Archive | Around The ACC

Hokie Nation a-”Buzz” over hiring of Williams

Buzz Williams leaves marquette and Big East for Virginia Tech and the ACC

Buzz Williams leaves marquette and Big East for Virginia Tech and the ACC

The internet rumors began swirling Friday morning when John Feinstein reported that Virginia Tech was making a big push to hire Buzz Williams away from the golden eagles. At the time, it was just another rumor. And then, at 2:33 p.m., EDT, Yahoo’s Pat Forde Tweeted the following:

Pat Forde's Tweet about Virginia Tech's hiring of Buzz Williams

Pat Forde’s Tweet about Virginia Tech’s hiring of Buzz Williams

Boom. Shaka. Laka.

And just like that, Virginia Tech’s basketball program had a pulse. A strong pulse. Buzz hasn’t even coached a game and already the fan base is in a tizzy. Under the circumstances, this is about the best hire you could hope for considering the Hokies have finished dead last in the ACC three years running.

Williams, 41, has been a head basketball coach for seven seasons; one with new orleans and the last six at marquette, where he compiled an impressive 139-69 overall record, and 69-39 in conference play. He took marquette to the NCAA tournament five straight years and went a combined 8-5, having advanced to the regional finals in 2012-13.

So why come to Virginia Tech given his success at marquette? Well, the ACC is a better, more high profile conference than what’s left of the Big East. And, then there was the unexpected resignation of athletics director Larry Williams back in December that caught Williams off guard. Add to that the equally unexpected resignation of university president Fr. Scott R. Pilarz three month prior, and you have to ask yourself what’s going on in Milwaukee? Both the president and AD unexpectedly resign after only two years on the job? Weird.

Of course, Virginia Tech is getting a new president this summer and its current AD has been on the job for about 35 days. Though, to be fair, the circumstances are much different in Blacksburg.

So, what does Buzz Williams bring to Virginia Tech besides another bald coach (our third straight, by the way)? Well, he brings a big personality, recruiting prowess, name recognition, NCAA tournament appearances (he’s been to five since the Hokies last danced), and… dare we say it… hope? (Hope is a dangerous thing, remember?)

We’ll learn more and have more for you in the days and weeks to come, but in the meantime, go follow Coach Buzz on Twitter and welcome him to the Hokie Nation:

Virginia Tech head basketball coach Buzz Williams on Twitter

Virginia Tech head basketball coach Buzz Williams on Twitter

Lastly, the official “Welcome to Virginia Tech, Buzz!” event is Monday, March 26, at 6 p.m. (subject to change) at the Cassell and it’s open to the public. So, be there!

From HokieSports.com:

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock has announced the hiring of Buzz Williams as the new head men’s basketball coach for the Hokies.

“I am extremely excited about welcoming Buzz Williams to the Hokie Nation,” Babcock said. “Buzz is a proven winner who has earned his way up through the ranks with a strong track record of success. I am confident he will energize our fan base and help make Virginia Tech Basketball competitive in the Atlantic Coast Conference. I know he will recruit at the highest level.”

The school will hold a formal press conference on Monday, March 24 at 6 p.m. (potential for slight change), on the arena floor of Cassell Coliseum. The event will be open to the general public and students and admission is free of charge. The press conference will be live streamed on hokiesports.com. For more information on the press conference, please log on to hokiesports.com.

“It’s never easy to leave a great school like Marquette, where I spent seven wonderful years, six as the head coach,” Williams said. “But this is a special situation to work at a place like Virginia Tech. I’ve heard tremendous things about this terrific institution and this is an outstanding opportunity to build a program. My family and I look forward to becoming a part of this great university and community, and taking on the challenges associated in succeeding in the ACC.”

Williams comes to the Hokies following six seasons as the head coach of the Marquette Golden Eagles. At Marquette, Williams had a record of 139-69 and led the team to five NCAA appearances, including a trip to the regional finals in the 2012-13 season, the same season the team won the Big East Conference regular season title. Williams led the Golden Eagles to a 69-39 Big East Conference record during his time in Milwaukee. Six Marquette players have made it to the NBA during William’s tenure.

Williams was an assistant at Marquette in the 2007-08 season. MU concluded the year 25-10 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.

His coaching career has included stints as an assistant, associate head and head coach. He has been at the NCAA Division I level for 19 seasons, and 2013-14 was his seventh campaign as a head coach. Williams has recruited and coached over 20 players who have earned all-conference accolades, including two league players of the year, two conference freshmen of the year and four Associated Press All-Americans.

Williams arrived in Milwaukee after serving for one season as the head coach at the University of New Orleans. He guided the Privateers to a 14-win campaign in 2006-07 and his roster featured Bo McCalebb, the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. UNO claimed fourth place in the Sun Belt’s Western Division and advanced to the league tournament quarterfinals. The squad claimed as many victories on the road that season as it had in the previous three seasons combined. His recruiting class for the 2007-08 season was ranked in the top-50 nationally by HoopScoopOnline.com.

Prior to UNO, Williams served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M for two seasons (2004-05 and 2005-06) under head coach Billy Gillispie. Both of his recruiting classes with the Aggies were ranked among the best in the nation and featured some of the top-ranked talent at the prep level. The squad made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 25 years in 2005-06 and the previous team posted the top turnaround in the nation, improving its win total in 2004-05 by 14 games compared to 2003-04.

Williams spent four seasons (2000-01 through 2003-04) at Colorado State, serving as an assistant the first three seasons before being promoted to associate head coach in 2003-04. Two of his recruiting classes were ranked among the 40-best in the nation, including the 2003 group, which was tabbed No. 1 in the Mountain West Conference. Colorado State made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 years during his tenure and he was named one of the top assistants in the country by HoopScoopOnline.com.

The Van Alstyne, Texas, native was previously an assistant at Northwestern State (1999-2000), Texas A&M- Kingsville (1998-99) and Texas-Arlington (1994-98). He earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Oklahoma City University in 1994 before completing his master’s work in the same field at Texas A&M-Kingsville in 1999.

Williams is married to the former Corey Norman and the couple has two daughters, Zera and Addyson, and two sons, Calvin and Mason.

Williams succeeds James Johnson, who was relieved of his duties on March 17.

For updates on Virginia Tech men’s basketball, follow the Hokies on Twitter Follow @VT_MBBall

Posted in Around The ACC8 Comments

Virginia Tech fires James Johnson after two seasons

It’s official. James Johnson has been fired as the men’s head basketball coach at Virginia Tech. His tenure lasted just two seasons and less than two full calendar years. It got off to inauspicious start and never got on track. JJ finishes his VT tenure with a 22-41 (35%) record (6-30 in ACC regular season games and 0-2 in the ACC Tournament). That percentage is third worst of Tech’s 23 basketball coaches, and the worst that any Hokie coach has had in the last 80 years. (For reference, ricky “program bomb” stokes won 40% of his games aided largely by a year in A-10.)

I’m both surprised and not surprised. I’m surprised that Virginia Tech is going to eat three years of a contract, especially after former athletics director Jim Weaver gave JJ his blessing for another year.

Also, Tech has a history of underpaying coaches. In fact, Johnson was the lowest paid men’s basketball coach in the ACC and the Hokies got what they paid for; a team that finished dead last in each of JJ’s two seasons at the helm.

At the same time, I am not surprised that new Athletics Director Whit Babcock, who has been on the job for exactly one month, decided to make a change. His hiring made headlines, especially given his salary. To come in and do nothing with a program that has finished last three straight seasons, and seen declining attendance for seven straight years, likely would not have gone over well with the dwindling fan base.

As most rational fans would agree, JJ was in over his head from the beginning. No one begrudges him for taking the job. If you want to be a head basketball coach and an ACC team offers you a job, you take it. The fault of JJ’s failed tenure lies squarely at the feet of former AD Jim Weaver. Instead of conducting a national search after botching the Seth Greenberg firing, he chose the easy way and hired an assistant coach with no previous head coaching experience. JJ was the only ACC coach who had zero head coaching experience before taking over at an ACC program. And his teams performed about as well as you’d expect.

So, here we are, for the second time in two years, looking for a new head coach. Babcock’s shown he’s not afraid to drop the ax, but what he does next will determine the future success or failure of not only the basketball program, but also his tenure as AD.

Below is the official release from HokieSports.com:

Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock announced today that James Johnson has been relieved of his duties as head men’s basketball coach. In making the announcement, Babcock said a national search for Johnson’s replacement will begin immediately.

“I want to thank Coach Johnson for his dedication and hard work for our university and our basketball program over the past seven years,” Babcock said. “A change of this significance affects many people and is never taken lightly, but I felt a change and a new direction was necessary for the long term, best interest of our department.”

Johnson just completed his second season as head coach of the Hokies. He spent the previous five seasons on the Tech staff, serving as an assistant from 2007-2011 before being promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2012-13 season. He had accepted an assistant coaching position at Clemson on April 13, 2012, but returned to Blacksburg soon thereafter to take the head coaching position previously held by Seth Greenberg.

Babcock will meet with the media at 9:30 am on Tuesday in the Shott Media Center. The media session will be streamed live on hokiesports.com.

This will be Babcock’s only media availability until the announcement of the new coach.

Posted in 2013-14 Season, Around The ACC, Cope's Corner15 Comments

notre dame to Officially Join the ACC on 7/1/13; Tech Unlikely to be in ACC/Big(14)Ten Challenge

In less than four months notre dame will officially be ‘welcomed’ into the ACC.  I’m sure many of you are like me, and have always resented their ‘holier than thou’ attitude, and their unwillingness to join a conference for football yet still have the BCS and other conferences (such as the Big East) kiss their butt and let them take up bowl spots while reaping all of the revenue.

So pardon me if I don’t get out of my seat to shake their hand on their way in.

This is obviously great for the ACC, though, a conference that just a few months ago had lost maryland (boo hoo) and seemed about to lose uva and georgia tech.  And notre dame has agreed to play five ACC teams per year in football starting in a few years, so at least we’ll get to play them while they rob us of bowl bids they don’t deserve!

What it means next year for the ACC is there will be 15 teams in the league for basketball.  The 18 conference game format will stay the same.  Teams will play four teams twice, and the other 10 just once.

Since word is the ACC will only use the top 12 teams as ranked by the RPI (including incoming cuse, pitt, and nd) for the ACC/Big(14)Ten Challenge, and since the Big Ten still only has 12 teams next year, the Hokies have basically zero shot of being in the Challenge.  Tech fell below wake with their loss Sunday and now sit 11th in the league in the RPI of the 12 current teams, ahead of just clemson.  I haven’t looked to see where cuse, pitt, and notre dame are in the RPI, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say they are safely ahead of VT.  The Hokies are #172, six spots behind wake, but 41 spots behind georgia tech whom they’d have to pass to get into the top 12, which ain’t gonna happen this late in the season.  Although the ACC could (and should) screw maryland and not include them in the mix, in which case VT would just have to pass wake.  But I’m not sure the league wants to go that route.

So, in conclusion, here’s mud in your eye, notre dame!  Literally.  Welcome aboard, jerks.

Posted in Around The ACC, Home0 Comments

The year of Erick Green: Where does he rank?

Virginia Tech guard Erick Green

Erick Green is having a phenomenal senior season, but where does he rank all-time?

The 2012-13 college basketball season hasn’t been kind to Virginia Tech fans. It began last winter when Jim Weaver, the Hokies’ athletics director, gave then-coach Seth Greenberg a vote of confidence and then pulled the rug out from under him a few weeks later.

One player transferred (Dorian Finney-Smith), and Montrezl Harrell, a highly-touted incoming freshman, asked to be released. That left Tech with just eight scholarship players coming into this season.

Most fans, however, believed that the Hokies could have a respectable season so long as they stayed healthy. And with the exception of freshman Marshall Wood missing seven games, Tech has, for the most part, avoided the injury bug that had plagued them over the last few seasons. Unfortunately, staying healthy hasn’t been enough. This team just can’t seem to get it together.

After starting the season a surprising 7-0, the team is just 4-13 since, including a current seven-game losing streak. One player was benched for an entire game for lack of effort during practice; another missed almost an entire half after an on-court temper tantrum that nearly injured his teammate; and that same player, who has been playing poorly, was replaced in the starting lineup by a walk-on. Yeah, it’s been that bad.

Enter the Winchester Rifleman, Erick Green

The only bright spot for Hokie hoops fans this season is senior guard Erick Green, who is still the nation’s leading scorer. With hopes of a winning season and post-season appearance all but gone, Virginia Tech fans have thrown their support behind the senior guard from Winchester, who is having one of the best seasons by a Hokie in recent memory.

Of VT’s 24 games this season, Green has led the team in scoring 23 times. He averages 25.2 points per game, tops in the country and seven points better than the ACC’s second-leading scorer, Mason Plumlee of duke, who averages 18.2 ppg.

If Green continues on his current scoring pace, he will become the first Hokie to average more than 25 ppg since Bimbo Coles did so during the 1989-90 season. Coles averaged 25.3 ppg that year, a tenth of a point ahead of where Green stands now.

And unless Green just completely falls off the map (he could go scoreless for the rest of the season and still be above 18 ppg), he’ll end the season as just the third tech player to average better than 20 ppg in the last 23 years. Bryant Matthews averaged 22.1 ppg during the 2003-04 season and Malcolm Delaney averaged 20.2 ppg during the 2009-10 season.

What’s even more incredible is the percentage of points Green scores for his team. Take a look below and you’ll see the leading scorer for each ACC team, their total points (through Feb. 12), and their team’s total points, followed by the percentage. The teams appear in order of the current ACC standings:

Team Player Player Points/Team Total % of Points
miami Kenny Kadji 298/1549 19%
duke Mason Plumlee 419/1799 23%
uva Joe Harris 391/1543 25%
unc James Michael McAdoo 342/1801 19%
ncst C.J. Leslie 374/1871 20%
fsu Michael Snaer 305/1546 19%
md Alex Len 299/1714 17%
clemson Devin Booker 283/1450 19%
wake Travis McKie 335/1557 21%
gt Marcus Georges-Hunt 228/1429 16%
bc Ryan Anderson 354/1545 23%
VT Erick Green 604/1700 35%

Green is the ACC’s leading scorer by nearly 200 points. He scores more than 35 percent (35.5 to be precise) of his team’s points; 10 percent more than the next highest percentage in the league – uva’s Joe Harris, who contributes 25 percent. That stat speaks volumes about the lack of support from Green’s teammates.

Now, one could argue that Green scores more points because he shoots the ball more. That’s a valid argument, on the surface. Take a look at the shooting percentages for each team’s leader in attempted shots.

Team Player FGA/Team Total % of FGA
miami Kenny Kadji 223/1215 18%
duke *Seth Curry 265/1335 20%
uva Joe Harris 267/1223 20%
unc James Michael McAdoo 295/1532 19%
ncst C.J. Leslie 248/1374 18%
fsu Michael Snaer 230/1202 19%
maryland Alex Len 213/1344 16%
clemson Devin Booker 208/1220 17%
wake Travis McKie 238/1242 19%
gt Marcus Georges-Hunt 197/1196 15%
bc Ryan Anderson 273/1196 23%
VT Erick Green 414/1407 30%

*Seth Curry is the only player in the league to lead his team in shot attempts, but not in points.

But if you dig a little deeper than just the season stats, you’ll find that Green attempts, and scores on, a higher percentage of shots only when the rest of the team is struggling, which has been for a couple of months now.

In the Hokies’ first seven games, all wins, the team shot 48 percent from the field. In the last seven losses, that number is down to just 37 percent.

During the seven-game winning streak to start the season, Green attempted just 23 percent of the team’s field goals (95/404):

FGA in first seven wins
VT – EG
58 – 11 (19%)
57 – 15 (26%)
68 – 13 (19%)
53 – 15 (28%)
52 – 16 (30%)
61 – 15 (24%)
55 – 10 (18%)

During the team’s current seven-game losing streak, the percentage of shots by Green has increased to 34 percent (136/397):

FGA in last seven losses
VT – EG
43 – 18 (42%)
60 – 17 (28%)
53 – 20 (38%)
62 – 21 (34%)
65 – 23 (35%)
62 – 20 (32%)
52 – 17 (32%)

What about made field goals? Well, we’re glad you asked. During the first seven wins, Green made 25 percent of tech’s field goals (49/195). During the last seven consecutive losses, Green has made more than 40 percent of the team’s field goals.

Green’s not a ball hog by any stretch of the imagination. This kid WANTS to get his teammates involved, but they’re just not hitting shots. The team attempted 404 shots in their first seven wins and 397 in their last seven losses, so they’re still not afraid to shoot, but Green’s the only one hitting anything on a consistent basis. And he’s doing it while being double-teamed.

Say what you want about opposing teams giving Green space and letting him have his points, but from what I’ve been seeing, they’re not doing that at all. They’re guarding him using every combination they can think of and he’s still getting his shots off and keeping his team in the games.

What does it all mean, Basil?

If you are on Twitter and follow tech hoops, you’ve probably seen the comments arguing that Green deserves to have his jersey retired and his banner hung from the rafters of the Cassell.

Look, Green is having a heck of a senior season, especially under the circumstances, but before we start making room next to Ace Custis in the rafters, let’s take a step back and see where Green ranks among some of the greatest of all time at VT.

Green’s career isn’t done yet, so we have to do some predicting (not Niemo, he sucks at making predictions). The Hokies have seven regular season games left and at least one (and probably only one) ACC tournament game. So let’s assume Green has eight games left in his career. If he continues on his current statistical pace, here’s where he’ll likely finish in the record books:

Points Scored in a Season:
1. Erick Green (2012-13) – 810
2. Bimbo Coles (1989-90) – 785
3. Dell Curry (1985-86) – 722
4. Bimbo Coles (1988-89) – 717
5. Bimbo Coles (1987-88) – 702

Points Scored in a Career:
1. Bimbo Coles, 2,484
2. Dell Curry, 2,389
3. Malcolm Delaney, 2,255
4. Dale Solomon, 2,136
5. Perry Young, 1,899
6. A.D. Vassallo, 1,822
7. Allan Bristow, 1,804
8. Zabian Dowdell, 1,785
9. Bob Ayersman, 1,782
10. Erick Green, 1,750

Scoring Average in a Season:
1. Bimbo Coles (1988-89) – 26.6
2. Boby Ayersman (1958-58) – 26.5
3. Bimbo Coles (1989-90) – 25.3
4. Erick Green (2012-13) – 25.2

Free Throws Made in a Season:
1. Malcolm Delaney (2009-10) – 230
2. Malcolm Delaney (2008-09) – 225
3. Erick Green (2012-13) – 218

Free Throws Made in a Career:
8. Erick Green (2009-13) – 418

Free Throw Percentage in a Career:
T8. Erick Green (2009-13) .800

Assists in a Career:
8. Erick Green (2009-13) – 333

As great a season as Green is having, I’m not sure anyone can make a compelling case that he should have his jersey retired and a banner with his likeness hanging from the rafters with Ace Custis, Bimbo Coles, Dell Curry and Allan Bristow.

While Niemo is under a gag order not to make any predictions, naturally I wanted his thoughts on Green’s legacy at Tech.

As of today, I wouldn’t have Erick in my VT Top 10 and therefore wouldn’t retire his jersey. While he is having one of the five greatest seasons in Tech history, I don’t think his body of work is top 10-esque just yet. He may reach the top 10 in scoring and definitely will reach it in assists, but there are a lot of guys ahead of him that were very productive for four years, not just two and a half.

While I’m with Niemo on this, I played devil’s advocate and suggested that Green’s extraordinary senior season is made even more impressive given the fact that he’s doing more with less. Niemo countered:

Also, I don’t like the argument of “he’s doing more with less.” I actually think that lessens his scoring in my eyes. The numbers guys like Zabian [Dowdell], Malcolm [Delaney], and Dell [Curry] put up with a better supporting cast impress me more. If Erick could score 25 per game on a team that won and had other guys that could score consistently, I’d be more impressed. Still, his 50 percent shooting percentage this year is remarkable for a guard, and by the end of the season my opinion may very well change, but I would not have him in my top 10 and would not retire his jersey at this point.

The TechHoops staff have spoken. We love Erick Green and have enjoyed watching him play the last four years. He has done everything he’s been asked to do and has represented the team and the university with honor.

We’re not taking anything away from Green, but when you think about some of the great players that have come before him that have had more productive careers and DON’T have their jerseys retired, I think even the Winchester Rifleman would agree that while he’s had a fabulous career, he’s not in same category as those four legends.

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Around The ACC, Stats8 Comments

What the #@*&! Happened to the ACC?

When did the Big(14)Ten Conference become the ACC?  ACC basketball is almost unwatchable right now unless you love pitchers’ duels.  Are the stars gone from the ACC?  And I’m not just talking about the Rivers’, the “why does my mom keep traveling with the team and that other guy” Hansbrough’s, I’m talking about the scoring stars of the ‘other guys’.  What happened to the Tyrese Rice’s, the Reggie Jackson’s, the Toney Douglas’s, the Jack McClinton’s, the Greasy Face-quez’s, the Jeff Teague’s, the Trevor Booker’s.

Or are teams just focusing more on playing drag-it-out, rock’em sock’em basketball like uva does?  And could that be scaring off the more talented recruits?  (it does at uva — once they get there and realize they can’t score more than 12 per game in that system they bolt)  This league used to be about fluid, up-tempo basketball with prolific scorers and good shooters.  Now it is about just trying to score between media timeouts and has all the beauty of a Honey Boo-Boo family photo.  Regardless, it ain’t pretty…

Wondering how offensive are the ACC offenses this year?  Check out the numbers:

2007-08 (5 years ago):

  • 2 teams averaged 84+ ppg in ACC play (16 games)
  • 10 teams averaged 72+ ppg
  • Everyone averaged at least 68.4 ppg

2009-10 (3 years ago):

  • 11 of the 12 teams averaged 65 ppg or more, with the low at 63 ppg

This year (through 22 ACC games played or roughly 3 of 18 per team):

  • unc is averaging just 62.7 ppg through 3 ACC games (they averaged 77 per ACC contest last year and 75 the year before)
  • 7 of the 12 ACC teams are averaging fewer than 64 points per ACC contest
  • 3 are averaging in the 50s

Check out some of these recent examples of futility:

  • 22 ACC conference games have been played so far
  • 22 times a team scored 62 points or fewer
  • 17 times a team has been held under 60 points in regulation
  • 5 teams haven’t made it to 50 (49 or fewer points)
  • 7 teams have WON scoring 62 points or less
  • 4 teams have won scoring 59 or less
  • Only 5 times has a team reached 80 points

And this week has been the worst yet — of the five games played since Saturday,  just ONE team has eclipsed the 60 point mark, and check out the halftime scores:

  • miami 54, maryland 47  — halftime — u 19, md 14
  • clemson 60, wake 44 — clemson 31, wake 21
  • maryland 51, nc state 50 – md 22, nc state 16 (md went 10 minutes without a FG, missing 16 straight shots)
  • miami 60, bc 59 — bc 28, u 26
  • duke 73, ga tech 57 — ga tech 28, duke 27
  • That shows just ONE team has reached 30 points in the first half this week, and half didn’t make it passed double-deuce.

Rubbing some salt in the VT defensive woe wounds (pre-georgia tech, at least):

  • Of the 5 teams to reach 80+ points, 2 were playing the Hokies, including the only one to reach 90
  • maryland scored 53 points in the first half against VT — they’ve scored just 47 points and 51 points in their two full games this week.
  • maryland has 98 combined points in 2 games this week… they had 94 against VT
  • maryland and miami combined for 33 points in the first half Sunday (u 19, md 14) — Haws for byu had 29 in the first half against VT in late December.

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Around The ACC1 Comment

Erick Green named co-ACC Player of the Week

The Winchester Rifle was named co-ACC Player of the Week after leading the undefeated Virginia Tech Hokies to a wins over iowa and No. 15 oklahoma state. In those two games, Green averaged 26.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists, including a career-high 28 points against the cowpokes.

In last week’s near Bear Fight 95-79 win over the hawkeyes, senior from Winchester, Va. (hence the Winchester Rifle), was 8/15 from the field and had a game-high 24 points.

In Saturday’s 81-71 victory over the cowboys, Green had career-highs in points (28) and rebounds (7) in only 26 minutes of action. Green picked up two quick fouls in the first 2:16 of the game.

Green leads the ACC in scoring with 24.9 points per game. Earlier today, Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis named Green his college basketball player of the week.

Oh, duke’s Mason Plumlee was the other player named co-potw.

Posted in 2012-13 Season, Around The ACC5 Comments

Hokies Picked to Finish 10th in ACC Coaches’ Preseason Poll and Media Poll

Clearly neither the other 11 coaches in the ACC nor the media are expecting a big improvement in Blacksburg this season from last year.  The media picked VT to finish 10th, ahead of wake and bc; while Tech and wake tied for that coveted 10th spot in the league, with boston college pulling up the rear in the coaches’ poll.  And in no surprise to those that saw the end of last season and the continual wave of top notch recruits headed to Raleigh, it is nc state that was picked to finish first in the league in both polls, ahead of their Tobacco Road brethren.  In the Coaches’ Poll, state got 8 of the 12 first place votes, duke got 3, and unc 1.

Here’s where VT has been picked by the media year by year since joining the league, and where they finished (Year: Predicted finish / actual finish (seed if they were in a tie):

  • 2011-12: 6th / 4-way tie for 9th (#9 seed in ACC Tourney)
  • 2010-11: 2nd / tied for 4th (#6 seed in the ACC Tourney)
  • 2009-10: 8th / 4th
  • 2008-09: 6th / three way tie for 7th (#8 seed in the ACC Tourney)
  • 2007-08: 10th / 4th
  • 2006-07: 6th / tie for 3rd (#3 seed)
  • 2005-06: 8th / tie for 10th (#10 seed)
  • 2004-05: 10th (of 11) / tie for 4th (#4 seed)

The Hokies finished in a 4-way tie for 9th place last year (i.e. last place) with a 4-12 conference record, though 8 of those 12 regular season conference losses were by 4 points or less, or in overtime.

The coaches also picked an All-ACC First Team, and Erick Green wasn’t on it.  C.J. Leslie was the pick for POTY in both, and state also had the selection for ROTY with Rodney Purvis in both polls.

This marked the first time the coaches have picked a preseason poll for the league.

Here’s the full Coaches’ Poll:

  1. nc state (8)
  2. duke (3)
  3. unc (1)
  4. miami
  5. fsu
  6. maryland
  7. uva
  8. clemson
  9. georgia tech
  10. VT and wake
  11. -
  12. boston college
MEDIA POLL:
  1. nc state (26 of 53)
  2. duke (21)
  3. unc
  4. fsu (6)
  5. miami
  6. maryland
  7. uva
  8. clemson
  9. georgia tech
  10. VT
  11. wake
  12. bc

I think maryland is too high.  They are a year away for me.  I think Turgeon is a heck of a coach but losing Stoglin will be too much to overcome for this year.

I do think nc state is the best team and this should be a down year for duke and unc (by their standards), so it’s ripe for someone else to step up.

miami has had the same guys for 10 years now, and always underachieve.  Well, this is the last year for this crew of Johnson and Scott and Kadji so they better put it together this season.  I could see them finishing ahead of unc or duke based on their talent… or in the bottom half if they choke again early in the season.

fsu seems to be a top 4 team in the league every year now, and have talent back at guard with Michael Snaer, a 1st team preseason pick, and Ian Miller.  But they lost all their bigs – James, Kreft and Gibson.  Can they win without all those trees inside?  We’ll see.  They have 3 new 7-footers on the roster this year, two are freshmen including one named ‘Boris’ and the other is a Juco guy (Mel Turpin’s son if you remember him for those early 80s k-y kentucky teams) who redshirted last year.  I think they’ll slide a bit with the mass exodus inside and how much they are built on defense.

bc way overachieved last year, so let’s see if they fall back to Earth this season (or else that will show how good Coach Donahue is.

uva lost Mike Smith after 5 years of tormenting VT (literally).  But when you play 41-39 basketball, it isn’t that hard to replace his points.

Posted in Around The ACC8 Comments

David Teel of The Daily Press reports that DFS is transferring

According to a post earlier today on GobblerCountry.com, which cited a Daily Press online article by David Teel, Virginia Tech’s highest rated recruit in program history is transferring from Virginia Tech to Old Dominion.

Apparently, Doe Doe was recruited by former Virginia Tech assistant John Richardson, who left Tech last month, one day after Seth Greenberg was fired. Richardson was an assistant at ODU before coming to Tech and returned to the Monarchs. Doe Doe’s big brother played for ODU.

Posted in Around The ACC, Around the World (Wide Web)26 Comments

ACC Regular Season Review

Let’s take a look at the ACC Media’s preseason predictions (back in October), my pre-ACC predictions (end of December), and the final regular standings to see how team’s did against expectations:

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

*The difference between where the ACC Media picked the team to finish, and where they finished seeding-wise.  The difference matches the team listed in the Media column.

It is interesting to note two things:

  1. Wow – the media was right on for the most part (and they made their picks BEFORE the season started, mine were right before conference play started).  They slotted the top 4 exactly right, and 6 of 12 overall.  And they were within one spot on 9 of 12 teams…
  2. Virginia Tech and nc state were the two teams they were the most off on, VT to the negative side (4 spots off) and state finishing 3 spots better than predicted.

wake also did better than expected, finished 2 ahead of their predicted spot, although in reality they finished tied for last.

I’m going back to my more mathematical way of picking next year – it weighs experience very highly.

In terms of how teams did, I’d say the following:

  1. unc proved they are the best team.  They should have swept duke and would have if it weren’t for a choke job in Chapel Hill and a clutch shot by Rivers.
  2. duke was lucky to be 13-3.  Could have easily lost 5 home games this year (all 3 ACC losses were at home… they went 8-0 on the road).
  3. florida state is clearly the 3rd best program in the ACC right now.  They’ve finished 3rd three years in a row and in the top 4 four years in a row.  But they also lose 6 seniors, including their entire front court.  We’ll see if they can keep it up next year, but I predict they slide to the middle of the pack.
  4. uva really wanted to fall out of the top four.  Keep in mind they haven’t made it to ACC Semi-Final Saturday since 1995, but now all they have to do is win one game on Friday to make it.
  5. nc state is on the rise.  They bring in a stud recruiting class next year.  If C.J. Leslie stays, they’ll be a challenger for 3rd place next year.  The key is Leslie, otherwise, they’ll be too young.  See, they got rid of Lowe and did 3 games better than he ever did in Gottfried’s first year.
  6. miami did a solid job under Larranaga.  This was the year they were expected to take a leap forward, and after a rocky start, they hit their stride after starting 1-3 in the ACC.  They won at duke, and beat fsu at home.  They should be really solid next year, too, they don’t lose much.
  7. clemson way overachieved in ACC play.  They aren’t that good, but found a way to go 8-8 in the league.  Heck, they lost 3 games in their own state, but had a shot at 4th place going into the final weekend.  Brownell appears to be a solid coach.
  8. maryland, even at 6-10, they did well.  Turgeon is a solid coach (they had almost no talent coming in) and likely will bring the terps back in a few years.  I bet Stoglin stays since he is a liability on defense.   Look for them to improve next year.
  9. wake forest – wake won 3 more ACC games than last year, but all 4 came against the bottom 4 teams in the ACC.  So they have to prove they can beat a decent team next year.  They aren’t ready to contend for the top half next year, but could improve.  But Bzdelik is the worst coach in the ACC.
  10. VA TECH - they were young.  We expected too much.  But tied for last in the ACC is a huge disappointment.  Next year is Bust or Brackets – we gotta make the NCAA Tournament.
  11. georgia tech will move back into their old/new arena and should have a decent recruiting class.  But they have no talent returning.  They’ll struggle again next year.
  12. boston college was 4-4 at home, but 0-8 on the road.  With 9 freshmen and a transfer, they well exceeded my expectations.  These guys aren’t athletic but Donahue is proving he’s a solid coach (though a below average recruiter).  They should be better next year.

Posted in Around The ACC4 Comments

Looking Ahead: ACC Tournament Seedings

Here’s a look at where teams are today, and how the seedings may shake out for the ACC Tournament:

  1. unc 11-2
  2. fsu 10-2 (has the tiebreaker on duke and unc but they play duke on Thursday)
  3. duke 10-2 (has tiebreaker on unc but they play again)
  4. uva 8-5 (has the tiebreaker on ncsu and miami)
  5. nc state 7-6 (has tiebreaker on miami, but they play again)
  6. miami 7-6
  7. maryland 6-7 (has tiebreaker on clemson)
  8. clemson 6-7
  9. VIRGINIA TECH 4-9 (has tiebreaker on clemson)
  10. wake forest 3-10 (has tiebreaker on VT and bc, but they play bc)
  11. bc 3-10
  12. ga tech 2-11 (has tiebreaker on bc but they play again)

VIRGINIA TECH:

  • Chances at the #8 seed: Tech has a shot at the #8 seed.  They have to win at clemson next week.  Realistically, they’d have to win both games next week (clemson and nc state) and clemson would have to lose out.  Not very likely.
  • #9-11: wake forest, bc, and ga tech all play each other down the stretch, so it is very likely one of them could get 2 wins the rest of the way.  If it is wake or bc (likely wake), that would put them at 5 wins and they’d have the tiebreaker on VT, meaning Tech would have to win at least 2 games to stay ahead.  bc also would win a tiebreaker on VT unless the Hokies beat duke Saturday (bc beat fsu, which if you tie head-to-head, they go to best win against the rest of the league and that would be bc).
  • #12: It is safe to say the Hokies won’t finish last.  VT would have to lose out, and gt would have to win out.  I won’t comment on the former, but the latter isn’t going to happen.
  • Best Guess: I’d say it is 50/50 the Hokies drop to the #10 seed.  I don’t see them getting to #8, or falling to 11 or 12.  So I’d expect a first round matchup with either clemson or maryland, or possibly miami or nc state if they continue to fall.

#1: The duke @ florida state game on Thursday is HUGE.  If the noles win it, they’ll have all the tiebreakers, having gone 3-0 against duke and unc.  If duke wins, then the duke @ unc game will likely determine the regular season champ and #1 seed.

uva, the #4 seed, and a First Round bye: uva hasn’t made it to Semi-Final Saturday since 1995.  They have a great shot this year.  With nc state losing 3 straight and miami choking late against maryland, the hoos have a 1 game lead AND the tiebreaker on both since they defeated both.  That means uva has to lose at least 2 games the rest of the way (they do play unc and fsu), and miami or nc state would probably have to win out.  miami and nc state still play, so that will be an elimination game for the #4 seed.  If uva gets the #4 seed, that means they just have to win one game to make the ACC Tournament Semi-Final Saturday.  They were the #1 seed 5 years ago but lost to the #12 seed in the quarterfinals, nc state (who went on to beat VT in the Semis).

Posted in Around The ACC2 Comments

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.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Around The ACC33 Comments

VIDEO | Virginia Tech’s ACC Outlook – 2012

Here’s my breakdown of how the Hokies look heading into ACC play, along with predictions of how the teams will flush out in the ACC standings by season’s end.

Posted in 2011-12 Season, Around The ACC, Highlights10 Comments

Niemo’s Notes | I’m For Zo (and VD); and ACC Power Poll

First off, my thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the shootings today, and especially the slain officer, Deriek Crouse.  

A hot topic of late has been the play of our lone scholarship seniors, Dorenzo Hudson and Victor Davila. Zo was a Third Team All-ACC player two years ago as a junior, but struggled through the first 10 games and missed the last 2/3 of last season with injuries. He looked good early this season, scoring 9, 18, 31, and 13 through the first 4 games. But he’s averaged just 6 ppg in the last 5, including a goose egg in the loss at minnesota.

Davila, meanwhile, is pretty much the same player he was last year. He’s averaging 6.2 ppg and 4 rebounds, that’s down 1 point and 1 rebounds on averaged from a year ago. But after scoring 6 or more points in 6 of the first 7 games, he’s scored just 1 total point in the last 2 (and grabbed just 2 total rebounds).

A lot of people I’ve read, not just on here but elsewhere, have called for them to be benched and their minutes stripped way down. Seth seems to disagree, as he stated this on the post-game interview with Roth last night, “Loyalty is a 2 way street. If we want loyalty we have to give loyalty Vic and Zo will win us games.” I’ll go on the record as saying I’m firmly against benching the seniors, and/or severely limiting their minutes. Here’s why:

  1. Gellin’ like Magellan: People always talk about freshmen learning to play on this level, and learning to play as a team. What they forget is even veterans go through the same thing. While Zo and Victor are seniors, they also had a comfort level playing with Hokies 2G (Allen, Bell, Delaney, and Thompson). When you play with guys that long, you get used to their style, their mannerisms, where they’ll be on the break, in the half court, etc. Yes, Green is playing fantastically, but he’s also the point guard. Zo and Victor are dependent on getting the ball. And Green wasn’t playing much until Zo was being shut down for the season last year, so the two aren’t familiar playing together in games much. Victor is dependent on being fed the ball in the post, something Tech doesn’t do much. He’s shown a nice lefty hook this year, but his righty hook has been off. That needs to be fixed but I expect he will.
  2. Don’t Put Zo in the Corner: If you watch VT’s offense, Dorenzo spends a lot of time in the corner this year. Part of that appears to be Zo playing the 3 while Brown plays the 2. That worked for Terrell Bell, who was a fantastic 3-point shooter from the corner, but that’s not Zo’s game. He needs to be on the wing, similar to where Brown is, to be able to shot-fake, shoot a mid-range jumper, or attack the hoop. We know Zo’s a career <30% 3-point shooter, so sticking him in the corner is not to his strengths. Hudson is also good in transition, so the more VT runs (I won’t hold my breath), the better he is.
  3. Hypocrite: People call for Zo and Victor to sit, but not Dorian Finney-Smith. Why? Doe Doe has been as mercurial as them. He’s averaging 9.5 ppg and 10 rebounds per game in VT’s 6 wins, but just under 4 ppg and 7 rebounds in their 3 losses. People give him a pass because he’s young and needs to learn. That’s not how you coach. You coach to win every game (or else someone else will be coaching when your young guys are vets). So Seth can’t play the younger guys just to let them learn. And he knows Zo is better than what he’s shown of late. And he knows Victor can do more. They have earned the right to work their way out of this slump as they learn to play together with Hokies 3G.

That said, I do agree you go with the hot hand. Brown played over Hudson at the end of the minnesota game and Raines/Barksdale say a lot more minutes than normal at rhode island. But like I said, I support keeping the seniors in the starting lineup. Give them the first chance at being ‘hot’ that night. And show them you believe in them for all the hard work they’ve put in.

ACC POWER POLL:

  1. #4 unc (7-2): Yes, they’ve lost 2 games already. But that was in a ‘neutral’ site game in Vegas against unlv, and at #1 kentucky by 1-point. They have 5 potential 1st round draft picks in THIS coming draft. Nuff said.
  2. #7 duke (8-1): I still don’t think they are that good. They have a bunch of really good role players, and some young stars like Austin Rivers. But Rivers is no Irving, and they really miss Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler. So I don’t think they are even close to unc, but I also think they are the clear cut #2 in the ACC.
  3. florida state (6-3): They have not looked like the third best team in the league at times, but they still play that suffocating defense. And their 3 losses are to an undefeated harvard team (they didn’t score for the first 12 minutes of the game!), uconn, and at michigan state. No shame in that. They, as usual, need to find offense though.
  4. virginia (8-1): They beat michigan at home. But their lone loss is to Hank Thorns’s tcu team. I could easily make a case for them at #3, but they are uva, so I’ll give fsu the tiebreaker.
  5. VIRGINIA TECH (6-3): It hasn’t been pretty to date, but Tech’s played a tough schedule and did OK. Green looks like a real star.
  6. nc state (5-3): Shocker that they start playing better with Sidney Lowe gone. They beat texas and played vandy, indiana, and stanford tough. They’d have lost those games by 20-30 last year.
  7. miami (5-3): They had a chance to move up, but got waxed at home by memphis in the second half. They can really shoot the 3, but with tubby Reggie Johnson out hurt, they are lacking an inside game.
  8. maryland (5-3): They are overachieving to this point (and that has to credit their coach). maryland is awful this year, but they are 5-3 with wins over notre dame and colorado. But I think they are closer to the team that beat mount st. mary’s but just 3 on Wednesday. Expect them to drop.
  9. clemson (4-3): If this were the South Carolina state tournament, they’d be long since triple eliminated. They lost at home to college of charleston, coastal carolina, and the gamecocks. They did beat iowa on the road, but I thought they way overachieved last year and that is tough to repeat when you lose a few key players and add next to nothing in recruiting.
  10. georgia tech (5-4) won at georgia for the first time in 35 years on Wednesday. That’s impressive until you consider a couple of things… 1) they played at neutral sites from ’81 to ’95. 2) Paul Hewitt was the georgia tech coach for the last 10 years. And we know he couldn’t win on the road anywhere (look how george mason is starting to slide now). That said, the jackets are a far better team this year with Coach Brian Gregory than they would be with Hewitt, who couldn’t coach defense to save his life.
  11. wake forest (6-3): They look drastically better than last year and have moved out of the cellar! They’d have lost to high point last year, but edged them by 4 on the road this year. They beat nebraska. But I want to see some more body of work before I get too excited (they lost to richmond).
  12. boston college (2-6): They may be the worst team in ACC history ever. wake is the reigning worst ever champ, after their 1-15 season last year. But bc gets no fan support, which willed wake to their lone win over uva last year. bc returned just 2 scholarship players from a year ago, and those guys averaged just 6.6 ppg. Gone are over 90% of their points and assists, and 80% of their rebounds. They could lose all 16 ACC games.

Posted in Around The ACC6 Comments

Lowe Joins Hewitt on the Unemployment Line

How about a quick survey… If you had to pick one of the following to be VT’s basketball coach, who would you pick:

  1. Sidney “a.k.a. Biz Markie”, “a.k.a. The Kool Aid Man” Lowe
  2. Paul “Rocky Road” Hewitt
  3. Al “Groh-ing Pains”
  4. ricky “Program Bomb” stokes
  5. I’d rather saw off my own arm (no offense to Sykes from The Fugitive whom I know is a loyal reader)

Today is a sad day for me, TechHoops.com fans.  Sidney Lowe ‘stepped down’ as Head Coach of the nc state wolfpack.  He’s been the butt of more jokes on here then, well, anyone.  These last five years I’ve probably referenced him more than any other non-Hokie.

And this comes on the tail of Paul Hewitt getting fired at georgia tech.  Heck, Lowe’s and Hewitt’s ACC road records were practically regular features on this site.  Please don’t tell me I’m going to have to come up with new material!!!

Well, I might as well kick both of them while they are down one last time [tear]…

Worst Coach:

Sidney Lowe, hands down.  All you need to know is this – Paul Hewitt took georgia tech to the 2004 National Championship Game.  Lowe was lucky if he could guide his team to Burger King.

Worst Dresser:

Red sport coat?  Only if you work for State Farm.  Sidney Lowe.

Worst Road Coach:

Wow, this is like comparing the Washington Generals to clemson at unc.  Check out these numbers…

  • Lowe – 2006-11 (all 5 seasons of the Lowe era): nc state was 7-33 in ACC road games
  • Hewitt – 2005-11 (his last 6 seasons): gt was 7-41 in ACC road games… he snapped a streak of 13 straight ACC road losses in his road finale (at 1-14 wake, of course)

So I’d say there are no winners here.  Less than 1.5 road wins per season doesn’t demand a parade for anybody.

Overall ACC Record:

  • gt (2005-11): 33-63 (34%)
  • nc state (2006-11): 25-55 (31%)

Again, Sidney Lowe set a new standard for horrible-ness.  As Bill Roth put it — they look like all-stars in pre-game warm-ups (mostly because a lot of them are), then not so good once the game starts.

Easiest to Compare to ricky stokes:

Answer: nobody.  stokes could sink a ship faster than Rodney Dangerfield’s anchor.  But Lowe was pretty bad — after five straight years making the big dance under Herb Sendek, state fans all but ran him out of town… five years later they haven’t been back to the ncaa’s.  state hasn’t been this bad since the days of the Les Robinson Invitational (name for the 8/9 game in the ACC Tournament back in the early 90s since state was always in it).

Speaking of which… any chance georgia tech or nc state hires Terry Holland as their AD?  Then maybe we could get some revenge on mr. stokes.

Anyway, back to my “what coach would you take,” I think I’ll head to the hardware store if these two guys were my only options.

I’ll see ya, Sidney and Paul, it has truly been a writer’s blessing to have known you.

Posted in Around The ACC2 Comments

Jarell Eddie suspended for remainder of 2010-11 season

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Hokies, it did. Yesterday, Virginia Tech men’s head basketball coach Seth Greenberg announced that freshman forward Jarell Eddie will not dress or play for the Hokies for the remainder of the 2010-11 season.

According to a news release on HokieSports.com, the freshman Charlotte, N.C., was suspended as a result of his marijuana incident that occurred on Feb. 15 in Blacksburg, Va.

“Jarell Eddie is a excellent student, a fine young man and a great teammate,” said Greenberg in the release. “He made a mistake in judgment and is paying the price for that mistake.”

Losing Eddie is a huge blow to the Hokies as they enter the ACC tournament today. Senior forward Jeff Allen is hobbled by a bad ankle that severely limited him in practice this week, so that leaves sophomore Manny Atkins as the only scholarship forward on the bench.

Essentially, the Hokies will be playing with only seven players against georgia tech, assuming Allen can go. Freshman Tyrone Garland, who was recently named to the ACC all-academic team, and Atkins are the only scholarship players on the bench to relieve the starting five: Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, Terrell Bell, Victor Davila and Erick Green.

Tech lost its last two regular season games and is firmly on the NCAA tournament bubble heading into the ACC tourney. Realistically, they need at least two wins this week to make it into the dance. That is a challenge unto itself, never mind the fact they must do so with seven players.

If you’re looking for more details on this developing situation, you won’t get it from Greenberg, his staff or anyone in the basketball office. The official word in the release went something like this:

“This release will serve as the sole statement by the Virginia Tech Athletics Administration, Coach Greenberg and members of the basketball program on this matter. No further comments will be made on this matter during the remainder of the season and Coach Greenberg will not address this issue during press conferences at the ACC Tournament.”

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Around The ACC17 Comments

Jeff Allen Named ACC Player of the Week

The Big Donut had a gigantic week and was honored as the ACC’s Player of the Week for 1/31 to 2/6.  Jeff scored 40 points and grabbed an eye-popping 30 rebounds to garner the award.  He had 15/11 against nc state and 25/19 at boston college.

This marks the second time this year, and third time in his career, Allen has won the award.  He won it a month ago after scoring 24 and securing 11 rebounds against florida state.  Allen also won player of the week honors a year ago back in December of 2009 for his performances against vmi and penn state.

This is the fourth time a Hokie has won this honor this year, joining Malcolm Delaney and Erick Green.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Around The ACC2 Comments

The Wild Hokie Club!

The Hokies experienced their worst season since the ricky "program bomb" stokes era. Sure, it would have been easy to quit on you, but did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL NO!

 

And we do it for free! But, just like NPR, we rely on the generosity of our loyal fans to help keep this humble Hokie website alive. That being said, see how you can help TechHoops.com make it to 10 years!

 

Jon King, Ben Floyd and Dan Rickenbach all got in on the action and we encourage all TechHoops heads to do the same.

 

Any donation amount earns you a spot in our Wild Hokie Club. We'll even give you a shout out on Twitter and Facebook. We may even let you get armcurled by Niemo.

 

So join the TechHoops.com Wild Hokie Club today!


Choose your level of support!




New Poll Question

Has the hiring of Buzz Williams influenced your plans for attending games next season?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Get TechHoops Updates via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Photos on flickr