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22 Random Hoops Thoughts on Virginia Tech

A resume-boosting non-conference win? Sign me up, please!

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

This past Tuesday, Penn State hosted Virginia Tech in a game of American collegiate basketball. Penn State won a nail-biter, 63-62. Channeling my inner Adam Collyer, I have a bunch of random thoughts, which can be seen below.

  1. Shout-out to Penn State for rocking the alternate pink and black uniforms.
  2. Shout-out to the “Legion of Blue” student section for following suit (the pink pom-poms were a nice touch).
  3. Speaking of the Legion of Blue, they apparently have doubled in size from last year, and you sure could hear them making noise all throughout the broadcast. Considering the BJC’s reputation for being a pretty dead atmosphere, they did a hell of a job adding some life to the building.
  4. I will get my share of flack for saying this, but I don’t care: The football team should follow suit and rock pink and black alternate uniforms for one home game every year. Perhaps during Homecoming?
  5. I hope you weren’t chopping onions when Mike Watkins made his triumphant return to the court.
  6. Just how clutch was it getting Mike back? He is far and away PSU’s best post player, whether it’s blocking/altering shots or posting up and getting his share of points in the paint, this team looks like one that will challenge for an NCAA Tournament bid once again when he is available.
  7. PSU is currently ranked 9th in KenPom’s Adjusted Defense ratings and this game showed why. The aggressiveness was at a caliber that would make Pat Chambers and his “attitude” mantra very proud as it lead to numerous turnovers forced, which in turn, became points on the other end.
  8. This just in: Hermey doesn’t like to make toys.
  9. Sorry, I checked out my DVR recording of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer for a brief moment.
  10. I’m old enough to remember when we were wondering how Penn State was going to overcome the losses of Tony Carr and Shep Garner in the backcourt.
  11. But seriously though, the most pleasant surprise of the season so far has been the swift emergence of the freshmen guards Myles Dread, Rasir Bolton, and Myreon Jones. The latter two especially were clutch in the second half, as they combined to hit seven of PSU’s nine total three-pointers on the night.
  12. Here’s even more praise for Myreon, who scored a career-high 18 points after scoring no more than four points in the previous five games. He saw a season-high 22 minutes of action and surely, his PT won’t be decreasing after this game.
  13. Virginia Tech shot a solid 10-for-19 from downtown, yet they never led by more than six points in the second half. Kudos to PSU for not allowing this game to get out of hand as it seemed like it had the potential to at times.
  14. Are they really going to review every tangle-up that occurs? I understand the NCAA trying to crack down on hook-and-holds, but the multiple stoppages to review them seemed excessive and really killed the flow of gameplay.
  15. The “Chambers of Secrets” which is a cardboard cabinet on side of the hoop in which the students pop out with a different costume to distract opposing free throw shooters is a nice, new touch from the Legion of Blue. Hopefully, it continues to be a thing.
  16. Does anyone else want to throw that “sunset heart-hands” woman from the Taco Bell commercials into the ocean?
  17. If you told me that Josh Reaves’ layup to put PSU up 63-60 with 3:13 left in the game would be the last points scored for PSU in the game and that they would win by shutting down Tech on the defensive end, I would’ve asked how long you had been following PSU hoops...
  18. ...But that’s precisely what happened, the Hokies would only score two more points (both on free throws) as PSU would ultimately hang on. Even despite Myreon Jones traveling with 31 seconds left, giving the Hokies a chance at the go-ahead bucket, and Myles Dread subsequently missing a critical one-in-one free throw, giving the Hokies yet another shot to win the game. My cynical self was proven wrong, for once.
  19. I actually am glad the students didn’t attempt to storm the court despite beating a 13th-ranked Virginia Tech squad. Save it for a Top 10 opponent in February (like Ohio State last year).
  20. That being said, this is a yuuuge win that should resonate well with the NCAA selection committee come March, (assuming for a moment, that PSU fares decently in conference play). One of the biggest issues PSU had going against itself aside from a general lack of respect for the Big Ten, was the lack of a marquee win aside from beating Ohio State three times.
  21. Penn State will have a chance to further pad their resume tomorrow night at 24th-ranked Maryland and earn back-to-back wins over Top 25 programs for the first time since...since.....(I’ll have to do some research to find out the answer to that one)
  22. We Are...