The Virginia Tech Friday Q&A: The Improved Basketball Team, Spring Game Format, And More

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Nahiem Alleyne’s shooting is finally coming around for Virginia Tech. (Ivan Morozov)

1) Is the resurgence of the Virginia Tech basketball team as simple as making shots, or is there more to it? – HokieByWater

Chris Coleman: I think there is a variety of reasons for winning four games in a row (and hopefully five tomorrow).

First, yes, shooting has improved I think, though in the case of Georgia Tech and the two games against Pitt, that could be due to poor opposition as much as anything. However, in the case of the Florida State victory, yes, absolutely, the Hokies shot the lights out.

Second, like I said in the previous paragraph, Georgia Tech and Pitt are very poor basketball teams. Anybody who looked at the upcoming schedule after the FSU win would have noticed that there were a number of winnable games coming up as long as the Hokies played to their potential, which they’ve done. Tech hasn’t had a great deal of luck in late-game situations this year, but when you hammer the opposition by double digits, then you eliminate the luck factor. Tech took care of business against teams they should have taken care of business against.

Third, I think we’ve seen some individual improvement from players. Storm Murphy is playing better, and young guys like Sean Padulla, Darius Maddox and David N’Guessan seem to have improved as well. For the latter three, it’s probably just been a matter of continuing to learn the Mike Young offense and adjust to the speed of the college game. Maddox has always been a very good shooter, but I think he’s playing better off the ball on both ends of the court, which shows that his knowledge of the game and the offensive and defensive philosophies is improving.

Fourth, I think Nahiem Alleyne is playing better basketball right now. Going back to the UNC game, he’s 21-of-46 (45.6%) from the field and 14-of-28 (50%) from three-point range. He’s 36.3% from the field and 38.7% from the outside for the season, so his recent performances have been a massive leap in the right direction.

Hopefully No. 3 and No. 4 continue as the level of competition improves from the GT and Pitt games. Recall that Alleyne shot 31.9% from the field and 32.4% from three-point range from the beginning of the season through January 4. From December 1 through January 4, he shot 23.4% from the field and 25% from the outside. He’s always been a bit of a streaky shooter, so it wasn’t likely that he was going to continue at such a poor clip for the entire season. Hopefully he stays hot down the stretch. If he does, then Virginia Tech has a chance to close the season strong.

I’m not an X’s and O’s guy in basketball, so I’ll avoid that topic and leave it to others who are more knowledgeable. To me, those four reasons I listed above seem to be the main reason for Virginia Tech’s improvement.

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