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Three Up, Three Down: Virginia Tech

YES. Bryant Crawford went supernova and Brandon Childress proved himself to be his father’s son en route to Wake’s victory in Blacksburg that, in my opinion, all but locked up our bid to the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Virginia Tech Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Ups

Stone Cold Bryant Crawford. 26 points (5-8 shooting, 3-5 from deep, and an insane 13-14 from the line),5 assists, no turnovers, and one each of blocks, steals, and rebounds. Just bonkers. Bryant absolutely put the team on his back and proved John isn’t the only leader of this squad.

Contributions From Everywhere. John Collins had 13 and 9. Austin Arians had 15 points including 3 early threes to keep Wake within punching distance. Konstantinos Mitoglou only had 5 points but they were big, and he also had 7 boards and a monstrous block late. Brandon Childress chipped in 11 points including a clutch jumper and late free-throws, and Keyshawn Woods tallied an efficient 14 points on 6-11 shooting, 2-4 from the line. This was an amazing effort all around.

Adjustments. Yet again, we went down big early and rallied from behind to win. On the one hand, I’m a little sick of the stress that brings, but on the other, it would be dishonest to say it’s not exciting, and in the long term I think it bodes well for both the players and the coaching staff that they’re not only learning to do this, they’re learning to do it repeatedly and go on streaks, something we haven’t seen in ages.

The Downs

John’s First Half. No points. One shot. 3 fouls. This was probably the worst half of John’s career, and while he acquitted himself admirably in the second half, it’s concerning to me that the smart money is on an eventual rematch with the Hokies. I do think we’ll take care of Boston College, but according to some we’d even need to win the VT rematch to be a 100% lock (I’m looking at you, Andy Katz). It’s slightly concerning to me that Tech shut John down better than any team this year, but maybe the same tricks won’t work twice, huh?

First Half Defense. The Hokies shot nearly 56% in the first half, and that’s with us getting a number of stops toward the end of the first to tighten the margin to 5. Yikes. Yikes indeed.

Defense In The Paint. Even in the second half with the defense having tightened, Virginia Tech repeatedly got easy money driving to the basket. Granted, that’s going to happen with VT. That’s a big part of their identity. But we need to know they go left. If we kept them going right, they’d have had many more issues in the paint.

The Bottom Line

Freaking amazing. John has his worst game in months, and we still overcome a big defecit on the road against a quality tourney team. This is fantastic. The program is driving on the right side of the road, and I’’m loving every second of it. I hope they bottle this determination and feast on BC on Tuesday, really make a statement. We can’t overlook the Eagles, though. It’s tough to beat any team three times in a season.

On to the next. Let’s get it. Go Deacs.