The trip to Charlottesville was good. The return trip was better. He’s proud of his players. They were able to withstand the late run, which they hadn’t been able to do this year. Dorenzo Hudson made big plays as a senior, and Victor Davila really pursued the ball better than he has since the Duke game last year (when he had a double-double).
The Hokies wanted to push the ball and get as many room and rhythm shots as possible. The big thing was matchups. Tech wanted to draw double teams, screen on the backside, and space the court as well. Defensively, the Hokies did a better job against the dribble drive. They had a good defensive game.
Tech guarded Mike Scott early, and they brought help as well. They helped off Jontel Evans a lot. They didn’t just bring help on the pass; sometimes they waited until the bounce. Victor Davila , Cadarian Raines and C.J. Barksdale really fought him. They kept him off the offensive glass.
Tech used Erick Green as a center fielder. Green took good angles in front of Jontel Evans, and made him settle for jumpers, which is not his strength.
The Hokies posted up Dorenzo Hudson three times late in the game. They were three different screen plays, and he was able to get a field goal and a free throw.
Will Johnston was Joe Harris during practicing leading up to the UVA game. He probably scored more baskets in practice than Harris did in the game. He can really shoot it. Joe Racer has also been great for the Hokies. He lost his dad last summer, and this is a big deal for him.
UVA went up by three points on a huge Mike Scott dunk, but the Hokies stayed in the game mentally. They continued to get stops, they continued to work hard on the glass, and they continued to finish possessions. Jarell Eddie had nine defensive rebounds.
Greenberg used a little bit of zone coming out of timeouts against UVA. The players did a good job of executing. Dorenzo Hudson did a tremendous defensive job on Joe Harris, who is a very good player.
Tech has been in a position to finish and win in three of their four ACC losses. You have to finish possessions and make plays to close games out. After doing it against UVA, the younger players now have a better idea of what it takes to close out games. Who they were against UVA on Sunday night is who they need to be each game, and every day in practice.
Greenberg is proud of Hudson for coming off the bench. He had to totally readjust his role, and sometimes that’s difficult to do for a senior. He’s been a very unselfish player.
BYU is a good team. Greenberg has watched a lot of film on them. They can really score. They have two frontcourt players who average 40 points between them. They really remind Greenberg of North Carolina.
The thing about BYU is that they have a lot of players who have gone on missions, and they come back as 23 and 24 year old college basketball players. They have a huge maturity advantage over the teams they play.
Greenberg thinks his team is starting to understand that ACC basketball is a marathon and not a sprint. They have to continue to have a positive attitude and play with a sense of purpose.
UVA runs a lot of dribble drive. They want to attack people off the bounce, and that generally leads to a lot of fouls. The Hokies didn’t get to the line a whole lot, but when they needed to get there at the end of the game, they did.
Maryland is 12-6. They aren’t playing as fast as Gary Williams’ teams did in the past. Defensively, they are much more aggressive. They don’t really extend it more, but they are more physical in the halfcourt, and they play one step over the three-point line. They put good pressure on the basketball.
Greenberg will start thinking about Maryland after the BYU game. BYU will be something completely different than the norm, and after that they’ll have a brand new preparation for Maryland as well because they have a new coach. It’s going to be different.
Zo’s knee is doing better. Marquis Rankin and Cadarian Raines are a little banged up, and Robert Brown has a lower back issue. However, it’s nothing that will keep them out of games. For this time of the year, they are fairly healthy.
Dorian Finney-Smith is going through what plenty of freshmen go through. Even Austin Rivers at Duke was taken out of the lineup last week. Finney-Smith is a facilitator. He’s not a scorer. Greenberg wants him to run the court harder, be stronger with the ball, get offensive rebounds, etc. He needs to raise his energy level. It has nothing to do with points.
Tech has done a pretty good job of getting out on shooters. That will be challenged by BYU. They have to do a better job of keeping the ball in front of them and containing. Tech has to pressure the ball and defend the post early. They have to keep BYU off the offensive glass and get the ball up the court. The teams that have beaten BYU have averaged 81 points.
Last night’s win was great. It always feels good to win a rivalry game. They knew it would come down to the final minutes, and Coach Greenberg put them in a position to win the game.
Greenberg asked Hudson to come off the bench. He wanted Hudson to be a spark off the bench. They had a talk about it in his office. That’s his role right now, and he’s embracing it. Watching the beginning of games is almost like watching film. You can see how you can be involved in the game before you go in.
Coming out of the timeout near the end of the game, Hudson knew he might get an open look if UVA helped off of him. They did, and he got the pass with a clean look at the basket.
ACC basketball is a long season. You have to stay with it and believe in what the coach is saying. You can’t let a few losses affect the way you prepare and the way you play.
When Hudson first saw Sammy Zeglinski was defending him, he really made a point to post up hard and demand the ball.
The toughest adjustment coming from Hargrave to the ACC was the competition each day. In prep school, he played only three or four good opponents all year. In the ACC, you face good players each and every night.
His knee is getting better. He took the knee brace off for the Wake Forest game. It still bothers him every now and then, but it’s not something he is using as an excuse for his play at times. He needs to get better.
The tempo against BYU will be much faster than it was against UVA. Hudson likes that, because they feel more comfortable running the floor.
The team is very upbeat right now. They have a win under their belts, now they have to stay positive and get another one.
Monday was Day 2,613 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.