Tech Talk Live Notes for February 17, 2014

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James Johnson

Johnson is proud that his team kept fighting and found a way to get a win against Miami.  They never quit and they were always practicing hard.

Slowing the game down has helped the Hokies.  They had to turn the throttle down and walk the ball up the court.  Slowing the game down with the zone is also helping.

Tech is third in the ACC in offensive rebounding.  That shows that the team is playing very hard.

The Hokies are getting better running the 2-3 zone.  The more they play it, the better they get at it.  They are extending it out to shooters.

Trevor Thompson is hungry.  Playing well and winning means something to him.  Sometimes he is too hard on himself.  Johnson has seen a lot of growth and a lot of maturity from Thompson recently.  The experience is paying off for all the freshmen.

Adam Smith is still out.  He’s going through rehab.  He’s on a non-weight bearing treadmill, and he’s up to 55% of his body weight.  C.J. Barksdale probably won’t be 100% this season.  Emelogu is still banged up, Raines still has the flu, but everybody else is good to go.

Adam Smith will have additional X-rays tomorrow.  He could come back before the end of the season.

Devin Wilson is just four assists away from Tech’s freshman record for assist.  The Hokies signed him late in April.  He was a football guy and a lot of basketball schools backed off of him because they thought he might play football.

The zone is helping Devin Wilson.  It helps him stay fresh.  In man-to-man he was getting worn down because he was playing 40 minutes a game and teams were going after him and making him use a lot of energy.  The staff thought Miami would press more, but the Hokies scored each time they pressed so that forced the Canes to get back to playing halfcourt defense.

Johnson thinks that players should be able to go to the NBA out of high school, but if they go to college they have to stay for three years.  He would like to see the rules be similar to college baseball.

Devin Wilson is probably Tech’s only player who can break down guys off the dribble.  Ben Emelogu is limited because of his ankle.

Erick Green called David Jackson on Monday to congratulate the team on the win.  He’s going to work out at Tech in the offseason.  He scored 40 points in a recent European game.  Denver still holds his rights, and they have been over to Europe to see him plaly.  Green will have to get bigger and stronger and develop his skills as a true point guard.

Johnson feels like a jump from a 35 second shot clock to a 24 second shot clock would be too much, however he would be open to going to a 30 second shot clock.

UVA is playing tremendous basketball right now.  Defensively, they have always been good, but this year they are scoring on a more consistent basis.  They have five starters who can all score.  They haven’t had any injuries.  When you put all of those things together, you’ve got a really good team.

The younger players got a feel for the rivalry with UVA in the first meeting.  Records go out the window when these teams play.  It’s a different intensity level.  Johnson thinks his younger players will be ready for it.

Malcolm Brogdon of UVA was a high school teammate of Adam Smith.  He is a good player for UVA.

C.J. Barksdale had a good game against Miami.  The Hokies really need him to keep producing like that down the stretch.

The Hokies will mix some things up against UVA.  They aren’t going to give them a steady diet of one thing.  UVA has too many guys who can score to play the same way the whole game.

Tech plays NC State on Saturday.  They have a lot of players, like T.J. Warren and Cat Barber.  The Hokies and NC State have had some dramatic games through the years.  It’s great to be home after so many games on the road.

Monday was Day 3,370 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.

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