Tech Talk Live notes for February 23, 2015

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Mike Gentry

The new “Hokies Helping Heroes” program is a joint effort between VT and the Lone Survivor Foundation.  Fans can donate a certain amount of money for every pound their favorite VT player bench presses.  It’s a great partnership and a great opportunity to give back to people who protect our liberty.

Gentry feels like the football players are continuing the momentum they built during the Military Bowl.  Winter conditioning is going very well.

The team is a whole is standing out.  Wyatt Teller is an exceptional strength athlete.  Dadi Nicolas is a great athlete who is doing some great things.  He likes where Isaiah Ford is right now, and Michael Brewer is all in.

Austin Clark is a good person, he’s got a big frame, and he’s pretty lean.  He knows how to work, and he doesn’t talk very much.  Offensive linemen have to be slow cooked.  They probably shouldn’t play right away, and neither should Clark, but he’s got all the tools to be a good one.

Tech owes a little bit to Frank Beamer, and they need to step up and play a little harder.  Gentry is ready to do that, and he thinks the team is ready to do that.  They have good leadership on this team, and they have good chemistry.  Sam Rogers is a great example of the great leadership on this team.

Buzz Williams

The strength coach is one of the most important people in the program.  If the Mike Gentry of your staff is bad, then it will be revealed on the court or on the field.  They have more access to players than the regular coaches, and it’s a very important relationship.

Keeping David Jackson as hoops strength coach was a bone of contention for Whit Babcock when he hired Buzz.  Like every other job, the strength job has evolved.  Buzz originally wanted to bring in his own guy, but Whit went on and on about Jackson, and he was completely right.  Jackson and Buzz have a great relationship.

This week Tech will play back to back games against top 5 teams for just the second time in school history.  Duke is worthy of their ranking.  They are very good.  They have so much talent, and they are playing very well together.

Tech will practice on Monday night as soon as Tech Talk Live is over.  They will practice again on Tuesday night in preparation for Wednesday night’s game with Duke.  They also had an early bird practice Monday morning at 5:15.

Tech did some good things against NC State.  Of the Wolfpack’s 52 possessions, Tech kept the ball out of the paint 28 times.  That’s a very good number, and the Hokies need to keep the ball out of the paint.  Only 17 of their shots were uncontested, and that’s a good number as well.

Saturday was the first time in Buzz’s career where one of his teams only had one out-of-bounds play and only five free throw attempts, though he’s not pointing any fingers.

14 of Tech’s 53 points came following timeouts, which is also a good percentage.

Tech is breaking down what they want to do depending on the shot clock.  For example, the first 10 seconds, middle 15 seconds and last 10 seconds of the shot clock they will try different things.  It’s a lot to ask.  However, the execution was pretty good.  They need to get to the free throw line, but if they don’t force rotations and create fouls that can’t happen.

Justin Bibbs played really well against NC State.  Tech is running out of time, but Buzz wants to try to get Bibbs, Adam Smith, Malik Mueller and Devin Wilson all playing as well as possible at the same time.

Satchel Pierce isn’t hurt, and Buzz isn’t worried about his progress.  That’s not why he didn’t play against NC State.  He just didn’t earn the right to play.  When you build a program, you can’t be held hostage by your roster or your depth.  When you build a foundation, you have to dig the hole deep.  Satchel didn’t earn the right to play, so he didn’t play.  Jalen Hudson only played one minute, and he didn’t earn the right to play either.

The business of college athletics is more volatile than most realize, so you should recruit every day.  Even though they don’t have any scholarship to give on paper, they are still recruiting.  They will sign another player in the spring if he fits the culture and what they are all about.  Buzz knows what the depth chart looks like for next year.  He knows where they will be strong and where they will be weak, so how will they address that?  Things are always fluid.

Christian Beyer has substantial liabilities, but the offense runs smoother when he is on the court.  Shane Henry played some good defensive minutes against NC State.  Tech needs Will Johnston to play because he’s so tough.  He doesn’t let his guy get the rebound.

Buzz loves Devin Wilson’s effort.  He isn’t very confident in his shot.  He’s a better downhill player, and a good distributor.  However, now teams are adjusting and staying out on Tech’s three-point shooters, and that just puts more pressure on Wilson.

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11 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. So the elephant in the room was never even broached with Gentry?? The topic of our injury epidemic was conspicuously absent.

    1. If the injuries were really a strength and conditioning issue it would have been noticed a long time ago. Just a bad year for injuries… Sometimes luck is a big factor…. Correct me if I’m wrong but in 1999 we didn’t have any injuries until the National Championship game….very lucky!

      1. Yes, but we are trending otherwise….we have had more than the normal share of injury problems for the last several years. And most of those injuries have drug on longer than anticipated or recurred, which is a recent manifestation.

        1. The beginning of the 2013 season made no sense. It seemed like they needed to do more walk through s in the fall before they started hitting each other and breaking everything.

          Or it was s and c. How about that stanford s and c guy?

  2. We all owe a lot to Frank Beamer, I fear that when he is gone if Bud does not take over, we will have revolving door on the HC position.

    1. There is nothing to “fear” because the world is different now. It’s just the way it is. What we can do is make good hires. VT will be a VERY desirable job and there are many great coaches that would come here and stay a good amount of time.

      To think that it will be a revolving door every couple of years as if we were some non-power 5 small school is absurd and a product of small-time inferiority complex that our fan base needs grow out of QUICKLY!

  3. Last paragraph in the Mike Gentry section is a little confusing as written. Are you saying the team or VT administration owes Frank more? Based on remainder of paragraph, it sounds like the team.

  4. Hmmm, that was a very interesting nugget about the Bball S&C coach (Jackson). Had never heard that before.

  5. The effort and attitude of our Men’s Basketball team are in the right place. I have every confidence the results will get better in years 2, 3, and 4 of the Buzz Williams era.

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