Tech Talk Live Notes for March 14, 2016

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Jalen Hudson

Getting the NIT bid was really exciting.  Tech hasn’t played in the postseason in awhile.  It’s also exciting to play a team with a really good record like Princeton.

The Hokies didn’t finish the ACC Tournament the way they wanted to.  They wanted to go a little deeper and go to the NCAA Tournament, but it’s still great to be able to hang a banner in Cassell Coliseum.

Defending the Princeton offense will be different.  The pace is very fast, and they try to back cut you a lot.  Their whole offense is read and react.  Tech will play man to man, but they are going to do some different things because of the opponent they are playing.

Playing at home will be a big advantage.  It was a great homecourt advantage during ACC play.

This team is very close.  They all love playing for each other.  That’s why Hudson is excited for the NIT…it means he gets to play more games with his teammates.

The Hokies want to get as many paint touches as they can.  They want to play downhill and get to the free throw line as much as possible.  Getting into the bonus quickly can be a huge benefit.

Seth Allen and Zach LeDay have been huge for the Hokies this year.  They are really good guys and really good players.

Hudson and Chris Clarke go at it a lot during practice.  He feels they both get a lot better when they face each other.

Hudson tries not to look ahead very far, but he knows almost everybody is coming back next year.  He feels like it should be a really good year.

Hudson feels like he does a lot of things well, but he needs to polish off his game.  He should start to do that as a junior next year.

Hudson feels like Wednesday night will be the best atmosphere in Cassell Coliseum this year, and he encouraged all fans to try to make it to the game.

Buzz Williams

Williams is humbled by all the success.  He wants to handle it the right way publicly and with the team.  The Hokies have a chance to still be playing on the two-year anniversary of the day he was hired.  That speaks to the players, and it speaks to the character and work of the staff.

Williams thinks the team will feel a lot of support at Cassell Coliseum on Wednesday.  He loves how the student body support is growing, as well as the overall support from the fanbase.

There were nine teams out of 351 teams who improved by eight games or more in conference play this year.  Of those nine teams, only one of them came from a Power 5 conference.  Obviously that school is Virginia Tech.  The Hokies were also the third team ever in the ACC to improve by eight wins in conference play from one year to the other.

Momentum is the hardest thing to get, and it’s the hardest thing to keep.  The Hokies are thankful for where they’re at, but obviously they want to keep things going a little bit further.

Buzz Williams noticed a lot of program-building mile markers this year.  They obviously started great in conference play, and they closed well.  They didn’t do so well in the middle, but the team stayed focused and responded at the end of the season.  Williams doesn’t think he’ll ever forget that late season run and what transpired during that run.

Tech has played 33 games.  Only two of their 14 losses came to teams that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament.  Obviously they would like to lose less, but they were in quite a few of those games.

From a glass half full perspective, the Hokies only lose one player after this season, so things are trending in the right direction.

On Wednesday, Buzz will wear the suit he wore to his opening press conference at Virginia Tech.  He’ll do that because if the Hokies win, they’ll still be playing on the two-year anniversary of when he was hired.

In Buzz’s second year at Marquette, they were picked 12th in the Big East.  They started conference play 1-4 with those four losses coming by six points. They ended up going 11-7 in the conference and making the NCAA Tournament.  That season was very special, as well as this one.  In fact, all his seasons have been special for different reasons, so they are hard to rank.

Despite the fact that Tech returns so many players, next year’s team will still be different.  Buzz hopes they can use this season as a springboard like Miami did when they made the NIT last year.

Princeton’s offense is the offensive equivalent of the West Virginia press.  It’s very difficult to prepare for.  The Princeton offense tries to take advantage of all your instincts and habits.  Buzz is used to coaching against the Princeton offense from his days of coaching against Georgetown, but this team has never seen it before.  It’s incredibly difficult to defend.

Williams hopes the team can manufacture some more wins. It would be really cool to take David Jackson back to New York, where he helped Tech win the NIT in 1995.  Charlie Moir stopped by the basketball offices on Sunday, and he is very happy about where the Hokies are right now.

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