Well, the good news for Tech was that Erick Green had 30 points, and the Hokies got 62 points from Green, Jarell Eddie, Cadarian Raines and Robert Brown combined.
The bad news? They only got 2 points combined from Joey van Zegeren, CJ Barkdsale, Marquis Rankin and Marshall Wood. Those four guys were 1 of 16 from field combined.
If you have already read my game story in the previous blog post or in the paper or elsewhere online (that story had no quotes because of the 9.m. game and my deadline), here are the postgame quotes:
Erick Green: “I’m having fun. This is the most fun I’ve had in my four years. And I know we’re losing, it’s probably crazy for me to say that. But I’m having a great time with these guys in my last year. These guys are getting me open and I’m just making shots. I’m having a great time and I wouldn’t trade this for the world.”
Green on the first half for VT vs. the 2nd half: “Guys stepped up and played. Robert Brown came to play today, Cadarian Raines came to play today. We’ve got to have guys be more consistent and make some more plays, though, to be able beat some good teams. Jarell Eddie had a good game. But we’ve got to have guys be more consistent and step up and make more plays. [In the second half] they weren’t as aggressive as they were in the first half and that kind of took away from the points that we needed. And we didn’t get out and run. When we were running, we had a 10 point lead and then we let it go.”
Green on Eddie and Brown: “They’ve got to look for their shots more. They’ve got to be more aggressive. They can make plays. Robert Brown is coming along, he’s had a little slump but he’s coming out of it. Jarell Eddie can make plays, he can shoot the heck out of the ball. Cadarian Raines can make plays. But we’ve got to get other guys — Marshall Wood, Joey, Quis, we’ve got to get other guys to step up and make plays.”
Green on Larkin: “I told him after the game, I said, you’re going to be a heckuva point guard in this league. He can do it all. He can facillitate. He’s so fast. He’s so quick. And he can shoot the ball. …. How quick he is (made him hard to defend), using the ball screen. He’s so small, when you go under the screen, you can’t see him because he’s cutting back and forth. That was kind of the toughest part. And getting him in transition. When we got underneath the screen, he was hitting that 3 ball, so that was hard.”
Green on how he scored against Larkin: “I just read people’s feet. I read their body and see how they move and react. He’s kind of small so I can shoot over the top of him. I have a good lift on my jump shot.”
Green on the duel with Larkin: “That’s the challenge. I thought me and Scott was going to go at it but it turned out me and Larkin did. I look forward to every challenge every night. Larkin’s going to be a great player … and it was a great night to go at it with him.”
Green on Miami’s 9 treys: “We kind of got pushed underneat the screen, too far underneath the screen. We were underneath, like on the foul line. And they were shooting from right outside the 3 point line and cashing it in. We’ve got to get better. We’ve got to figure out some new things. They hit them. We always go in every game saying they’re not going to make every shot, but dang, it seems like a shot we hope they miss, they make.”
Green on the 3-game skid but having given UM a good game: “I’m encouraged. I’m going to keep these guys encouraged. I know we’re losing and people are saying what they have to say but I really believe in this team.”
Green on getting 35 points, 25 points and 30 points in the last 3 games against the 3 best defenses in the ACC: “It’s my teammates that get me open. They do a great job setting me screens, finding me, things like that. But I take the challenge every day. I read the paper. I read what people say, they’re going to try to shut me down. So I take the challenge and try to challenge myself that I’m not going to allow you to shut me down. I don’t care how many people you throw at me.”
Brown on UM taking control in last 10 minutes: “They just finished better than we did. They have a really good team led by a really good point guard and a fantastic coach so they just kept grinding away like good teams do and then they took the lead and buried us.”
Brown on the supporting cast: “People that are supposed to make plays aren’t making plays. Myself, I went through a really large slump where I couldn’t hit a shot. …. Erick had a fantastic game but we can’t rely on him to win the game for us. One person can’t do it. We just have to have everyone just staying in the gym, working hard, and working hard in practice and coming out and making plays.
Brown on being 0 of 2 from field in 2nd half: “Just tougher shots. First half, I kind of got started with a wide open jump shot and that kind of carried on. In the second half they just played better defense off the ball screens, trapped a little harder.”
Brown on his first half: “I am encouraged by it. Hopefully it can carry on.”
Brown on Larkin: “He’s a good shooter so he just stood behind (screens) and lit us up. He’s a really good player. He’s really quick, hard to defend off ball screens. If we’re pressing and going under them, he can shoot.”
UM coach Jim Larranaga on Larkin: “Some of those (treys) were very deep. … He’s just a great kid and he’s a great basketball player. He’s very smart, he’s very team-oriented, very unselfish, he loves giving the ball up … but I think he realized tonight that he needed to play a little bit more aggressively on offense.”
Larranaga on the game: “They came out of the locker room on fire. When you start making shots early, that kind of generates a lot of energy not only with you but your teammates. And once Erick got it going then Robert Brown got it going then Eddie got it going and then all of a sudden the whole team is like, ‘Yeah,’ and we’re behind by 12 points. But still in the first half. There’s a lot of basketball to be played…. While they were red hot, we weren’t playing that badly. We missed some 3s thatr a lot of times we make…. And then all of a sudden we’re not going to the basket, we’re not getting any layups, we’re not getting the ball inside. Their defense was very good. And we needed to pick it up and we did and cut the lead to 3 at the half. We came out of the locker room and we were very, very sharp to start the 2nd half.”
Larranaga on having Scott start out defending Green and then having Larkin take over that job: “We do that pretty regularly, we did that with Michael Snaer. …. Shane is the fastest guy on our team and Erick Green is very good at running off of screens, getting separation, catching and shooting. And Durand got lost a couple of times. We felt like Durand is very very good at guarding a lot of diifferent kinds of players so we put him on Robert Brown and then we put him on Eddie, and that was good matchup for him. And Shane just used his speed. He still couldn’t stop Erick but I think several of his misses came during that stretch when Shane was on him.”
Larranaga on Green: “I recruited Erick Green. … I thought he was a terrific player in high school. I thought going to Virginia Tech he would have a very nice career. But he’s developed into the leading scorer in the country. That’s a whole nother level. When everybody’s attention is on you, you’re going to get every defender’s best effort, you’re getting every team’s best defender on the perimeter. It is very very hard to continue to produce the way he has. It’s a remarkable accomplishment by him. Now his teammates have done a remarkable job of getting him open — ball screens, back screens, staggered screens, baseline screens. Quite frankly it’s working.”
James Johnson: “The team played extremely hard. … We had some guys step up and play a little better. Robert Brown is starting to get something back. I thought he took a step forward tonight even from the last game, so I was pleased. We’ve got to have other guys make plays. We get 2 points out of 3 starters — Rankin, Barksdale and van Zegeren. Two points out of 3 starters. And another zero out of freshman Marshall Wood coming off the bench. After six weeks (since getting hurt), how much we’re getting from him, I don’t know what we’ll get from him. He’s playing hard … he’s just rusty right now. … You’ve got 4 guys that played and had zero (actually 2) points. And those guys are guys that we have to play. I can’t put 4 guys out there on the floor. I’ve got to put five. …. Wood is not trying to step up to the free throw line and miss 3 free throws, he’s not trying to do that. He’s not trying to miss a dunk. … We’ve got to be able to make plays. Against a veteran team like that, big strong physical guys, as the game go on they’re going to wear us down a little.”
Johnson on Larkin: “He’s the key to that team. He’s the head on the snake. …. He made big shots behind the ball screens and Reggie did a great job setting those ball screens. That’s a wide ball screen when he (Reggie Johnson) when he sets those screens. He’s a big physical guy, we were trying to press him but we couldn’t move him (Johnson). … We did a good job keeping him (Larkin) out of the lane and I think that limited Durand Scott’s opportunities off his penetration but he did a great job knocking his shots down.”
Johnson on Brown being 0 of 2 in the 2nd half: “Nothing happened. Robert’s got to pick his spots. … His shot selection, I think he’s more conscious of that right now, and I’m OK with that.”
Johnson on whether Brown and Eddie need to be more aggressive as far as looking for their shots: “When you’ve got Erick Green that goes on a, I think he may have scored 9 straight points by himself, he’s coming off screens, draining 3s, there’s not many opportunities for those guys. He came back and gave us the lead single handedly. And when he’s got the hot hand like that we’re going to ride him and those guys are going to have to play off of him.”
Johnson on Raines not starting because he was sick: “He practiced very little the last two days, he was battling this flu.”
Johnson on how he keeps VT from getting discouraged heading into games with UNC and Md.: “Just like we kept them from getting discouraged tonight. Did they look discouraged? … We’ve got to find a way to finish games. We’ve got to find a way to put 40 minutes together. But they haven’t shown discouragement. .. We’re so close. … We’re right there. … We need other guys to step up and make the plays when they’re there. …. When certain opportunities are there, we need guys to make plays whether it be a rebound or delivering a pass or making a layup or making a free throw.”
Johnson on Miami’s treys: “Our defense was pretty good. We did a good job on our interior defense, which part of that was not letting Larkin get into the lane.. .. Larkin shooting behind the ball screens hurt us. … Not a lot of guards in any league can make those shots behind ball screens as deep as he was doing it tonight. He’s talented. … Larkin played off of those ball screens. He kind of yo yoed us, went one way, he’d come back, he kind of kept doing it until he found his little seam, his little crack and he knocked it down. I don’t think we gave him anything easy.”
Johnson on UM’s defense in the 2nd half: “They did a good job on Green with the ball screens, but we took him off the ball screens and started running him off some stagger actions where they couldn’t get to the ball to trap him off the ball screens and that’s where Green got hurt.
Johnson on Green: “It’s amazing what he’s doing, it is absolutely amazing. … There are times in the game where I want him to be even more aggressive but I know that he has to pick his spots….. He needs a little bit more help. He needs some guys to step up for him and make plays. … He’s averaging … 30 a game against the 3 best defenses in the league. He’s putting us in position. We’ve got to find a way to finish it off.”
Johnson on Raines: “He shot faked a lot tonight. He shot faked and got the big boys off balance and was able to get to the rim…. He did a good job of shot faking. … I was impressed with Raines.”