Tech Talk Live Notes for February 3, 2014

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on February 3, 2014
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James Johnson

Tech had a great practice on Monday.  They accomplished so much that Johnson decided to practice a little longer than usual.  They now have to find a way to carry that over into games.  They need to make some things happen and gain confidence.

Johnson watched the BC game twice.  Tech wanted to go inside early in the game.  They got the ball inside early, but couldn’t finish.  BC saw a big basket from the very beginning.

Tech got off to a good start against Maryland.  They came out ready to play.  Those two three-pointers BC hit right before the half were big and it gave the Terps momentum.

Confidence and youth are Tech’s biggest problems right now.  They are in a slump, and they are playing a lot of young players.

Tech is struggling on offense, but that shouldn’t bother them on defense.  They started off well this season, but their defense has slipped in recent games and that’s something that has to turn around until the offense can come around.

Tech wants to get the ball up the court quickly and score quickly before the defense gets set.  Scouting reports in this league are so good that it can be tough for this team in the halfcourt to score.  However, at times they might need to do a better job of pulling it out and being patient.

Jarell Eddie is taking mostly good shots, but he’s just missing them.  That was what happened on Saturday.  Johnson isn’t sure when the offense will come around and when the team will start knocking down some shots, but they’ve got to do a better job of defending.

Malik Mueller has 36 hours of college credit, so Johnson isn’t sure what the NCAA saw that made them rule him ineligible this year.

Christian Beyer is a competitor.  He plays heard and does what the coaches want him to do.  His effort carries over into the games.  Johnson is pleased to have him on the team.  He’s a team guy with leadership skills.

Johnson hasn’t “thrown Cadarian Raines under the bus.”  Raines is working hard and he wants to win.  Sometimes when you give another player praise it seems like you might be downplaying another player, but that’s not the case here.  Johnson has been complimenting Joey van Zegeren and Trevor Thompson…it’s not about what Cadarian Raines has or hasn’t been doing.  Thompson had seven points and four rebounds in 11 minutes against Maryland.

C.J. Barksdale is doubtful for the FSU game.  He’s still nursing a groin injury.  Ian Miller of FSU will likely be out as well, though Tech is preparing as if he will play.

As usual, Florida State is very good defensively.  Leonard Hamilton recruits to his defensive system.  They are all long and athletic.  They are very deep up front, they go after a lot of blocked shots, and they can afford to foul a lot because of their depth.

Tech is still competing.  They show up every day and work hard.  Johnson sees the play of the freshmen as a major positive.  As a team they’ve got to get back to playing better defense, especially with the way they are struggling offensively.

Devin Wilson is logging too many minutes for a freshman, but unfortunately there are no other options.  There is no depth at the point guard spot.  Not only does he have to play every rep in games, but he has to to play almost every rep at point.  They are working Ben Emelogu at point guard some in practice in case something happens to Wilson.

Pitt is a very good team.  Tech will play them this weekend.  They have lost two home games in a row, which is rare for them.  They are an excellent defensive team.  They are very experienced.

Monday was Day 3,356 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.

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