We open the men’s 2020-2021 Hoops coverage with some amazing news. It was a happy and overjoyed podcast as Bryan and John are joined by our former contributor Jawhar Ali to talk some men’s hoops. First let’s get some notices out of the way. Bryan already covered the fun news that not only was Tech ranked but debuted in the AP Poll at a near astronomical #16.
Walking Away from USF
Last season, Tech had some issues with an early 2nd half fade were it gave up big leads as the other team adjusted. The Bulls seemed like they were just about to make the turn and repeat the pattern, when the Hokie SUV put it in 4wd and pulled steadily away.
The player of the USF game was Tyrece Radford. He’s become a consistent court leader, and scorer. We will see more of him in the future.
Of course the Signature was on Saturday
The tie at the end of the first half was a bit of a shock. You had to shake your head, and maybe fill up a cup of coffee, even that close to bet time. Something special was developing, and the Hokies (sporting truly burnt Orange duds) were hanging with Villanova trading leads and points. It was only a half but you could feel the energy through the television. The 2nd half looked a bit dicey as the Hokies had a bit of an issue with ‘Nova going on a tear and the men in Burnt Orange sliding back 12 points. Six buckets are hard to make up, and there were feelings that the fade was about to happen. Guess what? It didn’t. The Hokies kept nibbling away at the lead. Grabbing a point advantage here, and two points there.
Disaster almost struck as Tech held a 2 point lead with 1.3 seconds left on the clock and possession after Villanova bucket. Then as Coach Mike Young admitted later, Tech fell for the oldest trick in the book... an inbounds block setup that induced a 2 shot backcourt charging foul. Villanova managed the singles from the charity stripe, and sent the contest into overtime.
But the Hokies had something to say about that deal, draining a three for an ‘in your face, you’re not getting this’ shot. Tech pulled away and put it out of reach in the single overtime period for the big Signature win.