Northwestern turned a seven-point halftime lead into a rout, defeating UCAM Murcia II, 94-54, in the third game of the team’s tour of Spain.
The Wildcats outscored UCAM Murcia II 32-11 in the third quarter with Joey van Zegeren, the transfer forward, finishing three alley-oop dunks.
Those dunks resulted in half of van Zegeren’s offense output, finishing with a dozen points. The 6-foot-10 forward from the Netherlands spent his first three seasons at Virginia Tech, but decided to enroll at Northwestern as a graduate transfer. He averaged 9.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in a shortened 2014-15 season with the Hokies after being suspended in early January
Scottie Lindsey finished with a game-high 20 points. The team’s top returning scorer, Tre Demps, added 18 points while freshman forward Aaron Falzon scored in double figures for the third straight game.
The Wildcats are 1-1 on the tour so far, which continues on Saturday in Barcelona against CB Tarragona.
Virginia Tech junior forward Joey van Zegeren hasn’t played in any of the Hokies’ last four games, and he wasn’t expected to play in Thursday’s home game against No. 8 Notre Dame either, after he was suspended indefinitely by head coach Buzz Williams. Van Zegeren, who was averaging 9.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game at the time of his suspension, was disciplined for what was defined as “a lack of discipline and self-control at practice.”
Thursday afternoon it was announced by the school that van Zegeren’s time with the basketball program has come to an end, with the forward remaining on scholarship for the remainder of the semester.
Today we decided that it would be best if he leaves the team, says Buzz in statement
Van Zegeren, a native of the Netherlands, would in all likelihood be able to transfer to another school without having to sit out a season as a result of his receiving his bachelor’s degree. Virginia Tech has struggled in the rebounding department all season long, as they currently rank last in the ACC in both offensive (28.5%) and defensive (61.6%) rebounding percentage.
Thursday’s game against Notre Dame begins a stretch of three straight home contests, but two are against ranked opponents. The Hokies will also host No. 2 Virginia (Sunday) and Pittsburgh (Tuesday).
Virginia Tech suspends top rebounder indefinitely for ‘lack of discipline and self-control at practice’
Joey Van Zegeren, a 6-foot-10 junior forward, was suspended indefinitely by the Virginia Tech program on Friday afternoon, the team announced.
“Joey failed to meet the expectations we have for our team,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said in a statement, via WDJB 7. “He demonstrated a lack of discipline and self-control at practice and as such this suspension was warranted.”
The Hokies will enter the start of ACC conference play without the services of their top rebounder and third leading scorer, as Van Zegeren was posting averages of 9.8 points and 5.3 boards per game.
Virginia Tech opens league play on Saturday at home against Syracuse. The Orange feature one of the nation’s most improved big men in Rakeem Christmas, who is averaging 17.8 points and 8.8 boards per game. Van Zegeren’s suspension means it’ll be up to Shane Henry and 7-foot freshman Satchel Pierce — both logging less than a dozen minutes per game — to contain the frontline of Christmas and Chris McCullough.
Much has, and will, be made about the new points of emphasis in college basketball regarding contact. With the goal being to increase scoring after the sport’s worst season in five decades, the days of using a hand or forearm while defending a player are (seemingly) over. A number of touch fouls that have been let go for years are being called, leading to higher foul totals and longer games.
That brings us to what happened in Blacksburg, Va. on Tuesday, with such a call nullifying what would have been the best poster dunk of the first week of the season. West Virginia guard Juwan Staten threw down an impressive one-handed dunk over Virginia Tech’s Joey Van Zegeren with the Mountaineers holding a 26-12 lead at the time. That kind of finish can provide a significant boost in momentum, and with the score being what it was it could have been a killer for the Hokies.
Only one problem: the dunk didn’t count because of a foul called prior to Staten attempting the shot. But that’s not even the biggest problem for the Mountaineers: despite jumping out to a big lead early, they lost 87-82.
And kudos to Van Zegeren for making the attempt to defend the basket, as far too many move away from such situations in fear of landing on a highlight package.