There was nothing that happened in a negative fashion that made Buzz Williams change his starting lineup on Sunday. Everybody is still figuring things out. The players are getting used to the coaches, and the coaches are getting used to the players. The staff has to figure out what’s best.
They will recruit every day at Virginia Tech. It’s the lifeblood of the program. They will recruit whether they have available scholarships or not. They can’t take any chances. Williams was gone recruiting four days last week, and three days the previous week. Coaching and recruiting at the same time during the season makes time management really tough. You try to cram as much as you can in every single minute. There isn’t much margin to waste time.
Williams loves Christian Beyer as a person. From a talent perspective, he’s probably the least talented player. So how was he one rebound away from a double-double in 27 minutes? That’s a great teaching moment for the rest of the players. It’s about getting the players to understand how every possession and every minute is important. There has to be pain involved when you lose. They have to figure that out, and he isn’t going to make decisions on what the fans think.
Joey van Zegeren has had three coaches since he’s been at Tech. It’s hard for him to go through so much change in a short time, and it’s like that for every player. Right now it’s the job of Williams to set the culture regardless of what it does to the Win-Loss record. They aren’t going to risk the future just to have the best chance of beating Alabama A&M.
Williams played two walkons the entire first half against Alabama A&M, and they had a 16 point lead and just two turnovers at halftime. When he had to take them out because they were so tired, Alabama A&M came back and cut it to six. He’s not mad at anyone. Everyone needs a lot of work.
Buzz doesn’t compromise his beliefs. He isn’t going to start his regular starting lineup when he feels like he shouldn’t do so just to avoid questions about it after the game. If you compromise your beliefs, you lose your culture. And if you lose your culture, you eventually lose your job.
It’s hard to say how long it will take to be competitive in the ACC. He tries not to put a timetable on it. He believes the ACC will end up being the best conference in the country. Tech’s depth has to improve, and their talent has to improve. Their competitiveness has to drastically improve, and they have to play every possession like their hair is on fire. Right now they don’t now how to start the match.
Justin Bibbs is very coachable. His size and his length allow him to do multiple things. If you can only do one thing, you become easy to guard unless you are super in that one thing. JJ Redick as Duke is an example. He’s an important piece for the Clippers, but it’s a small important piece because he can only do one thing. Justin Bibbs is a switchable player. He can play multiple spots and do multiple things. His versatility is similar to Jimmy Butler and Jai Crowder, who Buzz coached at Marquette. They are both currently in the NBA.
Tech will have an early bird practice on Tuesday morning, and another in the afternoon. It will be a good week of practice in preparation for The Citadel and VMI. Tech will have to play well to beat either team.
Tech’s freshmen are doing fine academically leading up to finals.
(Editor’s note: From listening to tonight’s comments, it seems clear that Buzz Williams is using this season to establish his system and his culture without regards to wins and losses, and I’m personally on board with that.)
Tech has been working on mostly fundamentals since the end of the season. They have been working on base packages and staying in shape. It’s really important for the young guys to keep getting as much work as possible.
Moorehead knew that Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips were going to play from the very beginning. He’s really proud of how they’ve developed. Of course they make freshman mistakes, and that’s okay, because you know they will be much better a year from now because of all that experience.
There is always inconsistency when you rely on so many freshmen. Ford and Phillips were playing high school football a year ago, and Bucky Hodges was playing quarterback up until October of 2013. A year from now all of those guys will be so much better because of the offseason strength and conditioning.
Tech played like there was no life in the stadium at Wake Forest. In the UVA game, they played much better because there was a great atmosphere. That’s something the coaches have been preaching to the players…they have to be ready to play each week, no matter the atmosphere. You have to play every day like your back is against the wall. That’s what the great ones do. That’s how Tech played against Ohio State and UVA.
The best thing Tech can do in recruiting right now is win football games. Tech needs to finish better, and they need to do better in the state. They aren’t done recruiting some of the guys who have committed to other schools. That’s just the way recruiting is these days, and while Moorehead doesn’t necessarily like it, that’s how it’s done. They have to stay on top of guys even if they are committed.
Beating UVA was big, because it’s always good to go out on the road recruiting after a win. The winning has to be more consistent though. They felt like they should have won more games this year, and if they did, they would be sitting in a better place right now.
UAB transfers aren’t a big priority for the coaches right now, though the recruiting staff will look into that and see if there are any fits.
Tech’s best catch this year was probably Isaiah Ford’s one-handed catch against ECU.
Tech’s redshirting wideouts are getting good reviews. Kendrick Holland is finally practicing after shoulder surgery, and he’s doing a nice job. Jaylen Bradshaw is doing a great job, and Moorehead feels like he has a chance to be a good player. The spring will be big for both of those guys.
Tech has used Bucky Hodges in a lot of ways this year. They have lined him up inside, outside, and with his hand on the ground. He’s a major weapon, and it’s hard to find guys like that.
Recruiting is the biggest difference between coaching in college and the NFL. Moorehead likes to recruit. He likes to talk and he enjoys people, and that goes hand in hand with recruiting. Many coaches go to the NFL late in their career because they just don’t have the energy to recruit every day.
Virginia Tech has held the Commonwealth Cup for 3670 days. #Hokies
— Commonwealth Cup (@CommonwlthCup) December 15, 2014