Justin Case for February 15, 2011
UVa takes a turn for the worse. Liberty does the opposite.
The Cavaliers over the course of the season have been playing great basketball, mainly great defense and that's gotten them into the top 25, but if they want to stay there they'll need to get things straight. That defense has let them down recently. Normally UVa doesn't allow an opponent to score 50 on them. UNC scored 70+ on them and Clemson scored 60 Tuesday night, the same night UVa's offense scored 48. Joe Harris' left hand was really bandaged up. Hard to believe he was even able to play. A fractured bone in a non-shooting hand is better than it being in your shooting hand but it still is and will affect his game.
Meanwhile Liberty has won three in a row (2 on the road, one at home) and has 2 conference games left (both at home against Coastal and Campbell). Following a loss to UNC Asheville, JC Sanders told me that 4th place was still achievable. He said, "We would probably have to win out." So far they have. Coach Dale Layer told the media Tuesday night following a 78-69 win over rival VMI, "34 days ago we were in dead last and now we're tied for 6th." It's been an impressive run. Jesse Sanders told me LU's shot selection has gotten way better and as a result more shots are falling. In the 3-game win streak, they're shooting 57% from the floor.
Virginia Tech got a win Sunday over Boston College. Dorian Finney-Smith, a freshman came through big time. He was stuck in a rut for 6 games (zero made shots in that span), but he's broken out of the slump and scored two huge tip in buckets in the closing seconds of a win over BC. Still, BC is the worst or second worst ACC team and VT almost lost to them. Coach Seth Greenberg has said several times, "we don't finish," "we're not playing with enough grit," "we have no desire or focus." Those are bold statements to make as a coach and I know that Tech is a young team but the entire team is not freshman and sophomores. Part of the inadequacy falls on Greenberg and the coaching staff.
Full Court Press is steaming along. We're into week 7 and district tournaments are underway. What a game Monday night at Heritage. Heritage and EC Glass go to OT. Heritage wins 66-61. Great atmosphere. This Friday night on FCP we'll have the Dogwood and Seminole finals for both boys and girls and we'll have coverage from Roanoke area title games as well, plus cheerleaders, players, top 13s and much more. Join Dennis Carter and me at 11:15 Friday night.
In the NBA, have you been following the Jeremy Lin story. The now Knicks point guard has come out of nowhere. He's from California. Played at Harvard. Then got cut by the Warriors and Rockets. He played in the NBA Development league and now he's a star. Tuesday night he hit a 3 at the buzzer to beat the Raptors. Last Friday he dropped 38 points on the Lakers. Plus the Knicks have won all 6 games since he's been on a role. He does turn the ball over a lot but it's still great to see unexpected stories develop.