After the big win against bc there was potential for a letdown against miami — but it only lasted through a frustrating first half. In the second half the Hokies played Bud Foster-like defense leading to a lot of fastbreak points and a smooth 73-57 victory.
Knowing miami was a bottom feeder in the ACC, the fact that Denis Clemente, averaging a whopping 9.8 points a game, was a one-man wrecking crew offensively, and the officiating all made me uncomfortable for much of the first half.
The refs were bad all game. They werenâ€™t just making bad calls against the Hokies, we had some go our way too. It made me wonder if they were getting into the business of make-up calls, something everyone knows a good official canâ€™t do. I donâ€™t want to rant too much about the refs, one should never make them an excuse for a loss and since we won I guess it wasnâ€™t that big a deal â€“ I just thought they were the worst ACC refs Iâ€™d ever seen.
Back to the gameâ€¦I thought Coleman Collins play in the first half was outstanding offensively. He was making plays we all knew he was capable of making all season. Unfortunately it was in our twenty-eighth game of the season, not the first. Collins didnâ€™t play in the first eight minutes of the second half though and my hope that he would get a 20-point game faded. I think coach Greenberg started Cheick Diakite in the second half to make the point that the Hokies would have to play better defense to create more offense. It worked, and Coach Greenberg also helped amp up the crowd that had been somewhat sluggish in the first half.
Tech took a four-point lead and Coach Greenberg stepped on the court waving his arms in the air. Even the alumni stood up for the Coach, and the Cassell was rocking the rest of the afternoon. In my last column I pleaded for the alumni to show up to this game, a game that could have destroyed our ACC regular season title hopes. The alumni showed up, maybe even more so than the students. But, we all know Saturday noon games, whether itâ€™s football or basketball games, are not conducive to the studentsâ€™ life style.
Another thing that may not be easy for the students is making Sundayâ€™s game against clemson next week because it will be the first weekend of Spring Break. There could be a regular-season title on the line, and it will be senior day for a class that may be the Hokiesâ€™ best ever. Itâ€™s an unfortunate instance of bad scheduling, but nevertheless as many students as possible need to be there. Any one that has any love for Virginia Tech basketball, sports in general, or even the University, should be there. Five young men that have worked very hard to make Virginia Tech basketball something to be proud of will play their last game in Cassell Coliseum and we need to be there to send them off as loudly as we cheered them against unc in January. Iâ€™m making the trip to Charlottesville Thursday night, I live near there, and Iâ€™ll be making the 3-hour trip back to Blacksburg on Sunday for the clemson game. I strongly encourage anyone that has enjoyed the rise of Hokie Hoops to be there as well.