Tech Talk Live Notes for February 17, 2014

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James Johnson

Johnson is proud that his team kept fighting and found a way to get a win against Miami.  They never quit and they were always practicing hard.

Slowing the game down has helped the Hokies.  They had to turn the throttle down and walk the ball up the court.  Slowing the game down with the zone is also helping.

Tech is third in the ACC in offensive rebounding.  That shows that the team is playing very hard.

The Hokies are getting better running the 2-3 zone.  The more they play it, the better they get at it.  They are extending it out to shooters.

Trevor Thompson is hungry.  Playing well and winning means something to him.  Sometimes he is too hard on himself.  Johnson has seen a lot of growth and a lot of maturity from Thompson recently.  The experience is paying off for all the freshmen.

Adam Smith is still out.  He’s going through rehab.  He’s on a non-weight bearing treadmill, and he’s up to 55% of his body weight.  C.J. Barksdale probably won’t be 100% this season.  Emelogu is still banged up, Raines still has the flu, but everybody else is good to go.

Adam Smith will have additional X-rays tomorrow.  He could come back before the end of the season.

Devin Wilson is just four assists away from Tech’s freshman record for assist.  The Hokies signed him late in April.  He was a football guy and a lot of basketball schools backed off of him because they thought he might play football.

The zone is helping Devin Wilson.  It helps him stay fresh.  In man-to-man he was getting worn down because he was playing 40 minutes a game and teams were going after him and making him use a lot of energy.  The staff thought Miami would press more, but the Hokies scored each time they pressed so that forced the Canes to get back to playing halfcourt defense.

Johnson thinks that players should be able to go to the NBA out of high school, but if they go to college they have to stay for three years.  He would like to see the rules be similar to college baseball.

Devin Wilson is probably Tech’s only player who can break down guys off the dribble.  Ben Emelogu is limited because of his ankle.

Erick Green called David Jackson on Monday to congratulate the team on the win.  He’s going to work out at Tech in the offseason.  He scored 40 points in a recent European game.  Denver still holds his rights, and they have been over to Europe to see him plaly.  Green will have to get bigger and stronger and develop his skills as a true point guard.

Johnson feels like a jump from a 35 second shot clock to a 24 second shot clock would be too much, however he would be open to going to a 30 second shot clock.

UVA is playing tremendous basketball right now.  Defensively, they have always been good, but this year they are scoring on a more consistent basis.  They have five starters who can all score.  They haven’t had any injuries.  When you put all of those things together, you’ve got a really good team.

The younger players got a feel for the rivalry with UVA in the first meeting.  Records go out the window when these teams play.  It’s a different intensity level.  Johnson thinks his younger players will be ready for it.

Malcolm Brogdon of UVA was a high school teammate of Adam Smith.  He is a good player for UVA.

C.J. Barksdale had a good game against Miami.  The Hokies really need him to keep producing like that down the stretch.

The Hokies will mix some things up against UVA.  They aren’t going to give them a steady diet of one thing.  UVA has too many guys who can score to play the same way the whole game.

Tech plays NC State on Saturday.  They have a lot of players, like T.J. Warren and Cat Barber.  The Hokies and NC State have had some dramatic games through the years.  It’s great to be home after so many games on the road.

Monday was Day 3,370 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.

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14 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. “Tech is third in the ACC in offensive rebounding.” – Really? Where did they pull that stat from? Looking at we are #129/148 in offensive rebounds/percentage in all of Division I. I looked through the individual lists and we certainly aren’t #3 in either category. I wonder also if they were talking about pure number of offensive rebounds, or number of games where offensively we out-rebound the other team, or the average percentage of offensive rebounds for each ACC game, etc.?

    “Johnson feels like a jump from a 35 second shot clock to a 24 second shot clock would be too much, however he would be open to going to a 30 second shot clock.” – YES, PLEASE!! 35s shot clock is just way too much time, in my opinion. Going to 30s would be a perfect “trial” amount to see how negatively/positively it would affect NCAA basketball. Going directly to the NBA shot clock would be too much, too quick. Plus, the NBA is mostly geared towards offense because pretty much everyone can score, so having a short offensive clock makes sense. Not so much in the NCAA.

  2. We were very fortunate to beat Miami. They had an awful night shooting. We are at a huge disadvantage in that we don’t have enough available bodies to win alot of games. Second, we for the most part are less talented then most of the teams we play. Hopefully, next year we will have a healthy team and if you count the 3 recruits, Mueller, and Kirby we will have 5 more guys that could all see playing time.

  3. Trevor Thompson needs to be on the floor more. It seemed like every time he got going on Saturday, JJ subbed him out.

    1. I notice this a lot, too, and with more players than TT. It’s hard to tell, though, when he’s pulling someone out because they are tired, not playing well, or JJ doesn’t like the match-ups with whomever the opposing coach subbed in.

    2. I agree with that… Tonight during the first five minutes of Virginia game JJ sub out his big men when I thought they were playing very good ball.

  4. Keep JJ at least one more year. The freshmen look to have a high ceiling and the team hasn’t quit.

    1. What will keeping JJ one more year prove? If he stays it means another same old same old. I am for whatever Whit will do, whatever that maybe. If you missed part 3 of a 3 part series from Berman in the Roanoke Times about Whit the following is what Whit asked his new staff (including coaches) to define “SWOT” in each of their areas. “SWOT” means the following; Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats.
      How would you define SWOT with VT’s football program, men’s and women’s basketball programs and all of the other team programs?

    1. UVa holds a huge edge in the series. Tech would have to win about 20 in a row just to bring the series to even, even if that were to happen it would take us ten years to do it. I guess I can understand how the Cavs might feel about us in football since we’ve beat them 10 years in a row. So we dominate in football, they dominate in basketball. Upsets over them are rare…we only seem to beat them if we have a good team. I remember a few years back we beat them 4 out of 5 times or something like that, but now we haven’t beat them in a few years. You can tell if VT has a decent bb team by how they handle Virginia in any given year.

  5. It took all season to discover that slowing the game down with a talent challenged and depthless team would give it a better chance?? Also to discover that playing zone and utilizing 2 big men at times would improve defensive play with one point guard?? Note that this win occurred with only one coached practice in one week. I suspect UVA will exploit the zone’s intrinsically weak middle and shoot the 3 better than Pitt and UM however.

    1. It wasn’t the style he wanted to play, but in order to have any chance, it’s the style he’s been forced to play.

    2. You are oversimplifying this recent change way too much. For pretty much all of the OOC play JJ was evaluating his very young team to see who fits where, who has what talents, and who would provide the most effort. As Late 80s Hokie said, JJ’s “system” is to run a fast-paced offensive that feeds on transition scoring. We could do that more last year with Erick Green, especially when everyone was healthy. This year, not so much. JJ tried to stick with that system, but sickness and injuries has forced him to slowly switch to a different system.
      I agree with you, however, that UVa will be able to exploit the zone tonight. I see VT getting into some foul trouble if UVa decides to try to beat the zone and work the ball into the middle. We’re not so good with individual moving defense, so I imagine we’ll be called for a lot of reaching/holding fouls. Either that or they’ll force us to compress our zone and provide help, which will inevitably free up the kick to the outside for a long jumper or 3-pointer.

  6. Good Luck Hokies and JJ vs Uva…I got another lunch bet on us and I get 17…I had 18 last time. Go Hokies!!! I make the same bet in Football with same guy – so I am not going hungry!

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