Tech has been practicing great recently. They had a great practice on Monday. They helped host the Special Olympics on Sunday. Erick Green was under the weather and couldn’t practice on Monday, but overall it was a great practice. They are moving forward and getting better.
Tech has played some very good teams recently, and they’ve been in every game. Tech has a very young team. They missed some scoring opportunities and free throws, but they are right there. It’s not easy to go on the road and outplay Duke for 40 minutes. Greenberg likes his team and he likes their work ethic.
Cadarian Raines probably could have gone up and dunked the ball when he grabbed that final rebound at the end of regulation, but he was just trying to make sure he got the shot off.
The travel on Erick Green with 40 seconds left could have been called a foul. Duke was playing very aggressive defense at that point.
This is the first season Cadarian Raines has been able to play for the whole year. He’s never really gotten a chance to improve until this season. He’s done a great job.
Dorian Finney-Smith had a great game against Duke. 12 rebounds and three assists against Duke on the road is very good for a freshman.
Everyone raises their game to play Duke. Duke and Carolina are the standard that everyone wants to reach. Tech has a philosophy, and they’ve used that philosophy to beat Duke in the past.
Victor Davila hasn’t made any progress. As of right now, he’s not going to play the next two games. He’ll see the doctor again on Tuesday. It’s tough, especially for a senior who has never been hurt before. He’s given a lot to the program.
Greenberg sees guys on the team getting better. Marquis Rankin is getting better, along with Raines, Finney-Smith and Dorenzo Hudson . They have to make some free throws, and Greenberg never thought he’d ever have to say that about this team. They’ve been so good on the free throw line all year, until the last few games.
Dorian Finney-Smith defended Tyler Thornton, Duke’s worst shooter. The Hokies helped off Thornton, and it was similar to their gameplan in the first UVA against Jontel Evans. Thornton did hit two three-pointers, but overall the play was very successful. It got Finney-Smith involved in the game on both ends of the court.
Greenberg thinks Duke will probably be a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if they make the finals of the ACC Tournament.
It seems like Tech finishes the season with either NC State or Clemson each year. Greenberg thinks it would make more sense to finish with a rivalry game against UVA. However, UVA finishes against Maryland a lot because they’ve been long-term basketball rivals in the ACC.
Coach K doesn’t like Sunday night games, and Duke doesn’t need them because they don’t need the exposure. Virginia Tech and other ACC schools need that Sunday night exposure. Greenberg would trade all of Tech’s 9pm games for Duke’s Sunday night games. 9pm games are very hard on attendance in Blacksburg.
Tech needs to get their shot clock tied in with the LED lights that are around the basket. It’s not a requirement to do so, but it needs to be.
Tech hasn’t done anything different with regards to free throw shooting in practice recently. In the end, players are human, and they are going to get in slumps sometime.
At the end of practice today, Greenberg gathered all the players around the free throw line. He threw Dorian Finney-Smith the ball, and told him to make the front end of a one-and-one or the team would have to run. He missed, so the team ran. Greenberg threw him the ball again and said make it or we run again. He missed, so the team ran again. After that, it was Robert Brown’s turn, and he made it. Then Greenberg threw it back to Finney-Smith, and he finally made his shots. After that, Greenberg told them that their demons have been exorcised. It’s just a shot. Step up and believe in yourself. Then they ended practice.
Clemson is a different team now because they got Milton Jennings back in the lineup. Tech will start preparing for the Tigers in practice on Tuesday. They have to do a good job of guarding Andre Young off screens. They have to keep the ball in front of them. At the end of the first meeting, the Hokies didn’t guard the ball well.
Tech is working on trying to get into the Jimmy V Classic next year, or maybe ESPN’s 24 hours of hoops.
Marshall Wood has played well all season long for Rustburg. He’s done some great things. He’s a long, rangy Scottie Pippen type athlete who can really shoot the ball. Montrezl Harrell ‘s Hargrave team is undefeated. Both guys are fully qualified, and they can’t wait to get to Tech.
Joey Racer is one of Tech’s captains. Greenberg made that decision because his leadership is something that is valuable to the team.
Lorenzo Brown of NC State is playing really well this year. He’s a Hargrave guy. He plays at a very high level. They have a very talented starting lineup. Brown is a very tough matchup. He is a physical defender, and he’s shooting the ball well.
Miami and NC State play on Wednesday, and they are both squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble. That will be a very important game.
The Hokies want to win these two games this week and position themselves as well as possible for the second season, the ACC Tournament. Greenberg likes his team, they are getting better, and the younger players are showing some more maturity. Hopefully they can continue to get better over the next two weeks.
Monday was Day 2,648 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.