Tech Talk Live Notes for 1-9-12

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on January 10, 2012
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Saturday’s performance was uncharacteristic of the team. They had a good week of preparation. They got beat in defensive transition. They took bad shots. They got beat on the boards. They got beat on 50-50 balls. They didn’t play well. They were able to get back in the game, but they have to play better at the start.

Tech also made a big mistake at the end of the game by going underneath the ball screen on Wake Forest’s game-winning shot. In the end, the Hokies did play well, but they didn’t play well enough to win. They didn’t have enough guys contribute, and they didn’t have some guys play as aggressively as they should.

Tech was going to go a little bit soft in practice at the beginning of this week, but that’s out the window now. They need to get back to having an edge. He’s not worried about the freshmen hitting the wall. They have to get tougher.

Every team is going to lose basketball games. Greenberg can handle losses if his team plays Virginia Tech basketball, but Saturday’s loss was very disappointing.

There is more equity in television in college basketball these days, and with other conferences getting more dedicated to basketball, that has hurt the ACC a bit. But the league is still very good, and still very high in the RPI.

Greenberg refuses to use inexperience as an excuse. They just didn’t play the way he wants them to represent themselves for 40 minutes.

Jarell Eddie is picking up some silly fouls. He has to use his feet and quit putting his hands on guys. He has a good feel offensively, but he needs to see things more quickly on the defensive end. He’s still a young player, and Greenberg is pleased with his progress.

Dorian Finney-Smith has never been a prolific scorer. He’s got to be more aggressive. The staff is telling him to attack. He can’t play 33 minutes and only take one shot. They need more from him on the offensive end. He’s a really good basketball player, but he’s got to be more aggressive on the offensive end.

Greenberg likes this Tech team. They have a chance to be good. The staff’s biggest concern is getting them to play Virginia Tech basketball, getting back to the culture of toughness. If that means the staff has to push harder and run the risk of running the freshmen into the dreaded “freshman wall”, then so be it.

Tech had a very physical practice on Monday. Most of the practice was spent on defense. He’s worried about offense, but first and foremost the culture of the program is to not get smacked in the face. That starts on the defensive end. When the Hokies get stops, they have a much better chance of scoring in transition.

To start the Wake Forest game, Greenberg didn’t think the team got the leadership it needed from their “three veterans”.

Dorenzo Hudson had a tough day against Wake, but he played a great game against Oklahoma State. He did all the little things right. If he had been benched before that game, as some fans want, then Tech would have lost to Oklahoma State. He struggled, but you can’t just yo-yo guys back and forth out of the lineup.

Cadarian Raines didn’t go a good job in defensive transition against Wake Forest. Overall though, he’s done a good job this year, and Greenberg is excited about him.

It was an exhilarating moment when the officials waved off Derwin Kitchen’s shot in the ACC Tournament last year. At the time, Greenberg really thought the Hokies would be in the NCAA Tournament.

Florida State is the oldest team in the league. They’ve got three graduate students. Bernard James is 26 years old. They have three seven-footers, and they are #1 in defense and blocked shots. However, they have turned the ball over a lot this year, and that has really hurt them.

FSU has been inconsistent. In their blowout win against Auburn, they had about 50 points at halftime. Against Princeton in the previous game, they had 10 points at the half. When they show up they are very good. It just depends on which team you are going to get.

FSU is going to play better on Tuesday night against the Hokies. The game will come down to rebounding and toughness.

Greenberg gave walk-on Joey Racer a scholarship for the second semester.

Tech saw a lot of zone defense against Wake Forest on Saturday. He thinks it’s possible that Florida State could play a lot of zone on Tuesday night. Tech has to rebound the ball, take advantage of transition and defend the post early.

Monday was Day 2,599 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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