Around the ACC | Breaking Down the League Through 10 Games

We knew this was going to be a down year for the ACC for the third year in a row, but I don’t think we knew this season would be so wild.  Through 10 games for most of the ACC teams (bc and wake have played 11), the parity amongst the teams is far greater than I thought it would be.  Or should I say the standard deviation amongst the teams in a game-by-game basis has been more than expected.  Just look at florida state for example:

  • The noles lost 5 games out of conference, including a 14 point first half against harvard and a 10 point first half vs princeton.
  • fsu loses by 20 in their ACC opener at clemson, a team that is now just 4-6 in the league.
  • The noles win by 33 over unc, the most talented team in the league (while scoring 90).
  • fsu wins at duke, handing duke their 1st home loss in almost 3 years.
  • florida state beats uva.
  • After winning 7 straighth in ACC play, the noles lose at boston college to a team starting 4 freshmen and a transfer that was 2-7 in the ACC, 7-16 overall, and had lost 6 in a row.
  • fsu beats the canes, snapping miami’s 5 game winning streak.

Biggest Positive Surprises: nc state already has more ACC wins than they had in any of Sidney Lowe’s 5 seasons with 7 this year (Lowe went 25-55 in ACC playing, never winning more than 6 in a season and he did that just once).  But the pack have a murderous 8 days coming up, with @duke, fsu, and unc looming.  One win out of those 3 would be a state-ment.

The canes also are trending up.  miami has never had a winning record in the ACC since joining in 2004 (and they’ve only finished 8-8 once).  It looked like business as usual for the canes this year, opening 1-3 in the league.  But they won 5 straight after that, including winning at duke for the first time.  They even played tough at rival fsu, but fell to 6-4 on Saturday.  With wake, maryland (whom they beat without Kadji), and bc still on the slate, they have a great shot at their first winning ACC season.

New Coaches: It is interesting to note that both those teams have new coaches.  We all know (if you read this site regularly) how bad Sidney Lowe was.  Gottfried (nc state)has already achieved more than Lowe ever did, at least in the regular season (Lowe did have a knack for making a run in the ACC Tournament).  And Larranaga (miami) has done a good job with the canes.  Haith was a decent coach (heck, he’s winning like crazy at missouri this year), but could never get miami over the hump.  Larranaga won with less at george mason, and inherited a solid, experienced team this year.  The out of conference schedule was hard on them with Reggie Johnson out and Kenny Kadji figuring out how to play with veteran guards, but they are streaking now.  Turgeon (maryland) has also done a solid job at maryland.  They are just 4-6, but have played well and Stoglin is the best pure scorer in the league.  The cupboard seemed to be bare for the terps with Jordan Williams leaving early, but they have overachieved to date.  Meanwhile, another new coach, Gregory at georgia tech, is taking it on the chin (2-8) thanks to what Paul Hewitt left him with.

Biggest Disappointment: Virginia Tech — Yes, our expectations were too high after starting 11-3 out of conference.  And yes, this is a really young team.  But this is TechHoops.com, so we are all Hokie fans, and I don’t think any of us predicted a 3-7 start where we needed clemson to miss a free throw and a shot at the buzzer, and bc to miss a free throw and a 30-footer to beat those two teams in the Cassell.  Our 3 wins have been by a combined total of 5 points, with our 7 ACC losses by 58.  Tech’s yet to play a complete game, with at least one offensive Sahara Desert per game.  The Hokies have not reached 70 points even once this calendar year, and have been held to 60 or less 6 times.

Let’s take a look at the ACC Media’s preseason predictions (back in October), my pre-ACC predictions (end of December), and the current standings:

MEDIA NIEMO CURRENT RECORD*
1 unc unc fsu 8-2
2 duke duke duke 8-2
3 fsu uva unc 8-2
4 uva VA TECH nc state 7-3
5 miami fsu uva 6-4
6 VA TECH miami miami 6-4
7 clemson nc state maryland 4-6
8 nc state maryland clemson 4-6
9 maryland clemson VA TECH 3-7
10 ga tech wake bc 3-8
11 wake ga tech ga tech 2-8
12 bc bc wake 2-9

*Note that I included the tiebreakers so the ‘Current’ column reflects their true ranking if the ACC Tournament started today.

It is interesting that miami actually sitting below where the media picked (well, they are tied for 5th) and right where I had them.  Yet it feels like they’ve overachieved.  To me, that’s because they started 1-3 but have improved greatly since then, winning 5 of 6.  They feel like a top team now.  And with Johnson and Kadji inside, they have a formidable inside-outside punch with Grant, Scott, and Larkin on the perimeter.

I still feel unc is, by far, the most talented team in the league.  Just check out the 2012 NBA mock drafts.  But Roy Williams is an overrated coach and his teams rarely play hard on defense.  I mean, who couldn’t win with almost all McDonald’s All-Americans?  Great recruiter, but average coach.  They got waxed by florida state because the noles were physical with them (and Dulkys played out of his mind), and the heels never like teams that can battle inside with them.  Then, the heels choked down the stretch against duke.  Still, I think they win the league.  They may not win the regular season title, but I’m putting my chips on their talent in the ACC Tourney.

florida state is too mercurial, due to their lack of offense.  They can lose to anybody on any given day since they don’t have consistent scoring.  And duke just doesn’t have the star power of past years, though Rivers is growing into a superstar, proving his top recruit ranking in the unc game last week.

As for the Hokies, I think finishing 8th or 9th is the realistic, though difficult, ambition at this point.  The Hokies could catch clemson who is a game ahead of them.  The two meet in the final week of the season and a VT win would give them the tiebreaker.  Tech could also catch maryland, who is just a game ahead, but the terps have the tiebreaker (so it is really a 2-game lead).  VT could also slide down the charts though.  Tech still has to play @fsu and @duke (both tied for first), and play nc state (#4) and uva (#5).  The georgia tech game is the only game the Hokies will be clear favorites in the rest of the way.  As for 6th and above, those teams are all at least 3 games ahead of VT, so catching them with just 6 to play isn’t reality.

With Tech sitting in 9th right now, I think holding onto that spot would be a success.  8th or 9th doesn’t matter since they play each other in the always empty Thursday noon game in the ACC Tournament.  Not what we wanted heading into the ACC schedule, but realistically it is about the best we can do at this stage.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1215 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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  • Blue Collar Hokie

    Interesting stat about Miami never having a winning season since joining the ACC. I mean, they’ve made the tourney more than once right? Just saying. . .

    • Niemo

      I’d have to double check but I think they’ve only made it once, just like VT.

    • HipHop_Hokie

      Yeah Miami made the tourney in 2002 back in the Big East days, but since moving to the ACC has only made it back once – in 2008 when they beat Saint Mary’s in Round 1 before losing by only 3 to the 2-seed Texas.

      • HipHop_Hokie

        I should clarify that the Canes also made the tourney 4 other times outside of those 2, including 3 straight from 1998-2000. Their best result was in 2000 when they made the Sweet 16 by beating Arkansas and Ohio State, only to then be bounced by Tulsa in round 3.

        • Blue Collar Hokie

          I meant since we joined the conference. You sure know your Canes bball history HipHop

  • chuck

    Feeling like 5-11 to me, with an NIT bid (no home games this time)….i had us read SO wrong…thought we had enough veterans and enough talent in the youngs to get us to 19-20 wins and a bubble spot..i still think we do have what it took to do that, i just don’t think our coach has adapted well, and probably cost us 3-4 wins on his own this year…still no offensive game plan

    And let the sweating begin for Seth….

    /rooting for a bad year next year too so we can be done with this….i hate how his teams play…you don’t know how much it pains me to throw a whole year away ahead of time, but it’s in the program’s best interest…i think.

    • Martin

      Oh come on man, one down season and you’re rooting for seth’s demise? I’m all for cutting ties if he continues to struggle throughout next season, but rooting for it? SMH. Also, I think you’re underestimating how easily JW could get another, better, coach into Blacksburg. I doubt it is the most desirable position in CBB coaching.

      • Chris

        Agreed Martin. I’m not actively rooting against Seth, because that’s actively rooting against VT. And I just won’t do that.

        That said, if he doesn’t win next year, I want Seth gone. By win, I want a tourney appearance at the minimum. It’s long overdue.

        I don’t know if 5-11 gets us into the NIT this year either, for the record. I don’t think it will actually.

    • Blue Collar Hokie

      thou shalt not root against the hokies to force a coaching change! this aint tsl. . .

      • Martin

        haha +1. Definitely more positive posters on this site.

        • Niemo

          And I love you guys for it! We intentionally keep this Hokie-friendly. I go out of my way to keep posters from other schools off this site, or Hokies that seem to be instigators, even if they make a good point. It was tough fighting off all the cougar fans, but we managed. We try and keep this a site for real insight and information.

          I have nothing against tsl, in fact, I’m a big fans of them and post there regularly. But to a degree, they do have to worry about hits, and that means putting up with some jerks to a degree. Whereas since we don’t make a cent off this (at least right now), we can do whatever the heck we want, and for me, that means a nice, positive atmosphere with no losers (i.e. non-VT people).

  • Chrishokie

    I hope you right Chuck but I don’t think 5-11 in the ACC (16-15 overall) gets us in the NIT. Used to be any ACC with a winning record got into the NIT (I believe someone got in with a .500 record many years ago). But, that hasn’t been the case in the past few years. At 5-11 I think we would need 2 tournament wins at a minimum since we will also get a loss. I think we need a 6-10 ACC record and one tourney win.

  • chuck

    That is precisely the quandary that we face, Martin….can we get recruiting classes like he’s brought in…two top 15 classes…that’s a tall order.

    OK, moving past that….he’s had two top 15 classes…other schools with top 15 classes are making tourneys. Seth has shown no ability to improve a single player in their 4 years with him. Some players have improved their numbers, by virtue of minute increases, but none have added anything to their game.

    He doesn’t develop big men, in fact he’s mostly eschewed recruiting them. We are always at least two serviceable 6’8 players short of the better teams we face.

    He doesn’t coach offense. He coaches attitude and defense…we’ve never been able to outpace better teams on offense. We’ve had top 15 classes…why can’t we? It’s the system….it limits our guys, it forces us to play closer games than we need to, even when we’ve got a talent advantage.

    This has been building. At the end of last year, most all of us were just happy to see those guys graduate. We recognized their shortcomings to a tee, and we knew Seth couldn’t squeeze any more out of them. Well, we’re going to have another class, with two years left that is underachieving, that we’ll feel the same way about if they struggle next year. And i just can’t dedicate the time to watch them if i’m going to be seeing the same mistakes and same areas lacking…i just can’t…9 years will have been enough.

    Niemo has said the same thing about next year being a make or break year. I’ve just gone ahead and admitted that i’m rooting for him to blow it, because i’m done watching basketball in this form. I need a breath of fresh air…either demonstrate you can win your way Seth, and put up a 25 win team with your highly touted recruits, or adapt your style when you can’t…he can’t adapt, so the pressure is on him to win.

    Chris–I think with our NIT track record, being .500 is going to be enough…maybe we need to win Thursday in the ACCs….again it’ll depend alot on upsets in the conf tourneys…we’d def be one of the last in.

    • Niemo

      Look at what Donahue is doing at bc with a pretty poor recruiting class. Clearly he can coach, and recruited to his style. Seth recruits the best he can get (can’t blame him there), but he hasn’t shown he can adjust his style to their strengths. He said himself we aren’t “tough enough”. OK, figure out what they can do and tap into that.

      That said, I’m not joining Chuck in rooting against us next year. To me, that’s like booing a Tech player (something I’ll never do… I’ll boo officials, coaches, opponents, but not guys that decided to be Hokies). But I’ll also say I’m not expecting to see improvement next year. If I had to guess, we’ll see early injuries (practicing too hard), won’t win OOC, and won’t make the Dance. If that happens, I’m done with him. I hope I’m wrong and we do show improvement and cruise to a tourney bid, but I’ll be surprised if that does happen.

      Heck, I hope I start seeing improvements now. Doe Doe looked good Sunday, but he was also facing a team with almost no inside presence. fsu will be much different. gt has NOTHING inside, so DFS could have a big game there, but I want to see how he improves against bigger teams.

    • Martin

      I’m not talking about getting top recruits to blacksburg; I’m talking about getting a better coach to blacksburg. I don’t think many would want to coach here. No tradition, hard to recruit (as you implied), in rural VA, etc.

      Ok, moving past that… “Seth has shown no ability to improve a single player in their 4 years with him.” I cannot personally prove this wrong, as I’m no expert and I’m not intimately involved; however, this is an entirely conclusory statement and, in my mind, self-defeating. “[B]ut none have added anything to their game.” I would argue that EG has “added” a three point jump shot, a nice floater, and better ball handling; Cadarian – an offensive inside game (in seemingly just this season); Jarell – rebounding fundamentals and scoring off the dribble. Again, I’m no expert, so I cannot claim such progress is a result of coaching per se; I just wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss seth as having “shown no ability.”

      “in fact he’s mostly eschewed recruiting [big men].” Unless you are privy to some info that most of us aren’t, I don’t know how you can make such a statement with certainty. Securing recruits does not equal recruiting.

      “He doesn’t coach offense. He coaches attitude and defense.” I completely agree, and it’s frustrating (the fact that he doesn’t coach O, not that I agree with you). However, as much as I would enjoy some offense, I feel great defensive teams usually beat great offensive teams. Still, I’m aware that coaching one doesn’t preclude coaching the other and I do agree with you here.

      The question for me is: can we get a better coach? Instead of slamming SG with unprovable absolutes (this does not describe all of your criticisms, just the ones I take issue with), suggest a coach whom you think would fit the bill and give some reasoning. You’ve pointed out some cons to keeping him; a seth supporter could probably point out some pretty persuasive pros (I think we’re fourth in ACC wins since joining). I want some suggestions as opposed to just seth-bashing. Why not just hire an offensive guy to assist? I’m not a die hard seth guy (I’ll be right there with you if he doesn’t get us to the dance next year), I’m just trying to face reality – I’m not sure we could get a better coach here.

      Also, personally, I would never root against my team – it’s not in my DNA. I don’t even root for the redskins to lose when they don’t have a chance to make the playoffs (and they would get a higher draft pick).

      • Niemo

        Let’s make sure we keep it civil, guys. It is Valentine’s Day, after all. Don’t make us turn off the auto-post.

        In terms of a new coach if we get to that point, it will be a risk. We’ll have to get an up-and-coming mid-major guy, or a down-on-his-luck big time coach. I bet we could have gotten a guy like Gottfried had nc state not grabbed him (I’m not saying he’d have chosen us over them, I’m just saying I don’t think he’d have turned us down if we were the best suitor). And I think at least half, if not more, of the up-and-comers would take the leap. Coaching in the ACC is still very sexy, especially with cuse and pitt joining. That’s the draw, not our history (or lack there of). The question will then be can they recruit at this level? Or can they develop talent?

        But Seth is our coach, and will be next year barring a change in direction. So I’m not going to waste the keystrokes at this point on this topic. I’ve stated my expectations, and will support him until they are or aren’t met.

        • Martin

          Chuck, sorry if I offended; that certainly wasn’t my intent. I was just trying to reply logically to the criticisms.

  • Chrishokie

    Interesting discourse on SG – Martin, Chuck and Niemo. Even though I get frustrated with our play I struggle with the same issue Martin does on whether or not we could get a better coach. I understand coaching changes are always a risk but to me the downside is much greater than the upside for a program like ours. If you have the tradiiton you can survive a bad coach (NCState) but I don’t think we are there. I look at GT and how high they have been at times over their history in their history and look at them now. That could easily happen to us if we botch a coaching change. I think we need some luck, coming in the form of some bball superstar who has grown up a Hokie fan and would never consider going anywhere else. Sort of the MVick effect.

    Another subject – any thoughts or rumors on how Pitt and Syr will be fit in? They could just split the two and add to current divisions. Or put them both on our side and move someone over, like UNC. Or they could just totally re-allign with a North/South theme. There are 6 teams who clearly go North (Pitt, Syr, BC, Mary, VT, UVA) but they would need a 7th.

    • Niemo

      In football, pitt is in our division, cuse the other. If they go to divisions in bball, I’m not sure if they’d keep the save alignment (since that would mean pitt, unc, and duke in the same division).

      As for downside/upside, what are we losing by making a change? I understand we were in the pits when we fired stokes. It took a while to build us back up. In Seth’s 4th year, we made the Big Dance. In the 5 years since, we haven’t. Assuming we don’t make it next year (which would be our criteria for firing him), that’s 6 years with no bids. So again, what are we losing? Yes, we’ve won a fair amount of ACC games (we’ve dropped to having the 7th best win % since we joined, not 4th). But big deal. We can’t win OOC, we haven’t made an ACC final (yes, I know that’s pretty hard), and we’ve made just 1 NCAA. So our next coach could get 10 years… assuming he makes 1 NCAA, he’d have matched SG.

      • Martin

        I like the GT comparison Chris made. That is what I’m worried about. I enjoy finishing in the top half of the ACC; which Seth has done the majority of seasons IIRC. Also, Seth brought us back from the dead, so it’s hard to argue the next coach should get ten years w/o making comparative progress. I also think we shouldn’t just dismiss the fact that everyone in the nation (except the committee) thought we should have made the dance at least once in the past four years. I know we didn’t, and that is what matters, but I find it troubling to judge a coaches merits on subjective criteria alone. We have played well in the ACC – the wins are objective.

        I may be especially worried about sinking from mediocrity to the basement bc of the other teams I root for (skins, wiz). I’m not sure I could stomach another perennial loser. With all this being said, I think we all kind of agree – if we don’t make the dance next year, he should probably be fired. Did we drop down to seventh recently?

        • Niemo

          I was kidding about the 10 years. The next coach would get a far shorter leash (Hussey only got 2 years, and stokes 4). And if the next guy turns us into a cellar dweller, then can him. I guess my point is I feel like we’ve peaked. I’m not sure we can be a “sure fire” NCAA team in any year (I’m not saying consistently, that’s not realistic, but even in one year). Yes, we were 5 years ago, but the fact we were on the bubble 4 years in a row shows we hadn’t done enough to take it out of the Committee’s hands. Winning in the ACC is great, but as I’ve said, I’d trade a 10-6 ACC record for an 8-8 record and a NCAA bid, even if it means a 1-and-done. The NIT does nothing for me at this point.

          As for the Win % stat, let me explain… We had the 6th best win % in ACC regular season play over the last 7 years. We had the 5th most wins (but that is a dumb stat because bc started a year later than us, had fewer wins, but a higher win %). I just did the math and clemson, VT, and bc all basically have the same win %, but in that order. clemson has the 5th best at 49.6%, VT 6th best at 49.1%, and bc 7th at 48.6%. Those 3 teams have basically inverted this year.

          The interesting thing is every team in slots 4-12 have had a coaching change in the last 3 years EXCEPT for VT. duke and unc (co-#1) and fsu (#3) also haven’t had coaching changes. So we’ve shown our loyalty, even compared against similar results. We’ve shown respect to Seth and what he’s done.

          Tech is 60-62 in ACC regular season games since joining the league. Is that really that impressive? The 4 ACC first round byes is, but 1 of those was with an 8-8 record before bc joined, and another was with a 9-7 record where we had the tiebreakers. Believe me, I thought we’d go 0-16 our first year in the ACC. But we didn’t. And now, looking at it 7 1/2 years later, it’s at 60-62. That wows some people, and would have wowed me back in 2004, but it underwhelms me now based on how quickly Seth got us ‘good’, but hasn’t been able to get us over the hump in any one year except in 2006, and probably 2010 where our out of conference schedule killed us.

          • Niemo

            Sometimes I wake up and go, “Oh, no, what did I say?!” And I’m not just talking basketball. But in this case, I do realize 60-62 is pretty darn good in the ACC, even if it has been a down period for the league. If you look at the last 6 seasons, we are 48-42. My issue is the inability to win OOC games, in the regular season or NIT. We can’t beat the good teams we play OOC, and then have lost at home in the NIT 4 years in a row. We are 2-5 in the ACC/Big(12)10 Challenge with both wins against lowly iowa. Beyond that, I don’t see great player/team development. Our guys don’t play as a team, even after 4 years together. Well, Dowdell and Gordon did, but that never happened with the Delaney era and that’s now spilled down to these team. They’ve adopted and kept selfish habits and it hasn’t been stopped.

            I just don’t see us maximizing what we have. That said, a new coach could be a much worse recruiter AND not maximize talent. We could become an ACC cellar dweller. Be careful what you ask for. I just think if after next year we are standing at 1 in 10, that’s enough hard evidence to say it’s time. Let’s hope we don’t get to that, but like I said earlier, I’m struggling to believe we will make improvements and make the Dance next year. We’ll see. This season will be over in a month and then the real work will begin.

            As for any coach, I expect a NCAA bid at least every 4 years. Ideally I’d like to average 1 every 3 as a stretch goal.

          • Niemo

            FYI: I’m taking a vow of silence as it relates to Coach Greenberg for the time being. I’ve said my peace and will leave it at that. I don’t expect anything to happen in the near term (at least until after next season), so I’m not going to waste my breath on it. I’m going to root like heck for the team and Coach G the rest of the year and all of next year. I hope to see improvement these final 4 weeks of the season, but if we don’t, so be it. I’ll go into next year giving all my support and as much optimism as I can muster. If I see Coach Saturday I’ll shake his hand and wish him good luck, because I really do want him to be successful. He’s done a ton for us, and I’d like things to work out with him to my, and the rest of our university’s, satisfaction. My confidence is slipping, but that can easily be regained and I hope that happens… OK… my vow of silence starts…. NOW!

  • Chrishokie

    Thanks, I missed the realignment news. Or I saw it and forgot it. It happens with age.

    I think the broader pros and cons have been hashed out pretty well.
    At this point our only difference on SG is that I don’t need an NCAA bid next year to keep him. I am going to guess we finish at 15-17 this year, 17-16 at best. If we don’t improve at all, I would be OK if we let him go. If we get to 20 wins next year and make the NIT that will be enough for me to give him another year. I do believe that if you are on the bubble enough years eventually the NCAA bids will come (unless you think we are black-balled for the “insane” comment, which could be).

    As far as downside, teams do go down. Sometimes with the same coach, sometimes with a new coach. Happens all the time. I don’t think you can assume that any new coach couldn’t do any worse than SG. Every program has a ceiling of sorts. You have to go back to 1981-1988 to find an 8-year winning pct. higher than 2003-2010. We are on the high end of history.

    If we get a new coach for the primary purpose of getting more NCAA bids, how many years do you give him to get the first NCAA bid?

  • Chrishokie

    Niemo – I made my last post without realizing that you and Martin had both posted again. You may have addressed my concerns and I didn’t realize it. Just didn’t want you thinking I was ignoring your other posts.

  • Martin

    haha ok, ok. No more SG talk Niemo. Thanks for expressing your opinions thus far. I think your second to last post (“sometimes I wake up…”) was well said.

    • Niemo

      You guys can talk about Seth all you want, I’m just saying I’m taking the high ground for now. I’ll moderate.

      And if someone lights a poo bag and leaves it on Seth’s doorstep, I think we’ll know who did it.

      • Martin

        chuck?

  • Chrishokie

    Interesting SG discussion. I am winding down as well. This is the same discussion that has gone on the football side. Beamer w/MV spoiled us one year and got us to the championship game and we have been restless ever since. SG got us to the NCAA early on and we have been restless ever since. Wish we could land a Ralph Sampson type local phenom and give our program a kick up as MV did for football. Until then I am hoping the practice facility will give us the little push we need to get us to where we make the NCAA every 3 or 4 years. We are so close. Of course then we will want a coach who will get us to the Sweet 16 once or twice every 10 years. Ha! We are capitalists and capitalists don’t settle for the staus quo! We keep striving! So, I get that. I just don’t know of any programs who have been able to keep advancing by ousting coaches who are performing consistently and at pretty high levels vs. the school’s history. I am not saying it hasn’t been tried, just don’t know when it has worked. Usually, firings happen when the program falls off a few years in a row.

    • Niemo

      Speaking of always wanting more, I watched 40 Minutes of Hell, the Nolan Richardson story. I knew most of it, but it really did show how something good could go bad, and I see Nolan and Seth as having similar personalities – both love being the underdog and ‘us against the world’, and struggle in a position of being favored.

  • Chrishokie

    That’s interesting. I’ll have to watch that. I didn’t know anything about the Arkansas situation. Just knew they dropped off the map. So, Nolan and Seth have similarities? Are you saying that you think Seth can get us 3 final 4 appearances and a national title? Shouldn’t we wait for that before we let him go? Just kidding.

    Will you come down here for the ACC tournament?

  • Max

    I actually think Seth Greenberg is a fine coach and that his teams just have problems with injuries and mental lapses. I do also think he’s a decent recruiter, who has made a few bad mistakes.

    For injuries- This year for example, Thompson went down with another torn acl and Chaney can’t play because of a heart condition. Yet, Chaney is possibly going to get a defribrilator and the medical staff won’t clear him to play. I understand the liability but, didn’t Seth let Allan Collaway (R.I.P.) play a little bit after he was diagnosed with cancer? Also last years injuries were really hard to swallow. Raines, Hudson, Thompson and Chaney were all out with various problems. If we had those guys on last years team we would have definitely made the NCAA Tourney. We beat 3 Tourney teams I felt cheated and still do.

    We can’t win a big game, usually. I attribute this to exhaustion on the part of the players and some poor execution and some good shots made by the other team. I can’t blame Seth for what’s going on on the court because he’s not playing. If it was Ricky Stokes coaching we would have been blown out of all the games that we’ve played against Top 25 teams.

    Seth Greenberg has recruited 2 Top 15 classes. This year and 2007. Delaney and Allen were beasts and could have been drafted. Yet, Nobody knew how good they were going to be. I mean they had great high school careers but going from high school ball to college ball is a huge transition. So I say give this class some time to mature. Give Greenberg till the end of next year to make a decision. Dorian Finney-Smith will get in the weight room, Barksdale will work on his post moves since he will be the back up next yr., Brown will work on his jump shot and Rankin is already doing pretty well imo but will learn more from Green in the offseason. I hope to see Van-Zegeren as well next year.

    Now to recruiting- I mainly bring this up because he’s had so many players transfer recently. Ben Boggs left because he wasn’t playing enough. Same thing with Manny Atkins. Tyrone Garland left for I don’t know what reason. All of these players would have had more playing time the year after they transferred. Also, Gene Swindle left, I think it had something to do with a possible career ending injury. But, he’s recovered and is playing for James Madison. Hank Thorns transferred to TCU and is doing great now.

  • chuck

    Seth is a fine salesman. As a coach, he’s slightly above average at his craft. Maybe a “fine coach” for other schools, but for a school that’s got the facilities, and the conference affiliation to swagger on, we should be further along.

    Injuries have not helped him at all, and retarded our Dowdell/Gordon class from going to one more tournament perhaps…

    But with two top 15 classes SINCE his last dance appearance, he needs another invite. This is unequivocal.

    If you’re honest with yourself Max, you HAVE to blame him for what’s going on out there. We run NO offense besides a secondary break and a few half-hearted motion sets…

    I am going to start calling Seth “The House”, because the way he coaches it appears he has a vested interest in keeping the score as close as possible…perhaps to pocket the vigs….

    Greenberg is going to get til the end of the next year, that much is apparent…however, my original point is that if we do wait til then, we’ll just have two years left of this recruiting class, and it’ll be sunk at that point….a new coach coming in is going to have to rebuild his way, and these kids’ll never achieve their potential…if, however, we made the tough decision this year: we could reset next year, and have two years left in a system with this highly touted class that should be producing more.

    I feel bad, because it’s tough to envision us being as far improved as a program (with visibility, facilities) without Seth’s imprint. However, i cannot separate from that the fact that our move to the ACC would have been beneficial to any competent coach. So, we have a chicken/egg conundrum of sorts.

    I feel like it’s Groundhog Day with both of our revenue generating sports…same mistakes and tendencies over and over….at my bar, i told anyone listening after the lead was cut to 9, that we were on our way to a gut churning loss…my mother always used to say, “Oh, it’s everyone else’s fault is it?”…well Seth needs to do some reflecting, and get himself an Xs and Os guy this summer, so he can stick to selling the program and getting us the assets…you can only develop a team’s attitude so much without actual wins to fortify it.

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