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Barksdale Suspended for 3 Games; Kirby Likely to Redshirt

Coach James Johnson has suspended junior forward C.J. Barksdale for the first three games of the season (all home games against “don’t call us northern south carolina, we are usc-upstate”, west virginia, and western carolina).  It was the classic “violation of team rules” and no, I don’t know what he did.

C.J. has seemingly been in Coach Johnson’s doghouse since the start of last season (including not playing in the game at maryland) and this is just another episode in that story.  There were rumors C.J. might transfer after last season and now I’m wondering if he’s second-guessing staying.  But like I said, I don’t know what happened and he has to take responsibility for what he did.

Let’s hope C.J. comes back and plays like the guy who averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds in a 4 game stretch towards the end of the season instead of the guy that scored 2 points or less in 12 of the 31 games he played in.  Let’s hope the light finally comes on for him and he can find consistency game in and game out, because the Hokies certainly need it this year.

Random Quote: In this Roanoke Times article, Coach Johnson said, “CJ was a junior, a guy that played with the smell of the popcorn.”  If you have any idea what the second half of that sentence means, let me know.

Also, in the same article, it is mentioned that freshman center Maurice Kirby is likely to redshirt.  As expected, Trevor Thompson has moved ahead of Kirby on the depth chart.  Kirby was not a highly rated recruit so this is not a big surprise.  The con though is now he could use up one of Tech’s 13 scholarships for 5 years instead of 4, so if he doesn’t pan out, you’d rather have him off the books earlier.  But obviously it is way too early to say that.  This should allow Kirby to focus on getting stronger and more fit for Tech’s up-tempo style, and with Raines gone after this season, Kirby will be counted on next year (there are no bigs currently in the ’14 Class).

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- who has written 1198 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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  • Les

    It’s a Flip Saunders term for players who played better in games than in practice. He called them “popcorn players.” In this case, it probably means that Barksdale doesn’t put out much in practice and makes it difficult on the coaches to figure out player rotations for actual games.

    • Niemo

      Ah, thanks. Good ole Flip. I guess Iverson would be a popcorn player given his famous “talkin’ ’bout practice” rant of years ago. “Not a game, not a game, not a game… we’re talkin’ ’bout practice.”

    • Vindictive_Pat

      Yep, exactly. They don’t make popcorn in the arena during practices… only during the game. I went to an event where JJ talked about needing more consistent effort from CJ, and that he started putting in that effort a couple weeks after JJ decided to bench him last season. He was really happy with the change to CJ’s mindset. Sounds like this latest event is a step back, and that must be frustrating for coach.

  • Slam Dunk

    You know what? I’m tired of these one, two, three game suspensions! If you have team rules, and you know the rules, and you violate the rules, your rear end ought to be kicked off the team! Yeah, yeah I know, they’re 18 to 22 years old and you need to give them a chance. Well maybe. But somehow they need to realize that not all of us has or had the God given talent to play D-1 college basketball and get what is pretty close to a free education! When everybody is on the same page and following the same rules things go so much easier. CJ, come on man!

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