Get your whiskey shot and beer ready, the boilermakers are coming to Blacksburg! The worst kept secret in the college sports world (well, maybe second behind Big(14/16)10 expansion), is now official – the purdue boilermakers will visit the Virginia Tech Hokies as part of the ACC/Big(11)Ten Challenge on Wednesday, December 1st. This will be one of the marquee match-ups of the challenge, which the Big(11)Ten won for the first time last year. Tech is 2-3 in the challenge with both wins coming against iowa. VT is 1-1 at the Cassell in the challenge.
Already this is a bigger out of conference game than VT played all of last year, with more likely to come, so don’t expect strength of schedule to be a factor next year for the Hokies and the NCAA Tournament. purdue is a sure fire top five team next year (Pat Forde of ESPN.com has purdue #1). They finished 29-6 this past season and lost to the eventual champion, duke, in the Sweet 16. Three of their losses came in the final month of the season when they didn’t have Robbie Hummel (6’8″ F), their second leading scorer and rebounder. But purdue returns their top three scorers next season, all of whom average more than 15 ppg and combine to score over 47 ppg (67% of their points) in the offensively challenged Big(11)Ten. E’Twaun Moore, a 6’4″ guard, led purdue with 16.4 ppg, Hummel averaged 15.7 before his knee injury, and 6’10″ center JaJuan Johnson averaged 15.5. In other words, they are loaded with three superstars. They did lose two quality contributors at guard though.
The key now for the Hokies is making sure they lock up other big (maybe not this big, but semi-big) out of conference games for next year. You cannot have your OOC schedule boil down to just one game.
Delaney: I’m glad I was wrong on Malcolm leaving for the NBA. Not only selfishly because I want him playing for us next year, but also because I think it is best for him. He had too many question marks in the NBA’s eyes right now. Hopefully he can answer those next year and move up in the Draft (or into the Draft). And with the improved cast of characters around him, Malcolm won’t have to shoulder the load as much. Plus he will get to play with his buddy Allan Chaney.
Recruiting News: The Hokies continue to be in the picture for some major prospects in the 2011 Class. Dai-Jon Parker, a 5-star Rivals.com and 4-star Scout.com prospect at shooting guard, recently visited VT. The Hokies appear to be very much in the picture for him. Tech already has two 4-star recruits and a solid 3-star recruit in the 2011 class but have at least five scholarships to give out.
Other News: If you look at the article above, Pat Forde lists Tech as a top 25 contender for the title next year…
“Virginia Tech: The Hokies actually might avoid putting coach Seth Greenberg through bubble misery next March. I’m not sure what we’ll do in the media without another season of “Watch Seth Sweat Out Selection Sunday,” but he should appreciate the reprieve. If this experienced team performs to its capabilities, the Hokies will lock up a bid with weeks to spare.”