The Upside - Virginia Tech

SWC75

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- Afternoon naps are better when you’ve just beaten the #16 team in the country by 18 points. I sept soundly for about 4 hours. (I’m a night owl and have always said that if you can take an afternoon map, you must have needed one.)

- Our offense was excellent, considering that we struggled to hit threes and still scored 78 points. But our defense was what turned this into a blow-out. And it was the adjustments we made that made the defense work. Early on they were hitting threes, especially Keve Alleyne, who had 17 points at halftime. JB said “we forced them off the line” and Tech got just two threes in the second half, both in the last 6 minutes after we’d already established a 19 point lead.

- Alleyne got three second half points, two at two when he opened the scoring with a two point jumper 27 seconds in. After that it was SU 38-24 with Tech’s leading scorer getting 1 of those 24 points as the score mounted.

- Tech burned us with several back-door lay-ups. Then he responded getting 8 blocked shots, (7 by Alan Griffin). We actually seemed to bate them into throwing it to the baseline so we could swat it away and get the ball. Yet our perimeter defense didn’t weaken.

- We were 1 for 6 from three in the first half and it seemed to be another one of ‘those’ games. But we kept moving our feet and the ball and found weaknesses in their defense, including some one-sided match-ups. They couldn’t guard Quincy Guerrier, especially when their big man, 6-9 235 Keve Aluma got in foul trouble. Q scored 20 points and just missed another double-double with 9 rebounds.

- Marek Dolezaj dribbled and spun his way past his man and sometimes double-teams to score 18 points. He also pulled down 6 rebounds. He was so focused on scoring that he had only 1 assist and no blocks or steals. He filled up the stat sheet but it was listing to the right this time.

- Kadary Richmond got in foul trouble in the first half but dominated in the second half. He had a player named Hunter Cattoor on him who was listed as 6-3 but seemed less. The 6-5 Richmond backed him down like Billy Edelin used to and scored repeatedly over him. He wound up with 13 points in just 15 minutes of play.

- Alan Griffin can’t back anybody down yet but he used his athleticism to not only block those 7 shots but to score 15 points and pull down 10 rebounds. Many of his scores came on powerful dunks, most on follow-shots.

- But one on a great 50 foot pass from Joe Girard past three defenders. When we’ve got Joe, Kadary and Marek all out there, the defense can’t keep in front of our passes. We had 8 blocks and 7 steals. They had 2 steals and no blocks.

- It was our second straight crushed soda can game: 83-57 over a decent Miami team and 78-60 over a ranked Tech team. We also have a 101-63 blow-out at Boston College. That’s three conference wins, just as three one-point wins would be. But last year we had four conference wins by 23 points or more. Duke topped that with 6 but Florida State, Virginia and Louisville and one between them. We are inconsistent and vulnerable. We can look bad at times. But when he play well on both offense and defense, we can blow the doors off teams- even ACC teams.

- We finally got a marquee win. I looked it up: We last won consecutive games over ranked teams on November 26-27, 2015 in the Battle for Atlantis. We beat #18 Connecticut 79-76 and ##15 Texas A&M 74-67 to win the tournament, (the last in-season tourney we’ve won – we used to win them seemingly every year). Those wins got us into that year’s NCAA tournament and we wound up in the Final Four. We just beat #16 Virginia Tech 78-60 and will play #13 Virginia Monday night. A win there could propel us into this year’s NCAA tournament.


9-4 (3-3) with ? to go

LET’S GO ORANGE!!!
 

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