Senior Moments | Markus Sailes

Each day this week will profile a senior. Today let’s look at the career of Markus Sailes. Tomorrow is Coleman Collins.

r-Senior | Guard | 6’5″ | 210 lb. | Richmond, VA

Markus Sailes came to Virginia Tech as one of the top players in the state in the 2002 Recruiting Class. After limited minutes his freshman year, Sailes started every game at guard his sophomore season in 2003-04. As the talent around Markus has increased on the Virginia Tech basketball team, he has seen his role and minutes reduced. However, he has continued to be a solid contributor for this team throughout his career as a reserve guard. Sailes will take the Cassell Coliseum court for the final time on March 4th as the only current member of the team that played two years in the Big East (he redshirted in 2004-05 after fracturing his tibula on his right leg).

Sailes was a classic Ricky Stokes recruit: a tall, rangy athlete that was a work-in-progress as a basketball player. Markus was the Richmond Times-Dispatch Player of the Year in his final season at Varina High School. He fit right into Virginia Tech’s scheme: have tall guys out there that get there hands on a lot of passes on defense… and who cares about offense? Just give Bryant Matthews the ball!

Markus’s best qualities on the court are his defense and ball security. Since his freshman year, he has had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2:1. That is a very good mark, especially for a guard. His long body and quickness are an asset on defense. Sailes is taller than most guards he defends, allowing him to shut them down.

Sailes’s weaknesses are all on the offensive end. He is a decent penetrator, but teams back off of him or leave him open outside since he has no outside shot. Also, he is a liability on the free throw line at the end of games, shooting just 41% this season. This is an odd stat because he was a 62% free throw shooter coming into this season.

By Markus’s sophomore season, he was starting at the three-guard spot with Carlos Dixon out due to injury. He started all 29 games that season and averaged more than 30 minutes of playing time per game. But Sailes’s shot just 38% from the field and 29% on three’s, while averaging just five points per game. The writing was on the wall for Markus: either he had to develop more offensively, or he could kiss some of his playing time good bye as new recruits came in.

As it turned out, Markus had the bad “break” of a tibular fracture in 2003-04 and missed almost the entire season. Carlos Dixon returned from his own injury related redshirt season and played the three-guard spot.

Sailes returned for the 2004-05 season and once again moved into a starting spot at the three-guard with Dixon’s graduation. But as the season progressed, Markus lost his starting spot to Witherspoon and A.D. Vassallo. Sailes did average over 20 minutes a game on the season, but saw this drop to just 17 minutes in ACC contests. His point production dropped, but he did improve his shooting percentage by focusing on better shots and fewer three’s.

In his senior season, Markus has lost even more playing time with the emergence of A.D. Vassallo and Nigel Munson. Sailes is now primarily used as a defensive stopper for about 15 minutes a game, spelling Gordon, Dowdell, or Vassallo. Markus has all but stopped shooting three’s, focusing on almost nothing but easy lay-ups.

Greatest Game: This was an easy choice. Back in the 2003-04 season, Markus scored a career-high 14 points on 7/7 shooting in a 69-67 victory at wvu. He also added five rebounds. To top it all off, he scored the deciding bucket with 13.7 seconds left to defeat VT’s rival. This was a rare offensive explosion for Sailes.

Favorite Moment: Again, this was an easy choice for me. My favorite moment was actually a game – the rutgers game in the first round of the 2004 Big East Tournament. This was VT’s first ever Big East Tournament game and Markus helped lead us to a 61-58 victory with 10 points and seven rebounds. He was all over the place on defense, too. This was one of his finest efforts in a clutch moment.

I also won’t forget the smile on his face after his dunk against bc on 2/21/07 to put the Hokies up by 30.



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This post was written by:

- who has written 1276 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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2014-2015 Schedule/Results


11/14 - Hokies 71, md. eastern shore 46
11/19 - Hokies 73, liberty 63
11/22 - appalachian state 65, Hokies 63
Cancun Classic
11/25 - n. iowa 73, Hokies 54
11/26 - Hokies 78, miami ohio 63
11/30 - Hokies 83, morgan state 63


12/03 - penn state 61, Hokies 58
12/07 - radford 68, Hokies 66
12/14 - Hokies 65, alabama a&m 55
12/20 - Hokies 64, the citadel 61
12/22 - Hokies 87, vmi 74
12/27 - Hokies 87, presbyterian 65
12/30 - west virginia 82, Hokies 51


01/03 - syracuse 68, Hokies 66
01/06 - louisville 78, Hokies 63
01/18 - unc 68, Hokies 53
01/22 - notre dame 85, Hokies 60
01/25 - uva 50, Hokies 47
01/27 - Hokies 70, pittsburgh 67
01/31 - wake forest 73, Hokies 70


02/03 - syracuse 72, Hokies 70
02/07 - vs. fsu | 3pm, ACCN
02/09 - vs. georgia tech | 9pm, ESPNU
02/14 - @ clemson | Noon, RSN
02/18 - @ miami | 7pm, RSN
02/21 - @ nc state | 6pm, ESPN2
02/25 - vs. duke | 9pm, ESPN2
02/28 - @ uva | 4pm, ACCN


03/02 - vs. boston college | 9pm, ESPNU
03/07 - vs. miami | Noon, RSN
ACC Tournament
03/10 - 1st rd.
03/11 - 2nd rd.
03/12 - quarterfinals
03/13 - semifinals
03/14 - championship

Photos on flickr