Thursday, March 9, 2017

Virginia Tech 99, Wake Forest 90: Tempo-Free Recap

Buzz Williams surveys the landscape as Virginia Tech battles Wake Forest. (Photo by Ray Floriani/Daly Dose Of Hoops)

BROOKLYN -- Game three of the day at Barclays Center saw Virginia Tech and Wake Forest in a second-round Atlantic Coast Conference tournament game. The two met on the last day of the regular season, with the Demon Deacons scoring an 89-84 victory in Blacksburg. Both teams harbor NCAA aspirations, and a win here could have a bearing on a potentially higher seed come Selection Sunday. The Hokies avenged the setback of a few days ago with a 99-90 victory in an offensive display, outstanding efficiency and low turnovers.

First five possessions:
Wake Forest: Turnover, three-point field goal, field goal, two free throws, three-point field goal
Virginia Tech: Field goal, field goal, turnover
FG
FG
TO
Missed FGA
Missed FGA

The 10-4 Wake Forest lead with 16:58 on the clock in the first half established the Demon Deacons as a team who would look to get out and run, as well as shoot the three. Virginia Tech will normally run on opportunity, as their offense is more predicated on ball screens and half court sets.
First half observations: Wake settled down after the fast start, and for a good part of the first half, controlled a one-to-two-possession game. Zach LeDay, a 6-foot-7 senior, was setting screens and was very active inside for Virginia Tech, who had senior guard Seth Allen breaking down the defense by getting in the lane.
 
Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams has defensive concerns of his own, in John Collins, Wake Forest’s 6-foot-10 inside presence, and freshman Brandon Childress; who, when given room, shows the ability to bury the three. The Hokies trailed by four with 1.5 seconds left in the opening stanza. Inbounding under their own basket, they threw a long pass that went off its mark. Greg McClinton then picked up the ball and threw it about 75 feet. Nothing but net. Wake Forest led 44-37 at the horn.
Possessions: 36
Offensive efficiency: Wake Forest 122, Virginia Tech 103

Second half observations: Any hangover from that buzzer-beater to end the half quickly dissipated. Virginia Tech buried two three-pointers en route to taking the first four-minute segment by a score of 13-7. At the 16-minute mark, Wake Forest led 51-50, but the Hokies were right back in the thick of things.
As the half wore on, the Hokies found their range from downtown. Both teams shot identical 10-of-24 clips from deep. Ultimately, the difference was the inside work of LeDay. In addition to a game-high 31 points, he added a game-high 15 rebounds, seven on the offensive end, and was also 14-of-18 from the charity stripe. The Demon Deacons did have five double-digit scorers, but in the end, LeDay was the difference maker.  

Possessions: 73
Offensive efficiency: Virginia Tech 136, Wake Forest 123

Four Factors:
Effective field goal percentage: Virginia Tech 55, Wake Forest 50
Free throw rate: Virginia Tech 58, Wake Forest 32
Offensive rebound percentage: Virginia Tech 34, Wake Forest 30
Turnover rate: Virginia Tech 11, Wake Forest 12

Leading scorers and effectiveness factors:
Wake Forest: Bryant Crawford, 21 points (EF 29)
Virginia Tech: Zach LeDay, 31 points, EF 51 (EF per minute: 1.50)

What Virginia Tech did well: Got a monster game out of LeDay. In true Buzz Williams fashion, the Hokies also cared for the ball at a high rate.

What Wake Forest did well: Danny Manning’s Demon Deacons also cared for the ball with a low 12 percent turnover rate, also spreading the wealth with five in double figures.

Ball control index: Virginia Tech 2.38, Wake Forest 2.00

NOTES: Wake Forest saw a four-game win streak snapped, and is now 19-13. Virginia Tech improves to 22-9 and has won four of their last five, the lone loss coming on Saturday to Wake Forest. The Hokies will face Florida State in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Postgame Quotes (courtesy of ASAP Sports)

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