break of the season. The Hokies return to action on December 28 against Maryland Eastern-Shore for one final non-conference tune-up before ACC play. KenPom rates the Hawks even lower than the Aggies β€” 349 out of 353 teams.

First Half: Virginia Tech 36–North Carolina A&T 23

17:05, 3-2 NC A&T Hokies started slow again. Maybe the quiet environment in Cassell had something to do with it. Buzzketball is 0 for 3 with 2 turnovers.

13:44, 6-6 Virginia Tech recorded their fifth turnover of the game. Still searching for their first assist.

11:55, 9-6 VT Still don't think that the Hokies have realized there's a game going on. Six turnovers and one assist. Shooting an abysmal 33% from the field.

7:11, 18-12 VT That last stretch was more like Buzzketball. Open shots from beyond the arc. Attacking the basket. Forcing turnovers. Good for a 9-1 run.

3:54, 29-18 VT Virginia Tech opened it up finally. It's a balanced attack, seven Hokies have scored, but none are in double-figures yet.

Second Half: Virginia Tech 82–North Carolina A&T 60

15:34, 47-35 VT Virginia Tech continued to sleep walk through the game. The Aggies shot a blistering 71.4% from the field since the start of the second half.

14:52, 49-35 VT Blackshear Jr. picked up 2 fouls in 23 seconds. As required.

11:19, 58-41 VT It doesn't feel like the Hokies are up by 17. Honestly, that says a lot about how bad North Carolina A&T is. Somehow, the Aggies have a better assist-to-turnover ratio than the Hokies.

7:53, 68-43 VT Hokies went on a 12-2 run to open the game up. Blackshear Jr. needs two rebounds for a double-double. Hill needs three.


the team going through whats left of our OOC schedule like..... I think these guys are ready for ACC play and Christmas break. last night was not inspired basketball. lazy defense and offense. turnovers on O and lays up given up on D. ill scratch it up to being bored with A&T.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

I just hope that we are ready for conference play when it hits. Some of these games are glorified practices where we really win just by showing up.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

that's pretty much what we did yesterday. showed up and won by 20+ if we had played with the same effort as the Washington game we would have won by 50. but if we want to play with the big dogs in the ACC we need to play with max effort every night (or just be better) duke won their last 5 games by 51,33,30,64 and Indiana by 21. we should have molly whopped A&T by at least 30, we were favored by 29.5.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

ACC-DN condensed replay was only 8 & a half minutes.

NC A&T - Virginia Tech condensed

Edit: for some reason I just get sick of losing to FSU and seeing their name called for tournaments in general (maybe a mental throwback to the Greenberg era).


-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.

edit: nevermind

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Eh, it's hard for me to hit the panic button because we didn't have max effort in this game. Auburn just struggled with a mediocre UAB team at home and lost to NC State, Tennessee let Memphis and Samford hang around, and Michigan just struggled with Western Michigan. Just tough for kids to stay focused through this stretch.

Also, I have to wonder if Duke starts to get tired legs at the end of the year. They played an exceptionally long exhibition season and don't have a particularly deep bench.

oh no im not panicking at all. like I said I think we were just sleep walking through. you can see the difference in games that we give max effort on the defensive end and don't. I have no doubt this team will bring it consistently in ACC play. what worries me is bad GT team that is way better than A&T skill wise and if we don't bring it against a team like that. when this team gives max effort we are really good. once ACC play starts I hope to see no days off.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Honestly I felt like it was a very interesting game to watch, because it almost felt like there were moments where they'd be like "Ok, you know what, turn it on to 100% for a bit, just to make sure we can still do it," run stuff with full effort on offense and defense for a few minutes, and then be like "Ok, we're solid" and go back to playing sloppy. Really noticed it maybe 5 mins into the 2nd when all of a sudden they decided to really turn up their ball movement, first with our super fluid and screen heavy look and then to the look we showed a ton against Washington's D with Robinson at the top and NAW in center feeding it to the outside (sorry, despite being 6'6 I only got into basketball like 3 years ago and haven't bothered to learn the terminology).

It really did feel a bit like a practice; they showed a couple different looks, ran them 100% one or 2 times, then backed off and went back to playing around with wild passes just to see if they could do them in a "real" game (looking at you 5 with your crazy backwards over your head blind pass).

"molly-whopped" is my favorite term for a one-sided competition

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

great write up

for the love of god, please let us schedule halfway decent home/away ooc games next year (looking at you vcu and g'town)

I'd be okay with a home/away with VCU, but teams should always be careful about jacking up their non-conference schedule when they have a tough conference schedule. Look at Purdue this year. They have 5 losses already because they have had a pretty brutal schedule to this point.

I had no idea we had a game, sounds like I didn't miss much and the write up covered it all well. Good job Skutt!

Whatever. It was one bad year.

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

It was painful to watch. Sloppy basketball for a good portion of the game but a major discrepancy in talent made it a moot point. When its tied 6-6 after more than five minutes you know things are not on track for either team. Think they had a combined 12 turnovers by the second media timeout.

The spurts of sloppy play are starting to concern me. The game against Penn St was a flat performance all around, but against Washington (and sounds like again with NC A&T) we had 10 minute stretches of turnovers and easy misses that will not slip through the cracks of an ACC opponent. I know the team can't be perfect for a full 40 minutes, but the sloppy play shouldn't stretch across media timeouts. Buzz and Co. will need to work to keep the sloppy stuff to two 4-min stretches or less per game if they want to stay in the Top 15.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

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

One thing I have noticed is that there are certain games, Penn State being one and NC A&T being another where Buzz seems to decide the team needs a learning moment live and he really curtails his coaching from the sideline, letting things play out so he has halftime to really get into these guys amd practices after that as well. Nothing like getting called out in film review for a guy to get a dose of humility. The best part in those stretches is watching Jamie McNeilly go almost apoplectic with how the game is going. I am becoming more and more a fan of McNeilly and hope he really gets a strong look if Buzz decides to head elsewhere

Gives them a real-time chance to make decisions on their own. Then also a chance to break it all down in film review. I like it.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I am becoming more and more a fan of McNeilly and hope he really gets a strong look if Buzz decides to head elsewhere

Oh no. No James Johnson promotion. We are in a position to hire an experienced and/or up and comer coach. No reason to take a risk like that.

McNeilly has shown to be a quality recruiter with the Canadian recruits. I thought McNeilly has been with buzz for a while so he may stay with him if he leaves. But I'm not throwing my chips in the middle until I see buzz announce he is leaving

I think McNeilly is a really good assistant coach. But our program is much further along now. When Buzz leaves, not if, we should be targeting accomplished head coaches.

Oddly enough, I had zero compulsion to jump while listening to this...

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)..

perhaps even more surprisingly, I did

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

That was pretty awesome. I think the drummer is on some sort of PED though. He doesn't look like an elementary student.

Bud Foster is made of hokie stone!

Last night at the game Roger Ayers made an out of bounds call going to A&T and someone from the crowd yelled something at him and he said back to the fan it was a "Christmas present"
Everybody in Cassell was ready for Christmas break

Yeah, because it had been hit out by A&T and even sitting on the opposite side of the court it was obvious.

Yell louder next time.

I actually love being at these sleepy games. Love to hear the players talking it up. Med can talk some good trash, and Five is a really good Floor General.

Leonard. Duh.

I agree with some of the above posters, I don't think these sleepy games are good for the team. In the ACC you need to bring it EVERY night, and they seem to be in the habit of turning it on when they need to but going through the motions otherwise. I'm not panicking, we will still make the tournament, but we're not making ACC or Final Four runs with that attitude, I believe it contributed in the loss to Penn State where we looked completely out of it. We don't have to be UNC with the hardest schedule in the country, but at least play 150-250 teams instead of these sub-300 glorified D-II squads.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay



Should be Buzzketball Methodically Squashes NC A&T