Tech Talk Live notes for January 7, 2015

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Buzz Williams

Tech has been playing really hard recently, and the players are playing more for one another.  They understand where they are deficient, and they want to do better, but when you get outrebounded by 20 that’s hard to overcome.  They have to find ways to accentuate what they are good at and nullify their flaws as much as possible.

Tech could have defended better against Florida State.  The Seminoles made some very good shots, but the Hokies can always play better.

The Syracuse comeback was pretty amazing despite the ending.  The Hokies have to find ways to play like they did in the second half of that game all the time.  Buzz loved the effort they played with the second half.

The Hokies only had six turnovers against Florida State, and that needs to continue.  There is nothing they can do about their size and depth, so they need to get more shots than their opponents, and that comes from not turning the ball over.  They also need to make more free throws than the other team, and they need to be able to defend without fouling.

Tech scored 1.1 points per possession on Tuesday night, and it’s hard to do better than that on the road in the ACC.  FSU is always a very good defensive team.  However, the Hokies have to play better defense.

Notre Dame is always sneaky good, and they are 15-1 this season.  Buzz loves how Mike Brey coaches.  The Irish are more talented than they’ve ever been since Williams has been coaching against them.

Buzz talks to Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin almost every day.  They know each other very well.  Cronin is only a year older than Buzz, and he has to take the rest of the year off due to a medical condition because the doctors won’t allow him to deal with stress.  It’s been interesting to talk to him recently.  He views things differently now.

Balancing family life and basketball is the hardest thing Buzz has to do.  There isn’t necessarily a right answer, and there are always certain things that he has to do as a coach.  The family has to be aware what season it is, whether it’s basketball season or recruiting season.  He tries to spend as much quality time with his family as he can.  His family has to know that they are the priority.  He always has his family, but he won’t always have basketball.

Williams says he doesn’t plan to be coaching when he’s 55 or 60, and he’s not sure about 50.  He works too hard to be able to sustain that lifestyle for a long period of time.  (Editor’s note: Buzz is 42 now.)

Williams isn’t trying to keep any secrets about Joey van Zegeren.  He doesn’t make rash decisions on things of that nature, but he doesn’t anticipate anything happening quickly.  He doesn’t know what the future holds.

Tech wants to get 48 paint touches per game.  That’s a little bit of a skewed number, because some games have more possessions than others.  In non-conference play, they averaged 41.5 paint  touches per game.  That’s a decent number, but they didn’t capitalize on it because they didn’t shoot free throws well.  They keep up with paint touches and box touches every day and for every game.  When you get paint touches, you force rotations, and it can lead to more open shots.

Satchel Pierce is getting good reps right now.  Tech only suited up nine players last night, and five of them are freshmen.  They are seeing things for the first time, and they are seeing them against really good players.  The learning curve is very steep.  Williams has to be careful not to put too much on them.

Tech signee Chris Clarke played in Floyd County this past weekend.  His team came to the game against Syracuse as well.  All the Tech players went to Floyd County on Friday night to watch Clarke play.  Buzz told the team that they had the night off to watch a movie, but they wanted to go see Clarke anyway.  They traveled on their own and paid to get in on their own just to watch Clarke play and support him.

Clarke is very quiet, and he was caught off guard.  It was a great experience for him and his family.  Clarke’s dad was in the Marines for over 20 years and is as good a leader as you’ll find, and he liked what Tech’s players did a lot.

Justin Bibbs wasn’t happy about his WVU game, but he has played great the last two games.  He is Buzz Williams’ type of guy.  He’s a great worker, he’s quiet, and he never has a bad practice day.  He has always been very well coached before he got to Virginia Tech.  He’s a really good player.  He’s playing a little bit more than he should be, but in time that investment will play dividends.  He has played four different positions so far.  As his body continues to get stronger he will be even more difficult to guard.  As time goes by, he will start to draw the opponent’s top defensive player.

The KFC Yum! Center is as good a new arena as there is in the country. It’s in downtown Louisville, and it’s a great place.  Tech will play there on Tuesday.  The Cardinals are a very good team.  Tech will struggle to match up with Louisville in a lot of ways.  They have a lot of good players.

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5 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Lot’s of early 40’s folks think they will hang it up by 50-55. Most are still working. Of course, most do not make two and a half million plus per year. ESPN’s Chris Berman said he would quit pre 50….and I expect he is financially secure enough to retire. Williams seems to be getting the Hokies to play hard, I wish him and the Hokies well.

  2. I would have to agree that playing for Coach Williams is a real opportunity to advance one’s education in a lot more ways than just basketball.

  3. Sounds like the players are understanding the concept of being a team. To put that much effort into supporting a future teammate is impressive. Good teaching by Buzz.

    1. Indeed. That’s very impressive to me. I’m sure Chris Clarke had to be blown away seeing all of his future teammates in the stands that night.

  4. We are extremely fortunate to have a coach the caliber of Buzz Williams not just on the basketball court but off the court as well. So neat what he and the players did for Chris Clarke this past weekend- can’t even begin to imagine what an impression that made on him and his family.

    Also, glad to hear that Buzz puts things into the proper perspective but selfishly hope he’s still coaching our HOKIES eight plus years from now.

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