A Win Is A Win Is A Win

Posted: January 23, 2012 in Men's Basketball

It’s about damn time.

I’ll say that again – It’s about damn time.

The Hokies finally earned their first ACC win of the season and it’s just a little bit sweeter because it came against in-state rival UVA. This was the Hokies’ first road win against a ranked team since 2009 when Tech upset No. 12 Clemson.  This was also the fewest points that Tech has scored in a win since 1997.  Most importantly though, this is a huge win for the Hokies and there is a lot of good to take away from this game.

For starters, the Hokies were able to contain UVA’s best player, Mike Scott.  In 36 minutes of playing time, Scott only scored 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.  This was the biggest question coming into the game, whether or not Tech would be able to slow Scott down.  If the Hokies managed to slow Scott down, I thought Tech had a chance.  Well they did manage to slow Scott down, and they did have a chance.  And for the first time all season, they took advantage of that chance.

Secondly, I’m extremely impressed with Dorenzo Hudson.  It would have been very easy for him to get discouraged coming off the bench in the past two games, but instead of moping about, he’s trying to make the most out of his senior year.  Today Hudson scored 12 points off the bench, including the game winning three-pointer with 17 seconds left.  That bucket iced the game for the Hokies.

Lastly, despite the Wahoo’s stellar defense, the Hokies managed to shoot above 40% for the first time in five games.  It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Hokies did manage to shoot 45% from the field and 39% from three.  Tech didn’t score a lot of points but neither team did.  That’s a credit to UVA’s defense and Virginia Tech’s resiliency all at once.  UVA is a very good team, but their style of play lends itself to close games against good teams.  They will win a lot of games this season, but they will also lose some games that they shouldn’t because of their snails pace.  Today was one of those days.

All of that aside, there are still some major issues with this team.  Doe-Doe doesn’t fit into this offense at all.  He was held scoreless on 1 shot today and only pulled down 1 rebound in 17 minutes of play.  I’m not entirely sure how Greenberg can work Finney-Smith into the offense, but he has to try something.  Also, Tech has to do a better job getting to the free-throw line.  UVA shot 22 free-throws today while Virginia Tech shot 7.  This speaks to a lack of aggression from the forwards and a lack of ability to work the ball inside.  Neither of these two things should surprise anyone who has watched this team at length this season.  It’s no secret that this team is fairly soft.

Not one Virginia Tech fan should be uttering the phrase “NCAA Tournament” or any variation of it at this point in the season because that’s not realistic.  The goal should be to get better as a team and to show improvement.  Today has the potential to be a big stepping stone for a young team.  I’m hoping Seth Greenberg is able to keep the team motivated moving forward and can continue to improve little by little each game.  This team doesn’t have bad players, but they need an identity.  Tech ran a lot of plays today with a smaller lineup on the court and played from the perimeter in. If Tech plans to be a perimeter heavy team, so be it, but the Hokies need to go ahead and embrace it.

This is a nice way to rebound from the collapse against UNC, but the team needs to stay focused.  Winning 47-45 on the road against No. 17 UVA won’t salvage this season, but it’s a damn good way to build some confidence in this team.  The Hokies now sit at 12-7 on the season and 1-4 in ACC play. Up next: The BYU Stormin’ Mormons Cougars.

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