Tech Talk Live Notes: Buzz Williams Recaps Clemson, Discusses Changes in Gameplay

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Virginia Tech Talk Live

Virginia Tech men’s basketball was well-represented on Monday’s Tech Talk Live, as head coach Buzz Williams and Seth Allen joined the show. Here are the highlights from Tech Talk Live.

Seth Allen

Feeling after road win at Clemson

“We were all just exhausted. We all played hard. It was a hard win, to win on the road. I think our toughness and grit through the end really won it for us.”

Believing team played more cohesively than they have all season

“I think we were just communicating better. We were talking like non-stop on defense. We were always huddling up. Even when they went on runs, we just felt comfortable out there.”

Team’s success at free throw line vs. Clemson

“It was good. We’ve been working on free throws for a long time because in the Notre Dame game, we were missing them. Every time now we’re more confident because we practice them so much.”

Scoring 15 second half points vs. Clemson

“In the first half, I was getting everybody involved and our floor spacing was really good. We had a whole bunch of people who could pass, dribble and shoot on the court at the same time. My teammates were just getting me open. I was trying to help (Justin) Bibbs out with his assists because he said he can pass now.”

How Allen’s game has changed since he first arrived at Virginia Tech

“I think it was a hard transition, transferring in the first place. You have to get used to a whole new environment. I wanted to play so bad, but it was really good for me, me and Zach (LeDay). We got better. We got to learn how Buzz (Williams) plays and how Buzz operates. If you just jump right in with Buzz, you’re over it. We got to see how he operates and how everything goes down here, and we got a good vibe for it. That sit-out year, we just stayed in the gym and just kept working. Going into our first year, we didn’t know what to expect. We were just anxious. It got good at the end, but it was a just a slow start and we kept climbing. We knew something was going to be special this year.”

What sold Allen on playing for Williams and coming to Virginia Tech

“I just trusted him fast. I liked everything about him, just how he goes about basketball in such a tough and ‘go about it the right way’ manner. He cares about his players. It’s not like a lot of places where the coach just uses you for your talent and all that, because you can do something for them. Buzz, he really tries to impact all of our lives.”

Relationship with Williams

“Buzz is a special person in my life. I like Buzz a lot. He’s changed my life. I hope that I can work for him someday. He always tells me that I am, so I’m ready for it. I just think our connection is good because we just think alike and we’re kind of similar in certain ways. I’m just blessed to come across him on my journey.”

Playing alongside Justin Robinson

“I think it’s fun playing with (Robinson) because we’re both left-handed and when Bibbs gets in, it’s three left-handed people, so its unusual for people to guard. He’s crafty, he’s fast and he can pass, dribble, shoot just like me and all of our other teammates. I think our speed and quickness through a long game is going to rush other teams.”

Being teammates with Khadim Sy and what Sy is like off the floor

“Khadim is my roommate on the road. I just be recording videos of Khadim because it’s always a special moment when he talks. He’s so funny.”

2017.01.18. Basketball. Men. Georgia Tech (GT, Yellow Jackets) at Virginia Tech (Hokies). Cassell Coliseum, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Final score: Virginia Tech 62, Ga Tech 61. Officials: Mike Eades, Bill Covington Jr, Raymond Styons Jr. Attendance: 6,598.
Seth Allen (4) has been the cornerstone for Virginia Tech in their last three games.

Buzz Williams

Thoughts after win over Clemson

“It makes you feel young. You’re relieved. The older you get, the happier you are for the people that do all of the work. I think when you’re young, you think you’re doing all the work. The kids are doing all the work, the staff that watches all the tape and figures out what it is we need to teach our guys. I just happen to get the microphone at the end, but that’s the only difference. It’s really fun.”

Making tough plays down stretch to win a road game

“It was different than any game I’ve ever coached, in regards to how we played. I think that our preparation on Friday and Saturday, it was all trending towards going in the same direction. We were potentially going in the right direction. I don’t necessarily, even after one game of data, necessarily think we’re going in the right direction. Some of the stats say that we are. It’s ok, as long as we’re going in the same direction. Our guys were that way on Friday. They were slightly better on Saturday. I thought it was the best shootaround we had all year. Our pregame, whatever you want to call it, we changed the complete rhythm of that. I walked out on the floor, 80 minutes before the game, and Seth is completely soaked, (Ahmed Hill) was soaked and I told Jamie (McNeilly) as I was walking off, I said, ‘Let them go for another 15 or 20 minutes and then that’s enough.’ Because I saw how hard they were working, we completely changed our hour before the game. I told our guys on Friday after practice, I showed them some things in a way that I knew they could understand. I said, ‘I don’t know if this is going to be right, but if it is right, we’re on to something.’ We spent some time today trying to figure out, ‘What is it we need to do on Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s game, because it’s going to be the same exact thing we just went through. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, road game, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, a road game. How can this three-day window, if the first three-day window was kindergarten, how can tomorrow be first grade, first semester? How can Wednesday be first grade, second semester?’ On Thursday, we’re not playing the same team we played (Sunday). We’re going to have to be better over the next two-and-a-half days than we were two-and-a-half days prior to Clemson. Having said that, I thought we were better in the two-and-a-half days prior to Clemson than we were prior to Georgia Tech.”

Similarity between last year’s game vs. BYU and this year’s game vs. Clemson

“I think we’re better. I agree with the feel and the vibe and the flow of the game. I think that we’re better than we were in our last game last season against BYU. We have more players. We only have eight, we need to get to a point where we have a full roster that’s healthy and playing one sport. The eight that are playing are much more connected. They’re a year older. I was watching last year’s game today vs. North Carolina — Seth’s body has changed dramatically since last year, Devin Wilson was playing, his body’s changed. They’re older, they’re better. Seth and Zach are at 12 assured games left in their career. I think Seth handles it in a more mature way than Zach does, not that Zach handles it immaturely, he’s kind of emotional. That’s why Zach and I get along. I think we’re better. The officiating is much better. Those guys were all from Provo last year that called the game, at BYU. But the vibe was the same. The issue is, I think, is our league is better than it was a year ago at this time too.”

Difference between coaching in Big East and now in the ACC

“It’s a completely different game than it was at that time. The rules have completely changed everything. The rules have changed who you recruit, the rules have changed how you play offensively, the rules have changed how you play defensively. Per possession, there are more Division I teams playing zone than in the history of college basketball. It’s because you can’t keep Chris Clarke in front of you. You can’t keep Seth Allen in front of you. As soon as they touch you, it’s a foul. You can play man, but that’s why you see a lot of teams switching everything, because you’ve got to keep the ball in front. As soon as the ball gets behind you, it’s going to lead to a foul or it’s going to lead to an easy layup, or it’s going to lead to an offensive rebound. As far as the talent, the depth of the talent, the depth of the teams, I think the thing that is hard to quantify is, we’ve played seven games and one of the seven is a mirror opponent. Our first six games, we saw them one time and if we see them again, it will be in 45 days. The preparation that goes into that one game is the same amount of preparation that went into last night’s game. At least when we play Clemson here, Clemson is going to know everything that we did for the first time, but the flip side of that is we’re going to know how they tried to figure out how to attack what we’re doing. We’re going to change it some. It’s a season within a season. You’re going to play eight mirror opponents, right now we’re 1-0 but we still have seven left and you’re going to play 10 other games, five at home and five on the road. That part of it is similar. There’s more pros-per-capita in this league than there has been in the history of the Big East, if you were to compare from inception, ACC to Big East. There’s four Hall of Fame coaches, but I think three of those guys or two of those guys were in our league before they came here.  Jim Calhoun was at UCONN and he was the third. I don’t think you’ll ever see that in college basketball again.”

If Williams has ever coached a player like Duke’s Grayson Allen

“No, I’ve tried to fight some players but in the public sense, no. Behind closed doors, I was trying to get some guys to fight me and maybe I was trying to fight them.”

(In case you couldn’t tell, Williams was joking when he said this.)

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5 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. This comment stuck out at me when Buzz was discussing last season. “we need to get to a point where we have a full roster that’s healthy and playing one sport.” The playing one sport spot in particular. Buzz said all the right things, at least from what I recall, about supporting Wilson in playing football but it seems clear that Wilson is not likely to play anytime soon, if at all.

      1. Redshirt to have one more year of bball eligibility? Does that mean he doesn’t do football next season?

        1. And can you redshirt in one sport and not another? Or did he not play enough football to qualify for a redshirt?

          Buzz’s comment confused me. Either he was kidding and just poking fun at Devin, the redshirt thing is true, or he is being a little hipocritical to want all basketball-only players yet supports multisport athletes.

  2. If Williams has ever coached a player like Duke’s Grayson Allen
    “No, I’ve tried to fight some players but in the public sense, no. Behind closed doors, I was trying to get some guys to fight me and maybe I was trying to fight them.”

    If Buzz Williams isn’t the funniest coach in America, who is?

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