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First of all let me say I think very highly of JJ and Dennis. Two of the nicest guys you will ever want to meet. I hope if anyone can turn our programs around then it's these two. Having said that I am wondering what most of you feel is lacking in our program. I miss the days when Cassell was full and teams were scared to play us. That is not the case anymore. I hate losing to UVA.
This post was edited by HokieMan24 17 months ago
1. Quality depth.
3. People capable of scoring not named Erick Green
I don't know what exactly is missing beyond the deficiencies of this current team. I wonder if the Cassell itself hurts us. Cassell is kind of knubby when compared to other venues in the ACC. Being a rural based school definitely doesn't help the atmosphere, particularly during the week. Its tough to pack the place for 15 home games.
With those things said, I think we still have a lot to sell, and hopefully JJ can bring top notch players into the program. Bottom line it all comes down to recruiting. Even more so for basketball than football in my opinion. So if we can recruit better and we can win, then the support will follow.
First of all TV kills basketball attendance for men. What is wrong with VT bball? My biggest thing is we dont have enough tough minded players who also bring savvy. How many times this year have we seen kids get a pass and have foot out of bounce. Simply NO court awareness. Some of these kids also on AAU circuit have become higher rated recruits then they should be. See # 31. AAU is slab ball all stars!
Pretty simple. We lack high major talent, period. JJ has one guy that is ACC starter quality, and he is leaving this year. It's going to take 2 or 3 years just to restock the talent level. Now JE could be an ACC player, but until his play actually lives up to this talent, that is meaningless.
Right now we have a huge talent disperity with almost every team we play and a first time coach to top it off. I do like the fact that JJ does not seem to panic. I'm for giving him 3-4 years and see what he can do with adding players. I think he has a good recruiting staff, so we'll see.
What's lacking is quality players who can hit an open jump shot. Aside from Erick Green, who's a stud, we don't have anyone on the current roster who would start for almost any other team in the ACC. We simply need better players.
I think DW is close. He's got some good young talent.
JJ is probably two years away. The MBB team's cupboard is just about bare right now, but I do I the incoming class.
Talent...I'd say depth but our guys that are our front line guys aren't getting it done so if we had depth they would be starting.
We need 3 recruiting classes to get this thing right, and good coaching and development. The Transfers killed us.
What happen to Beyer? He hasn't played much or at all in the last few games. I'm kind of surprised unless he's injured. He seemed to come in and give a spark through hustle.
Overall, I would say depth is a major issue. We don't have anyone that can come off the bench and score. Even one or two guys that can give 6ish points each would be nice. Pretty much every ACC team has a couple guys that can come off the bench and give you some points besides us. I sure wish Smith was able to play this season. He could REALLY help in this department.
I also think it really hurts that we don't have a big guy that demands a double when they get the ball in the post. Raines O game has gotten better but he really needs to be within 5-10 feet of the bucket to be effective and he doesn't demand a double. It seems that most ACC teams have at least one big guy you have to double leaving someone outside open for a shot. It was good to see CJ attack the rim on Saturday. hopefully he'll start driving like that more. He didn't make either shot but he got in there and had decent looks.
I am happy to see Rankin's game improve. He's been creating some turnovers and also hitting the open 3. Not that he's had many open 3s but at least he's hitting them now. Last year it seemed like he missed every open shot.
What baffles me is what happen to Eddie and Brown. They can't buy a bucket for their lives. They both started the year pretty good. Weird.
Green is the man. My wife asked me Saturday why I keep torturing myself and watching the Hokies play. I stated, "Erick Green. We might not see another dynamic player like him for a long time so I want to enjoy watching him." I wish the team was better so he could be in the talk more for the accolades he deserves. If other guys were hitting open shots he would probably have 2-3 more assists a game also.
I've never really looked at us as a program where teams would come into Cassell and be afraid to play us. The issues in my opinion right now is that we don't have a lot of talent, period.
Basketball is a pretty simple game really. If your team has guys that are better at putting the biscuit in the basket, you win.
The coach needs to put them in the best position to get the most out of their talent.
I don't think that JJ is doing that. Once again, for the second season in a row, these guys just don't have either (a) the talent or (b) the will to win.
Look at Jim Larranaga down in Miami. He was a year in year out winner with Mason and now, he's getting Miami on the right track as well. Do they recruit the talent that Duke or UNC has? No. But, he's a COACH! He gets the guys to know their role and play it to the best of their ability.
You can win off talent alone - see Kentucky most years where they're winning with Freshman all-stars. But, they're not winning this year - with two likely 1st round picks on the team.
The guys have to gel.
One of my favorite teams of all time are the championship Pistons from back in the day. Dumars, Thomas, Rodman, Laimbeer, Salley, Aguirre - everyone played as a team.
You either need to have better players or have a coach that can recruit to a system and really teach and manage a game. We have neither right now...
Green is good enough to draw a double team which means on any given play someone is open. Our open person can't hit a shot at a 40% clip. We don't really do anything with motion or backdoor cuts that gets us a lot of penetration so we settle for a ton of jump shots. If we get to the basket more we have a chance to get to the line or get a backside rebound and put back.
I like JJ a lot, but I promise nobody is looking at our team and saying "man those guys are well coached"... We have one stud and a bunch of ok guys running around but not knocking down any shots. To make matters worse when we need clutch offensive plays down the stretch R Brown ends up taking the shot and he only shoots about 15% from the field in the last two months... Makes no sense to me.
Personally I think a lot of it is just the will to go out there and grind it out, and it is easier to do that with people there cheering you on and making you feel better about the work you put in. That's why I think tech should step up and say, "We are selling the tickets we need to, so 15 minutes after tip off let students come in free with their IDs". That lets players peers come watch them and gets them much more excited to go out and play. I know that's a pipe dream but with attendance so bad I think it should really be considered. Especially since the rest of this year and most likely next year we won't put a great team out on the floor
This is dead on. I like JJ, but it sure would have been nice to snag Larranega instead of letting him slip away to Miami.
I like Brad Stevens, but no way VT spends the coin to get a top notch coach
A couple of my friends with inside Mason info said living in the state of FL was pretty key in his decision. Apparently he planned on retiring to FL within the next 5 or so years and then Miami threw a bunch of money his way so it made the decision pretty easy.
Responding to this with the typical answers such as "players who can hit a jump shot"........"talent"......"depth"....etc, while all true, is a very tactical solution to a problem that requires a more strategic approach. I feel that the main things VT Basketball is in need of are:
1. A true basketball culture
2. An identifiable style of play
3. A clear, communicated direction of the program
Right now, the VT basketball culture doesn't exist. What specifically defines our program? Personally, when I think of VT Bball, I think of a program that is wildly inconsistent in terms of performance (we can beat duke, but lose embarrassingly to a team like Wofford all in the same week). I think of a program that typically relies on one player to carry the scoring load. I think of teams that you can count on to be extremely athletic, but very raw in terms of basketball skill and under-developed in basketball IQ.
As for scheme, particularly offensively, I'm not sure I can recognize what it is. Under Greenberg, fans frustration with the offense centered around 4 guys standing around while one guy with the ball tries to make something happen, usually resulting in heavily contested shots. Earlier this season, I thought those days might be gone, but since entering ACC play, that same "style" has made a comeback. We are back to scoring around the same number of points as we did under a Greenberg led offense. The only difference is the D isn't as good as it was in years past.
Being just a fan, I'm not aware of what JJ has done to establish a direction for the program or how/if it differs from what Greenberg believed. At first, I had no doubts that JJ had the buy-in of all of his players. Of course, that was when we were winning. Since the WVU game, we have heard rumors of another transfer looming and other general bad attitudes on the bench (see Jarrell Eddie). All I know, is that there has been a ton of attrition from the program and retention rates are really suffering.......and none of this is attributed to the NBA draft.
To wrap up, it all comes down to players and coaches. There needs to be a different kind of person/athlete recruited to play VT Bball. We will continue to lack the recruits that elite basketball programs can bring in due to our location, the lack of a bball culture, and the upstanding nature of our coaches and athletic department that refuse to play games that other shools do with the AAU circuits. I would love to see us go to a style of basketball that is used by a team like Richmond. Smart, fundamental, skill based basketball.
This post was edited by GoHokies14 17 months ago
Depth and Bigs are what's missing. If you can stay fresh and rebound, you can stay in a game even with poor shooting performances. We're losing a lot of our games because we're getting dominated on the boards. Tech has never had good big man depth - the only decent post player we've really had in the last decade was Coleman Collins. I realize that what JJ wants to do requires length and athleticism but you have to be able to rebound the ball in order to start fast breaks and we just can't do that. We definitely need some recruited brute force inside.
i think you define a culture by winning, you win by getting better players.
You take away the top 10 elite programs in the country and look at who else wins and how and I think you will see 3 things.
1. They play great defense either man to man or zone, but they dont mix a whole lot. They get really good at one and then recruit to those strengths. This has been the blueprint for Temple and Syracuse around the zone defense in particular.
2. They have players that are good shooters and have a high basketball IQ. Not the whole team mind you but at least 2-3. Most good mid-major programs have players that have been in the system 4-5 years and know what they are supposed to be doing.
3. There is a definable system that has won for the coach at some point in his career, and he knows the types of kids that he needs to recruit to be effective. Good head coaches that are game tacticians have the luxury of then getting assistants that are good recruiters...
Whats wrong with VT
1. We dont play good defense, and dont know how to play good defense. Under Greenberg we were actually pretty good with this.
2. We have passed up good shooters in the past to land good athletes. See both Curry's as example 1A and 1B, but beyond that we put a bigger emphasis on being long and athletic. Other than one or two players most on our teams the last 6-7 years can't shoot the ball.
3. We have no system. Our head coach has a system he wants to try but since he has never been a head coach before he is learning on the fly. I really like JJ, but he shouldnt be cutting his teeth on an ACC program that has averaged finishing in the top half of the league.
I believe creating a culture goes beyond winning. Winning is certainly an important aspect of it, but winning alone doesn't define a program's culture. It's also about HOW you go about winning. We have a prime example of how to successfully build a culture right under our noses.......our football program. Beamer and his staff havent always had the best players, but they won by having the RIGHT players for their system, and consistently doing things the RIGHT way over a long period of time.
SMU football "won by getting better players" like Eric Dickerson and Craig James, but I sure wouldn't want the culture they created. I'm not saying you are wrong, but there are more factors involved than simply winning.
Bingo Enter Night.
Jim Larranaga is one heck of a coach. Miami is 11-0 in ACC play and allot of those wins were blow outs.
VT not having any real basketball lineage, I agree we need a proven coach like Larranaga.
Also, funny how the same folks who were barely willing to give Greenberg another year are the same folks now willing to give JJ 3-4 years to turn it around.....lol
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