For the entire season, Malcolm Delaney and A.D. Vassallo have carried the Hokies, with a lot of help from Jeff Allen. Quality production from Tech’s role players has been rare, and that’s one of the things that has held the team back. Thursday’s game was different, as the Hokies got some terrific play from a couple of guys who have been inconsistent all season.
We’ve seen J.T. Thompson have good games. We’ve seen Dorenzo Hudson have decent outings. We’ve also seen Lewis Witcher, Victor Davila, Hank Thorns, Cheick Diakite and Terrell Bell play quality minutes. However, there haven’t been very many games where Tech has gotten good production from more than one of those guys.
Seth Greenberg changed his starting lineup against Miami, inserting Dorenzo Hudson in place of Hank Thorns. He also shortened his bench. J.T. Thompson was the only reserve to play more than nine minutes. Those turned out to be great moves, as Hudson and Thompson had arguably their best games of the season.
Thompson finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. He played good defense, threw down a couple of dunks, displayed toughness on the inside, and in general he just came up with the energy plays that everyone expected him to make this season when he came back from his injury.
Dorenzo Hudson enrolled at Virginia Tech as a highly-touted scorer, but his offensive game has yet to come around, though I do see progress. Where Hudson is really improving is on the defensive end, and that’s very important for this Tech team.
On Thursday, Hudson was tasked with guarding Jack McClinton, arguably the most explosive player in the ACC. McClinton isn’t consistent, but when he’s on, look out. To me, he’s the Kobe Bryant of the ACC. He can knock down 25-foot three-pointers with two guys hanging off his shorts. You can play perfect defense, and he can still beat you.
Hudson played defense as well as it could possibly be played against McClinton. The best example was on one of McClinton’s traveling violations. He pump faked and leaned into Hudson, expecting Dorenzo to leave his feet and commit the foul. But Hudson kept his feet planted and his hands in the air, and McClinton slammed right into him.
That’s the second instance this year where Hudson’s defense has been critical to Tech’s success. In the Hokies’ win...
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