Virginia Tech Falls at #6 UNC

Seth Allen
Seth Allen led the Hokies with 19 points in the loss at UNC.

Virginia Tech fell to #6 North Carolina 91-72 in Chapel Hill on Thursday night.  The Hokies dropped to 15-5 overall with the loss, and they are now 4-4 in ACC play.  The Tar Heels improved to 19-3 overall and 7-1 in the ACC.  They sit alone at first place in the conference standings.

The Hokies actually outshot North Carolina 51% to 49.3%.  Tech was also 9-of-25 (36%) from three-point range, and they had just 10 turnovers on the road.  Normally those statistics are the type of numbers that a team needs to win on the road.  However, two other important statistics didn’t go Virginia Tech’s way: defensive three-point percentage, and rebounding.

UNC was 14-of-30 (46.7%) from three-point range.  Their 14 made three-pointers represent a season high.  After Clemson went 13-of-27 in the previous game, it’s clear that Tech’s three-point defense needs some work.

However, the biggest stat was rebounding, where the Tar Heels beat the Hokies 43-22.  UNC pulled down 19 offensive rebounds, 16 of which came in the first half.  At halftime, UNC held a 16-1 advantage on the offensive glass.  The second half was actually tied at 3-3, but the damage was done at that point.

The Tar Heels got plenty of open looks from the outside against the Hokies, though they made plenty of contested three-pointers as well.  On many of their misses, the Tar Heel post players were there on the inside to collect the offensive rebound and get an easy putback.  Thanks mostly to the offensive rebound advantage, UNC attempted 22 more shots than Virginia Tech.  That’s not a good recipe for winning on the road.

Justin Robinson had 17 points and led the team in assists with seven, breaking a recent slide.  He was an efficient 6-of-9 from the field and 2-of-4 from three-point range.  Seth Allen continued his streak of good play, finishing with 19 points and five assists.  He was 7-of-12 from the field, and 3-of-6 from three-point range.  We’ll have more on Allen’s impressive run tomorrow.

Zach LeDay added 12 points for Virginia Tech, but he was outmanned by the size of UNC’s post players and finished with just three rebounds.  He also had four of Tech’s 10 turnovers. The normally reliable Chris Clarke also only had three rebounds to go along with nine points.  Clarke came off the bench for the third consecutive game as punishment for missing the shootaround before the Georgia Tech game.

The Hokies return to action on Sunday night when they host the Boston College Eagles.  Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30pm, and the game will be televised by ESPNU.

Box Score

11 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. No doubt Heels have better athletes. We were a long shot to win. Having said that, I expected a more competitive game.

    I’m also beginning to question the coaching. We don’t seem to have a system or a defining “brand” that differentiates VT men’s basketball. Just what is our defining style? You know: WVU’s press, UVA’s pack-line defense, Wisconsin’s deliberate tempo and ball-movement.

    In addition to that, we don’t seem to have any discernible in-game strategy. That’s never been more evident than last night. What tactics do we use to most efficiently leverage the skills of our players?

    Buzz is big on pushing his players to the limit of endurance in practice, and stressing discipline, timeliness, etc. That may help build character, and help Buzz decide who gets PT. But where are the X’s and O’s, and the in-game strategies & adjustments?

    I see run & gun offense, bad shot selection with an over-reliance on 3-pointers, and often clueless defense. Players hustle and compete hard, but that effort and energy needs to be channeled into a more constructive context. I see an over-reliance on emotional motivation, which leads to the sinusoidal results: a scintillating win followed by a head-shaking stinker. The rah-rah cheerleader approach to coaching only goes so far.

    1. Extremely well written and very informative. Would love to know opinions of basketball minds’ on this assertion.

  2. UNC just has many more, better athletes and better basketball players. No one to rebound for VT.
    Sy got pushed around. LeDay tried hard but we were outmanned. Does UNC have better coaching – perhaps – but I suspect talent level is the key.

    1. I am starting to question coaching. Georgia Tech beat UNC and FSU with a first year coach. We don’t play defense. Buzzie needs to earn that fat salary. You have to bring it every night in the ACC.

      1. Georgia Tech just beat the third ranked team. No NCAA bid for Buzz. The heat is going to go up now. I wonder what Whit is thinking?

        1. Bud Marquette 6 seasons
          overall 139–69 (.668) conference 69–39 (.639)
          Pastner Memphis 7 seasons
          overall 167–73 (.696) conference 82–36 (.695)

          Pastner has a future NBA starting post player, that much is obvious. Other than that, I don’t know why GT is beating those high ranked teams and we are not. Are starting guards are good.

          Jrob 17 points 7 assists
          Seth Allen 19 points assists

          that is extremely productive against an elite team like UNC

        2. I guess my biggest ignorant question or assertion, probably unfounded as I am regurgitating something I think I heard said, was Buzz’s propensity or style of using more guards and wings and not enough of post players. However, their post players that run and shoot out their and their post players that maybe aren’t run and gun but will play NBA ball…see lammers

  3. And it wasn’t just that people were outmanned. Case in point. Once, a UNC post player got a pass on the short corner. Another UNC player floated down the lane for a pass and score. The help side rotation was slow to drop down. On another play, there was a wide open UNC player underneath the basket who was passed to for a score. Not in transition. In the half-court. LeDay looked around as if to wonder whose responsibility that was. He was just below the FT line. On another play, I think inbounds, the UNC player got the ball jumping toward the basket but passed to yet another guy diving down the lane. These are plays that show slow rotation, ball-watching and lack of awareness of where others were and their responsibilities. Yes, we gave up offensive rebounds (no boxing out…lost art where people actually make contact and push back). but we also allow people to just run free in the lane and get what they wanted. That comes down to awareness, effort, rotation, etc. And our rotations have often been slow… often also resulting in those open 3s

  4. Regarding Chris Clarke I am wondering if the move to the bench is as much a move to help Outlaw. Those two players are sharing the same position it seems and Ty has played better starting. So perhaps this change in starting lineups is to help the combination of the two players.

    1. I dont know if it is as simple as Outlaw as played better. Outlaw may have hit some shots but is his defense better? His rebounding. I think there are things that Clarke can do more off. I think he should be a force on the offensive boards. We can do that without giving up transitions. I think his defense is not great, especially on the perimeter where he is prone to giving up drives. But that describes all of them, Clarke does more stuff than Outlaw and I can’t really saw Outlaw is playing better. And I don’t necessarily think that him not starting is helping the combination of the two. Maybe you can give Outlaw more confidence or it gets him in the game a little more but it isn’t making the starting 5 better, no matter whether we won the game or not. When we beat Clemson and GT, it was not about Outlaw starting.

  5. Don’t think the punishment is still in effect. Feel Buzz likes the energy Chris brings off the bench into the game…………

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