Random Positive (mostly) thoughts from VTech Game | Syracusefan.com

Random Positive (mostly) thoughts from VTech Game

Nicknack

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Some of these things have been discussed, but just want to share thoughts that I jotted down while watching the game (and re-watching the second half today).

- Brown and JT have some kind of connection forming. Brown loves to find JT cutting to the basket and it's a thing of beauty. I noticed this during the ND game and it just continued in last night's game.

- A lot of respect for JT, who instead of sulking, is finding another way to score and at key moments. Had a couple really good cuts to the basket leading to layups and nailed his two free throws. I think he's decided to put his outside shooting on ice for now, which I think may be a good strategy. It will eventually come back (hopefully sooner than later) and once it does, because he's working on other aspects of his game, he's going to be a very solid all-around player.

- Just a great game from Judah. He didn't over rely on one thing. It was a nice balance of mid range jumpers, excellent drives, and a few of his drive to force a foul plays. He clearly gets under the skin of his opponents. On one play, Vtech players on the bench were giving him a hard time. On another play, he forced Cattor to foul him and the dude was super frustrated. One of my favorite plays by Judah was when he nearly turned the ball over (at the 11 min mark) yet he dives to save it. He then deflects teh ball 2-3 more times, while on the floor. Just great effort and fight. Say what you want to about Judah, but he is an elite talent. I loved his game last night. Didn't force things.

- At the 14:20 min mark (first half), the camera showed Copeland on the bench. He appeared very positive but was just bubbling with energy waiting to get his chance to enter the game. I remember back to a comment that Seth Greenberg said about our bench during the game he commentated. He was critical of guys not being in the game. Copeland was just the opposite. So alert, and ready. As for Cope's game, really did some nice things out there, especially his 4 assists to only one turnover. The only thing critical that I'll add here is that I counted at least four (and there may very well been more) layups that he missed. They were a very high degree of difficulty. I think he should either try to make some of those easier for himself or not take them and pull the ball out.

- Brown very active once again. Along with his 12 points, he had 8 boards, 2 outstanding assists (to JT - see above), and 2 steals. While he got two steals, he caused more with his poka-ball. I just love that defensive effort he gives. It must REALLY annoy defenders. At the 10:40 mark, VTech got it down low in good position to score but Brown polked the ball free which led to a steal by a teammate and 2 points. That doesn't show up in stats but was such a great play that he creates often. To be fair, he did get abused at times by Kidd, but that's what you sometimes get when your a forward playing center. That said, he's got to do better defending down low even when he's up against beefier dudes.

- Glad to see Carey back, even though in very limited minutes. Even if he only gives us four min, that helps with as thin as we've become. You can see he's hungry, but just not very effective yet. As was the case with Brown, he got abused by Kidd down low. The one time I recall, he was actually playing really good defense but Kidd just kept bumping him back (with his muscle and weight), which led to an easy VTech score.

- Chris came back to earth with his 3pt shooting last night, only hitting one. However, he did get two blocks, one which was epic. The VTech player appeared to have a layup and Bell erased it. That led to a basket for us on the other end. That was a 4pt swing, so instead of being up only 7pts, we went up 11. I also like on one 3pt shot attempt he faked it, and then drove and made an athletic move to get 2pts that looked Mintz like. I'd like to see Bell do more of this. He's a really good player that just needs to be pushed to do more, because he can.

- Just a small quibble, but I'm not a fan towards the end of the first half intentionally fouling VTech with 7 seconds left. I don't think that does much, but it does give Judah a foul. What if he picks up another on the very next play? Then he enters the 2nd half with two fouls. I just don't see the benefit doing this. Just play defense straight up.

- Great job by the team not repeating what has happened lately. Yeah, we let VTech get back into it, but we kept playing and punched back to avoid another nail biter.

- We beat Virginia Tech in numerous ways, more rebounds, assists, less turnovers, more blocks, more steals, and obviously - more points. Just two more wins to get before ACC tournament play. We get these next two, we will enter the bubble conversation. I'm really impressed with what the team and coaching staff are during these past few games!
 

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