TechHoops.com is very excited to announce Kent Square Condominiums as our newest sponsor. Kent Square Condominiums is located in beautiful downtown Blacksburg on the corner of Main and Lee Streets. Kent Square offers urban living in a comfortable, secure and convenient location. The studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom units include the following:
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Not trying to toot my own horn (especially because I wasn’t that accurate – I picked unc to finish 2nd), but before the season I predicted unc and georgia tech wouldn’t live up to their lofty expectations. Why? They were too dependent on freshmen, many of which don’t really contribute until their second or third years, if ever (e.g. Woods and Walker of wake).
The teams that are at top all have experience galore. Take a look at the ACC standings:
duke – returned 4 of their top 5 scorers from last season, all of which are juniors or seniors.
VT – also returned 4 of their top 5 scorers, all of which are juniors. VT’s top 5 scorers this year are juniors.
maryland – I was big on them in the preseason because they had their top 4 scorers back (all starters), both guards, and 7 of their top 8. They responded, sitting tied for 2nd in the ACC.
wake – while they lost their top 2 scorers to the NBA, their next 4 returned. They have 3 senior starters to go with their stud soph (Aminu) and freshman (Harris).
fsu – they are sort of the exception here, but they are also just in 5th place. The noles lost Toney Douglas, by far their leading scorer by 13 points, and their #3 scorer in Echefu. Their top 3 scorers this year are sophomores or freshman, so they are the youngest team in the upper half of the league. Their stud recruit, Snaer, has been solid with 8.8 ppg.
clemson – They did lose their #2, 3, and 5 scorers from last season. Thus, they are sitting in 6th and not higher. But Booker is back for his senior year as their star player, Stitt at PG is a junior and their #2 scorer. Their #5 and 6 scorers are a senior and junior respectively. FYI: their stud freshman, Jennings, hasn’t panned out yet (3.2 ppg).
Notice who is not in the top half? You’ve got it – georgia tech and unc, two teams that were extremely dependent on inexperienced players this year. georgia tech still has a good shot at finishing in the upper half since they are 6-6, but their freshmen have faded. Favors is still the odds on bet to win Rookie of the Year, but his production has dropped off. He’s reached double digits in just 2 of his last 6 games. Freshman guard Udofia, who was averaging 10+ going into ACC play, has scored just 19 points in his last 10 games. So much for a 2-14 team from a year ago storming to the top of the standings.
Then there is unc, who sits at 3-8. Injuries haven’t helped their cause with Zeller and Davis out (both sophomores). But guys like Ginyard and Graves were mostly bench players before. So even though they are upperclassmen now, they aren’t that “experienced”. And freshmen like Henson, Strickland, the Wears, and McDonald just aren’t that good yet. Neither is sophomore Larry Drew.
Experience, especially in the backcourt, is the name of the game and it shows in the standings.
Pretty fair article by ESPN’s Andy Katz about Virginia Tech’s schedule with some insight from Head Coach Seth Greenberg: Article
He messed up some of the data, like Tech’s nonconference and overall schedule ratings, but otherwise has some good info.
Also, I read today where CBS’s Jerry “Hairy” Palm still has Virginia Tech OUT of the tournament, even with their win against wake. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had them in even before that game.
With Virginia Tech’s final basketball game of 2009 in the books, it is time to give out the Niemo’s for the ’00s. It is amazing to think about the volatility Hokie basketball endured this decade. Can you believe we were still in the Atlantic 10 when this decade started? Thank goodness that is but a distant memory. The program came in like a lamb, losing at least 12 conference games in their first three years in the Big East and losing their first ACC game by 34 points, but goes out like a lion. The program has the fourth most ACC conference wins since joining the league for the 2004-05 season, behind just unc, duke, and maryland.
Already many of us that have loved VT basketball for years look at the ricky stokes era as the “dark age” of Hokie basketball. We were just plain awful and it was tough to watch. But now we enter the ’10s with Seth Greenberg as a program on the rise with a brand new, state-of-the-art practice facility, selling out almost every home game, and with recruiting at an all time high. The ’10s promise to be even better for Virginia Tech basketball and as we enter the teens, we will likely grow to be even better.
Let’s take a look at how the ’00s went for the Hokies:
Record at the Cassell: 109-48 (69%) (78-25 under Greenberg) – ricky stokes “led” VT to their only ever losing season at the Cassell in the 40+ years of the arena in 2000-01 when Tech went 6-9 at home.
ACC Home Record: 24-16 (60%)
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 1 (2007)
NIT Appearances: 3 (2005, 2008, 2009)
First Game of the Decade: 86-67 loss at xavier
Last Game: 85-50 win over longwood
Guard: Zabian Dowdell – see below
Guard: Malcolm Delaney – 3rd-team All-ACC as a sophomore, already 30th on VT’s scoring list and 10th in assists. Set VT record for FTs made in a season (225).
Guard: Jamon Gordon – 26th place in scoring with 1280. #2 all time in steals with 290. Set VT single season record with 94 steals in 2006-07. ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and made all-defensive team three times. 3rd-team All-ACC in 2007. 2nd all time in assists with 514.
Forward: Bryant Matthews - 1st-team All-Big East in 2004. Ranks 11th on the VT scoring list with 1656. Averaged 22.1 ppg in 2003-04, the highest average by a Hokie since 1990.
Forward: Jeff Allen – Just 20 points away from 1000 in his career. Has 626 rebounds. His 154 steals are 10th all-time at VT.
2nd-Team: A.D. Vassallo, Coleman Collins, Brian Chase, Carlos Dixon, Deron Washington
Player of the Decade: Zabian Dowdell – currently sits in 7th place on the VT all-time scoring list with 1785 points, 5th in assists (380), and 3rd in steals (241). Still the only Hokie to be named 1st-team All-ACC (2007). Made ACC All-Defensive Team twice. Hokies were 22-12 his senior year, the most wins for VT since winning 23 in 1995-96.
Biggest Win: 94-88 over #1 unc at the Cassell on 1/13/07. Sure, there were a lot of big wins this decade but this game announced to the world in this ABC game that Virginia Tech basketball had arrived. After being pitiful under ricky stokes in the first half of the decade, the Hokies had become a real player in the ACC. This win actually launched this very web site in the aftermath and excitement of it.
Toughest Loss: 12/4/05 – duke wins on a shot just inside half court as time expired, 77-75. This was the day after VT was upset by fsu in the ACC Championship Game and started a downward spiral to the basketball season.
Arm Curls: 15 VT players including 8 current guys on the roster, plus one maryland twerp.
Best Individual Performance: Malcolm Delaney’s 37 against clemson last season. Even though it was in a losing effort, he just plain put on a show. He had 22 at the half including a 60-footer at the buzzer that put VT up 9, 53-44. He scored 8 more in the first 3:20 of the second half to give him 30 points in less than 24 minutes. Malcolm finished the game 11/17 from the field and 6/10 on threes and committed just 2 turnovers against the strangling press of clemson. Close runner up was the 33 points Zabian Dowdell had to lead VT to an 81-80 win over unc in Chapel Hill in 2007. It marked just the 2nd time VT won at unc.
Best Buzzer-Beater: Deron beating uva 70-69 in OT in 2008.
Greatest Play: Deron Washington teabagging Greg Paulus while scoring a layup at duke.
Best Dunk: “The Dunk” – Deron against bc, 2/21/07 –
Other Big Wins:
1/21/03 – 73-55 over uva
2/5/03 – 95-74 over #18 uconn
3/10/04 – 61-58 over rutgers in Big East Tourney debut
1/15/05 – 59-57 over clemson for 1st ACC win
2/7/05 – 67-65 over #7 duke after losing by 35 in the first meeting at duke
1/6/07 – 69-67 in OT at #5 duke in the infamous “teabag” game
2/13/07 – 81-80 in OT at #4 unc
3/9/07 – 71-52 over wake for 1st ever ACC Tourney win
3/16/07 – 54-52 win in the 1st Round of the NCAA Tourney in big comeback against illinois
1/16/08 – 70-69 win in OT at uva for Tech’s first win in ch’ville in 40 years
1/21/09 – 78-71 win at #1 wake forest
3/18/09 – 116-108 2 OT win in 1st Round of the NIT over duquesne
We are very excited to announce Hard Times Cafe as our newest sponsor. Hard Times Cafe has been a dining staple of the Metro D.C. area since 1980. From their legendary chili mac to their grilled wings, Hard Times Cafe offers a variety of delicious dishes. In 2005, Hard Times Cafe was named one of the top 10 places in the country for a bowl of chili. They have 16 locations across Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland. As a former Arlington resident, I miss the Clarendon location. You can’t get that type of chili in Charlottesville.
This goes to show how much star power, especially at guard, the ACC lost after last season. If you look at three-point shots made by ACC players from last year, the top seven are all gone (Scheyer was #8, Delaney #9). Sharp shooters like McClinton, Oglesby, Douglas, and Ellington have all moved on. I was surprised to not see Greivis “Greasy Face-quez” Vasquez on the list.
Hokie fan-favorite and all-time human highlight film legend Deron Washington was waived yesterday by the Detroit Pistons. Deron is guaranteed a cool $250,000, which should ease the pain, but that falls well short of the millions that Deron is achingly close to if he can pick up a more permanent spot on an NBA roster somewhere.
What’s especially curious about this move is that Detroit apparently has a 15th roster spot available, which they have chosen to leave open, even though they’re paying Deron whether he’s on their roster or not — he was essentially available to them into January for nothing more than travel costs and meal per-diem. With flu tearing teams and organizations everywhere wide open, an extra young player seems worthwhile to have around.
Hopefully Deron will be able to pick up with someone, or perhaps more likely, find a nice spot overseas and continue to develop his game. Since he was waived, Detroit has no ongoing rights or ownership — Detroit will have to pay, but Deron is free and clear to go anywhere.
According to Virginia Tech men’s head basketball coach Seth Greenberg’s Twitter feed, 6’9″ freshman forward Cadarian Raines will miss the first eight weeks of the season after breaking his foot today. I’m not sure how much the Hokies were planning to rely on Raines and his size this season, but at the very least, he’s out eight weeks of valuable practice and conditioning.
No, A.D. Vassallo did not sign with uva, but he did sign a one-year contract to play for paris-levallois in France, which is basically charlottesville. Vassallo was not selected in the NBA draft and tried out for the Chicago Bulls. After failing to make the summer roster, Vassallo accepted the one-year deal for $230,000.
The team posted a news release mentioning Vassallo on its Web site, but it is entirely written in French and I don’t know about you, but I don’t speak wahoo – I had to use Google’s translator tool. I’ll save you the trouble:
From 26 August to 6 September Levallois Paris will have a representative in the Americas qualifying tournament for the championship of the world. In fact the new recruits came from Virginia Tech, Daniel Angel Vassalo, is part of the host team, the Puerto Rico. Currently in preparation, he and his team fell in Group A with Canada, Uruguay, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Solid but it is perfectly playable for AD Vassalo and his teammates. At home, the goal is of course to qualify for Turkey. They can rely on values as the leader NBAer Arroyo and the solid backbone stamped Euroleague Santiago. During the preparation matches, Puerto Rico has not shone, bowing including twice against the Republic led by Francisco Dominincaine Martin (Sacramento), Villanueva (Detroit), Al Horford (Atlanta), but by the Greer brothers (Nancy ).
Daniel Angel Vassalo? C’mon Frenchies! You just signed the guy that you plan to put into your starting five immediately and you can’t even get his name right? Keep that up and you might end up working for the Washington Nationals or even the Washington Redskins.
Congratulations to A.D. on his first professional gig – can’t wait to see him light up the the Ligue Nationale de Basket (said with a Inspector Clouseau-like French accent). Wait … did I read that right? The National Basket League? No wonder Vince Carter can teabag their seven-footers, they’re not even playing the right sport.
I know I’ve been a bit snarky today, but I have just one more question: When Vassallo goes baseline for a dunk, will the french (I’ve made the exeuctive decision to lowercase the french from now on) simply surrender and let him through?
Oh, and Seth Greenberg’s favorite Roanoke Times reporter – Mark Berman – had a little writeup about A.D.’s signing. Remember their little feud? Refresh your memory with round 1, round 2, round 3 and round 4.
The Weekend Warrior has been whining about getting some pictures of the new Virginia Tech basketball practice facility, so while I was on campus this afternoon I snapped a few pics. For the most part it is complete, at least on the exterior. Check out our Facebook page for more pictures and while you’re there, become a fan! We only need three more people to become fans so that we can reach 100!
MaxPreps.com is reporting that Tyrone Garland, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound point guard from Bartram High in Philadelphia, will announce his decision to attend Virginia Tech at a press conference later today at 5pm. Read more about Garland at maxpreps.com. (Thanks for the tip, @hokieguru)
Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg posted on his Twitter account that former Hokie standout Deron Washington has signed a guaranteed contract with the Detroit Pistons, who selected him 59th overall (second round) of the 2008 NBA Draft. Washington played in Israel last season.
Greenberg, @HeadHokie on Twitter, posted 6:41 p.m. (eastern):
“congrats to Deron Washington for signing a guaranteed contract with the Pistons Great to have a Hokie in the league!”
I have yet to see this confirmed in any news reports, but I’ll take Greenberg’s word for it. Way to go, Deron!
Those who remember former Hokie basketball player Coleman Collins remember him as one of the great ambassadors in the history of Virginia Tech’s basketball program. The guy may be the smartest player to ever come through the athletic department at VT. He enrolled at Tech when he was 16 and graduated with honors in three years. Oh, he also got a master’s degree before he could legally drink.
Well, old Coleman is up to his usual well-spoken ways again with a very thoughtful commentary on the events happening in Iran following last week’s disputed election. Read Collins’ feature Democracy Matters at ESPN.com
“Considered one of the NBA Development League’s standout athletes and most civic-minded contributors, Coleman Collins, a native of Stone Mountain, Georgia, is a 6’9″ center for the NBA D-League’s Fort Wayne (Indiana) Mad
Ants. The former Chamblee High School athlete and academic standout enrolled in Virginia Tech at the remarkable age of 16. He graduated with honors in just three years — by the age of 19 — staying an additional year to play basketball and complete a Master’s degree program in Public Health. A fixture in Virginia Tech’s starting line-up, Collins led the Hokies to a 20-win season in 2007 and into the NCAA Tournament. After college, Collins played for the German club EnBW L’burg during the 2006-07 season and, last summer, participated in the Toronto Raptors’ Summer League and in the Phoenix Suns’ training camp.”
Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach Seth Greenberg hired former virginia assistant Bill Courtney last week to fill the vacancy left by Stacey Palmore, who left to be an assistant with georgia. Courtney was an assistant at virginia for the past three seasons, but left after Dave Leito was fired. He took an assistant job with virginia commonwealth and had been there two months before Greenberg came calling.
Courtney is apparently a top notch recruiter, responsible for signing the core of the george mason Final Four team in 2006. He also recruited uva’s Sylven Landesberg, who was named the 2008-2009 ACC rookie of the year. He has strong ties to the Baltimore – D.C. corridor where a ton of talented players are recruited every year. Perhaps that will pay off soon. One thing is clear, Courtney is by far the best recruiter Greenberg has hired in his six year at Tech.
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!
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