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Very impressed with what I saw...
-Erick Green is obviously by far the most important element to the success of this team. If he stays healthy, he could have a season for the record books.
-Robert Brown looks like a different player. Extremely impressed with the way his confidence has grown. Props to the coaches for that.
-Jarrell Eddie also looks vastly improved. His ball handling and defense are worlds apart from what we've seen in the past.
-Van Zegeren surprised me quite a bit. He was aggressive and showed a lot of potential on the boards. I think he'll end up being a big asset to this team.
-One of my concerns is that this team will struggle late in games (and probably as the season wears on) due to the fatigue factor. You could see the crispness of the offense and shooting fade a bit toward the end of this game. I'm with Coach JJ 100% on sticking with his style of play, though. This needs to be a long-term commitment and it's obvious the kids love this style.
To those talking about depth concerns right now, remember that Rankin will be back in games soon. I know it's not a huge addition but at least it's another scholarship body out there. Will give Green some time to catch his breath.
I think Rankin will improve a lot in this system, excited to see what he adds to the team when he is back.
When is he expected to return?
I think he was participating in warm ups, didn't play as far as I could tell, he'll probably play Thursday vs. VMI.
Rankin will allow both green and brown rest. Green can rotate to the two guard w/rankin in....and stay out with brown in and green goes to the bench. That should allow rankin time to get in the flow of the game, and take some pressure off of green at times as well. He is battling injury....and needs to get healthy
I know it is early, but I enjoy the coaching change. Previously I felt a bit 'uncomfortable' during games not knowing how the coach would react. I am very pleased with JJ and his attitude towards the players and the game.
Nice hire JW.
Folks are going to be asking in 2/3 yrs ....."can we afford to keep JJ ?" He is gonna help vt basketball turn the corner IMO. Chemistry!
I am no basketball guy, but everybody I talk to in that space and the football people I know that know Johnson feel he's a rising star and a breath of fresh air.
Obviously you all know that the ACC is tough sledding in hoops and will get even tougher with two of the best Big East programs joining up.
I think the Hokies have the right guy, though, from what I am told.
E-mail: jc@247Sports.com/Twitter: @jcshurburtt/Instagram jcshurburtt
I saw some great things from the team last night. The players really seem to be taking to the increased tempo and thriving in the transition game. A walk-on that Im really excited to watch as the season goes on is Johnston. He has a great outside shot. He needs to work on his defensive positioning and staying in front of the offensive player. He is not big by any means, but has a lot of heart. Raines loves the jump hook in the post. 2 of his 4 FG's were jump hooks from the post. Would like to see him get the ball more down low and use his size to draw defenders in to dish outside. If we get that connection really working, this offense will put some points on the board
It remains to be seen how talented this team is and we all know they'll probably get worn down with so few scholarship players, but we've never coasted to victories over teams we should beat this early in the season. I get a completely different feel from this team than I ever have from a VT bball team. We were up like 18 points in the 1st half and RI came back to get it within 6 maybe, and we immediately scored 8 unanswered to have a commanding lead going into half time. It was very impressive and they showed RI, no way you're staying in this game with us. A Greenberg calling card was eeking out wins on free throws to terrible teams in November. We don't see that with this team. I believe it's a reflection of the coach and it's exciting. I really believe he'll get the most out of his guys and that's all we can ask. After that disastrous MD7 thread, I can say with confidence you'll never see one of our roundballers loafing out there. JJ won't stand for it.
PS Wood is a stud. If we kept Harrell, we'd make some serious noise this year.
Throw in DFS with Montrezl and this team would be a NCAA tournament team no doubt.
This team is absolutely fun to watch and unlike CSG teams I don't feel like I'm going to die at a young age after each game
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