Tech Talk Live Notes for January 13, 2014

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James Johnson

The ACC is amazing right now.  There are big games in the league every night.  UNC doesn’t have an ACC win yet.  It’s really competitive.

It was tough right after the BC game.  The team had an alumni function right after, so the had to get their minds right quickly.  It helped them get over the loss.  Sunday was a day off, and Monday was a film day.

Win or lose, you have to forget quickly.  Notre Dame beat Duke, and then they lost their next two games.

It’s really tough to score on that Syracuse 2-3 zone.  They extended the zone a little bit against the Hokies to take away the three-point shot.

As a shooter, you have to have a short term memory.  Sometimes you have bad nights.  You have to stay away from forcing things and taking bad shots.  That’s what Jarell Eddie has to do.

Joey van Zegeren makes Tech’s defense better, and Trevor Thompson is coming on.  They are Tech’s top two centers right now, with Cadarian Raines at #3.  vaz Zegeren has 32 blocks this year, and he had 22 all of last year.

Tech is a better defensive team this year, and part of that is because of the inside presence of Joey van Zegeren.

Marshall Wood is better (stomach flu), but he’s not 100% right now.  Right now everybody is health enough to play, but a few guys aren’t 100%.

It was great to see so many former players back for the game on Saturday.  It was good to hear their stories.  The players got a lot out of it.

Tech has done a much better job of taking care of the basketball over the last two games.  Syracuse is one of the top five teams in the country in turning teams over, but the Hokies did a good job against them.

Johnson is concerned that Devin Wilson will wear down.  He plays a lot of minutes, and he has a lot of pressure on him as a freshman.  With Adam Smith banged up, Wilson has to play even more minutes.

Johnson’s favorite team growing up was the Chicago Bulls because of Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman.  Johnson could coach Rodman because of how hard he played, but it might be difficult at times.  He doesn’t have a team now, though.  In football, he likes the Cowboys.

Tech shoots a lot of free throws, particularly in the preseason.  They still set time aside for free throws during the season.  Tech is a much better free throw shooting team than they are showing right now.

Johnson has a great relationship with Clemson coach Brad Brownell.  They run into each other on the recruiting trail a lot.

Johnson would like to see his players do more shot fakes.  That’s something he’s telling his team.

Tech needs to get some wins to help their confidence.  They have to find a way to finish games.  They have to make free throws and do the little things.

Clemson had three players get double-doubles in their win over Duke on Saturday.  They are tough and athletic, and they have a lot of guys who can score.  They are one of the best defensive teams in the country.  The Hokies will have their work cut out for them.

Monday was Day 3,335 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.

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14 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. seems clear James and Seth differed in recruiting approach Seth seemed to see athletic talent and think he could fix head cases, immaturity, etc. James seems to be willing to take less athletic if have drive toughness and come from winning program. Also seems to favor shooters over athletic/size but not shooters Seth often took. Seems to me this year is culture change in program and James should be judged by w/l results next year and after. Loss of Mueller big this year with no depth at PG JJ can’t really implement his plan.

  2. A really quick zone defense (ala ‘Cuse) can make an opponent look really bad. But a really quick zone is vulnerable to fake passes. If the PG sets up at half court and dribbles full speed toward the middle defender, the wing defenders will react to help out, leaving the wings temporarily open, causing the d-posts to spread out in coverage, opening the lane and providing opportunities. Anything is better than passing around the horn and taking a desperado with two seconds to go, which is what most teams do.

  3. It’s frustrating to watch this team (or even program as of late) play because you see flashes of talent, energy and will in the guys, but then that disappears and they sometimes regress to high school level of play. Heck, even last year we saw tremendous hustle, solid talent and great team effort for the first 9 games or so, but then (cue Wile E. Coyote falling-off-the-cliff sound) the bottom dropped out and we struggled the rest of the season. I want to be able to go to the game and support these young kids and see them succeed. But then they go and do things like try to lay up to the basket instead of dunking hard (when they have a clear, open chance), only to see the ball float over the rim and into the hands of the opponent for a rebound. Then, since I sit close to the bench, I get to hear Coach Johnson whip around and say “Why didn’t he dunk the f#@king ball?!?”. I am torn between Coach Johnson being a solid coach that just has un-coach-able players for his first two years (Green being an exception, of course) and him being a mediocre coach that lacks the whatever-it-is that allows a coach to get 100% or more out of his players. I hope it is the former and he will either find a way to get to them in a consistent matter or he will have to hope his job isn’t on the line before he can get (more) of his type of players on the bench.

    In any case I will still be out there with my ignorant bliss blinders on and hoping for the best for Hokie Hoops!

    1. Not nearly as sad as the dumbassed message board posts that invariably appear after every article like this.

  4. Still don’t get Raines (Senior & Starter at the beginning of the season) at # 3.
    I think he could provide a little more offense (if we can work the ball inside more).
    Go Hokies!

    1. First of all, that’s a big “if”. Our bigs have very little post-up talent, so dishing it inside is just another way for us to get a turnover. Not sure why, but Raines seems to have almost completely lost his post-up hook shot that he was so good at last year. The few times he has tried it this year have been mostly unsuccessful. But in theory I agree…we need to get more front-court offense, especially now that we have caught a poor shooting bug.
      As far as Raines being #3, I think it all started when he refused to come back in the game after being benched early (can’t remember what game this was). Since then, it seems like Raines has been in the dog house with Coach Johnson and hasn’t been able to out-hustle/out-perform Van Zegeren and Thompson to win back the starting job. In the BC game last Saturday I noticed that Raines seemed really winded and was sweating profusely compared to the other players, despite his fewer minutes. I would lean towards that meaning he’s out of shape, compared to the other guys, because from what I see he’s not hustling any harder than most of the other guys.

  5. “Johnson would like to see his players do more shot fakes. That’s something he’s telling his team.”

    I don’t know why but this made me sad.

    1. It’d be nice to recruit players who had this fundamental already. That should help us get to the line more to missile FTs

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