Tech Talk Live Notes for March 3, 2014

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James Johnson

The wins haven’t been there as much as the team or fans want, but Johnson said he got emotional after the UNC game during the press conference because of how hard they’ve fought all year.  Even after the season started going downhill, they have kept playing hard.

Johnson sees a lot of intangibles from Devin Wilson.  He has stopped a 2-on-1 fastbreak in the last two games.  That’s a really tough play to make.  He’s got very good insticts.  He has toughness and playmaking ability that he brought over from the football field.  He is taking on more of a leadership role.

Will Johnston is playing with a lot of heart.  He gives it all that he has all the time.  The other guys feed off of that.  He communicates well on the floor.

Tech is doing a good job of controlling the tempo.  They did it again against UNC.  The 2-3 zone is getting much better.  The Hokies have been playing some good teams recently and they are holding them down on the scoreboard.

UNC put bigger bodies on Trevor Thompson.  They made him a focal point of the defense, and that’s something that Thompson will have to get used to.  The staff would like Thompson to get up to around 230-235.

TJ Warren would probably be Johnson’s ACC Player of the Year.  He was a really tough matchup.  Jabari Parker would be just behind him.

Playing at Maryland over the years has been great for Tech.  They recruit that area a lot.  There have been some great games between the Hokies and Terps in the Comcast Center.

Johnson would consider playing Maryland as a non-conference opponent.  That has come up in staff meetings, though nothing is set in stone yet.

It’s important to not let the Maryland/DC area become Big Ten territory.  It’s part of the ACC’s geographic footprint.  Johnson thinks they’ll be able to keep their share of recruits in the ACC.  Tech wants to continue to be a presence in that area as well.

Tech wasn’t ready to play the first time they played Maryland.  Johnson is looking forward to playing them again.  The Hokies are playing better now.  Maryland is a very talented team.

Pat Mason

The cold weather in Blacksburg is fine if it’s an off day.  He thinks it will get warmer later this week, so they are in good shape.

Tech has been a touch, reselient team so far.  Mason likes the lineup right now and where the pitching is at.  Overall he’s happy with how Tech has played through nine games.

Going from the second seat to the first seat is different, but he’s 100% comfortable in the role.  You have to act even-keeled in the dugout because it’s such a long season.  He wants his team to play relaxed, so he has to act relaxed.

Mason has tremendous assistant coaches.  He has a lot of help.  Sometimes he feels like he’s doing nothing because his assistants are so good.  When he was pitching coach he had a lot more going on sometimes.

The Hokies ran into weather issues their first two weekend, and they only got two games in each weekend.  It took the staff a little longer than expected to figure out what they have on the mound.  He learned over this past weekend that Tech is deep on the mound.

Mason has learned that his team is reselient.  Each time they have lost a game they have come back and won the next one.

Tanner McIntyre is the ultimate competitor.  He has the intangibles on and off the field that you want in a pitcher.  He came out of the pen to pitch over 5 scoreless innnings on Saturday.  It was  a huge performance.

Mason likes where the program is heading.  He feels like the Hokies are making some in-roads in recruiting, particularly in the Richmond area.  Tech will play at VCU and Richmond this year, and at William & Mary next year.  It gives Tech fans in the eastern part of the state a chance to see the team play.  Mason has also renewed the series with West Virginia.

Mason wants to see a lot of strikes against Clemson this weekend.  He wants to see the defense continue to improve, and he wants to see timely hitting.

Monday was Day 3,384 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of The Commonwealth Cup.

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