Saturday, February 09, 2013

Hokies need to rewrite script

An overreliance on Erick Green and a failure to finish keep Virginia Tech from winning.

Hokies coach James Johnson is tired of the reruns:

Photos by Matt Gentry | The Roanoke Times

Hokies coach James Johnson is tired of the reruns: "Erick Green does what he does and we need other guys to step up. I've seen it. And we have a chance to win and we don't finish. I've seen it before."

Virginia Tech's Erick Green scored 29 points against Maryland on Thursday. The Hokies need more support.

Virginia Tech's Erick Green scored 29 points against Maryland on Thursday. The Hokies need more support.

Virginia Tech Hokies basketball

Berman Courtside

Men’s basketball today

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech
1 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum

Records: Georgia Tech 12-9, 2-7 ACC; Virginia Tech 11-11, 2-7.

TV: CSN

Last meeting: Virginia Tech won 70-65 in OT at Georgia Tech on Jan. 12.

Va. Tech probable starters: F Jarell Eddie (13.9 ppg), F C.J. Barksdale (4.8 ppg), C Cadarian Raines (7.1 ppg), G Erick Green (25.2 ppg), G Robert Brown (9.1 ppg).

Georgia Tech probable starters: F Marcus Georges-Hunt (10.2 ppg), F Robert Carter Jr. (10 ppg), C Daniel Miller (7.8 ppg), G Mfon Udofia (9.5 ppg), G Chris Bolden (6.8 ppg).

Notes: The Hokies made only two baskets in the final 6:39 of Thursday’s loss to Maryland. … Green had 29 points Thursday but made just one of his final five shots. “At the end, I’ve got to make more plays,” Green said. … Green, the nation’s scoring leader, has widened his lead over Creighton’s Doug McDermott, who is second at 23.3 ppg. … The Hokies have led at halftime in each of the past three games (all losses). ”I don’t know what it is with us, but every time we come out at halftime we’re up and then we let them come back and punch us in the mouth and we never respond,” Green said. … Georgia Tech is 0-7 in Blacksburg. … Georgia Tech has yet to win on an opponent’s court this season. … The Hokies have beaten Georgia Tech four straight times, with the past two meetings going to OT. … Georgia Tech lost at home Tuesday to Florida State on Michael Snaer’s third buzzer-beater in a 13-day span.

BLACKSBURG -- Virginia Tech men's basketball coach James Johnson had a familiar feeling as he watched his team lose yet another game Thursday.

It's the same sense of deja vu he gets whenever he watches "The Shawshank Redemption."

"Every time it's on I watch it, and I see the same thing," he said after the Hokies' 60-55 loss to Maryland at Cassell Coliseum. "I've seen it. Erick Green does what he does and we need other guys to step up. I've seen it. And we have a chance to win and we don't finish. I've seen it before."

Green scored 29 points, but once again not enough of his supporting cast pitched in.

Cadarian Raines did score in double figures for the third straight game for the Hokies (11-11, 2-7 ACC). He had 14 points and blocked five shots.

But Jarell Eddie and Robert Brown each mustered just two points.

"Rob and Jarell, we can't have them having less than 10 points a game for us to be able to win," Green said. "If we're going to win a game, two guys can't just carry us.

"We need to mature a little bit. Who cares if you go 2 for 10? Make other plays - get steals, get rebounds, do something else other than just worry about scoring."

Green and Raines combined for 17 baskets, but the rest of the team combined for only five.

Eddie was 1 of 8 from the field. For the second straight game, Brown had more turnovers (four) than baskets. He was 1 of 9 from the field.

"When both of us don't come and perform, it really makes it tough for us to win," Eddie said.

The Hokies will try to snap their five-game losing streak Saturday. Georgia Tech (12-9, 2-7), which lost to the Hokies in overtime last month, visits Cassell Coliseum at 1 p.m.

Green hopes to see an attitude adjustment from some of his teammates.

"Go out and have fun, play hard, and just enjoy this," Green said. "I don't know why guys are stressing, why guys are putting their head down. You only get to do this thing one time, so just enjoy it and play your heart out.

"Some guys are having bad nights and they're stressing. So what - you're going to have bad nights. You've got to get over that."

Brown is shooting just 23 percent from the field (28 of 121) in his past 13 games.

"He's got to try to play his way out of it," Johnson said. "The first [part] ... of the season, he's shown that he can be a scorer - he can knock down shots. And even in practice, he's still showing that he can score the basketball. It's just not carrying over to the game."

With Tech down 56-53, Brown missed a layup with 34 seconds left. Maryland got the rebound and made two free throws to pad the lead.

"We ran a ... play for him. That's the play Coach designed," Green said. "We felt like Rob could get a good shot off because he had [Seth] Allen on him. â? I feel like I should have the ball, but it's okay."

Johnson said the play was actually designed for Green but that the Terrapins foiled that plan.

"It wasn't for Brown. They did a good job on Green," Johnson said. "At times, especially late in the game, somebody else is going to have to step up. I'm going to probably go to Green and [foes] know it.

"They did a good job defensively on hm and it left Brown open."

Johnson was left regretting the "point-blank" shots that Brown and Eddie missed Thursday. He hopes that won't be the case today.

"Those guys are going to have to play well for us," Johnson said. "We're going to need more than one or two guys to beat [Georgia Tech]."

MARYLAND (17-6)

Wells 2-5 2-5 8, Padgett 4-8 0-4 8, Len 4-6 2-2 10, Faust 1-6 2-4 4, Layman 5-11 1-2 14, Mitchell 0-4 2-4 2, Aronhalt 2-5 0-0 5, Allen 2-6 1-2 7, Howard 1-1 0-0 2, Cleare 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 10-23 60.

VIRGINIA TECH (11-11)

Van Zegeren 1-3 0-2 2, Raines 7-13 0-0 14, Eddie 1-8 0-0 2, Brown 1-9 0-0 2, Green 10-23 7-10 29, Johnston 0-2 1-2 1, Wood 0-1 0-0 0, Barksdale 2-6 1-2 5. Totals 22-65 9-16 55.

Halftime-Virginia Tech 27-24. 3-Point Goals-Maryland 8-21 (Layman 3-7, Wells 2-3, Allen 2-4, Aronhalt 1-4, Faust 0-3), Virginia Tech 2-18 (Green 2-7, Wood 0-1, Johnston 0-2, Brown 0-3, Eddie 0-5). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Maryland 46 (Padgett 11), Virginia Tech 38 (Barksdale, Eddie, Raines 5). Assists-Maryland 14 (Wells 5), Virginia Tech 6 (Brown 4). Total Fouls-Maryland 17, Virginia Tech 15. A-5,465.

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