The Hokies used a late first half push and an early second half run to show the (insert Monmouth team mascot here)'s the difference between the ACC and the (insert Monmouth's conference name here). Want those answers and more from a guy who just fastidiously watched the game on ESPN3? Well you've come to the right place.
First of all, I have to get this off my chest: THOSE COMMENTATORS ON ESPN3 WERE THE WORST I'VE EVER HEARD! Just like every other experience I have had with games on that site, they take their worst broadcast teams (this time it was the same pairing as Saturday's game, Scott Corrigan and Pat Kennedy) and just throw them on assignments and say "you used to be a player, coach or you're someone at ESPN's nephew. Well here ya go, here's a game to do. Don't worry, it's online nobody will really be watching. Do your best and that's all we ask. Good luck."
These guys are SO bad that for the play-by-play guy, Corrigan, the first result that I found on him was his name on a "watch out" list to prevent you from having to hear bad commentary on the site awfulannouncing.com. Seriously, check out the link. I can't even make this stuff up! If you suffered through this game like I did you know it's real. Being a commentator makes you notice these things and it bugs the hell out of you!
If I heard those guys say "no doubt," "without a question," "teaching lesson," "key player," "what a great job the refs do," "in reference to (insert either King (Monmouth's coach's name) or Seth here)" or "program/culture building" or talk about how great every guy in the world is at what he does I thought I was going to go on a rampage. That's fluff. That's slow-pitch softball commentary. It tells us nothing and it makes you look and sound like you don't know what you're talking about. Also Corrigan (mistakenly I believe) made a reference to the Bed Intruder Song...not sure where that one came from.
Now onto the game. Yeah, we won 91-46, and there is a lot of praise to go around. Obviously we looked like an absolutely different team with Green running the point. Our shot selection was better, our fast break was better, and we moved the ball as a team better. Pretty much everyone passed the ball well. The one player who REALLY disappointed me was Cadarian Raines. I implored him to work on his low post moves and concentration/touch around the rim in my pre-season preview. But to this point, he's been absolutely just as invisible on offense, scoring 5 points in 2 games while shooting six shots (hitting two) and taking five free throws (hitting one). That HAS to get better. He's still looking incredibly raw and rushes his shots which screws up his touch when he is underneath the basket. They're not difficult shots, but nerves are playing a big factor. He also missed (as in didn't see/make) a couple of wide-open passes to players cutting to the hoop opposite his side. That's not his game and I'd rather see his offense improve first, but making passes to open cutters is still important, even for big men. Victor does it well!
The referees weren't crisp tonight. Several over the back no-calls. But the big thing was in the first half they took the approach that if it was underneath the basket, it was a foul. Period. As it turns out one of the guys on the officiating crew tonight was a member of the crew who did the Jets and Patriots Sunday night. Maybe he had a hangover from that one. Some players seemed to be affected by the calls, but even if they're bad, you're going to have to deal with them and learn how to play through them. You know you're going to get them surely when you face Duke and UNC.
Green looked great. Garland had the best game of his career, scoring 18, including 11 in just over a 1:30 stretch. He was also better on the ball, though he wasn't being asked to drive and run the offense. Even sometimes when he was in, Green would be on the floor with him. It was great to see both of them with touch from deep tonight! Hudson looked like his old self for the most part. If we run our offense like we did tonight, we'll be good all year long. I know it was against Monmouth, but some things are universally applicable and you can just tell.
Jarell Eddie may be the biggest surprise to date for me. Tonight he didn't miss a shot. He's done a 180 from last year. I really like the player that he's playing like now. Also, Robert Brown is money from 3. He led the Hokies with 19 points. Oh and by the way those commentators said he just set "another" career high. The guy's in his second game! And he scored more than he did in his first game! NO DUH it's a career high!I Back to Robert, I just hope he doesn't fall in love with that shot and keep hoisting them up like he did tonight if they aren't going. And on some nights that will happen. Also, the Hokies have to work on the glass. They have let two smaller teams get a bunch of second chances and offensive rebounds.
Davila had an okay game. His Achilles heel of free throw shooting is still giving him HUGE issues. Also Dorian Finney-Smith struggled, but that was probably due to being frustrated with and being taken out because of the calls.
All in all a great win though. We got everyone some time and I saw some marked improvement. We shot over 60% from the field (63%) and 3-point range (67%), and only 60% from the free throw stripe (less than from the field or 3-point range. That HAS to improve). They shot 27% and 5% from 3. Yikes. And FYI, the answers to the puzzles above are the Hawks and the Northeastern Conference. Just wish I could put it upside down at the bottom right like childrens puzzles/magazines/coloring book.