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The Hokies fell to VCU tonight 82-52. I wish there was something positive to come away with from this game, but unfortunately there isn’t. The Hokies youth was exposed in this game. VCU is a team that loves to pressure the ball full court and push the pace of the game. Tech’s guards looked liked they had absolutely no idea what to do against the full court press. I expected the freshman to turnover the ball, but not at the rate that they did, because the Hokies had two weeks to prepare for this game.
In the first half VCU went on a 31-0 run, that just put the game away early on. Virginia Tech was really never able to even remotely recover from that start. Tech had fifteen turnovers in the first half alone. VCU leads the nation in steals averaging right over twelve a game. The Rams forced thirteen steals in the first half, that helped cause all of Tech's turnovers. So knowing that coming into the game, I don’t understand how we didn’t have a better press break in place to counter act the Rams aggressiveness.
The second half was pretty much more of the same. Tech turned over the ball twelve more times, and that gave them a total of 27 for the game. Oh and by the VCU set a school record for the most steals in the game with 22. The only thing that was positive in the second half was the Hokies were able to score more points and at times show some improvement in breaking the press. Other than those rare occurrences it was not a pretty game to watch at all.
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I’m glad the Hokies played this game, despite the blowout. The freshmen were exposed tonight, but this is a game that they can learn a lot from. I think our guys, down the road, will benefit from this game. Yes, it was a tough pill to swallow tonight, but it is a good experience. VCU has been a consistent tournament team the past several years and now we can use this as a measuring stick, so we can continue to make strides to getting where we would like to in a few years. These are just part of the growing pains when you have so many freshman (especially when they are the main ball handlers) playing heavy minutes. Several injuries tonight didn’t help. Adam Smith re-aggravated a calf injury, CJ Barksdale suffered a sprained ankle, and Cadarian Raines didn’t even play. But these minutes and game experience will benefit down the road. This game will help them become better basketball players in the future. So just learn from this game and move on.
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