Tech Talk Live notes for January 19, 2015

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Buzz Williams

Williams was out recruiting on Monday, so his segment was taped in advance.  He was in Massachusetts, while Issac Chew was in Atlanta.

Williams respects how hard Tech played against UNC.  Their culture has to be about playing hard and being fundamentally sound.  It’s human nature to change things when they don’t work, but right now it’s important to stay the course.  They have found ways to help the team accentuate their strengths, but it’s really hard to overcome their disadvantage on the boards.  When Tech doesn’t rotate as much, it puts them in a better position to rebound.  However, that means playing more zone.  They are doing a lot of different things, but it’s hard to overcome that rebounding disadvantage.  15 of UNC’s points came from offensive rebounds, and UNC won by 15.

The group that Tech is putting on the court is giving everything they have.  They have to continue to work hard and make progress.  They played really hard against UNC.  They were much better against the Tar Heels than they were against Louisville.  He will take the effort in the second half against Syracuse, and from start to finish against FSU and UNC.  The effort was not good enough against Louisville.

He is asking the team “when can we start talking about something else?” They can’t talk about effort all the time.  At some point, they have to learn how to play hard all the time so they can focus on other deficiencies.

Jalen Hudson played well against UNC.  Buzz Williams just wants him to play really hard.  Guys like Ahmed Hill, Justin Bibbs and Will Johnston always play really hard.  Hudson’s talent is through the roof, God gave him a big gift, and he has to be responsible for how he uses that gift.  Williams is saying that publicly because he has already had the same conversation with Hudson and his father.

Williams believes the 65 schools in the power conferences are going to be the leaders in change across the NCAA.  Coaches and athletic directors have to gather as much information as possible.  Whenever Tech travels, he always seeks out someone at the other school to try and get an idea of how they do things at other school.  They have to be able to paint a vision for recruits and their parents.  They have to be able to show those people what they are going to do for the recruit over the course of his career.  How will they help him grow and change as a player and person?

Cost of attendance will vary at each school, and some players and families will make their decisions exclusively based on the money that is offered.  However, people like that wouldn’t be playing for Buzz Williams anyway.  Williams wants to recruit kids and tell them that you can’t put a dollar sign on the things that Virginia Tech will be able to offer him.

Williams is glad that the students are back.  He hopes they show up in full force on Thursday night against Notre Dame.

Steve Roccaforte

Buzz Williams leaves it on the court every game.  Roccaforte gets a kick out of seeing how sweaty his shirts are after games.  They aren’t even good enough for the dry cleaners.  They should just be thrown out.

Roccaforte believes Tech’s players are working very hard on a day to day basis.  Their conference schedule has been brutal thus far, and it will continue to be brutal with Notre Dame and UVA.  If they keep playing as hard as they did against UNC, that can make a big difference at home.

Roccaforte is a former head coach, and that puts him in a position to have more compassion for the head man when things are going wrong.  It’s a really hard job.  It’s good for head coaches to have people around them who understand.

This is the first time in VT history that the Hokies have played four straight top 20 teams (Louisville, UNC, Notre Dame and UVA).  Roccaforte has never seen such a tough stretch in his coaching career.  Everybody knew that this would be a really tough league this year.

Tech’s free throw percentage is getting better, but when you look at their three-point percentage you would think that they should be shooting 70-75% from the free throw line.  The only thing they can do is keep practicing them.  Devin Wilson’s percentage is going up, and that’s helping.

Right now there is no change in the status of Joey van Zegeren.

Justin Bibbs was in the office on Monday, and he looked fine.  However, Tech had an off day on Monday so he didn’t do any practicing.  Hopefully everything will go well for him this week.

Roccaforte is excited about the guys who signed with Tech in November, but they have to keep it up.  They have to continue to plug their holes.

Notre Dame is an outstanding team.  They are very good offensively, with two excellent guards who are quick.  They have a number of good shooters.  They are very execution-oriented on offense.  They know what they can do, and they do it very well.  They are a veteran team.

It will be good to get back home.  If the team keeps playing hard and gives the fans something to cheer about, the crowd can really help the Hokies.

Zach Leday was at South Florida with Roccaforte last season.  He really wanted to play for Buzz Williams.  Leday is a very hard worker who views himself as a Buzz Williams type of guy.  He is about 230-235 right now.  He can make shots, he can play inside or out, and he’s a very tough kid.

There are a ton of prospects in Massachusetts today, and Buzz Williams is at that tournament.  Buzz wants to be on the road four nights a week recruiting, though that is very difficult to do during the season.

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7 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. We have always done well when an experienced coach takes over. Can’t wait to see the dividends. Next year should be special.

  2. As I have stated b/4 Tech hired the right coach. Never seen someone work as hard as he does. Cannot wait until this program is turned around and we look like some of the other “cream in the ACC.” Go Hokies!!!!

  3. @hokieman842: Try submitting that question to the TTL site: http://www.hokiesports.com/techtalklive/. Or, if you use Twitter, try hitting up Bill Roth to see if he’ll answer (@VTVOICE)

    To further what HokieObsession was has said below: Coach Williams’ dedication to this program is off the charts. It will be such a pleasure to watch all the pieces that he is putting together form a solid ACC basketball program that finally competes in the ACC Championship as well as the big dance.

    I’ll be honest, when watching the UNC game I was frequently frustrated and upset with what our guys were doing on the court. My emotions had me feeling like we were getting blown out by the Tarheels and that things were going to embarrassingly unravel like they did against WVU this year. However, our guys toughed it out, played hard, and even caught UNC on cruise-control to get us back within single digits. In the end, they only lost by 15 to a team that should be much higher than #15; they stumbled early in the season, but their talent level is much higher than #15. When you look at our stats and rankings within the NCAA, we’re near the bottom in many respects. Yet, in ACC play, we have lost games by an average of 10.75 points. All 4 ACC opponents, so far, have had much deeper and more talented rosters than we currently do, so I applaud Coach BW and the young guys for what they have accomplished so far. It hasn’t looked pretty, and it won’t look pretty any time soon, but I have much respect for these guys and will continue to attend games and cheer them on, even if we lay a goose egg in ACC play.

    Also, Will Johnston deserves the Michael Brewer award for continuing to play despite his many injuries, and not only that, continuing to sacrifice his body for rebounds and loose balls.

    1. Perhaps he’s a busy man and, on his list of priorities, TTL is not at the top. But if you miss Jim Weaver, you could call in and ask TTL to have JW Skype in for commentary.

  4. “Buzz wants to be on the road 4 nights a week recruiting.”

    His energy and passion will get this thing turned around!

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