Hokies Too Much for VMI

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Virginia Tech held a 31 point lead, got sloppy late, but held on to easily beat VMI 95-80 in Cassell Coliseum on Thursday night.  Erick Green surpassed the 1,000 point mark in his career, and the Hokies are now 3-0.

Green finished with 23 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.  He was 9-of-13 from the field, and made his only three-pointer of the night.  Tech’s other four starters finished in double figures as well…

Jarell Eddie: 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block in 28 minutes
Cadarian Raines: 14 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes
Robert Brown: 11 points, four rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes
C.J. Barksdale: 11 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes

As you can see, James Johnson elected to use his limited bench quite a bit in this game.  Will “The Thrill” Johnston had nine points, drilling 3-of-6 from beyond the arc in 19 minutes.  Joey van Zegeren had four points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes, while Marshall Wood had six points and two rebounds in 14 minutes.  Even walk-on freshman guard Marcus Patrick played 11 minutes to keep the starters fresh.

“I didn’t think I’d be playing this much,” Johnston said after the game.  “I thought I’d be playing a couple of contributing minutes, so it’s been awesome.”

Asked about his nickname, Johnston noted that people have used the old Will Clark nickname to describe him since middle school.

C.J. Barksdale had struggled in the first two games of the season, but he felt better about his performance on Thursday night.

“I just came out more aggressive tonight,” said Barksdale, who scored six of Tech’s first nine points.  “The first two games I was thinking too much instead of just playing the game.”

Jarell Eddie started slowly, but got things going throughout the game.

“Slow start in the first half, but I was able to get things going in the second half,” Eddie said.

Marshall Wood, who hadn’t been able to connect from the outside in the first two games, came through with a couple of big three-pointers in this one.

“Oh yeah, he (James Johnson) told me to just keep shooting,” Wood noted.  “Most of the misses were in and out, nothing too bad.”

VMI head coach Duggar Baucom noted that two little known players came up big for the Hokies, and he also talked about Tech’s outside shooting abilities.

“Will Johnston is barely on our scouting report, and he went 3-for-6,” Baucom told the media after the game. “Marshall Wood came into the game 0-for-8 and he went 2-for-3.  That’s 15 points, and it’s a 15-point game. I wasn’t terribly disappointed in our defense. They broke us down some, but if they shoot it 11-for-24 in the ACC, they’ll be good. Really good.”

Through three games, Virginia Tech is shooting 40% (28-of-70) from three-point range.  Opponents are shooting just 16.2% from the outside against the Hokies.

Virginia Tech returns to action on Monday, when they will face their first road test.  They take on UNC Greensboro at 7pm, and the game can be see online on ESPN3.

Box Score

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9 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Barring injuries or foul trouble I think this team will be a pleasant surprise for VT fans. Greenberg seldom gave significant minutes to more than 8 players.

  2. It bothered me that VMI cut the late lead in half, mostly with our second line players in the game. But I think CJJ handled it well, by talking to the team and getting starters back in, You don’t like to bring starters back in off the bench, but it is a good lesson and I think it will help Tech once ACC play rolls around.

  3. It seems to me that our starters are going to have a lot more “practice time” under their belt given that they have to play so many minutes. Our boys will have played almost a whole season by the time ACC play begins. As long as they don’t get too worn out it seems to me that that should give them an advantage.

  4. I’m totally enthused, but the caveat is the ACC.

    Having said that, I like the fact that the players can play. If JJ continues recruiting like he has shown, we will improve from year to year. A 500 team in this year’s ACC will make the Dance.

    1. It’s amazing what can happen when you have multiple guys who can ring the bell consistently from outside.

  5. I believe that there is a positive feeling in the air for Coach Johnson and his young and very thin team. There are no high expectations as we rebuild. The Hokie Nation appears to be watching and soaking up each positive tidbit with cautious optimism and is back here watching and waiting to erupt as the team grows and has successes over the next few years. Coach has

    1. It’s easy to feel that way when the team is winning. I like the job that JJ has done thus far as the enthusiasm of the players and fans is a breath of fresh air. It’s also reassuring to not have ESPN showing Seth with his head constantly in his hands on the sideline.

      All that said, it is going to be tough sledding in the ACC this year. If this team wins 6 games it will be a big accomplishment in my book. Just got to keep buying into the system and improving the young talent on the team. That is something we didn’t always see when Seth ran the program and it is crucial to VT getting back to being an upper half ACC team.

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