Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back To Back Losses Hurt Hokie Dreams Of Dancing

I have two games to make a reference to in this post, but I am only going to go into detail about one of them. The Boston College game was too embarrassing for me to talk about so I'll move on the the game that just finished against Maryland.

Virginia Tech had a six point lead going into halftime tonight against Maryland with things looking pretty good. Greivis Vasquez, Maryland superstar, made sure that the Terps wouldn't be outdone. Vasquez finished the game with 41 points.

For once, Virginia Tech didn't shoot well from the free-throw line. The Hokies shot a mere 71 percent from the foul line. Malcolm Delaney also missed two late free-throws which would have tied the game up.

All of the Hokie starters finished in double digit points except for Victor Davila (who continues to start for some reason). Delaney had 27, Dorenzo Hudson had 21, Jeff Allen had 25 and Terrell Bell had 10.

The Hokie bench contributed nothing with the exception of JT Thompson who had 15 points off the bench.

Some late back and forth scoring made the game go into overtime and eventually into double overtime. A late attempt at a game winning three-pointer by the Hokies went just long as Maryland pulled in the rebound.

Maryland pulls out the thriller: 104-100.

With these back to back ACC losses, Virginia Tech's hopes of making the NCAA Tournament seem to be all but gone. At this point it will likely take Virginia Tech making the ACC Finals or winning the ACC Tournament in order for them to have a good enough resume to make the Big Dance.

Virginia Tech falls to 21-7 on the season and 8-6 in ACC play while Maryland moves to 21-7 on the season and 11-3 in ACC play.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hokies Fall Short Against Duke

Virginia Tech looked to take down the ACC's top dog, the Duke Blue Devils. Unfortunately, Duke was who we all thought they were -- Duke.

Virginia Tech got down early in the first half. Foul trouble plagued Jeff Allen once again as he was limited in his playing time.

Looking back at the stats, Virginia Tech should have been able to win this game. Duke accumulated only one point off the bench. Had Virginia Tech been able to get the starters into foul trouble, the Hokies might have been able to be more aggressive.

The Hokies would storm back in the second half taking the lead but a late 14-4 run by Duke, including two three-pointers in the last minute, locked up the game.

Duke beat Virginia Tech: 67-55

Seth Greenberg couldn't have been happy with the performance. The Hokies struggled to get points from behind the arc and the bench provided almost nothing. Victor Davila and Terrell Bell started hot but then remained quiet for the rest of the game. Dorenzo Hudson struggled shooting the ball, missing two wide open three-pointers which could have shifted the momentum.

Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith for Duke couldn't be stopped, both scoring 25 and 23 respectively. Jon Scheyer also added 15 points of his own.

Virginia Tech falls to 21-5 on the season and 8-4 in ACC play while Duke moves to 23-4 on the season and 11-2 in the ACC.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Determined Hokies Fight Back Against Wake In Enormous ACC Victory

As I type this right now my voice is all but gone. The atmosphere in Cassell Coliseum tonight was electric and it reminds me why I love this school so much. Enough of my musings though, on to the recap.

Early in the game it looked as though Wake Forest was going to run train on Virginia Tech. Al-Farouq Aminu for Wake Forest was having a monster game amassing over 17 points in the first half.

Virginia Tech couldn't shoot the ball in the first half, shooting just over 60 percent from the foul line and missed every three-pointer attempted.

Heading into halftime the Hokies were obviously shaken, as well as the fans who were painfully silent (myself included). Once the second half started though, things picked up in a big way.

About halfway through the second half, Malcolm Delaney went down with an injury. The crowd sat looking on in silence, but their worries were eased as J.T. Thompson stepped up big with six points while Delaney was out.

Delaney came back in the game shortly thereafter and proceeded to put on a clinic. Delaney finished the game with 31 points. Delaney would foul out late in the game.

Luckily for the Hokies, Dorenzo Hudson somehow stayed out of foul trouble while able to put up 21 points. Dorenzo gave the Hokies someone to turn to once Delaney fouled out.

Late in the game when Virginia Tech was up just four, in an attempt to put up a three-pointer, Wake Forest committed a traveling violation which sealed the game for the Hokies.

Virginia Tech beats Wake Forest: 87-83

This win against #23 Wake Forest should push Virginia Tech into the NCAA tournament with a decent run in the ACC Tournament. Virginia Tech moves to 21-4 and 8-3 in the ACC. The Hokies are now 2nd in the ACC right behind Duke. Wake Forest drops to 18-6 on the season and 8-4 in conference play.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Just Like Football!"

It was a true nail biter last night at Cassell Coliseum . Virginia Tech took on their in-state rival UVA in what was a huge ACC game for these two bubble teams.

As the game went back and forth in the first half, UVA went up at the half by four. After a much comic relief via a giant "Simon Says" game at halftime, Virginia Tech came out flying in the second half.

While Mike Scott for UVA led all scorers with 20 points, Dorenzo Hudson, Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen all amassed over 13 points. Jeff Allen was arguably player of the game with 13 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 blocks.

With under 1:30 left to play in the second half, Jeff Allen hit a clutch 3-pointer to break the tie. With some late fouls and clutch shooting, Virginia Tech was able to pull out the win: 61-55

And as the clock ticked to 0:00, the chant of "Just like football!" rang around the entire coliseum.

Virginia Tech moves to 20-4 on the season and 7-3 in ACC play. UVA falls to 14-8 on the season and 5-4 in ACC play.

The Hokies play Wake Forest at home this Tuesday. With a win over Wake Forest, Virginia Tech might finally push themselves past the bubble into the NCAA tournament.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hokies Hunt Down Wolf Pack In Brutal ACC Victory

The Hokies claimed a very convincing win last night going to NC State and destroying the Wolf Pack.

The Hokies were led in scoring by Dorenzo Hudson who put up 23 points. Malcolm Delaney contributed 15 of his own and Jeff Allen put up 14.

The story of the night was Virginia Tech's defense which continues to stifle offenses and cause miscues among opponents. NC State was held to 52 points and shot 28.6 percent from the field and a pathetic 0.0 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

There isn't really a lot to say about this game simply because there wasn't a lot of a game being played last night. One thing I would like to touch on though is at the end of the first half, Virginia Tech seemed to become a little complacent in their lead of 19 points. In all fairness, it's very easy to become complacent with a lead that big but it still worried me when NC State pulled the game within 8 points and went on a very impressive run.

Virginia Tech returns to Cassell Coliseum to face UVA and Wake Forest before going to Duke.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Back To Back ACC Wins Gives Hope To Hokie Hoops

This past week was immensely important for the Hokies in terms of establishing a resume for the NCAA Tournament. To the delight of Hokie Nation, the Hokies came through in the clutch with two major wins.

On Thursday the Hokies took on the North Carolina Tarheels.

The Hokies ran into some foul trouble early in the game; by games end, the Hokies only had one starter who had not committed four personal fouls.

Once again the Hokies had limited contribution from the bench with eight of ten points coming from J.T. Thompson. Malcolm Delaney led all scorers with 21 points.

North Carolina would essentially lose the game from the free-throw line, shooting only 67 percent. Those 10 points would be the difference in the game.

With a strong surge in the second half the Hokies came back to win the game: 74-70

This past Saturday the Hokies took on Clemson, another ACC contender. Because of the mass amounts of snow on the ground students gained admission free, and let me just say, that was a long and cold line. Once inside though the action begun and Cassell was packed.

This game was interesting in the fact that over half of Virginia Tech's points came off of free throws, 20 of those from Malcolm Delaney. Virginia Tech shot 46 free throws and made 38 of them, a season for both.

Speaking of Delaney, he recorded a humble 30 points in 40 minutes of playing time. As is the trend with Virginia Tech basketball, there was little to no production from the bench with only nine points.

Both the Clemson Tigers and the Virginia Tech Hokies shot a poor 30.6 percent from the field. This percent is a season low for Clemson.

Virginia Tech was able to use this to their advantage though by driving the lane and getting Clemson into heavy foul trouble. Two of the Tiger starters fouled out late in the game with three other players having four personal fouls.

Virginia Tech pulled out the win over Clemson: 70-59.

Over the weekend Virginia Tech moved to 18-4 on the season and 5-3 in ACC play. Clemson fell to 16-7 on the season with a 4-5 record in the ACC. Virginia Tech takes on NC State Feb. 10.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sizing Up Virginia Tech's Recruiting Class For Football 2010

Signing day is an important step in building any respectable college football program. As national signing day comes to a close, I'm going to shed a little more light on Virginia Tech's 2010 recruiting class.

Top 3 Players To Watch:

1:
Zack McCray, DE, Brookville. McCray, in my opinion, is the best player Virginia Tech locked up this year. He is a fast and strong defensive end and I could see him starting as a sophomore. At 6'5" he has the ability to be a good pass deflector and at 235 pounds he has the ability to be very fast off the edge. Most sites I have seen have McCray as either a 3-star or 4-star recruit, but I would place him in the 4-star range.

2: Brian Laiti, LB, Robinson. Laiti is a solid 3-star recruit, but what stands out to me is the resemblance that he has with Cody Grimm. Laiti was recruited by Bud Foster himself, so you have to think Bud saw something special in this kid. Laiti is a solid 6'3", 230 pounds so he has the size needed to play at the Division I level. With a little more work on the fundamentals, Laiti could be a big play maker like Grimm was this past season.

3: Nick Dew, S/OLB, First Colonial. Nick Dew is Virginia Tech's highest rated player according to most major recruiting websites. He is a 4-star recruit on most sites, but I have seen a couple 3-star ratings. Dew is an ESPN top 150 player and is ranked 201 in the country according to Scouts.com. Dew has the potential to play strong safety or outside line backer, depending on how Foster sees fit. Dew lacks top end speed but has a very physical presence.

Possible Sleepers

1:
Mark Leal, QB, Atlantic. Leal is small for a Division I quarterback at 6'0" and 190 pounds, but he has a lot of upside to him. Leal is a solid 3-star recruit and is the 28th ranked dual-threat quarterback according to Rivals. Leal is pretty fast for a quarterback and Virginia Tech could use him in the future as a good scrambling quarterback (Something Virginia Tech is known for). With some more work on mechanics, Leal could pan out to be a pretty good pick-up.

2: E.L. Smiling, WR, Brooke Point. Smiling is an overlooked player in this years draft class because wide receiver isn't a top priority for Virginia Tech right now. In spite of this, Smiling is a well built, well rounded receiver. At 6'3", Smiling has the ability to go up and get the ball at its highest point, a skill very useful for receivers. Smiling isn't the fastest player on the field, but he could make a good possession receiver.

3: Jerome Lewis, TE, Bishop Kearney. Lewis is another overlooked player in this years class. Jerome is the 21st best tight end according to Rivals and is the 3rd best player in the state of New York. Lewis can be a good receiving tight end and has the possibility to be a good blocker if he puts on some more weight. Lewis should be a very good player in about two to three years.

Overall Grade: B

This isn't the best recruiting class that Virginia Tech has had, but it's not bad. Tech locked up three to four 4-star recruits depending on who you listen to and has quite a bit of 3-star talent. With some good coaching like Virginia Tech can provide, this should be a good group of players moving forward.
 
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