Date/Time: Jan 23 2021 12 PM
Opponent: Syracuse
Site: Carrier Dome
Regional Sports Networks, Tom Werme (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (analyst)
Virginia Tech Sports Network. Jon Laaser (play-by-play) and Mike Burnop (analyst)

Time for Mimosas

The Hokies are coming off a sloppy but ACC win, so any win is how you play the game. They beat Wake Forest 64-60 and now take on the Syracuse Orangemen. The Hokies are 5-10 against Syracuse going into their 16th meeting. The Hokies are now 11-2 and ranked #16 in the AP Poll.

Boeheim checks in with his This Long
The Orangemen are coached by Jim Boeheim. He is in his 44th season at Syracuse. He is 972*–403 as a head coach. *for 101 wins vacated by NCAA investigation. Boeheim has guided the Orange to ten Big East regular season championships, five Big East Tournament championships, and 34 NCAA Tournament appearances, including five Final Four appearances and three appearances in the national title game. The ACC though has been a different story for Boeheim, outside of finishing 2nd in 2014, the best Syracuse has managed was 6th place last season.

The Orangemen are 8-4 and sit at 2-3 in ACC play. Their losses are to Pittsburgh twice, UNC and Rutgers. Their eight wins are over Bryant, Rider, Niagara, Boston College, Northeastern, Buffalo, Miami and Georgetown. Their average margin of victory is by 19 but that is significantly skewed by a 26-point win over Miami, a 38-point win over BC, a 30-point win over Niagara and a 35-point win over Rider. Their margin of loss is 9.75. They have had 5 games decided by two baskets or less, going 3-2 in those contests. Coach Boeheim's Orangemen had two games against Wake Forest and Notre Dame postponed in late December due to a pause in activity.

Coach Boeheim only had to replace one starter in Elijah Hughes, who was drafted. Boeheim had three players leave by transfer, Jalen Carey transferred to Rhode Island, Brycen Goodine to Providence and Howard Washington to South Alabama.

Alan Griffin was the most prominent of Syracuse's new additions. He was granted a waiver became immediately eligible after transferring from Illinois in the spring. Syracuse also added four freshmen this year. Kadary Richmond, a 6-foot-5 guard, was a top 100 recruit. He and 6-foot-10 big man Frank Anselem were thought to have the best chance to carve out immediate roles. Woody Newton was ranked just outside the top 100 in the class of 2020. Chaz Owens also joined the team as a 6-foot-5 wing. Newton and Richmond are contributing, Anselem is dealing with challenges related to Covid and has not played in over a month. Owens has no active role.

Defensively, the Orangemen employ the 2-3 Zone, which focuses on taking away an opponents shot while not giving up easy driving lanes. There is also a huge focus on preventing the high post pass and disrupting return passes from the high post to the top of the key, leading to turnovers. The most critical position in this defense is the center, who has to be able to know when to sag low in the lane to prevent penetration on the baseline as well as when to press up to prevent interior passing.

Also look for Boeheim to employ a significant amount of full to three quarter court defense off made baskets. The Hokies have struggled with pressure which may encourage Syracuse to increase its use as the game progresses.

Offensively, Syracuse usually runs the motion offense, but in the last two seasons have had a greater focus on creating fast break points and moving quickly to get a shot. Their average possession time is one of the shortest in the NCAA. Boeheim relies on creating extra possessions and increasing the overall speed of play to wear down opponents.

The most important part is the amount of movement in the offense. You don't see one guy with the ball while the other 4 guys just stand around and watch. When someone passes the ball, they immediately move to a different spot on the court, and another player moves to replace them.

One common play that Boeheim teams run extensively in the half-court is called the 23 Orange. In this set play, the 4 and 5 start on the blocks with the 3 in the corner. The other two players begin at the top on the perimeter forming the "23" set. As a post flashes high, the ball handler passes to that post and moves to the opposite wing. The post can then pass to the second guard on the perimeter and follow for a ball screen. If the second guard passes out, the post flashes high and looks to make the high low pass to the opposite big. If it's not there, the post dives low as primary brings the ball up, forming the "23 again". This is a common set in Boeheim's motion offense.

Orangemen Backcourt

Alan Griffin (#0, JR, G, 6-5, 190 lbs)
Ossining, NY Archbishop Stepinac HS
15.8 Pts, 6.9 Reb, 2.5 Ast, 1.1 Stl, 1.2 Blk, 3 TOv
Shooting 45% from the floor, 35% from the perimeter, 86% from the line

Buddy Boeheim (#35, JR, G, 6-6, 195 lbs)
Fayetteville, NY Brewster Academy
16.0 Pts, 2.1 Reb, 3.3 Ast, 1.6 Stl, 1.2 TOv
Shooting 40% from the floor, 29% from the perimeter, 88% from the line

Joseph Girard (#11, SO, G, 6-1, 195 lbs)
Glens Falls, NY Glens Falls (NY)
11.3 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 4.2 Ast, 1.6 Stl, 2.5 TOv
Shooting 35% from the floor, 36% from the perimeter, 87% from the line

Orangemen Frontcourt

Quincy Guerrier (#1, SO, F, 6-7, 220 lbs)
Montreal, Canada Thetford Academy
16.7 Pts, 9.6 Reb, 1.0 Ast, 1.3 Blk
Shooting 58% from the floor, 34% from the perimeter, 75% from the line

Marek Dolezaj (#21, SR, F, 6-10, 201 lbs)
Bratislava, Slovakia MBK Karlovka Bratislava
10.7 Pts, 5.4 Reb, 3.6 Ast, 1.3 Stl, 1 Blk, 2 TOv
Shooting 56% from the floor, does not shoot from the perimeter, 83% from the line

Kadary Richmond (#3, FR, F, 6-5, 180 lbs)
Brooklyn, NY Brewster Academy 89th Ranked Recruit (2020)
6.3 Pts, 3.4 Reb, 3.6 Ast, 2.2 Stl, 1.4 TOv
Shooting 41% from the floor, 14% from the perimeter, 70% from the line

Woody Newton (#4, FR, F, 6-8, 200 lbs)
District Heights, MD Mt. Zion Prep
4.4 Pts, 2.5 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Shooting 50% from the floor, 40% from the perimeter, 63% from the line

Robert Braswell (#20, SO, F, 6-7, 206 lbs)
Jacksonville, FL Blythewood (SC)
2.7 Pts, 1.7 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Shooting 26% from the floor, 21% from the perimeter, 4 for 4 from the line
Played about ten mpg in ten games

What to expect from Syracuse?

Starters J. Girard III A. Griffin B. Boeheim Q. Guerier M. Dolezaj
Rotation K. Richmond R. Braswell J. Edwards
Lim PT S. Feldman N. Giancola C. Owens W. Newton F. Anselem
Lim PT C. LaValle B. Sidibe J. Bol Ajak

All five starters for the Orangemen come in averaging 10.7 or more points per game. Syracuse goes two deep on the bench for significant minutes or contributions. This is a developing roster that is well balanced offensively. Four of their five starters have led the team in scoring at least twice, with Griffin the leader five times.

Opponents are averaging 72 points per game in ACC play. Opponents in ACC play are shooting 39% from the floor against the Orangemen, second best in the ACC. Syracuse does better on the perimeter, only allowing 24% from the perimeter which is best in the ACC.

The Orangemen are committing 12 turnovers per game possessions or about 19% of their possessions. Griffin and Girard account for half the turnovers. Syracuse though forces 15.4 turnovers per game and average nearly 11 points per contest off turnovers.

The Orangemen commit 16.2 fouls per game. Opponents have shot 19.6 free throw attempts per game so far in ACC play. This accounts for 20% of opponent scoring. Guerrier and Dolezaj are the most at risk of foul trouble, each averaging at least 2.7 fouls per contest. This could be a big factor as the two forwards behind these guys are lightly used Freshman but have been thrust into ACC play, averaging nearly thirty minutes per contest.

As a team the Orangemen are shooting 32% from the perimeter on 26.4 attempts per game (about 42% of total shots) but a slightly better 35.4% in ACC play. Newton is the only one shooting 40% from the perimeter. Three other starters shoot better than 34% though.

Syracuse surprisingly struggles rebounding. Their defense is designed to alter shots but this season opponents are averaging 12 offensive rebounds per game. Guerrier and Griffin account for 15 rebounds a game but as a team they average a seven total rebounds deficit in ACC play.

Blocking shots though is a strength. They are the top team in the ACC, averaging 5.6 blocks per game in ACC play again led by Guerrier and Griffin.

The Orangemen average 18 assists on 29 made baskets per game in ACC play, roughly 62% of all shots are assisted. There are four players averaging at least 3.5 assists per contest.

The Hokies

The Hokies struggled against Wake Forest offensively but held the Demon Deacons to 36.7% shooting and 30.4% from the perimeter, the third straight game their defense has held opponents under 40%. They especially must close out on the perimeter, limiting the open looks so Syracuse doesn't reach its ACC best 10.2 made threes per game.

They will need to do just as well against Syracuse. Wake was good defensively, Syracuse is much better. The Hokies likely will find the going tough offensively again in this game. The Hokies will need to be focused on their individual assignments with how balanced the scoring is especially in home games.

Tech's perimeter shooting was its second worst of the season against Wake. This is an opponent that only allows teams to shoot 24% so the Hokies definitely need to be able to beat the zone and score in the paint.

Coach Young needs a big game from either Aluma or Mutts in this contest. Breaking the zone at the top of the key is critical in being successful and finding open shooters against this defense, Crisp passing is another aspect that is critically important here all the way up the court, including beating the press. The Hokies have struggled significantly passing the ball their last four games.

This is where you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HIT YOUR FREE THROWS. Syracuse sends people to the line rather than give up the easy basket inside. You must be able to convert those trips to points at the line if you hope to leave the Carrier Dome with a win. The good news is that the Hokies average the most made and attempted free throws in ACC play. (15.6/21.4, 73%)

Highlight of the Wake Forest Game

Winning ugly, great game David N'Guessan

In Closing

The points of emphasis in this one are get Syracuse into their bench, talent falls off dramatically outside the starting five. Strong on offensive rebounding, especially with how stingy Syracuse is on opponent shooting.
Double digit second chance points. Find points inside the perimeter, either by score or by foul. Slow the game and prevent transition baskets. Don't get lost in the emptiness of the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse rarely let one player dominate so the Hokies have to find balanced scoring across the roster. The good news is that this is an area that the Hokies excel. Expect eight players with five or more points.

Hokies don't lead with the bench like they did against Wake. Aluma scores 10 in the first half and the Hokies get their second straight road win 72-65.

Confidence Factor: Three Popcorns

Confidence Factor:
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.




Here is the RSN affiliate information: https://theacc.com/sports/2021/1/15/MBB_RSN_VT_SYR_21.aspx

For most of us the game is probably on MASN. I believe the only streaming option with MASN is AT&T TV Now. They offer a 7 day free trial so you could sign up today and get both today's game and Wednesdays game vs ND which is also scheduled for MASN.

Thank you, was looking for this info. I really hate these RSN games.

If you feel the leather in your hand let it rip.

The basketball Twitter account is on point.

Yes, we need more like them for all the sports

Sum bitch, guess I won't be watching on hulu

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

Anxiously awaiting our TKP hero to dish us a free stream link............

No ads popped up on mine when I was watching

This link made me go through a sign-up procedure, including cc info, now says they don't recognize me. WTF?

Annnd, they've already charged my credit card $1. And, I still can't get in. This is bullshit...

Link worked for me no signup just ads to click out of

I can get you a reddit one if you need it. Can't promise it won't have viruses.

Edit: above

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

What the hell is the point of the ACC Network when I have to also have Raycom and cable in case it's only on Watch ESPN or a local channel

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

Better yet, the ACCN has no live games until 6pm.

I live 45 mins from Syracuse, and unless I pony up to the crooks at Spectrum I cannot see the game. The ACC Network is a complete joke.


Is coronavirus over yet?

Anyone have a replay of a San Francisco game going on Fox Sports Go instead of the game?

Ok so they took they took the stream link off Fox Sports Go. Anyone in the Raleigh/Durham area know what channel/stream the game is on?

Yes,that's the Hokie Bird riding a camel. Why'd you ask?

The extra pass is causing turnovers. Need to just go up with it once we are in the paint.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Killing us on the offensive glass

That's three blocks already for Cuse

Two missed dunks.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

That's three missed dunks now

At what point can we talk about the slump Aluma is in? His play for a while now has just been bad.

This was kind of why I touched on the need for him to have a big game. Just doesn't seem to have the focus to finish right now

This is a physical matchup and our big men are just way too soft for this game. Aluma and N'Guessan together blew I think 5 straight possessions on offense and 3 on defense.

N'Guessan's body isn't ready for this game. This is a grown man's game and he's not ready for that type of fight yet.

Wow Boeheim losing his mind on Alleynes 4th three, he was two feet onto the court cursing at his own player

Aluma should be banned from catching passes in the center of the zone. His hands are literally made of butter.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Blocked out here

These off ball fouls are home cooking. That's three really soft calls already.

Cattoor only hooked him because the defender shifted into him, which should have been called first

These foul calls are questionable at best

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

That should have been another offensive foul on Syracuse and instead they get an easy putback. Syracuse is +10 already between the line, extra possessions and no calls

Since the C or F flashing to the middle isn't shooting anyway why not just put a rebounder like Ojiako in there? We need some help on the boards right now.

What the hell why are no fouls being called on cuse?

Death, taxes, and Cattoor drawing charges.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

They are doing a really good job of breaking the zone at the top of the key, now they just need to finish better

Let's watch the +/- with Bede off the floor (left with VT down 4)

Agreed. The offense is broken with him in the game. His defense is good, but not good enough to make up for how stagnant the offense is with him at PG.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Bede back on the floor (VT was +9 with him off... went from down 4 to up 5)...

Bede's second stint was -4 (went from up 5 to up 1)... he is now -8 for the game

Again, should have been a foul there with Aluma on the side

Great two-way possession for N'Guessan.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

That's what I'm talking about N'Guessan. He was getting bodied earlier, but he's playing extra hard now

This officiating is brutal.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

These fouls on 50-50 are all going one way just about

Who would have thought aluma would become a liability in the game after how he started the year😭

Starting to wonder if he has an undisclosed hand or finger injury. Would explain why he's missing dunks, off shooting, not catching passes. It's soooooo odd

Cone just got elbowed down with no whistle....SMDH

Home cooking... jeeze

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

You would think this would be the time to get big John some run right? Aluma is clearly slumping

Fuck these fucking refs man. No jump ball called snd just let them start swinging bows? Cone pushed over and no foul? Getting mauled rebounding

Syracuse 9-12 from the line, Hokies opponents average only 16.7 attempts per game

Now 11-14

Cattoor just run over and nothing to see here

Cone and Aluma combined 0-10.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Need better defense, more physicality, and something from Cone and Aluma. Those two were not good against Wake and not good today either.

Shoutout to Alleyne for keeping us alive

Boeheim to official at halftime: "Come on, I thought those Burger King bags were thick enough?"

Official as he pats Jim on the back "No worries, we will give you some Whoppers in the second half to close it out"

This game is maddening. Every time we break the zone someone fumbles a pass or gets mauled with no call... That and not being able to secure a rebound is tough to watch.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

this is some sloppy play... passing hasn't been crisp at all and has been pretty lazy.


Lazy passing and rebounding has cost us this game thus far. At this point, I'm hoping Cone can shoot out of the slump.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

These off ball calls are getting beyond ridiculous. Hokies already whistled three times. Biggest issue is it puts Cuse on the line early and often where they excel, with four starters better than 80%

They aren't even calling actual fouls! It's like fighting for position and it's a foul on us. Cuse mauls us for a rebound and no whistle. I'm going insane!

Turnovers and giving up offensive boards are killing us in this game. We fix those we're up, regardless of Cone's shooting.

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

Also you take away this home cooking and we're easily winning or within a score

We deserve to lose this one. When your top two scorers go 1-15.... it's tough to recover. Let's get Bede back in there and kick it out to Alleyne

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

Cattoor cannot play point guard against this defense

4 TO's from Cattoor. 1-8 from Aluma with 4 fouls. 0-6 from Cone. 6-24 from deep.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

4 fouls on N'Guessan as well

well this one is over

We can't make the easy looks and Cuse is making every tough ass runner and fade away they throw up..

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

They might just foul N'Guessan every trip down the floor for the rest of the game

We have been massively overrated in the polls and it's starting to show. I said this in the comments here after the Wake Forest game when people were like "why aren't we getting picked to win the ACC title, the media doesn't respect us." No, the media is giving us extra credit... Coming into this game, we were #36 in the NET and #35 in the KenPom. I really have no idea why we are ranked #16. Still have lots of work to do if we want to go dancing.

No worries...this game will put us back in the same area of the NET/KenPom

We are a very sloppy team, even in games we win. I can't understand why this team refuses to pass well.

Just like Penn State, sloppy passing, no defense.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I just don't understand why we 1) aren't getting a heavy dose of Big John 2) why we aren't playing Maddox and Bamisile at this point

Big John is VERY slow... would easily have fouled out today.

Is coronavirus over yet?

That may be but at this point N'Guessan and Aluma aren't contributing much either so at least Big John could help redirect some of these easy drop in baskets Syracuse is getting.

Cone gets knocked down on the three, nope, no whistle.

I saw that... And it was an intentional knock down. The dude stuck his hip out.

Is coronavirus over yet?

How was that not offensive goal tending on Aluma's shot? It was clearly tipped after it was on the way down.

I find it interesting the other insanely questionable officiating game we played this year was penn state which had about the same result. When we're not playing 5 on 7 we don't usually lose games to this degree

Reminder of how hard it is to win in the ACC. This is an embarrassing loss. We had no gameplan for this zone outside of the first 5 minutes

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

That basket by Radford is something they should have been doing all game

Agreed. He could have had 20 points from the elbow. That's where I used to make my living

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

good thing we can help keep their avg win by points up

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Actually it will come down just a smidgen but the point stands

You can't win shooting 33% from the floor and 27.6% from the perimeter. Actually was surprised our overall was that high with how many ugly misses we had inside.

Damn that was a texas sized ass whoopin

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:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"


These last two games its looked like Aluma has forgotten how to play basketball. Did the Monstars steal his talent?

That is why you never get too high or too low.

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

I think aluma is hitting the acc wall that our whole team hit last year. He needs to figure it out or hes gonna have a long year.
Edit: Mutts also.
They havent experienced it yet.

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

Mutts had 9 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists tonight on 3/5 shooting. He is fine.

Aluma though is an entirely different story. He was 1-10 and all but two misses were in the paint, most within three feet of the basket. He had 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Just watched the replay. Couldn't catch it live cause of medical stuff. Fuck Syracuse. And fuck boehiem. Both of them. And fuck UVA too just because.

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Late to the comments...couldn't see the game because FOX Sports Go is the worst piece of garbage ever created by a mega-company...but I digress.

Based on Laze and Burnop's coverage, it sounded like we partied over the win on Friday, forgetting that the game was on Saturday.

Two in a row now where things have been slipping greatly...I hope CMY has a plan to whoop the guys' butts in shape or else this will be a slippery slope just like last season. I know that you can't do much about shooting woes, but it is majorly depressing to hear Laze and Burnop talk about how 'Cuse pushed the Hokies around all afternoon.