The Balla Report 12/3/08

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 – i.e. the xavier game – the wisconsin badgers came to town. No sooner did the badgers’ 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. I’m now hearing rumblings within the Hokie Nation that this basketball season is a lost cause. This is utterly ridiculous.

Let’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 resume’, there are no – repeat no – must win games in November or December. As Coach Greenberg said after Monday’s game, “No one gets eliminated December 1, and no one makes the tournament December 1.” 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 Hokies’ 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 wouldn’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 let’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 Jeff’s ability to keep his cool after each of these calls, especially considering last season’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 “Don’t Call Me V.D.” Davila. The Hokies’ 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 can’t wait to see Coach Greenberg go with a front line of Thompson, Allen, and Davila.

This post was written by:

- who has written 52 posts on Tech Hoops.

VT class of '92, B.S. in Finance. Legendary Playground balla from the outdoor courts of Richmond to the courts outside of Lee Hall & N.U.F. Also 2 time captain of Sigma Nu C Team Basketball. We once qualified for the VT Intramural version of the Big Dance & lost our first round game by over 100 points. Not to brag, but I connected on a 4 point play off the opening tip, & we took a 4-zip lead. Things went downhill fast after that. Favorite bball memories as a student (88 - 92) include watching the great Bimbo Coles for a couple of seasons. Other than that, not many. We did beat jmu once when Lefty Driessel was the coach there. Also beat a nationally ranked alabama team when I was a Freshman which led to a mattress battle on the prarie between Pritchard & O'Shag - I still have a t-shirt somewhere. Favorite all time VT basketball moment, the win '07 win over #1 unc goes straight to the top.

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