[Ed. Note: Bumped from Fan Posts]
Well Hokie fans, this was a tough one to swallow. Shades of last season. Getting out to a slow start and going down more than 10 early on, and then coming back furiously to lose by just a few points. We certainly didn't need this to pop its head up at this point in the season, but it did. So, here are the reasons we've got to look at for why we lost, and also what positives came out of this going forward.
The 5 reasons that we lost
1. It was a terribly officiated game. Neither of those fouls on Dorenzo from 3 were legit, the Erick Green offensive foul call where he swung the ball with his arms was awful (hence the tech on Seth), and JT should have been to the line at least twice more, as he was getting hacked and bullied in the lane. I know you can't expect exactly "fair" treatment on the road, but there were some real puzzlers this afternoon. The worst kind of officiating is the kind that is not consistent, and Miami jump-shooters were flinching and showing off their acting skills all game long. It would've been okay in my book had Malcolm and Dorenzo's acting attempts been equally rewarded, or if JT ACTUALLY being hacked was either. Apparently here's what we can take out of this game. UMiami's acting classes>Tech's acting classes.
2. Having said that, WE lost this game ourselves, not because of the refs. How many times were we behind by just 5 points? How many bad shots did we put up quick into the possession? How many bad passes did we make? Or how many 3-point shooters did we leave open off of a switch?
3. Malcolm and Dorenzo have got to stop putting up shots and flinching midway through the release to try to trick the ref's eye. Just put up your shot and if you get fouled try and hit the AND-1. Simple fundamental basketball.
4. Penetration! The commentators were all over this all game long and it's our achilles heel. We can't continue to run our offense from 35 feet out and make a move towards the basket with 10 seconds left, swing the ball in an attempt to open up a 3-point shooter at the end of the shot clock. We are NOT a good enough 3-point shooting team to live and die by the 3-ball. We seem content to be pushed out by our opponents, because you know that's in the scouting report. "They will let us make them set up from the half-court line if we make them." Given the fact that we already struggle against more physical teams, I don't think we should give them an easier out in that respect. We need penetration and kickouts to free up shooters and get good shots!
5. When ANYBODY shoots THAT LIGHTS OUT from 3 is hard to stop. Case and point the 3-pointer at the buzzer in the first half. Jeff Allen couldn't have played any better defense on the closeout and yet he still hits the shot from the U at mid-court (and yes, that was exaggeration).
Positives going forward
1. The play of the enigmatic JT Thompson recently has been the key to our success, or in this case, even being in this one. He brings a toughness right now that nobody else on this team has, or chooses to show (Jeff Allen).
2. Dorenzo Hudson continues to be a scorer, despite some questionable shot selection. He hit some ridiculous shots tonight...shots he is not likely to replicate soon or on a regular basis. However, as much as I question him, he keeps showing up.
3. Speaking of enigmas, Jeff Allen came out of his funk tonight, scoring 19. But he still has plenty more to go before he returns to his usual solid form. For one, I want to see us post more, both with Allen and Davila. They are seeing very little of the ball even coming through the post. So guys that play guard...AHEM...put the ball in the hands of the post players so you can establish them.
4. Seth has gotta tell these guys that they are THIS close. He's gotta commend them for the effort, and tell them that it's hard when you're going up against two teams (the team in the Green and Orange and the one in the Black and White). You gotta respect their fight tonight, and if they get positive reinforcement for that, you have to think that they will play better.