Tech Talk Live Notes for 3/12/12

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Seth Greenberg

ACC Champion Florida State is a veteran team. Bernard James is 26 years old. Jeff Peterson is a fifth year senior who is playing for his third BCS school. Dulkys played internationally and will turn 24 in about a week. Loucks has been a four-year starter. Xavier Gibson is very experienced.

Michael Snaer is a great defender. He is one of the best players in the league. He’s tough, he can shoot from the outside, and he’s got a good middle game.

Dorenzo Hudson and Erick Green stepped up and made free throws down the stretch against Clemson. Dorian Finney-Smith was good. Considering Tech only played seven players, they competed at a very high level. Tech was offensively challenged against Duke, but so was Duke. Tech game planned to try to make Tyler Thornton shoot, and it worked.

Robert Brown was very good against Duke. He grew up a little bit defensively over the weekend. He did a very good job on Austin Rivers. He kept Rivers in front of him for the most part. Brown has to work on his middle game. He did show some legitimate toughness.

With the exception of the NC State game, Greenberg feels like the light went on for the players from a competition standpoint.

Greenberg had meetings with each player individually on Monday. He said that C.J. Barksdale needs to get in world class shape. He can’t be afraid to totally commit to see how good he can be.

Jarell Eddie had a rough weekend, but he showed a lot of promise this season. He had some big games, and he made some big shots. He has to expand his game. He has to be more comfortable putting the ball on the court and scoring off the dribble. He’s also got to get better at guarding the perimeter.

The Hokies didn’t produce enough easy baskets this year. They were not good in transition. They had to earn every basket they scored. They didn’t shoot the ball as well, but that field goal percentage is affected by the lack of easy transition baskets.

Greenberg focused on slowing things down offensively this year. That was Tech’s best chance to be in the game in the final minutes. Normally he would rather play a fast-paced game, but slowing things down helped Tech stay in some games this season.

Greenberg hopes to have a legitimate power forward next year. He doesn’t want Jarell Eddie and Dorian Finney-Smith to have to play a lot of minutes at that position. If Tech can defensive rebound better, it should help them in transition.

Tech is trying to find a physical presence in the frontcourt this spring. They need a complement to Cadarian Raines . They also need a ball guard/combo guard type. They need him to be a tough guy who can play more than one position. They want him to be able to attack. If Tech can’t get the right guy, they aren’t going to take anybody. They will just save the scholarship for 2013.

There are no guarantees that things will be fixed next year, but there is generally a big jump between a freshman year and a sophomore year. After a year of reflection, players have a better idea of what they are working towards. They have a better idea of how to play hard, how to attack the rim, how to defend hard, etc.

Coach K told Seth after the game that he should feel good about how the Hokies have grown over the end of the season, despite the short hand they were dealt.

Greenberg thought Philips Arena was great for the ACC Tournament. It was much better than the Georgia Dome was a few years back. Domes aren’t good for conference tournaments. There is greater energy in the building when you play in a basketball arena.

Fans are getting stretched thin these days. It’s getting more and more expensive to attend games. It’s like in football, where fans are asked to spend a lot of money to go to a conference championship game, and then to spend more money for a bowl trip. Fans only have so much money. That affects attendance at conference basketball tournaments as well. Conference tournaments still have value, but they aren’t what they used to be because of unbalanced schedules, more teams in each league, etc.

In a perfect world, the league would like the tournament to stay in Greensboro. But in a perfect world, Greenberg isn’t sure that’s the best place for it, as far as growing the brand of the league.

Dorian Finney-Smith needs to get stronger. He has to be able to play through contact. He also needs to improve his middle game. The guy had 12 rebounds against Duke. He’s an instinctive rebounder. Adding another 15-20 pounds, he’ll be a guy who could almost play every position on the court. He is going home for three weeks in May, and then he’s spending the rest of the summer in Blacksburg.

Shawn Good has done a great job with the Christiansburg High School program. They won the State Championship this past weekend.

Cadarian Raines did some really good work down the stretch of the season. He has developed some nice post moves. Greenberg told him on Monday that he needs to work on being a little more alert defensively as well as pursuing rebounds out of his area. He’s got a great attitude.

There will be 18 conference games next season. The Hokies will play in an exempt tournament in Las Vegas. They will play at BYU and host Oklahoma State in Blacksburg. They will get Rhode Island at home, and they will play in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Greenberg thinks they will get Appalachian State at home as well. Tech’s non-conference schedule this past season was very challenging. Kansas State, BYU, Syracuse, St. Bonaventure and Norfolk State are all playing in the NCAA Tournament.

Greenberg will be on ESPN a great deal over the next week covering the NCAA Tournament. He’ll be on set doing some College Gameday type stuff, and perhaps some radio stuff as well.

The Hokies made plenty of bad decisions this year, but they grew as a basketball team towards the end of the year. Next year they will have a senior point guard. The last time the Hokies had a losing record, the very next season they swept Carolina and Duke and went to the NCAA Tournament. It’s never as bad as you think it is, and it’s never as good as you think it is.

Monday was Day 2,662 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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