Tech tipping off in first ACC road game at UVa

    CHARLOTTESVILLE – Greetings from ‘Hoo-ville and the home of the Virginia Cavaliers, where Tech plays its first ACC road game of the season tonight at 7.

   The game is not on TV but will have a live video broadcast on TheACC.com. I’ll try to blog some as we go to keep you updated until my newspaper deadlines start coming into play, so come on board.

   And let me just say, the grounds here at UVa are quite lovely this time of year, with snow still on the ground from a recent storm. And from everything I’ve seen of John Paul Jones Arena, it’s first-rate, right down to – yes, the media work room. Hey, we have our priorities.

   (I’m told, by the way, they don’t call it a campus round here, it’s got to be called the grounds, the students are first year, second year, etc, instead of freshmen, sophomores, etc., and well, they refer to a certain founding father of ours as Mr. Jefferson.)

   I’m a little nostalgic that I didn’t get to see University Hall, having seen it so many years on the tube, but the security guard who walked me to the media workroom (folks are nice around here, I have to say) said something about asbestos. Enough said.

   Anyway, the game. And so the Yellow Jackets begin a stretch of back-to-back road games this week, with No. 12 North Carolina coming up on Saturday. And actually, by the rankings, this game is the “easiest” thing Tech will have in a while. After tonight’s matchup, Tech faces three consecutive ranked opponents in No. 12 UNC, No. 24 Clemson at home and No. 25 Florida State on the road.

   So this is one the Yellow Jackets need to win to continue the momentum they started with their win over No. 5 Duke on Saturday and to get a running start on this tough stretch with three of four games on the road.

   Out of the ACC first’s 14 games heading into tonight, the home team has won 11 of them – the lone exceptions were Florida State’s win at Tech on Dec. 20, Virginia’s win at N.C. State on Saturday and N.C. State’s win at Florida State last night.

   Tech’s last road game was pretty much a dud, as you know, in Athens. Coach Paul Hewitt said after that loss to Georgia, he regretted not pressing more and forcing the issue on defense. That’s something the Yellow Jackets came out doing against Duke and it worked to perfection, wearing down Duke’s thin backcourt and taking their legs out of their jump shots.

   It would seem like a good idea tonight, to get the energy flowing on the road, but I’m not sure if that’s the best strategy either. Virginia plays three and four guards and is a pretty good ball-handling team. Shoot, 11 of the guys on Virginia’s roster have a “G” by their names.

   In fact, the Cavaliers average only 10.5 turnovers per game, which is tops in the ACC. They are also second in the ACC in team free throw percentage at 74.7 percent, trailing only Duke (76.8 percent). (Georgia Tech is fifth by the way, with a 69.3 free throw percentage as a team. And Tech is 11th out of 12 teams in turnovers per game at 16.5)

   Virginia made 19 of 20 free throws in its win over NC State Saturday. So the Yellow Jackets will need to move their feet on defense tonight to keep Virginia off the foul line.

   As Hewitt said earlier this week, the game should prove to be an interesting contrast in styles with Virginia’s strength playing small, and Tech’s strength playing big. It’ll be interesting to see who has to give into whom. And D’Andre Bell, as usual, will draw the toughest defensive assignment, guarding sophomore Sylven Landesberg, who is averaging 17.0 ppg.

   Hewitt recruited Landesberg out of high school and is very familiar with the defending ACC rookie of the year. He’s what Hewitt had to say about Landesberg, leading into tonight’s game.

   “Sylven’s a guy who is just a dynamic scorer,” Hewitt said. “He can score a lot of different ways. He’s shooting the 3 better this year. He’s always been able to go to the basket. He’s an outstanding free throw shooter. And you put him at the power forward position he creates a big matchup problem.”

   Virginia is trying to go to 2-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1994-95, which for a point of reference was Junior Burroughs’ senior year. Just showing off some old ACC knowledge, and I can do it without Mark Bradley here to put me to shame with his. Talk at you as we go, if there are folks interested in chatting.

177 comments Add your comment

Jeff

January 13th, 2010
5:37 pm

Everytime Tech has a road game, I’m scared for dear life

Born2Buzz

January 13th, 2010
5:43 pm

First, it’s all about playing D. Then making FT’s. Do those two things and we have a shot just like the Duke game. Then it’s all about Shumpert and whether he plays with control and fluidity. If the ball stops moving in his hands like it did against Duke then we are in for a fight. If he keeps the offense flowing, doesn’t make stupid TO’s then we should control the game and win comfortably.

RAMBLE ON!!!

January 13th, 2010
6:03 pm

GROUND HOG DAY has us losing this game, 20+ turn overs and no timeouts left to set up a play.

Iman dribbles down the court in the final seconds, behind by one or two, and turns the ball over.

Sorry folks, that just they way the movie goes.

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
6:07 pm

Word around the press room is Tech is a 2-point underdog tonight. Wow.

collegeballfan

January 13th, 2010
6:37 pm

Yeah I can see the underdog role on the road in the ACC.

Shumpert has the game in his hands. No turnovers & get the ball inside.

superDawg

January 13th, 2010
6:58 pm

never forget 45-42. tech you need to remember that,because it will be all you have to hang your hat on for the next ten years.Happy new year thirty twenty four.

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:06 pm

Three shots, including a basket, by Lawal in the first two minutes. And a 3-pointer by Udofia. …Gani looks aggressive, liking the smallish lineup by UVa

P-Dawg

January 13th, 2010
7:06 pm

superDawg – Dontz bez so meanz

GTPHISH

January 13th, 2010
7:15 pm

2 point underdog?

1 point for each ACC victory last year?

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:15 pm

wow, dunk-contest worthy dunk just put in by Mike Scott. tossed it up to himself and then whomp, one-handed dunk on the break.

Gani and Favors have both had a couple thunderous dunks themselves. Virginia just called timeout because Lawal and Favors are having their way on the offensive glass. Cavs just put Assane Sene in the center who didn’t play at all vs. State

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:17 pm

it’s a lovely arena, John Paul Jones, I will say. if you gotta be shiny and new, this is the way to do it.

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
7:21 pm

So you still get TV timeouts on a pay per view game? I guess so.

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:24 pm

radio needs timeouts Techno

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
7:25 pm

lol, hadn’t thought of that, thanks Carroll

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:29 pm

shoot, if it were up to the newspaper writers, there’d be NO media timeouts of any kind!

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
7:29 pm

Are we pressing much? I notice UVA has 1 turnover to our 3.

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:34 pm

wow, gani looked to lose it a bit a the line there. missed five consecutive free throws until a lane violation gave him another chance and he finally bounced one in

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:35 pm

just actually started pressing the last two times down the floor. got at least one turnover out of it. good question

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
7:38 pm

Thanks. The turnover number looks fairly good so far but free throws? Ugh.

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:42 pm

Favors is looking good tonight down low. va is giving him some cushion inside and he’s capitalizing. He’s got 8 points at 3:46 in the first half.

Buzzed Driving

January 13th, 2010
7:43 pm

Free throws bad? What happened to “swish game”?

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
7:45 pm

We’re shooting better from the 3 point line than from the FT line.

Angus

January 13th, 2010
7:47 pm

So the gamecast makes it look like it’s GT vs. Landesberg. I’ve never seen him in action.

Does he look as good as gamecast makes him?

HSV Jacket

January 13th, 2010
7:49 pm

2/8 FT @ half. Hewitt’s really coaching ‘em up!

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:51 pm

Angus, he looks pretty good to me. I think he could have taken a few more shots than he has actually. Like when he was matched up on Mfon. He’s got at least 4 inches on Mfon.

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
7:53 pm

4 turnovers in the half. I’m pretty pleased w/that but the FT are terrible. FT are all mental. The swish game may not cut it. I’d suggest letting the guys who hit less than, say 60% carry the gear of the guys who are over 60%.

thrillerdome

January 13th, 2010
7:54 pm

how is shumpert doing? hes got 4 assists and 11 points at the half with no TO’s…Is it obvious that he is starting to feel better and a result play better or did he just have a good half?

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:57 pm

Shumpert hit a 3, had one amazingly tough looking scoop shot, back on his game. So is Favors, who has 10 points in 17 minutes on 5-of-6 shooting at the half. He also has seven rebounds.

Gani is 2-for-6 at the line. he looked tentative, not like he has recently. You got to figure some of that might be first ACC road game??

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
7:57 pm

Tech is getting outrebounded at the half, 19-16.

thrillerdome

January 13th, 2010
7:58 pm

thank you for the live blogging and the question answering by the way. its nice to have a tech perspective for a game that is not on TV.

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
8:00 pm

huh, ESPN is showing rebounds even at 16.

Carroll Rogers

January 13th, 2010
8:03 pm

Techno, that must not include “team” rebounds. My stat sheet lists Virginia with 3 of them.

You’re welcome thriller. Nice to have some company on the blog. If i fade in the second half, it’s because i’m coming up on deadline but I’ll try to keep you guys informed.

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
8:07 pm

Carroll, that makes sense and thanks for the info.

thrillerdome

January 13th, 2010
8:42 pm

did we just go cold from the floor or has their defense picked it up in the 2nd half??

ND

January 13th, 2010
8:46 pm

2-10 from the FT line as a team Carroll and you wanted me to give Gani a break for thinking Indianapolis. He is 2-6 and now they are down 8.

Meadowlark Lemmon

January 13th, 2010
8:51 pm

Paul Hewitt is a bigger clown than I am. You guys at Tech need a new coach.

nebraska jacket

January 13th, 2010
8:52 pm

WTF is wrong with this team?! So frustrating that we can beat Duke and lose to UGA and now this?

Baba O'Riley

January 13th, 2010
8:52 pm

2 of 10 free throws. What exactly goes on in practice?

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
8:52 pm

Actually 2/9 from the FT line by my source. Only one FT in the second half? How does that happen? Went from being up 4 then let them go on a 14-2 (I believe) run.Now down by 10.

Baba O'Riley

January 13th, 2010
8:54 pm

There should not be a time that either Lawal or Favors are not on the floor. Stupid substitution patterns. Does ANY coach in America do less with more?

Baba O'Riley

January 13th, 2010
8:54 pm

sportsline has it 2/10. Been watching their Gametrack all game.

ND

January 13th, 2010
8:54 pm

Once again Blewitt has Favors on the bench in the last 3 minutes. FIRE BLEWITT!! Since Blewitt’s teams can’t win a road ACC game Blewitt’s team will once again finish the ACC under .500.

ND

January 13th, 2010
8:56 pm

Now Lawal and Favors on bench. WTF?

Baba O'Riley

January 13th, 2010
8:56 pm

1-2 heading into a game with UNC on Saturday. It doesn’t look good. We are like UGA football. It doesn’t matter how good our recruits are, they don’t improve when they get here.

Meadowlark Lemmon

January 13th, 2010
8:56 pm

Hewitt’s a clown but not in a funny happy way!

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
8:57 pm

How is it we only have 1 (or 2) free throws in a half. Is UVA not fouling at all?

Red Foreman

January 13th, 2010
8:58 pm

Hewitt must go…DRAD needs to pull the plug!

Baba O'Riley

January 13th, 2010
8:59 pm

Favors missed 2 FT in the 2nd half

Meadowlark Lemmon

January 13th, 2010
9:00 pm

clown, clown, clown

Technophobia

January 13th, 2010
9:00 pm

Baba, Hewitt did much more w/much less when he got here. It may all be his responsibility but it’s not all his fault. I mean c’mon, granny could do better than 20% from the free throw line. You call that talent?
I call it a lack of mental discipline.