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elon Game Preview | Fri., 11/9 – 7 PM | Cassell Coliseum

Gameday Thoughts: I feel like today is Christmas Day, yet I have no idea what I’m going to get. This team is mostly a complete mystery at this point. How will Deron and A.D. be as leaders? Which freshman will step up? Can we develop an inside game for the first time since the mid-90s?

Expect Thorns and Vassallo to start at guard, with Deron, Allen, and Diakite down low. Deron will likey guard the other team’s best player (in this case, #10 brett james) with Vassallo on the slower, less quick player. Deron will be our stopper, at least until Hudson comes on board.

I still think Delaney will be the starting PG by ACC part of the season. Expect to see a lot of him at PG and SG today.

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Category

VT

VT

elon

elon

2006-07 Record

W – 22

L – 12

W – 7

L – 23

2006-07 Conference Record

W – 10

L – 6

W – 5

L – 13

Leading Scorer*

Washington

12.0

james

12.2

Leading Rebounder*

Washington

5.3

atoyebi

4.7

Assists Leader*

Washington

1.5

carter

1.6

Blocks Leader*

Washington

1.0

james

0.9

Steals Leader*

Washington

1.2

james

1.4

* Statistical category leader from last year that is returning this season

Hey, Hokie fans, hit I-81 a little early on Friday and head on down for your fsu weekend appetizer: the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team makes their 2007-08 debut when they take on the elon fightin’ Christians… er, I mean phoenix, at Cassell Coliseum. In all likelihood, VT will welcome their 4 millionth fan to Cassell during this game!!!

If you haven’t been reading TechHoops.com (shame on you), you might want to buy a program because there will be a lot of new faces for the Hokies. The last time the Hokies walked off the Cassell Coliseum in the spring, VT said goodbye to over 4500 points, 1500 rebounds, 1000 assists, and 500 steals. Tech lost five seniors (Dowdell, Gordon, Collins, Sailes, and Tucker) along with two transfers/deportations (munson and krabbendam). Baby Hokie Roster

That said, the Hokies welcome their biggest and arguably most talented recruiting class ever, and that’s even without gus gilchrist or Darrion Pellum. [Note: gilchrist has recently verballed to the communist party, aka, the maryland terps.]

The baby Hokies will feature an all new backcourt with mighty-mite Hank Thorns (5’9″) and top 100 recruit [Rivals.com] Malcolm Delaney. That’s pretty much it for the backcourt. Expect A.D. Vassallo to play a good bit at the shooting guard spot in this game. A.D. and Deron will man the three position, which is a hybrid of wing guard and small forward.

In the post, back are role players Lewis Witcher and Cheick Diakite. Witcher needs to come out with some intensity in this game since his minutes shrunk greatly as last year went on. Otherwise, he might be left in the dust by new teammates Jeff Allen and J.T. Thompson. Terrance Vinson, a r-So, might also see some minutes. He needs to prove he belongs on the court.

Opponent:

elon has played two exhibition games so far. Now, you may be sitting there saying, “So what, they beat belmont abbey and the north carolina wesleyan battling bishops [I'm not making that up, that's their nickname]“. But let me tell you, throw out the records when those teams get together. Ok, enough tomfoolery.

The phoenix lost two of their top three scorers from last year on a team that went 7-23. They were outscored 70-63 on average and out-rebounded by 3 per game (even worse than VT). They only return one player that averages double digits scoring per game, so they are similar to Tech in that manner — except they didn’t bring in the horses VT did.

elon’s top returning scorer is #10 brett james. He averaged 12 per game last year, and 16 in their two exhibitions this year. #3 montell watson also averaged 16 in the two exhibition games. #5 devan carter is the likely other starter at guard.

elon does not shoot the three well, but they do hit the boards hard, dominating their two opponents on the glass. #32 adam constantine had a whopping 18 rebounds in their second exhibition. Like the Hokies, elon has no player over 6’9″ on the roster. But their two low post starters are 6’8″+ and over 220 lbs, in #23 ola atoyebi and #33 scott grable.

The phoenix will run a three guard similar to VT. Like the Hokies, their wing player is a lanky guy (james who is 6’5″, 185).

elon is a member of the Southern Conference, VT’s home from 1921-1965.

elon features six players from the Commonwealth.

Mildly Interesting Fact - elon was known as the fighting Christians until 1999. That year, they entered Division I athletics and decided they wanted a more universal appeal. phoenix was picked since the school had suffered a horrible fire in the early 1900′s, but they “rose from the ashes” like a phoenix. And there’s some religious ties to a phoenix.

Prediction:

Pain. For the phoenix. This team went just 7-23 last year, and lost by a combined 59 points to ga tech and wake forest. That’s ricky stokes-esque! elon didn’t crack 50 in either acc contest, and they lost their top two scorers. And Greenberg knows defense. Even if it takes the baby Hokies a while to figure out where their points are going to come from, they will play some D.

This game is a glorified exhibition for the Hokies. This is a chance for the four newcomers (that are healthy and qualified) to show their stuff, and for role players to earn their minutes. Expect the guys to play hard to jockey for minutes in bigger games.

Gambler’s Delight:

If you bet on this game, you must be on medication for Restless Leg Syndrome [Note: one of the side effects of RLS is excessive gambling! You can't make this stuff up! Expect to see this joke a lot this year...] With all the new faces on the VT roster, there’s no telling how this VT team will do, especially in their first game. I’ll check back once I see the line…

Next Game: Thanksgiving Day in Anchorage, AK at 1:45 AM vs. eastern washington in the Greak Alaskan Shootout

This post was written by:

- who has written 1201 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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  • DuffHokie

    gilchrist = sellout

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