Hokies @ Bouncy-Jackets: Labor Day, Revisited.

Marcus Georges-Hunt fights for points on the oaken battlefield. - Josh D. Weiss-USA TODAY Sports

The hardcourt Jackets fought the good fight and we saw a lot of improvement in this loss to Virginia Tech, but the 2nd half once again laughed in our face.

The day started with the optimistic hope of the Jackets getting their first ACC win against a fellow squad struggling in conference play. Those hopes went unfulfilled. Let's see what happened.

The big X factor in the first half was certainly the defense. The score was 22-25 coming out of the first half and the Hokies were shooting an abysmal 26%. The Jackets weren't doing much better at 35%, but our shots were falling more often than theirs and thats what mattered. In the 2nd half, the Jackets got a little more aggressive and put the focus on the offensive side of the game. They shot 18 points in the paint as opposed to 12 in the first half. This gave the Jackets a consistent 7 point lead for a while, but then the Hokie's 2-3 zone started working and shut down the inside game. Coach Gregory thought VT was able to extend the zone well and make us miss some shots, but a lot of it was not "play[ing] with the basketball IQ that you have to play at in this league." I think that could be our biggest problem, because we always seem to panic in the second half and revert to the Paul Hewitt offensive strategy of "shoot the damn ball!" They also didn't finish the shots they did manage to get inside, going one for two or o'fer at the line. Overall, the traditional 4th quarter collapse reared its ugly head again. The only slight positive coming out of the game was the Jackets improved their fast break points and points in the paint ever so slightly, increasing to 30 this game.

Now, we can pontificate all we want about why these collapses have occurred in ACC play, but I think it really only boils down to one thing: mental stamina. My biggest hint to this effect was Mfon Udofia's mood when he came in for his interview after the game. He wasn't just downtrodden like a someone who just lost a close game would normally be, he was visibly crushed. Some might say that's a good thing and shows how much passion he has, but I think that if a person who is normally coached to look good for the press displays that kind of attitude, there's something wrong there. I'm not blaming Mfon in particular mind you, I'm just saying that the team needs to stop taking the game so seriously and have a little more fun with it. That's a hallmark of all great teams: they have fun with it. Of course you might say its easy to have fun when you're winning, but being able to have fun when you're losing is what separates a good team from a great team.

I could be the traditional pessimist that I write in the "Burdell's uncertainty principle" series here, but I can't do that just yet. There's still lots of ACC games left to play, and the hardcourt Jackets haven't pulled off their annual upset of a better team.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join From The Rumble Seat

You must be a member of From The Rumble Seat to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at From The Rumble Seat. You should read them.

Join From The Rumble Seat

You must be a member of From The Rumble Seat to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at From The Rumble Seat. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker