Hokies Clobbered At Home By UNC

Posted: January 20, 2012 in Men's Basketball

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[Editors Note: My apologies for the bare layout so far on the site, still working on it and have a lot of placeholder things up right now.]

Okay let’s get this out of the way.  That wasn’t pretty and we all recognize that.  This whole season hasn’t necessarily been pretty either.

The theme of the game tonight was size.  UNC has it, Virginia Tech doesn’t.  That is the biggest problem with this team right now.  The guard play is usually pretty solid whether it be Erick Green, Dorenzo Hudson or even Robert Brown from time to time.  What we never know per game is how the forwards will play.

Victor Davila got manhandled down low by Tyler Zeller and it showed.  Zeller had 14 points and 11 rebounds while Davila had 2 points and 8 rebounds.  This isn’t to call out Vic either, because the other forwards were weak tonight too.  Doe-Doe (Dorian Finney-Smith) played arguably his worst game in a Virginia Tech uniform going 0-5 from the field, turning the ball over twice and amassing 5 fouls throughout the game.  After his putrid first half, Finney-Smith didn’t see much court time in the second.  Granted, Finney-Smith is a freshman and playing a team like UNC isn’t an easy task even for veteran players.  However, this type of play can’t be what Greenberg expected when he was recruiting Doe-Doe: He must get better.  C.J. Barksdale was constantly beaten on defense and had 0 points in 10 minutes.  Cadarian Raines contributed 2 points of his own in 15 minutes with only 2 rebounds on top of it.

Excluding Jarell Eddie, Tech’s forwards combined for 6 points.  That output just won’t cut it against a team with as much talent as UNC.  The sad thing is that there’s not a whole lot Seth Greenberg can do about it.  Against elite level players Tech is undersized, undermanned and over matched. You can say that Greenberg needs to recruit large players better, but that doesn’t help in the now.

Not to be completely negative, I want to give some props to Erick Green and Dorenzo Hudson.  Erick Green was pretty good tonight all things considered.  17 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals isn’t a bad night at the office.  Also, Dorenzo Hudson deserves some major props for his play in the first half.  He came off the bench and absolutely DE-LIV-ERED.  By the time the game was all said and done, Hudson had 16 points on 4-6 three-point shooting.  All of that was in the first half, but most of the Hokies’ points were anyway.

For the Tarheels, there’s nothing I can tell you that you don’t already know.  Zeller is good, Henson is good and Barnes is really good.  Those three players combined for 57 points; that’s 11 fewer points than the Hokies totaled all night. The Hokies had UNC in check with good shooting in the first half (8-16 three-point shooting), but UNC adjusted and made the Hokies keep shooting.  Tech just couldn’t realistically keep that pace up and UNC rolled.  A 19-0 run to start the second half would be the dagger in the game.

The final score tonight was 82-68.  For the fourth straight game, the Hokies shot less than 40% total from the floor.  It’s also the second time this season that the Hokies have led a top-10 team at the half and ended up losing by 10.  That other game was Syracuse in Madison Square Garden in the preseason NIT.   Where the Hokies go now, I don’t exactly know, but it would be hard to see it getting any worse — though I wouldn’t be surprised if it did after Sunday’s game against UVA.  Virginia Tech is 11-7 on the season and 0-4 in ACC play.  This is Tech’s worst start in conference play since the 05-06 season when the Hokies started 0-6 in ACC play.  That Tech team finished 4-12 in league play overall.  It’s hard to think that this team couldn’t muster at least 5 wins in the ACC, but the team hasn’t exactly given fans a reason to be hopeful.

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