Tech Talk Live Notes for 2-13-12

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on February 14, 2012
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Seth Greenberg

Greenberg likes buzzer beaters when the Hokies are the beater instead of the beatee. That was a good night for the players. It was good to see them find a way to win the game at the end. They made some good decisions and good plays down the stretch. They grinded it out and got to the offensive glass.

C.J. Barksdale is in a boot and he couldn’t practice on Monday. Hopefully he will make significant strides this week, but he couldn’t move on it at all on Monday. He was active on the glass and defensively, and he gave the Hokies good minutes on Sunday night.

Dorian Finney-Smith has been working very hard, and it was good to see something good happen to him. He made some key plays down the stretch. He had the winning tip-in, and he also had a big three-point play. He felt like he had been letting down the team, so Sunday night made him feel good about himself.

In the first half, the Hokies telegraphed some passes. Four of them led to layups. They were much better in the second half, but in the first 20 minutes they had too many passes that were not on time or on target.

Greenberg decided to simplify things offensively. The Hokies now have four or five sets, and that’s it. They aren’t going to try to do as much. Hopefully that helps the players pick things up.

The Hokies executed the last offensive play against BC exactly as they were supposed to. Erick Green drove the lane, and Robert Brown was coming in behind him. Finney-Smith was attacking the offensive glass from the baseline. Brown didn’t make the shot, but Finney-Smith was there to clean it up, exactly like he was supposed to be.

Tech changed up their defense to a 2-3 zone at one point in the second half, and BC was confused and immediately coughed up the ball. Then Tech switched back to the man-to-man after a timeout, when BC came out prepared to play against a zone.

It’s a great idea to have the ACC Tournament in Atlanta’s Phillips Arena rather than the Georgia Dome. It will make the atmosphere better, and there will be more energy in the building. Domes are good for Elite Eights and Final Fours, but not for conference tournaments.

With BC, Pitt and Syracuse in the ACC, it would make sense to have some ACC Tournaments further north. Greenberg doesn’t think Greensboro is the ideal site, because Greensboro isn’t a destination city. Having one home for the tournament in one destination would be great for the league. Charlotte would be a good choice as well. The people in Greensboro do an outstanding job putting on the event, but it might be better if it were held in more of a destination place.

The Hokies generally go to flat ball screens at end-of-game situations, but they didn’t do that against BC. All coaches like to do certain things, but it’s all player driven. Greenberg’s favorite plays were different for Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell than they have been for Malcolm Delaney and Erick Green .

ODU coach Blaine Taylor was talking about the sold-out ODU/VCU game, and he noted to the media earlier this week that other in-state schools, like Virginia Tech, are suffering with attendance issues this year. Greenberg responded that when you play nationally televised games every week, it’s going to drive attendance down because people can see the game without going. This Thursday will be yet another nationally televised game for the Hokies. Greenberg hasn’t had a chance to see ODU on TV this year. VCU-ODU is a great rivalry, and Greenberg is surprised Taylor spent time talking about a game he lost (the VCU game). Greenberg is going to focus on his own program instead of worrying about that. Taylor is a terrific coach.

Florida State had 17 blocks against Virginia Tech in the first meeting. FSU’s wings really guard the ball. They are a terrific defensive team in every way. Their help is good, they fill space, they close out on shooters, etc. Tech was also really bad against the Noles offensively in the first half.

If Florida State doesn’t turn the ball over, they have the ability to score a lot of points. They have some good shooters, and they are so big that they will come up with a lot of offensive rebounds and putbacks. Tech has to really defend the post and rebound the ball. The Hokies will have to compete hard on offense because FSU is so physical on defense. That’s a weakness for Tech: their strength on offense. FSU’s defensive style is a tough one for the Hokies to play against.

The Hokies are trying to run a lot of dribble drive offense this year because they knew they were going to be playing an undersized power forward in Jarell Eddie . Tech hasn’t done a good enough job of getting the penetration to cause the help defense, which results in the kickout for an open shot. The Hokies have to be better at screening. That’s tough for freshmen, because they are screening bigger, stronger players than they are used to playing against.

Greenberg thought Tech would be further along offensively at this point, but it is what it is. They have to keep on grinding.

The Hokies could have started Victor Davila and Cadarian Raines against FSU, but they can’t do that now. With C.J. Barksdale possibly out, that would leave them with no post depth off the bench.

The coaches watched FSU film on Monday morning, and they are developing their game plan. Monday’s practice was all about working on Virginia Tech stuff, rather than preparing for Florida State.

Leonard Hamilton’s teams at Florida State are always very athletic, tough, and they play great defense. It took the Noles a while to get to this point, but they are rolling now, making the NCAA Tournament every year. Hamilton is one of Seth’s favorite guys because you always know where you stand with him. At league meetings, he doesn’t try to be anyone he’s not.

Greenberg is looking forward to another great Hokie Celebration this weekend. It’s always a great event. He just hopes another Budweiser truck doesn’t run over another fire hydrant. Georgia Tech has a lot of great pieces. They have a lot of talent.

Monday was Day 2,634 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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