Saturday was a tough loss. The Hokies didn’t get off to the start that they wanted to. They got off to a slow start. They kept fighting and put themselves in a good position down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough. Overall the team is playing better now than they were earlier in the year.
Devin Wilson has improved a lot. He has been able to adjust from a fast paced style to a slow paced style in the middle of the season, as a freshman. He has also improved a lot on his free throws during the course of the season.
Joey van Zegeren has been a good defensive presence on the inside all season. His blocks have dropped off since Tech switched to the 2-3 zone, but he is still playing well on that end of the court. He is also improving offensively.
Trevor Thompson is improving every single day. He just has to add some weight and some strength.
The Hokies are working hard at their free throws. Lack of depth and fatigue are hurting them, Johnson thinks.
Tech is running the 2-3 zone almost all the time, but they also ran the triangle and two a bit against NC State. They also trapped a little more out of the timeout against NC State.
Duke is a great outside shooting team. NC State is not a good outside shooting team. They let the ball get inside too much against the Wolfpack. Almost all of Duke’s guys can shoot the outside jumper. The Hokies want to force them to take contested jumpers.
James Johnson thought the controversial call in the Duke-Syracuse game was a block rather than a charge, but it’s a fast game and that was a tough call for a ref to make.
Jabari Parker is probably the best player in the ACC when he’s on his game. He’s had some freshman mistakes, but overall he’s really good.
Ben Emelogu is now in a walking boot. He and Adam Smith will miss the Duke game. C.J. Barksdale is still battling a groin injury, but he’ll play against Duke. Cadarian Raines is questionable and will probably be a game-time decision.
Scot Thomas (Softball coach)
Tech’s first full outdoor practice was on Monday. They haven’t had great weather. They’ve already played 12 games despite not practicing outdoors.
Thomas has been head coach for 19 seasons at Tech. It doesn’t seem like he’s been here that long. It’s been a blessing, considering he’s from Blacksburg.
The Hokies are 7-5 despite not playing a home game and playing a very challenging schedule. They start ACC play this weekend. Wednesday’s game with Radford could get postponed because of snow.
Thomas always tries to get the best players in the state of Virginia, but there aren’t that many to go around, so they have to recruit out-of-state a lot.
Angela Tincher (now Angela Tincher O’Brien) is now on the Tech softball staff. She is pregnant and is due in April, and Thomas joked that isn’t particularly good timing. She is married to former Tech baseball player Sean O’Brien.
Tech plays UNC this weekend, and the Tar Heels always have a great team. They’ll be a major challenge.
The Hokies can absolutely be an NCAA Tournament team this year. They are probably two games under what Thomas thinks they should be at this point, but what matters is what they do from here to the end. If Tech can stay in the top four or five of the ACC, they’ll have a good chance to make the NCAA Tournament.
Tech isn’t geographically blessed when it comes to recruiting, but they have a great university and a great environment. If they can get kids to visit, they have a great chance to sign them. Sometimes it’s not easy to get them to visit.
Whit Babcock has great energy. You can see the wheels turning. He will provide great energy for the athletic department.
Monday was Day 3,377 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.