The Hokies didn’t play well in the first half against Georgia Tech. They didn’t play with enough mental toughness. They changed that in the second half and played a lot better. Henry can’t say some of the things Buzz Williams said at halftime.
Getting a road win like that was huge for the team, but it was big for Henry as well because he’s from Georgia. He grew up close to Atlanta. It was a lot of fun. He had a lot of friends and family in the crowd, including his high school coach.
Adam Smith is a great shooter, and the Hokies knew they had to lock him down and run him off the three-point line. Obviously they already had a close scouting report from last season.
Henry wasn’t playing much earlier in the season, but his mindset has always been to stay ready. He’s always there to help out wherever he can, even if that means providing fouls.
Henry is the only married player on the team. His wife is his biggest fan and his biggest critic. She stays on him, whether it’s good or bad.
Henry is a psychology major, so he understands how you have to approach things mentally, whether it’s a basketball game or life.
Henry has to play against bigger guys most nights, but he tries to come out with more energy and more toughness.
Williams appreciates all the VT fans who showed up in Atlanta for the game on Saturday.
The Hokies take a team picture at every road game. If they win, they hang it in the practice facility as part of their culture building lessons. They were finally able to hang up a picture after an ACC road game over the weekend.
Williams is very thankful for the win. If you’re every going to be relevant or a part of the real race, you have to win on the road. Tech has millions of miles to go before they are truly in that race. They are very fortunate to have won games against Wake Forest and Georgia Tech last week, when you look at all the numbers.
Winning at Georgia Tech was big because it helped confidence. True confidence can only come from your work. You can say all the right things, but true confidence and internal confidence can only come from your work.
Tech needs Seth Allen to play well on both ends of the floor. He’s trying really hard. He’s starting to string consecutive good practices together. He feels bad whenever he doesn’t play well. Buzz took him out after awhile and didn’t put him back in until the second half because he stunk. However, he played great down the stretch, and played great defense the whole second half.
The Hokies have played well in the first half in some games recently. They need to be more aggressive offensively in the first 20 minutes. They are giving up too many offensive rebounds, also. Their defensive rebounding percentage needs to be higher. In a 70 possession game, that’s significant. Those offensive rebounds generally turn into fouls or putbacks, and that’s tough to overcome.
Tech is obviously reliant on getting to the free throw line a lot. Free throws were huge in the last two wins. The Hokies are #1 in the ACC in free throw makes right now. They are only 8th in the league in points per possession, which shows how important those free throws are. Williams stressed to the team early in the second half of the Georgia Tech game that they needed to get in the bonus very quickly.
Everything Tech does offensively is about paint touches. Once they get the ball into the paint, the players have to determine what’s a great shot. Getting the ball in the paint opens up the offense.
There are certainly areas where the Hokies have to improve. Williams is trying to stress those areas, because he doesn’t want the team to look at their 4-1 record and think they are doing everything right.
This year is testing Buzz’s patience. When you know Ahmed Hill is your toughest player, but you know in your heart that you should redshirt him…that’s hard. When the best prospect you signed has a medical issue, you have to be patient. It’s not easy to be patient. When you are building a foundation, you better dig a really big hole to pour the concrete, and you better dig it in the right spot. They are still in the process of digging that hole.
Tech is going to have to play really, really hard for 40 minutes to have a chance to beat Notre Dame. They’ve yet to do that. They played a really good 20 minutes in Atlanta, but not 40. He’s not sure they played even 20 minutes of good basketball against Duke.
Notre Dame is the #1 offensive team in the ACC in just about everything but free throw makes. It’s a difficult place to win. They just beat Duke on the road over the weekend. Demetrius Jackson is one of the best point guards in the country. They have a lot of good players. If you try to get into a scoring contest with them, you’ll lose, even if you are Duke and you are playing at home.
How the Hokies guard the ball screen will be very important against Notre Dame. They spent some time on that on Monday, as well as transition defense. They were awful in transition defense against Georgia Tech. The Hokies will practice tomorrow morning, and watch more film tonight.
Virginia Tech has held the Commonwealth Cup for 4069 days. #Hokies
— Commonwealth Cup (@CommonwlthCup) January 18, 2016