Posted on 04 November 2008.
This week I spoke to ESPN College Gameday Analyst Jay Bilas on behalf of the TechHoops.com team to preview the upcoming season. You can listen to the conversation by clicking the play button below, but we’ve also included a transcript if you can’t listen at work.
TechHoops.com: Where do you think the Hokies will finish in the ACC this year?
Jay Bilas: I think Virginia Tech will finish in the top half of the ACC, but last year I didn’t think they would finish anywhere near the top half and they did. So, a lot depends on how some of their younger players matured over the summer. They relied on a lot of young players last year, and those young players certainly treated them well. It was really a good year for Virginia Tech when not a lot of people expected it. So, this year people are expecting more and it’s going to require guys like Jeff Allen to take a big jump and play even better because he’s a known commodity now and people are going to come after Virginia Tech even harder than they did last year.
Posted in 2008-09 Season, Home, Q & A
Posted on 04 February 2008.
This week the Opposing View takes us down to Tobacco Road, wolfpack style, as we do a little Q&A with Section Six (nc state fan site)…
Interviewee – “I’ve been blogging about the Wolfpack at Section Six since 2004.Â I graduated from NC State in 2005 with a degree in History.” -Steven from Section Six
As always, we asked a few basketball questions and then got into the hard hitting stuff like “Why do the NC schools stink at football so much?”
Q: Can you give us a general overview of the nc state team?Â Strengths/weaknesses, etc.
A: NC State lacks outside shooting and relies on the post for most of its offensive production.Â The team’s biggest strength lies in the free throw department, both in getting to the line and keeping opponents from getting there.Â Â The big drawback to this style, defensively speaking, is that we rarely force turnovers.Â And despite being one of the taller teams in the country, we don’t rebound well at either end of the court, and the defensive end is especially problematic.Â Â
Q: J.J. Hickson is the best freshman in the ACC.Â But adding him to your lineup is like adding Percy Harvin to uva’s 2-tight end formation.Â He doesn’t fit.Â Thoughts?
A:Â If we’re speaking strictly about the offensive end of the court, that may be a fair point.Â The Costner/McCauley tandem has been a bit more effective offensively than either of the Costner/Hickson or McCauley/Hickson pairs.Â But it isn’t that Hickson doesn’t fit into the offense Sidney Lowe is running–he doesn’t fit into the offense that Costner and McCauley run in their “remember when it was just the two of us?” dreamland.Â Furthermore, a major reason why the offense looks rougher this season is because we haven’t found an effective point guard.Â Â Â
The bottom line is that we have been a vastly better team with Hickson on the floor than with him off of it–we have outscored opponents by 75 points with him on the floor and have been outscored by 36 with him off of it.Â No Wolfpack player has a higher net positive value than that +111. (McCauley = -79).Â Even if his implementation into the offense hasn’t gone smoothly, he has still been a vital component to our overall success, largely because his defensive value, relative to the other two, is huge.Â When Costner and McCauley are on the floor together, we play matador defense.Â Their effort stinks, their fundamentals stink, and they just aren’t the same caliber of athlete that Hickson is.Â Whatever offensive cohesion we gain with Costner and McCauley on the floor (and it ain’t much) is outweighed by what we lose at the other end.
Niemo’s Note: Ummm, net positive what? Pretty big words for a history major. Are we talking hockey or basketball? Are you sure you didn’t go to duke? And Cope-acabana thought I was a stat freak…
Posted in Home, Q & A, The Opposing View
Posted on 02 September 2007.
ESPN College Basketball Analyst and former duke basketball player and assistant coach, Jay Bilas, shared his thoughts and opinions on the Hokies, ACC, and how to lure College GameDay to Blacksburg.
Bilas is one of the hosts of ESPN’s College GameDay, and does color commentating for ESPN, ABC, and CBS during the NCAA Tournament.
Jay answered the questions below on Thursday, August 30, 2007.
TechHoops: How do you see Virginia Tech finishing in the ACC this year?
Jay: I think Virginia Tech will probably finish in the bottom third of the league, primarily because of the experience lost, especially at the guard spots. This will be a very young team, and that will really hurt in ACC play, especially on the road. I believe that Virginia Tech will have to overcome the same difficulties that florida state had to deal with when they came into the league. Both brought in strong teams, but really had to adjust to recruiting against other ACC powers. It is a difficult adjustment, and it takes some time.
TechHoops: What is your opinion of ACC expansion? Which of the 3 new programs will be the most successful 10 years from now?
Jay: I was not in favor of it for basketball, but that was not the reasoning behind the decision. Expansion was about football, plain and simple, but it has worked out just fine, and each new school has been a good addition. Long term, I think boston college probably has the best chance to be highly competitive in the league. bc has been very solid in the past in the Big East, has the best history, and perhaps can make some headway being the only ACC show in the Northeast.
Posted in Home, Q & A
Posted on 24 July 2007.
TechHoops: What is the purpose of the Roundball Club?
Steve: I will give you two answers to this oneâ€¦ the official one, and the one that I use to answer that question.
Official – The Mission of the Roundball Club is to:
1. Promote public awareness of our Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball Program
2. Foster the goals and policies of the Virginia Tech Athletic Department
3. Provide the level of spirited support and resources required for our program to achieve national prominence
Now, my answerâ€¦ The Roundball Club was created at a time when the Menâ€™s Basketball program was not doing so well (2000), and Football reigned king on campus. This group was created to show the Menâ€™s team that there were people out there who cared about basketball and not just football. Over the years, this relatively small group of people has been able to create a family atmosphere with the Menâ€™s team that shows them the support the football team receives from 65,000+ at each game. Now, with the team doing better and better in the ACC and on the national stage, it gives the team a chance to visit with that same group of people who were there during the â€œnot-so-goodâ€ times and enjoy the successful moments.
Also, we are in existence to â€œpullâ€ in some funds specifically for Menâ€™s basketball. When people make their donations to the Hokie Clubâ€¦ most times they do not specify where those funds should be directed. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with thatâ€¦ at a football school, you can â€œassumeâ€ where a majority of funds might go. When a person becomes a member of the Roundball Club, they designate their money to go to menâ€™s basketball. Membership benefits you because of access to the players, while using part of your Hokie Club contributions for membership.
Posted in Featured Columns, Home, Q & A
Posted on 19 June 2007.
Coleman Collins some questions about his future, and about his past four years at Virginia Tech.
Coleman has been a model athlete, student, and person, and the Team at TechHoops.com appreciates all of his hard work and dedication (and time to do this Q&A). We wish him the best in the upcoming NBA Draft, and beyond.
Coleman answered the questions below on Monday, June 18, 2007.
TechHoops: Have you had any workouts with NBA teams, or are any scheduled?
Coleman: I had one workout with the Sonics last week, and this coming week I’ll go to Minnesota, Phoenix, and Golden State.
TechHoops: What will you be doing on draft day/night?
Coleman: On draft night I’ll be with family and friends, either in New York or Atlanta – I haven’t decided yet.
Posted in Featured Columns, Home, Q & A
Posted on 28 May 2007.
We had the recent opportunity to catch up with ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi to get his feedback on the future of Hokie basketball, among other topics.
Joe’s “real job” is the chief marketing officer for Saint Joseph’s University. He graduated from St. Joe’s in 1982.
Joe answered the questions below on Thursday, May 25, 2007.
TechHoops: At one time in February, you had 9 ACC teams making it to the Big Dance. What is your opinion on why the ACC had such a poor performance in the tournament (only 1 of 7 teams made it into the Sweet 16)?
Joe: Most performance in the tournament is fairly random (both at the team and conference level). Other than a few obvious early-round mismatches, we’re talking about an event in which the majority of games are in the “coin flip” category. So we probably shouldn’t make assertions about whether a conference is trending up or down based on a small sample of mainly random outcomes. By RPI, only Carolina (No. 4) and Maryland (No. 16) would have been forecast as Sweet 16 teams this year; so, while the 2007 results may have seemed poor for the ACC in a historical sense, they weren’t too far off in terms of the actual level of the teams this year. Personally, I thought Georgia Tech would make the Sweet 16 and that NC State (had the Wolfpack qualified) was playing well enough at the end of the year to do the same. Duke, B.C, and UVa appeared “spent” to me for one reason or another. I’ll leave the VaTech analysis to your readers!
TechHoops: Did you feel that Virginia Tech received an appropriate seed at #5? Not like it mattered in the end, but many Hokies questioned how uva could be a #4 seed and Virginia Tech a #5 seed when you compared their quality wins and strength of conference schedule. Your thoughts?
Joe: As I have written elsewhere, the Committee seems to be going backward in its ability to make logical seeding determinations. UVa was DRAMATICALLY over-seeded according to any logical application of bracketing precedent or ’07 performance, not even factoring in unbalanced conference schedules. I think the Hokies were just about right.
Posted in Featured Columns, Home, Q & A