Tech had a great practice on Monday. Four of their losses have come by about 10 points. They were a man down this weekend, and they asked a couple of guys to play different positions. There are always going to be games you wish you had back.
Against BC, Tech suited up one player who played all of last season: Victor Davila. Everyone else either missed the whole season, missed part of it, or was in high school. That’s just the way it is. The Hokies have to finish plays, and play through contact a little better.
Tech isn’t going to push the panic button. Greenberg wishes he had an “energizer bunny” type player.
The staff is coaching this team like a young team. They go back to basics every day. In the long term, that will play huge dividends.
Nine days ago, the Hokies were on a 6-day winning streak. They’ve struggled since then. They’ve lost some games they had a chance to win. Greenberg hopes the team is a bit down, because that shows they are committed and they are disappointed.
Greenberg thinks his young players want to play hard, but they haven’t quite figured it out yet. They also don’t know the difference between playing hard and competing. Greenberg puts Jarell Eddie and Cadarian Raines in the same category.
Erick Green practiced on Monday. He’s in a little bit of pain, but he played through it. Green and Greenberg are spending a lot of time together talking about leadership. He’s got a whole new role from a year ago. Last year he played off a group of seniors. This year he is the #1 target of defenses. It’s a new role, and he’s growing into it. He’s taken a huge step forward in the last few weeks.
Tech needs more productivity. They need more double figure scorers, more rebounders, etc. Victor Davila had a nice game this past weekend, but no one else stepped up with him. Dorian Finney-Smith needs to run the court better, get through contact better, etc.
UNC defends a lot of the floor, so the Hokies need to play with excellent spacing and attack to the gaps. Victor Davila needs to get to the rim. He was very effective offensively against Boston College. Unfortunately, his teammates missed him on two other scoring opportunities.
Tech didn’t make good decisions at the end of the first half against BC, and then they had unforced turnovers to start the second half. That was the difference in the game.
Tech is in the “get better” mode. You have to look at the big picture. They have to try and get better every single day.
Tech plays three ranked teams in the next two weeks, plus BYU and Maryland. Maryland has Alex Lin, a 7-2 freshman center who visited Virginia Tech, but the school wouldn’t admit him. He ended up a Terp instead.
UNC doesn’t have any weaknesses. Deividas Dulkys has an average three-point shooter, but he went 9-of-12 from the outside against the Tar Heels. You have to take them out of transition, take them off the glass, and you are going to have to make shots.
Kendall Marshall is a pass-first point guard. The Hokies have to jam him and make him a shoot-first player. He’s a really good facilitator. He makes other people better.
The ACC is built on passionate fanbases who take ownership no matter how their team is performing. When it comes to league play, there is no greater influence in college basketball than homecourt advantage. Ownership isn’t about who your team is playing, it’s about your team. It’s about sticking with the team even after an 0-3 start. Tech is still in the process of building something. This is the ACC. When you play in this league, you need passionate home fans who take great ownership in the program.
UVA is a very experienced team this year, and this is Tony Bennett’s third year. They have a mature team that has bought into his system.
Tech has to take advantage of opportunities against UNC. They have to do well in transition. They have to lay with a lot of energy. They have to be physical on defense. They also have Mike Scott, who is an ACC Player of the Year candidate. Asane Sene is their most underrated player. He’s very good defending ball screens, and he protects the front of the rim. They do a great job limiting opponents to one shot.
UNC blocks a lot of shots. With Henson and Zeller, they are a long, athletic team. They force you baseline, which drives you to the rim, and they have inside players who can block shots. UNC is blocking 11.5% of their opponents shots.
Green’s injured leg is getting better. He had a chance to practice on it on Monday. It’s getting there. He’s definitely playing on Thursday night.
The biggest difference between last year and this year is that Green has to be the leader. The older players really filled that role last year. Terrell Bell brought it every day, and he was a great leader on and off the court. This year, Green has to be that guy. He’s never really been in that role before, so it’s different.
The hardest thing about being a leader is that you have to make sure everybody is together. Coach Greenberg can’t always be there, so he has to make sure everything goes right on the court and off the court.
Green went through walk-through on Saturday morning, and he wasn’t 100%. It was really tough sitting out. He feels like he learned a lot by sitting out, and seeing things from a coaching perspective.
This is still a good team. They are hurt, and they aren’t far off. They have to take care of the little things. They had a great practice on Monday, and their spirits are still fine.
Thursday night is going to be a fast paced game. Green likes that, because he likes to play fast.
Green is a sociology major. He likes it so far. He likes kids, and he’s thinking about a field in social services or something like that.
Monday was Day 2,606 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.