Jan 5, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins center Alex Len (25) dunks against the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Comcast Center. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Hokies Lose ACC Opener In Embarrassing Fashion To Maryland

The ugly performances seem to be piling up for the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team.  This is the third blowout loss in a row for the Hokies, this time to ACC foe Maryland 94-71.

From the start of the game Maryland was shooting lights out, getting an incredible performance from Jake Layman from the 3-point line. Layman hit four quick 3-pointers despite being a sub-20 percent 3-point shooter and ended up with a career high 20 points.

Early on the Terrapins controlled the offensive glass with the help of Alex Len, the highly touted NBA center prospect. Lin finished the game with 16 points and nine rebounds.

For the Hokies, the story lines were mostly the same as they have been recently. Poor perimeter defense allowed Maryland to get hot early and often, and by the end of the first half the Hokies had amassed a 16 point deficit allowing 53 points.

The positive, as is usual by now, was Erick Green who put up 28 points today, a game high.  Outside of Green though, the production was limited. The short bench is perhaps starting to rear its ugly head for Virginia Tech and coach James Johnson is going to have some serious soul searching to do for solutions.

Not helping the bench woes is the fact that C.J. Barksdale, who had been starting at power forward for the Hokies all season, was benched today by Johnson for a lack of effort and hustle in practice.  In his place started Joey Van Zegeren, who actually played with a lot of effort and grit.  Van Zegeren contributed 10 points and five rebounds.

Cadarian Raines got back into a semi-groove by scoring eight points and grabbing 13 rebounds, but he remained in foul trouble once again.  With such a short bench and lack of true inside players, it’s imperative that Raines get his foul problems under control.

Frankly there aren’t many positives to take from this game.  The Hokies were out-rebounded, had only seven assists on 25 made shots, and shot a woeful 21 percent from the 3-point line.  A quick note on the 3-point percentage, today the Hokies attempted 19 3-pointers.  Twelve of those shots were taken by Jarell Eddie and Robert Brown, who went for a combined 1-12.  Both of those players need to get back in their respective grooves if Virginia Tech wants to even compete in the ACC, let alone win games.

The bright season Virginia Tech fans had aspirations of when the team started out 7-0 seems to be dissipating right before their eyes.  Hopefully the Hokies can turn things around next Wednesday when the team hosts a very mediocre Boston College team in Cassell Coliseum.

Tags: Virginia Tech Hokies

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