Well, no one ever said it was easy to be a Virginia Tech hoops fan. Just when the pain of feeling like you had been kicked in the nuts was beginning to ease â€“ i.e. the xavier game â€“ the wisconsin badgers came to town. No sooner did the badgersâ€™ Trevon Hughes connect on his double clutch, off balance one hander in the lane with 0.9 seconds remaining, Hokie fans everywhere had to be wondering what we had done to tick off the basketball gods to this point. Iâ€™m now hearing rumblings within the Hokie Nation that this basketball season is a lost cause. This is utterly ridiculous.
Letâ€™s all take a deep breath and lighten up here. While wins over sharp-shooting Big Ten power wisconsin and a xavier squad one year removed from an elite 8 appearance would certainly look nice on the resumeâ€™, there are no â€“ repeat no â€“ must win games in November or December. As Coach Greenberg said after Mondayâ€™s game, â€œNo one gets eliminated December 1, and no one makes the tournament December 1.â€ Greenberg figures to get plenty of cracks at top-50 wins during ACC play alone this season. Look at it this way, even with all of the Hokiesâ€™ futility last season against out of conference and top-50 teams, if Tech could have squeaked out one more league win (such as reversing the loss to last place n.c. state for example) and with a 10-6 ACC record, compared to 9-7, there is no damn way we wouldnâ€™t have gotten a bid.
The Hokies have seven non- conference games left this season (six before the ACC opener at duke). With the exception of the georgia game, Tech will be favored in each of the six. Win them all, and the Hokies will be at 10-3, their best mark going into conference play since 1995-96, when the A-10 member Hokies were in the top-25 virtually all season. Not bad position to be in. The key is to remain focused, avoid losses to bottom-150 RPI teams, get J.T. Thompson back into the rotation, then letâ€™s take some more cracks at those marquee wins.
I have to give a shout out to A.D. for his remarkable career-high 30 point effort Monday night, which included 6 of 9 shooting from three point range. His clutch shooting down the stretch was nothing short of astounding and pretty much single-handedly got the Hokies back into the game, with Jeff Allen saddled with foul trouble the entire game.
Speaking of Allen, there were some very curious calls against the Dunking Donut, starting with a touch foul just seconds after the opening tip. I have to say that I was very impressed with Big Jeffâ€™s ability to keep his cool after each of these calls, especially considering last seasonâ€™s ref-bumping incident at georgia tech. Expect to see Allen on the other end of these calls, and on the free throw line even more, as he continues to mature.
Another encouraging note from the wisconsin game had to be the continued fast paced development of freshman Victor â€œDonâ€™t Call Me V.D.â€ Davila. The Hokiesâ€™ other Puerto Rico native scored 13 points in 25 minutes and continued to impress with his footwork and quick moves around the rim. Victor is showing an ability to get the ball up on the glass quickly around the opposing big men. Personally, I canâ€™t wait to see Coach Greenberg go with a front line of Thompson, Allen, and Davila.