Tech Talk Live Notes for January 7, 2013

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on January 8, 2013
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James Johnson

It’s good to finally have another home game. The Hokies have been doing a ton of traveling recently.

Tech’s rebounding his still haunting them.  They aren’t as good as they need to be defensively, but they are making things worse by not defensive rebounding.  Teams are scoring a lot of second chance points against the Hokies.

Everybody is attacking Tech inside, because they are thin up front.  The Hokies are trapping the post some, and scraping on the post.  They are doing that to try to keep their big men out of foul trouble.  Teams have been able to burn Tech from the outside as a result.

After the first part of the game, the Hokies got a great rebounding effort from Cadarian Raines , Joey van Zegeren and Christian Beyer.  However, they have to be more consistent.  They have to have a great rebounding effort for 40 minutes.

C.J. Barksdale was available to play on Saturday, but Johnson decided not to play him because he was disappointed in Barksdale’s effort and production in recent games and practices.  Barksdale has been much better in practice over the last two days.

Terrell Bell is back visiting Virginia Tech right now.  It’s good for him to get back and talk to the current team.  He’s just working out, lifting, and working on his game right now.  Pro basketball is very competitive in Europe and in America.  Former UNC point guard Kendall Marshall is in the NBA Development League.

Teams are shooting the ball very well against the Hokies, so that makes it tough to play zone.  They will have to play more zone to stay out of foul trouble and to stay rested because of the short bench, but they certainly can’t use it all the time.  Johnson said he would like to press more, but he doesn’t have the depth on the bench to do that yet.

Tech has to do a better job of not letting their missed shots affect them on the defensive end of the court.  Johnson doesn’t want to slow down the pace because that will make it easier for teams to focus on Erick Green .

Johnson wishes he had Adam Smith available this year.  He’s shooting the ball extremely well in practice.  He has a knack for getting his shot off.  He’s not big, but he can still get his shots off against bigger players.  He reminds Johnson of Brian Chase, though Smith is bigger.

Tech will sign another player this spring if they can find the right fit for the right need.

Tech is doing every defensive drill in practice that James Johnson and the rest of the coaching staff have been exposed to.  They have to develop a better mentality, and they have to stop hanging their heads after they miss shots.  That hurts them on the defensive end.

Because of the limited number of players available, Tech isn’t able to do as much competitive and physical stuff in practice as Johnson would prefer. That is hurting them on the boards.

Christian Beyer has been a great addition to the team.  He’s playing well right now.  Hopefully they can get C.J. Barksdale going soon.  When you don’t play with effort, there has to be consequences.

Joey van Zegeren is working very hard, and he’s developing on the floor.  Johnson sees improvement with him every game.  He had a very good performance on Saturday afternoon.  He took a step forward.  Joey has a good upside.  Three years from now, the Hokies will be glad they redshirted van Zegeren.  He’s getting more and more competitive.

Boston College shoots an average of 22 three-pointers per game.  They will have four three-point shooters on the court at all times, and Ryan Anderson on the inside is a load.  They are a more perimeter oriented team than someone line Maryland.  They run a Princeton style offense.  The Hokies have to guard the three-point shot in this one.

BC uses four guards in their starting lineup.  Tech has to figure out their matchup with BC’s power forward, who is really a perimeter player.

Ryan Anderson is BC’s best inside player.  He’s a handful on the inside, and he’s only a sophomore.  BC does a lot of things to try to get him the ball.  They do a great job with their spacing.  He’s good at kicking the ball out to open three-point shooters.

Once Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville enter the ACC, the league will become more physical.  That’s one of the reasons the Hokies went out and got a couple of big post players in this year’s class, particularly Maurice Kirby, who is very physical.

Schools like UConn and Cincinnati are sort of on the outside looking in right now.  It’s really hurting them on the recruiting trail.  Other schools are using it against them.

Georgia Tech is VT’s opponent this weekend, and the game will be played in Atlanta.  Alexander Memorial Coliseum got an overhaul in the offseason, and it is apparently very impressive.

Marshall Wood is out of his walking boot, and he’s running at 70% on the air treadmill.  He’s still going to be evaluated on a weekly basis.  He is still out indefinitely.

Jarell Eddie is fighting a bruised calf, and he missed practice on Sunday, but Johnson thinks he’ll be fine.  The flu bug is gone.  It’s run its course through everybody.

Monday was Day 2,964 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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