Tech Talk Live Notes for 3/5/12

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Seth Greenberg

The season has three parts to it.  The non-conference part, when the Hokies did some good things, then the conference schedule, which was very disappointing, and then the conference tournament.

The team is very disappointed, but they have know they have Clemson on Thursday night, and that’s a good matchup for Tech.  Both regular season games were decided by two points, with Tech winning once and Clemson winning once.

Virginia Tech didn’t play well on Sunday night.  And really, NC State didn’t play well either.  They had 18 turnovers.  Tech only had seven turnovers, but five of them led to breakaway layups.  Tech has to get better at running to the ball and setting screens to make those passes easier.

Clemson is very “handsy”.  They like to put pressure on the ball with their hands, so you really have to be careful as a ball handler.

Tech has had to rely on their freshmen to have a big impact.  Other teams might play as many freshmen as the Hokies, but they don’t consistently get as many minutes as Tech’s freshmen.  It has made this year tough, but they’ll get better from it.

Greenberg is happy Tech isn’t playing in the noon game on Thursday.  He’s very pleased with the 7pm start as well as the opponent.  The Hokies and Clemson have always played great games against each other.

Tech isn’t a physically strong team right now.  The freshmen have a lot of work to do in the weight room in the offseason.

Clemson’s Andre Young can really guard the ball despite his size.  He’s really strong.  Tech will have to be strong with the ball on Thursday night.

Greenberg can’t imagine the Big East giving up Madison Square Garden.  Greenberg would like to have the ACC Tournament there.

Greenberg doesn’t know whether or not Victor Davila will play in the ACC Tournament.  He had a procedure on Monday on his groin.  He took a shot on Monday.  He also has a slight stress fracture of his spine.

Greenberg was asked about former Atlanta area Hokies Manny Atkins, Terrell Bell and Coleman Collins.  Greenberg said he just got a text from Manny Atkins’ mom wanting tickets to the ACC Tournament.  Collins is still playing basketball (editor’s note: Coleman is playing in Bosnia), and Terrell Bell was playing in Europe but he was sent home.  Manny Atkins could have been a really good player for Tech, but he was just a little impatient.

Tech gave up 25 points off turnovers to Clemson.  The Hokies have to rebound the ball, and get the ball inside to Cadarian Raines . Tech can’t be loose with the ball.

Tech isn’t getting fast breaks (0 fast break points against NC State) for a couple of reasons.  First, they aren’t getting clean stops on defense, and second they aren’t pushing the ball well enough.

The Hokies can’t play at a very fast pace this year because of their lack of post depth. The more possessions there are in a game, the more of a chance Cadarian Raines gets in foul trouble, which takes away Tech’s only big guy.

Cadarian Raines has really improved.  He missed the summer and preseason the last two years, and he was finally able to get a complete season of basketball under his belt this season.  Raines was raised well by his mom.  He’s a good student and a good person.

Jarell Eddie did a great job against Milton Jennings in the first meeting.  Clemson has four seniors and two very experienced juniors, so they have a big experience edge on Tech.  Clemson finished the season well, but the Hokies easily could have finished well also.

Greenberg was very disappointed following the NC State game.  He didn’t feel like Tech played at a high level.  He thinks the players understand that the ACC Tournament is a new season, and that everyone has a clean slate.

Everybody in this region grew up watching the ACC Tournament.  If you grew up in this geographic footprint, it’s part of you.  There have been so many great games over the years.  To be part of that is very exciting every year.

First and foremost, Tech has to get stronger and tougher next year.  They have to be a much better screening team, and they have to be stronger fighting through screens.  Greenberg hopes to have a healthy team so they can play the way they want to play.

The biggest jump usually comes between the freshman and sophomore years.  That’s been true for Malcolm Delaney, Erick Green , Jarell Eddie , Cadarian Raines ,etc.  At the end of their freshman season, they have a better idea of the competition at this level.

Greenberg would like to see Dorian Finney-Smith be able to finish a little better and play through contact.  He would like to see Robert Brown get more consistent on his release, go to his left a little better, and be tougher getting through screens.  He wants to see Marquis Rankin improve his running jumper.  He wants to see C.J. Barksdale get in world class shape and develop a little pull-up game to go along with his jump hooks.

Montrezl Harrell has done a great job at Hargrave this year.  He is playing at a very high level and he’s running the court really hard.  Marshall Wood had a terrific year at Rustburg.  He can really shoot it.  He’s long and he’s really athletic.  Potentially, he has Deron Washington type athleticism.  Tech will sign one or two more players this spring, if they can get the right guys.

Tech would go for a JUCO if he was an academic fit.  Do his classes transfer?  Will he be on schedule to graduate?  Is he the right fit for the program?  It’s hard to find JUCO guys that meet all three of those criteria.  Greenberg isn’t going to prostitute the program for a guy who can’t graduate.

Clemson is a really good defensive team, and they’ve steadily improved defensively as the season has gone along.  Jarell Eddie and Erick Green have to step up.  They have to make shots when they are there, and Green has to control the ball.  They have to guard Andre Young on the perimeter, and they have to make sure Devin Booker doesn’t get the ball inside.  They can’t let him get Cadarian Raines in foul trouble.

Monday was Day 2,655 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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