My Take | Syracusefan.com

My Take

sutomcat

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I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the basketball tradition at VT and the comments their fans made on their board yesterday, but wow, it was strange to see such a pathetic crowd for a game against the #2 team in the county. And it is not like the ACC is the Old Big East, where you might have 4 or 5 games against top 20 teams in your arena in a given year (right now the only ranked ACC schools are Syracuse and Duke).

If the size of the crowd was bad, the level of enthusiasm was awful. What a quiet and subdued atmosphere. The only noise I heard all game was the low rumple of the diesel engines of the tractors the VT fans left running in the parking lot as they went in to watch the game. Maybe the diesel fumes made them catatonic?

Anyway, the way VT played defense, there was no way in hell they were ever going to beat Syracuse. They played a really bad zone and at time employed an even worse man to man. SU players had an open 15 foot jumper at any time all game long. They also weren't very good at stopping penetration, and might have been the worst defensive rebounding team I have seen in this millenium. Heck, they made BMK look like Dennis Rodman on the glass. Very rare.

The positives for VT: they did have a couple good outside shooters. That kid Smith with the mini Afro was impressive; he has serious range outside. Given the atmosphere and relative lack of talent, it was almost like old times, with SU playing Rutgers and Smith playing the role of Quincy Douby.

quincy_douby.jpg


I am not sure I have ever seen SU tilt the zone to take a player away like they did in the 2nd half to prevent Smith from being a factor. He was getting doubled 30 feet out.

You would think this would lead to some serious issues covering people inside and to some degree it did. VT had a couple of beefy but undersized centers who were able to hurt SU somewhat in the paint, but they did it in the most unathletic ways possible. It reminded me of this scene from "Along Came Polly":

hqdefault.jpg


Anyway, it was good to see SU make a bunch of open jumpers, get some points inside and have a relatively easy conference victory on the road. Happy that My Three Sons got a little playing time and glad to see DC2 out and about again. Tyler Roberson continues to show signs of developing, that 15 foot jumper early had to help his confidence. Good to see Silent G getting more assertive on offense, we have talked about the need for this and it looks like he is addressing the problem. Also enjoyed watching the cat and mouse game between Hokie star Jarell Eddie and CJ. Eddie was responsible for covering CJ most of the game, wanted desperately to block his shot and blew by him at the slightest hint of a shot fake from Fair. Fair must have gotten 4 or 5 easy mid range jumpers as a result.

My biggest disappointment was with Rak, who ended a mini streak of encouraging games. He got in foul trouble early but I think the nature of the opponent was the biggest thing that cost him minutes. JB wanted BMK out there flying around trying to block 3s from the center position like only he can. His rebounding challenges were not really an issue against the poor rebounding Hokies.

Just one other comment: Grant is struggling a bit converting short and mid range shots but continues to get better and better on defense, where he is great at providing weak side support and cat quick covering the vast areas he is responsible for in the SU 2-3 and rebounding the ball, where he has emerged as our best rebounder. Looks like a good bet he is going to lead the team in rebounding this year, which is something I would not have guessed in the pre-season.
 

Orangeyes

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I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the basketball tradition at VT and the comments their fans made on their board yesterday, but wow, it was strange to see such a pathetic crowd for a game against the #2 team in the county. And it is not like the ACC is the Old Big East, where you might have 4 or 5 games against top 20 teams in your arena in a given year (right now the only ranked ACC schools are Syracuse and Duke).

If the size of the crowd was bad, the level of enthusiasm was awful. What a quiet and subdued atmosphere. The only noise I heard all game was the low rumple of the diesel engines of the tractors the VT fans left running in the parking lot as they went in to watch the game. Maybe the diesel fumes made them catatonic?

Anyway, the way VT played defense, there was no way in hell they were ever going to beat Syracuse. They played a really bad zone and at time employed an even worse man to man. SU players had an open 15 foot jumper at any time all game long. They also weren't very good at stopping penetration, and might have been the worst defensive rebounding team I have seen in this millenium. Heck, they made BMK look like Dennis Rodman on the glass. Very rare.

The positives for VT: they did have a couple good outside shooters. That kid Smith with the mini Afro was impressive; he has serious range outside. Given the atmosphere and relative lack of talent, it was almost like old times, with SU playing Rutgers and Smith playing the role of Quincy Douby.

quincy_douby.jpg


I am not sure I have ever seen SU tilt the zone to take a player away like they did in the 2nd half to prevent Smith from being a factor. He was getting doubled 30 feet out.

You would think this would lead to some serious issues covering people inside and to some degree it did. VT had a couple of beefy but undersized centers who were able to hurt SU somewhat in the paint, but they did it in the most unathletic ways possible. It reminded me of this scene from "Along Came Polly":

hqdefault.jpg


Anyway, it was good to see SU make a bunch of open jumpers, get some points inside and have a relatively easy conference victory on the road. Happy that My Three Sons got a little playing time and glad to see DC2 out and about again. Tyler Roberson continues to show signs of developing, that 15 foot jumper early had to help his confidence. Good to see Silent G getting more assertive on offense, we have talked about the need for this and it looks like he is addressing the problem. Also enjoyed watching the cat and mouse game between Hokie star Jarell Eddie and CJ. Eddie was responsible for covering CJ most of the game, wanted desperately to block his shot and blew by him at the slightest hint of a shot fake from Fair. Fair must have gotten 4 or 5 easy mid range jumpers as a result.

My biggest disappointment was with Rak, who ended a mini streak of encouraging games. He got in foul trouble early but I think the nature of the opponent was the biggest thing that cost him minutes. JB wanted BMK out there flying around trying to block 3s from the center position like only he can. His rebounding challenges were not really an issue against the poor rebounding Hokies.

Just one other comment: Grant is struggling a bit converting short and mid range shots but continues to get better and better on defense, where he is great at providing weak side support and cat quick covering the vast areas he is responsible for in the SU 2-3 and rebounding the ball, where he has emerged as our best rebounder. Looks like a good bet he is going to lead the team in rebounding this year, which is something I would not have guessed in the pre-season.
That 2nd picture is disturbing
 

pfister1

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Interesting stat from last night.

SU starters played 141 of the available 200 minutes (70%) last night and as a group only had 1 turnover. Even CJ managed to hold onto the ball last night.
 

Jack Hall

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Interesting stat from last night.

SU starters played 141 of the available 200 minutes (70%) last night and as a group only had 1 turnover. Even CJ managed to hold onto the ball last night.
Most extended i have ever seen JBs zone, or at least i have never seen it more extended out on outside shooters. At a couple pts TC was so extended on smith that it looked almost like we were playing a box and one, which i can never remember us doing
 

cpatrocks

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I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the basketball tradition at VT and the comments their fans made on their board yesterday, but wow, it was strange to see such a pathetic crowd for a game against the #2 team in the county. And it is not like the ACC is the Old Big East, where you might have 4 or 5 games against top 20 teams in your arena in a given year (right now the only ranked ACC schools are Syracuse and Duke).

If the size of the crowd was bad, the level of enthusiasm was awful. What a quiet and subdued atmosphere. The only noise I heard all game was the low rumple of the diesel engines of the tractors the VT fans left running in the parking lot as they went in to watch the game. Maybe the diesel fumes made them catatonic?

We can never complain about Dome attendance again after that miserable display of fan support. That was embarrassing.
 

thebigeast44

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Nice write up. Couple points - Rak got boned on a mystery foul and as a result was in early foul trouble in the first half and then picked up an early one in the 2nd. He never really had a chance to get going due to that call at the start of the game.

And I think Grant could do a better job defending the 3 ball. He lost guys a couple times in the first half.
 

jordoo

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Nice write up. Couple points - Rak got boned on a mystery foul and as a result was in early foul trouble in the first half and then picked up an early one in the 2nd. He never really had a chance to get going due to that call at the start of the game.

And I think Grant could do a better job defending the 3 ball. He lost guys a couple times in the first half.

Grant particularly doesn't like to cover that guy FT line extended way out. He seems to always let them shoot even if they are the tagged shooter. The 3 that cut it to 4 and had JB call a TO was just like that.

I am not really worried abut Rak he's making progress and as you and others have mentioned the one foul was bogus and really this was a game tailor made for Baye in the middle.
 

SoBristol

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Grant particularly doesn't like to cover that guy FT line extended way out. He seems to always let them shoot even if they are the tagged shooter. The 3 that cut it to 4 and had JB call a TO was just like that.

I am not really worried abut Rak he's making progress and as you and others have mentioned the one foul was bogus and really this was a game tailor made for Baye in the middle.

We are fortunate to have forwards like CJ and Grant who can extend to defend the 3, and still get back to contest the inside cut. But teams are going to get that deep 3 -- it is the risk you take with our zone.

I agree about Rak's progress. The flip side is that Baye needed a game where he could be a positive factor. Have to keep both our centers going well.
 

jordoo

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We are fortunate to have forwards like CJ and Grant who can extend to defend the 3, and still get back to contest the inside cut. But teams are going to get that deep 3 -- it is the risk you take with our zone.

I agree about Rak's progress. The flip side is that Baye needed a game where he could be a positive factor. Have to keep both our centers going well.

No doubt they cover far more than they ever used to. Some of that is a function of the zone being so good that teams and coaches simply kind of give up and move further and further away to jack 3's and some is that we recruit players for that purpose. Last night we basically guarded the one kid (Smith I think) all the way out to 30' in the second half. JB got after Jerami for not going out on him on that one shot. I'm fine with teams using this strategy against us because even when you have the shooters to do it you're only going to beat us 1 out of 50 that way and you'd still have to be able to stop us.
 

SoBristol

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Yes -- of course, get out on the opponent's best shooter. But if we get beat, it will be by a team that can get scoring from the high post and down low, as well as some from the outside. At times, we have looked vulnerable to the inside cuts.
 

jimsonjunction

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Agree with the general consensus on Rak - the fouls were tacky and it kept him from having a good game.

But there was one play early on where he had the ball in the post, excellent position, no help... He passed it out to Ennis at the top of the key, and I wanted to pull my hair out. Take that baby hook!
 

RoysRunts

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I thought VT had a rep as a tough place to play.
Valid Argument made by Virginia Newpaper "Students remain on break, temps dipped to single digits, and tipoff was after 9 p.m. So even with undefeated and second-ranked Syracuse in town, Cassell Coliseum offered negligible homecourt advantage to Virginia Tech on Tuesday." plus a Flu outbreak..
 

CuseFaninVT

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We are fortunate to have forwards like CJ and Grant who can extend to defend the 3, and still get back to contest the inside cut. But teams are going to get that deep 3 -- it is the risk you take with our zone.

I agree about Rak's progress. The flip side is that Baye needed a game where he could be a positive factor. Have to keep both our centers going well.

Grant is much better than CJ at covering the distance. CJ had a few give aways down low last night, and at least one that all he could do was foul because he was too stationary out at the foul line extended. I guess that's the dynamic in play - cover the alleyoops and back door cuts and give up three bombs, or give away the occasional two point lay up.
 

cpatrocks

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Valid Argument made by Virginia Newpaper "Students remain on break, temps dipped to single digits, and tipoff was after 9 p.m. So even with undefeated and second-ranked Syracuse in town, Cassell Coliseum offered negligible homecourt advantage to Virginia Tech on Tuesday." plus a Flu outbreak..

If all those things happened at the Dome with the #2 team in the country visiting, we still would have had at least 29,ooo fans there.
 

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