Hokies Hit The Jackpot In Atlantic City

Virginia Tech went all-in for a solid win.

[Virginia Tech Athletics]

Like almost any gambler, Buzzketball was up and down throughout the night, but walked away a winner. No. 13 Virginia Tech beat the Washington Huskies, 73-61. It was a classic Saturday in Atlantic City. The Hokies got off to a quick start, tightened up some as profits dwindled, and then doubled down on its best strategy to finish up on the night. Virginia Tech moved to 9-1 and has two tuneup games (North Carolina A&T, Maryland Eastern Shore) in Cassell before finally starting ACC play (Notre Dame).

It was a story of two halves in Atlantic City. A brilliant first half performance by the Hokies was followed up by inspired play from Washington following intermission.

In the first half, Virginia Tech showed why they entered the game with the 10th-best shooting percentage in the country (51%). Buzzketball always looked to make the extra pass. When they did, it led to wide open shots.

Buzz Williams has always emphasized ball movement. He's preached on the importance of "good", "great", and "perfect" shots. There hasn't been a public definition of how to determine those shot statuses. Gut reaction says the Hokies took plenty of great and perfect shots in the first 20 minutes. Virginia Tech shot 45% from the field and scored on 50% of their first half possessions.

The first half offense wasn't the main storyline though. Buzzketball's defense was smothering. The Hokies held Washington to just 27.6% from the field and 21 points in the first frame.

The broadcast team even took notice of the defensive play. Time and time again, they would point out how quick the Hokies rotation was. The constant ball pressure. Virginia Tech's knowledge of when and where to double team. It was a complete team effort in the first half.

After halftime, the Hokies gave in to their more destructive habits, and Washington cashed in. The Huskies made eight shots from beyond the arc in the second half, and shot 45.2% overall. Washington's offense stemmed from the Hokies' lack of one. Virginia Tech turned the ball over six times after the break, and the Huskies scored 10 points off those giveaways. Virginia Tech's largest lead in the second frame was 19, at the 17:45 mark. With 9:03 to go, that margin was down to 7.

Then it was the Nickeil Alexander-Walker show. With the Hokies up 53-46, the sophomore guard scored 11 of Virginia Tech's next 13 points. The only points he didn't score during his personal run, was when he secured a offensive rebound and dished the rock for an open layup.

"You have guys like Ty [Outlaw] and Ahmed [Hill], so teams worry when they're on the wings and they're tilting down for the 3," explained Alexander-Walker. "So they open the game up for me."

Alexander-Walker finished the contest with 24 points on 9 of 14 shooting. That alone is an impressive showing. But the soon-to-be lottery pick 一 it's time to prepare for his departure 一 secured MVP while only playing 26 minutes. Alexander-Walker picked up two quick fouls and rode the bench for almost 12 minutes in the first half. Following the break, he only sat for two. The 20-plus point performance is his fifth of the season.

Buzzketball certainly made it more difficult than it needed to be, but ultimately it was a 12-point victory against a squad ranked No. 54 by Pomeroy rating. That same Huskies team took then-No. 1 Gonzaga to the final buzzer. As it stands, this is a quadrant 1 victory for Buzzketball. The selection committee sure does love their quadrants.

Up next, Virginia Tech gets a chance to secure their 10th win before Christmas. The Hokies return to action next Wednesday, taking on North Carolina A&T in Cassell Coliseum.

First Half: Virginia Tech 39–Washington 21

12:04, 14-8 VT Alexander-Walker picks up his second foul of the game. He'll have to sit for the rest of the first half. It's uncharacteristic of the sophomore guard to be in foul trouble.

10:25, 20-10 VT Robinson got out on the fast break and forces Washington to call their second timeout of the game. Huskies seem unable to stop the Virginia Tech fast break.

5:21, 32-14 VT The Hokies are strangling the Huskies defensively. That's weird to type out.

00.0, 39-21 VT Virginia Tech just scored 39 points in that half with their best scorer on the bench since the 12-minute mark. A very solid performance from Buzzketball so far tonight.

Second Half: Virginia Tech 73–Washington 61

18:37, 44-26 VT Blackshear Jr. picks up two fouls within seconds of each other. As is tradition.

16:27, 46-33 VT Washington is on a 9-2 run since Blackshear Jr. got into foul trouble. Virginia Tech is playing sloppy. Already at 10 turnovers for the game.

11:35, 54-42 VT Blackshear Jr. checked back in with 13:14 remaining. He just picked up his fourth foul. Not ideal.

8:39, 56-46 VT Alexander-Walker stopped the bleeding with a strong and-1 layup. Virginia Tech had a 21 point lead at one point tonight.

5:56, 59-49 VT Alexander-Walker is taking over. He's on an 8-0 run.

3:59, 66-54 VT Alexander-Walker has 11 of the Hokies last 13 points. The only two points he didn't score, he got an offensive rebound and assisted on the bucket. It's fun to wonder what it'll be like to have a lottery pick out of Virginia Tech.

Comments

Program is humming right now. Let's enjoy this and man these guys are a lot of fun to watch. Oh and #FreeNolley

Looking forward to conference play. We only have 1 loss, but acc is gonna be a whole different animal.

You're right, the ACC will be an entirely different animal. But it'd be fun to meet that animal at 11-1 rather than 7-5.

Edit: and #FreeNolley

And #FreeNolley. You're right, of course. We've had teams with gaudy wins in weak ooc games in the past that didn't show through as the season progressed and the competition improved. The difference is that we have a really good team this year, when clicking in all phases. We cannot afford the let downs we've shown we're capable of in our early games, though, and still expect to beat most ACC teams. Hopefully, the urgency of better competition can produce the energy, focus and consistency we have also shown we're capable of. I have high hopes for this year's squad and look forward to a few upsets in conference.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Uh, yeah, I don't think I implied otherwise.

True, but even just going 50% in the acc and 11-1 ooc will get us a decent seed.

The ACC is a different animal and every conference game can be tough BUT I would just like to point out that as it stands now, we have a good ACC schedule that could break very nice for us. Duke/UNC/FSU/NCSt are all currently in the KenPom 25 but we only play each of them once. The only top 25 team we play twice is UVA, and given Buzz's record against them, you can feel confident we should get at least one of those match ups (we're getting both this year! Book it!). A lot of the teams we play twice haven't looked all that strong this year. Again, its the ACC so every opponent is capable so you shouldn't be putting down a W in Sharpie. I'm just saying all the pieces are there to have a VERY successful season for us. Get hype and enjoy this.

speaking of putting down Ws in sharpie

The timestamps here confuse me.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Daylight saving time will get after ya

With each game that passes I get more and more pissed about Nolley. This is bullshit NCAA politics. As mad as we are as fans I can only imagine how Nolley and Buzz feel.

Great game by Alexander. This is the type of game we would've lost in the pre-Buzz days.

#FreeNolley

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

I'm getting the feeling this may be the best BB team I've seen take the court for VT in my lifetime.

We hit 8th in the AP in the 95-96 season...just going by rankings.
And 11th in the 84-85 season.
But we are on track to outperform those teams.

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

If he is 23 or under then he is right that this would be the best team of his lifetime. The 84-85 team doesn't make the lifetime cut for me. I do like the makeup of this team, but I worry about depth and our habit of giving up streaks of 3's once Blackshear gets in foul trouble.

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

That's okay, the 84-85 makes my lifetime but long before I had ever heard of Virginia Tech or wanted to be an engineer.

It seems like on top of all the perfect measurables NAW has, he also has a great mentality towards the game. I'm no expert, but it sure seems like he's matured a crazy amount in just one season. I can't wait to see how he performs in ACC play and then at the next level.

Also, even though it feels so daunting to have to replace JRob, Hill, Outlaw, and probably NAW, it's inspiring to see plays like the one in that twitter clip where a bunch of the young guys are getting involved in the ball movement. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a little bit of drop off having to replace so many amazing players, but it's definitely reassuring that these guys have developed a lot and will continue to do so surrounded by a great team this year.

The job Buzz has done with this program is nothing short of amazing, and NAW has become the go-to bad ass that all great teams need.

"Soon to be lottery pick" might be a tad optimistic, but he's playing like a guy who's gonna get paid as soon as next season.

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

#FreeNolley

I keep looking for Landers in the boxscore for games I missed watching and get more and more pi$$ed each time his name isn't in there.

Or as the TV commentator put it:

"Up next for Va Tech is North Carolina.........A&T"

(#freenolley)

___

-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.

I'M ON THIS HYPE TRAIN!

also... #FreeNolley

Go Hokies

That was a solid win. The defensive effort was strong for most of the night. Blackshear getting the 2 quick fouls really seemed to take away the Hokies mojo. Kerry has to be smarter out there, particularly with the foul at the offensive end. Without Nolley (and Clarke), we hardly have any options up front besides Blackshear and an undersized Horne who battles but is more effective playing < 20 minutes per game.

#FreeNolley

I missed all but 2 minutes of the first have as my recording of the game feature the entire 4th quarter of the Div 2 football national championship game so I didn't get to see all the good stuff. The turnovers in the second half were very frustrating and it doesn't seem our team can play defense when Blackshear is out. The hole in the middle causes the entire perimeter defense to cheat inward to help the post and we get threes rained down on us. It may be more perception that fact, but I swear teams routinely shoot better than their season average from 3 pt land against us.

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

i went to school when erick green was quite literally 100% of virginia tech's offense

One of my favorite idioms is the figurative use the word "literally." A+ usage with the addition of "quite."

🦃 🦃 🦃

And then there's "virtually".

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Wait a second...Could you be a little more "pacific"?

I'm calm.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I could care less.

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

Supposably, irregardless isn't a word.

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

Ekspecially nowadays

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.

I hate you all. My chest literally tightened up while reading these.

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 was also a student during the Erick Green years and as fun as it was seeing him play and watching us go 7-1 (I think) in the first 8 games, it was never going to be sustainable to have one player be the offense. I'm finally happy to see us recruit multiple Erick Greens at once to have something to look forward to in the winter and early spring.

I am the heartbeat of Blacksburg. A fortress built out of stone but made with champions.

I maintain that that Ok St game was the greatest sports atmosphere i ever saw at VT. It was madness. Cassell gets LOUD and that game was so much fun. We clowned on LaBryant Nash so much that game and it culmunated with him fouling out and the srudents chanting "youre a pussy." God that was a great game. The season fell apart after that lol.

It was Marcus Smart, not Nash

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

You sure? Im almost positive it was Nash.

I looked it up and actually neither fouled out. The chant must have just been when Nash was shooting free throws.

100% it was Smart. It was his freshman year and he was the star, but he flopped and whined all game, same shit he does now. The chant got really loud when he was shooting free throws. I've hated him since that game.

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

See i remember that exact chain of events as well but for Nash haha. We need to go to the tape for this one.

I just watched that game on YouTube the other day.. man it was awesome, and they could probably hear the boos when Marcus had the ball 20 miles away. Lol. Man we got lucky Forte shot terrible that night! I've watched the first 7 in succession, getting ready for the WV game. J.E. really shot the lights out early in the season. So now that the fun first 7 are out of the way, time to relive the rest of that season :/

Like Oklahoma St (in hoops) we own Wash.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows