Archive | 2010-11 Season

Video Highlights | 2010-11 Season in Review (Repost)

The 2011-12 Virginia Tech Basketball Preseason Team Video will be released Friday to get you pumped for the season.  But here’s a look back at last year’s season (note: when the video says ‘last year’, they are talking about 2 years ago).

2010-11 VT Season Highlights

Posted in 2010-11, 2010-11 Season, Highlights, Home1 Comment

Delaney Named AP Honorable Mention All-American

Malcolm Delaney was named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press for the second year in a row.  The First Team All-ACC player (also for the second year in a row) recently finished his career at VT third on the all time scoring list and second in assists.

duke’s Nolan Smith made the First Team.   Tech also faced another First Teamer – JaJuan Johnson of purdue.  kansas state’s Jacob Pullen was a Third Teamer.  Honorable Mention follows those first three teams.  It is weird seeing just one ACC player on the first three teams.

Posted in 2010-11 Season1 Comment

Video Highlights | The Story of the 2010-11 Virginia Tech Basketball Season

Here is the highlight video for the 2010-11 season.  What a wild ride it was. Note: Updated to add the omissions from the first cut.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Highlights10 Comments

Cheers to the Seniors, Team


What hit me the hardest last night after the game wasn’t the fact our season was over.  It was the fact I’d never see Malcolm, Jeff, or Terrell play in the burnt orange and Chicago maroon ever again.  And I wouldn’t get to see Paul ham it up on the sidelines ever again.  That stung the most.

I raised a glass last night to our senior class.  What a great four years it has been.  It pains me to know they never were rewarded with a trip to that other tournament for their hard work and great success.  But I am amazed at what they did accomplish.  Let’s look at some of the things they did achieve:

  • 87 total wins - this tied the ‘Dell Curry Era’ for most wins in a 4-year span.  That says it all about how successful this team was.
  • 35-29 ACC regular season record.
  • Finished in 4th place in the ACC (tied or outright) 3 of 4 years.
  • Made ACC Semi-Final Saturday twice.
  • Beat #1twice (and came really close two other times).

And then there’s the gaudy numbers Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen put up.

Malcolm Delaney:

  • 3rd in scoring at VT: 2,255 points.
  • 2nd in assists: 543 – just 4 behind Bimbo Coles for the top spot… another game and he’d have had it.
  • 175 steals: just 8 away from making the top 10 there.
  • Two time All-ACC First Team; also made the Third Team as a sophomore.
  • Led the conference in scoring his junior year.
  • Best I can tell, he is 14th on the ACC’s all-time scoring list (5th most in the last 10 years)… that’s pretty good company.
  • 264 career 3-pointers: just 3 away from tying A.D. Vassallo for VT’s all time record.
  • VT’s all time leader in made FTs… by a mile and a half… he made 721 free throws (next closest is Bimbo Coles at 593).

Jeff Allen (The Big Donut):

  • 11th in scoring at VT: 1702 points (just 4 points away from 10th place… ugh, again, just one more game)
  • 4th in rebounds: 1111
  • 4th in steals: 233
  • 5th in blocks: 150
  • Became the first ACC player ever with 1700 points, 1000 rebounds, 200 steals, and 150 blocks.
  • Made ACC All-Freshman team and All-ACC Second Team (senior year).

Link to VT All Time Leaders Page

Let me say one final time — THANK YOU SENIORS!  Thank you for four great years.  You will be missed everywhere except in the VT record books where your place is secured as evidenced above.

Other notes:

It was great seeing Paul Debnam get meaningful minutes yesterday.  It reminded me of a game my freshman year (in HS) where I was third string PG and the first two went down to injury.  All of sudden I had to play the entire final half and all of OT.  We lost, too, in a heartbreaker but I’ll always remember that moment.  I’m sure Paul, although sad to see us lose, will carry that memory forever.  And what a great job he did.  Paul brought the high energy we knew he would and snagged a couple of key rebounds.

Terrell Bell became VT’s stopper on defense, and hit 38% of his 3-pointers his final two seasons.  He gave the Hokies a much needed second option from behind the arc.  And on a team that had no quality on-ball defenders at the guard position (at least when Zo went down), his defense was a must in man-to-man.


What a great effort yesterday.  Those final minutes of regulation and OT really summed up our season.  Just when we found a way to keep our heads above water, they’d add another 5 feet to the tank.  Allen’s 5th foul and Davila having to leave the game with the shoulder injury put us at 5 scholarship players.  Yet the Hokies battled back from 6 down and nearly won the game.  Even in OT Tech hung in there despite the fact wsu’s 7-footer had about 5-9 inches on anyone guarding him.  I couldn’t have been more proud of the guys and how they battled.

Speaking of Jeff’s 5th foul, that made me sick.  Not the call, but the fact the shockers player ran right at him, right into him, and then flopped.  Some would call it smart basketball, I call in European soccer.  Or another word that starts with a ‘p’ comes to mind.  I know this is the pot calling the kettle black because of Delaney’s history, but he’s taken crap for that from our fans, too (me included).  And he never targeted a guy and went right at him.  So that wsu player lost all my respect.  Smart, maybe.  But not what a real man would do.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, for the 19th straight VT game the team that shot for a higher percentage from 3-point range won (wsu 50% — 10/20 to VT’s 44% — 8/18).  What a wild stat that turned in to.  Also, the Hokies never lost in those final 19 games when they made more 3-pointers than their opponent.

Props to Seth for keeping the ship above water, too.  This season was in many ways similar to the 2005-06 season except that year the distractions were more about family and personal tragedies, and not just injuries.  That season the wheels completely came off and what looked like a promising season became an agonizing journey to the offseason.  The difference is most of those guys had another year.  MD and JA and TB don’t.  But Seth and the staff found a way to overcome all those injuries and finish 4th in the ACC, while coming within an eyelash of the ncaa tournament.  Amazing coaching job — as much for the mental side of it and keeping the team focused — as it was for the results on the court which I think were fantastic all considered.

Here’s one more toast to the entire squad (getting buzzed yet?).  And here’s to a great offseason, which hopefully we’ll see some key cogs get back to 100%.  Tech will also welcome four stud recruits that we wish will launch the Hokies into that next echelon of teams.

Posted in 2010-11 Season4 Comments

Hokies fall in second round | #4 wichita state (26-8) 79, #1 VT (22-12) 76, OT

The season is over. The college careers of two of the most talented players ever to suit up for Virginia Tech have come to a close. The No. 1 seeded Hokies fell to the No. 4 seed, wichita state, 79-76 in overtime. As has been the case for so many games, when Delaney has a big game, Tech seems to lose. The senior from Baltimore, Md., had a game-high 30 points. Sophomore Erick Green had 17 points.

Another sophomore, Manny Atkins, hit a big three pointer in the final minute of regulation to give the Hokies a 69-66 lead, but the shockers tied the game to send it to overtime. With state leading 76-74 and with the possession, Green stole the ball and fed a streaking Terrell Bell for a layup to tie the game at 76. But state inbounded the ball and went the length of the court for an uncontested layup to retake the lead, 78-76, with 2.2 seconds left in the game.

The Hokies inbounded the ball and Delaney appeared to be fouled, but the ref swallowed his whistle and instead called Delaney for stepping out of bounds. The Hokies fouled, sent state to the line, and that was the game.

Jeff Allen reverted to his old ways by fouling out with 6:12 left in the game with the Hokies trailing by two. That sealed Tech’s fate as they had no size and no inside presence to either score or defend in the paint. Allen finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. The call was more than questionable as the shockers player took a dook-like flop to help sell it.

Delaney, a first-team All-ACC selection, shot lights out in the first half, hitting 6/9 from the field and 3/5 from behind the arc. Victor Davila, who had been battling an injured shoulder, started and played respectably, though you could tell the shoulder was bothering him, particularly when he air-balled a free throw in the first half. He’s bad from the charity stripe, but he at least hits rim when he misses.

The shockers opened the second half with an 11-3 run to take a 41-35 lead. After a steal and fast-break layup at the other end for wichita state, Joe Ragland was called for a technical foul, for something he must have said to Delaney after scoring the bucket. Delaney hit both free throws to cut the lead to 41-39, but then followed it up by committing his third personal foul with 16 minutes to play in the game.

Delaney stayed in the game, despite the three personals, with 21 of the Hokies’ 39 points at that point. After falling behind by six, 41-35, the Hokies used a slow, but steady 13-7 run to tie the game at 48 on Terrell Bell’s first points of the game – a three from the left corner.

That’s it for now. Niemo will likely have a season-recap in the days ahead, but for now, this season is mercifully over. See you in eight months, Hokie fans.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Recaps, NIT6 Comments

The Hunt for 69 | NIT Preview | #4 wichita state (25-8) @ #1 VT (22-11) | Sunday at 11 AM | ESPN

The Hunt for 69 | NIT Preview | #4 wichita state (25-8) @ #1 VT (22-11) | Sunday at 11 AM | ESPN

Unlike the White Stripes, we are not going to Wichita. wichita state is coming to Blacksburg for Round 2 of the Virginia Tech Invitational. It’s Brunch in Blacksburg as the Hokies host the shockers at 11 AM Sunday in the Cassell!  Yep, the shockers come to town as the Hunt for 69 rolls on.

With a Hokie win, the current senior class will pick up their 88th win and post the most wins in a 4-year span in VT basketball history.

Both teams enjoyed woodshed beatings in their NIT openers on Wednesday. VT scrambled bethune-cookman 79-54 (Recap).  wichita state popped the cornhuskers of nebraska by a 76-49 margin.

The big question for the Hokies will be the status of Victor Davila.  He has what has been diagnosed as either a torn labrum, a rotator cuff, or a deep bruise in his right shoulder.  He actually hurt it in the georgia tech game last Thursday and has logged 84 minutes of action in three games since.  But he couldn’t even lift his right arm above his shoulder earlier this week.  I bet he’ll play, but he’ll be battling it.  It doesn’t help that this is his dominant arm.  That sweet hook shot of his will be even more of a baby hook.

Erick Green also has an ankle injury from practice on Tuesday, but looked solid Wednesday.  Could we be down to six scholarship guys on Sunday?  We’ll see.  Heck, I might be suiting up by the time we get to New York if we can win two more.

I usually talk about how Virginia Tech will have an advantage with this game being at 11 AM, which is 10 AM Central where the shockers are.  But after baylor killed VT in an 11 AM game two years ago, I’ll just let that one go.

SERIES: VT 1-0 (Won 91-90 in 1965)


Position Virginia Tech wichita state
Guard 11 Green – 6-4 23 Murry 6-5
Guard 23 Delaney – 6-3 1 Ragland 6-0
Wing/Forward 1 Bell – 6-7 14 Hatch 6-4
Forward 0 Allen – 6-7 32 Blair 6-8
Forward/Center 14 Davila – 6-8 31 Durley 6-8

Talk about a contrast – the shockers will go five deep on their bench.  Tech can likely only go two deep at most.


Virginia Tech wichita state
PPG 70.1 72.3
Pts Against 62.2 61.5
FG % 45% 46%
3-Pt % 33% 35%
FT % 71% 74%
Scorer Delaney 18.4 Durley 11.3
Rebounder Allen 9.8 Blair 6.2
Assists Delaney 4.1 Murry 3.4
Steals Green 1.7 Murry 1.1
Blocks Davila 1.2 Blair 0.9

When I say the shockers have a balanced attack, I mean they have a really balanced attack.  They have 10 guys averaging between 4.5 and 11.3 points per game.  Seven of those guys will shoot the three, so you have to defend almost their whole lineup on the perimeter except for Gabe Blair, one of their big men (he transferred from ecu).  David Kyles off the bench is their best shooter — he’s hit 72 3’s at 40%.  J.T. Durley is an inside-outside forward who will step out.  Luckily for VT, he isn’t that aggressive and doesn’t get to the line a lot.  Toure’ Murry will slash and look to get to the rim.  VT may play man if the shockers are hot from deep.

The shockers are in the top 60 in the nation in offensive and defensive efficiency.  They also are the 4th best defensive rebounding team in the nation, holding opponents to 26%.

Note: Malcolm Delaney needs just 8 assists to become VT’s all time leader.

BORING FACTS ABOUT wichita state:

  • Colors: Black and yellow (another Wiz Khalifa fan)
  • Established: 1895
  • Type: Public
  • Conference: Missouri Valley
  • Mascot: WuShock
  • Tragedy: 31 football players died in a 1970 plane crash… but they didn’t get a movie with Matthew McC.
  • Baseball: Winningest team in the NCAA over the past 31 seasons – 1989 national champs and 3 time runner-up.
  • Willie Jeffries became the first Division I black head coach at wsu in 1979.
  • Bill Parcells played at wsu.
  • Co-foundes (and brothers) of Pizza Hut went to wsu.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Previews, NIT10 Comments

Bear Fight Bombardment! | NIT Recap | VT (22-11) 79, bethune-cookman (21-13) 54

Bear Fight Bombardment! | NIT Recap | VT (22-11) 79, bethune-cookman (21-13) 54


There was no let down from the Hokie seniors, or anyone else on Virginia Tech for that matter in the First Round of the Virginia Tech Invitational.  The Hokies absolutely deep fried bethune-cookman at the Cassell in front of 2,900 paid fans (though there were about 5,000 there), winning 79-54.  The hunt for 69 is on!   Tech led by as many as 32 in this woodshed-beating.  Get your Jager, Red Bull, Guinness, and Bailey’s ready — it is a St. Patty’s Day Bear Fight!

The Hokies had five guys in double figures to lead a balanced onslaught.  Jeff Allen led the way with 19 (9/14 shooting) while Malcolm Delaney chipped in 13, Manny Atkins 12, Erick Green 11, and Terrell Bell 10.  Erick Green also dished out a career high 8 assists on the night.  Tech also got 24 (count’em… 24) points off the bench (we have a bench?!).  In addition to Atkins 12, VT got 7 from Tyrone Garland (who played 23 minutes) and 5 from Paul Debnam (who played 12 minutes… including perhaps his second ever first half appearance).

But it was Tech’s three scholarship seniors that brought the wood tonight and turned this game into a laugher quickly, hitting 10 of 11 shots to start the game.  Malcolm Delaney hit three 3-pointers in the first five minutes, and Jeff Allen had 10 points by the halfway mark of the first half.  In fact, the senior law firm of Allen, Bell, and Delaney tallied 17 of Tech’s first 19 points.

The Hokies absolutely dominated a couple of key stats: points off turnovers and points in the paint, outscoring b-c 21-4 and 40-20 respectively.  That was thanks in large part to the Big Donut.  Simply put, Jeff Allen took what Jeff Allen wanted tonight.  He looked like King Kong playing against kittens.  And congratulations to Jeff Allen – with his blocked shot in the first half, he became the first ACC player ever to get to 1600 points, 1000 rebounds, 200 steals, and 150 blocks!

The Tech senior class tied the record for most wins in a four year span with 87!  They’ll look to break that record this weekend in the NIT Second Round.  The Hokies will host the shockers of wichita state, who husked nebraska 76-49 (ouch), on Sunday morning at 11 AM.  It’s Breakfast in Blacksburg!

The Hokies were up 23-12 by the second media timeout (under 12 minutes) and led by 22 with five minutes to go in the half (39-17).  They led by as many as 23 in the first half before the (who are we?) wildcats finished the half on a 5-0 run to close the gap to 42-24 at the break.

Jeff Allen led the Hokies in the first half with 12.  Delaney chipped in 9 (all on 3-pointers in the first five minutes), and Manny Atkins had 9 off the bench.

The Hokies had 12 assists in the first half on 19 made field goals (19/31 – 61% first half shooting).  Tech shot 56% for the game, hitting 33/59.  And yes, VT won the 3-point % battle (35% to 30%), meaning for the 18th straight VT game the team that shot a higher percentage from behind the arc won.  VT had 7 makes to 6 by b-c (both had 20 attempts).

Victor Davila, nursing an injury, sat the entire second half.  In fact, at times, Terrell Bell was the Hokies’ “big man”.

C.J. Reed, the big MEAC Player of the Year (and son of the head coach) was held to 10 points, almost half his average.  Garrius “I ain’t no” Holloman “back girl” had 20 to lead the wildcats, who shot 43% from the floor but had 13 turnovers compared to just 6 by the Hokies.  VT had 7 steals, compared to just 1 for b-c (who came into this game as one of the top teams in the nation in terms of protecting the ball).

Random Stat: The Hokies senior class finished their career 12-1 in tournament openers (4-0 in NIT openers, 3-1 in the ACC Tourney opener, and 5-0 in all other tournament openers).  VT has won 14 of their last 15 tournament openers.

Plays of the Game:

  1. Malcolm Delaney on the break made a between-the-legs pass to Tyrone Garland for what I believe was his first collegiate dunk.
  2. Erick Green grabbing a missed 3-pointer in mid-air and flushing it down with two hands.
  3. Paul Debnam driving to his right, then ducking up-and-under to his left for a layup off the glass.

Random, Needless Rap Reference: Any idea what bethune-cookman’s colors were?  You know what it is… black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Recaps, NIT9 Comments

Preview | bethune-cookman (21-12) @ VT (21-11) | Wed., 8 PM | ESPNU

Preview | bethune-cookman (21-12) @ VT (21-11) | Wed., 8 PM | ESPNU

The Hokies get a third shot at bc on Wednesday, only this time it is the [I have no idea what their nickname is] of bethune-cookman from [no idea… not even the state] rolling into town!  Get ready for some super-sized fun, it is the big MEAC against the team that doesn’t get treated like they are in the ACC!

Welcome home, Hokies!  Back to the Virginia Tech Invitational for the fourth straight year!  LOL – seriously, that logo cracks me up every time. >>>>>>>

OK, enough saltiness.  Here’s the 411 on b-c since, a) I am curious and figured I’d look it up, b) well, A is really the only reason.

  • Who? bethune-cookman university wildcats… WHO ARE WE? “The Wildcats!”  Who are we gonna beat?  “The wildcats!”  [Simpson’s reference]
  • Mary Bethune started the bethune educational and industrial training school which later merged with the cookman institute of Jacksonville to become a co-ed high school in 1924.  Became a JC in ’31, and a 4-year school in ’41.
  • Where?  Daytona Beach, FL
  • Why? Regular season champs that don’t make the ncaa tournament get an auto-bid to the NIT… b-c won the MEAC regular season title at 13-3 but got upset by morgan state in the MEAC semi-finals.
  • What?  As in ‘what the heck are we doing playing a MEAC team instead of some #5 or 6 seed in that other tournament.

Jake Taylor said it best in Major League – “I guess there’s only one thing left to do… win the whole [bleeping] thing.”

SERIES: VT 1-0 (Hokies 69-58 in B’burg on 1/12/2005)


Position Virginia Tech b-c
Guard 11 Green – 6-4 3 Reed 6-3
Guard 23 Delaney – 6-3 10 Elliott 6-3
Wing/Forward 1 Bell – 6-7 32 Starling 6-6
Forward 0 Allen – 6-7 11 Bryant 6-6
Forward/Center 14 Davila – 6-8 5 Abrahams 6-9

They only have 10 guys on their roster… got us beat.


Virginia Tech b-c
PPG 69.8 66.3
Pts Against 62.5 65.5
FG % 45% 44%
3-Pt % 33% 32%
FT % 71% 71%
Scorer Delaney 18.6 Reed 19.1
Rebounder Allen 9.9 Starling 6.7
Assists Delaney 4.0 Reed 4.8
Steals Green 1.7 Reed 1.7
Blocks Davila 1.2 Starling 1.0


  • The senior class has 86 wins (86-49).  A win Wednesday will tie the Dell Curry class of 1982-86 for most wins in a 4-year span at 87.
  • With 1 block, Jeff Allen becomes the first ACC player ever with 1500 points, 1000 rebounds, 200 steals, and 150 blocks (I’m guessing he’s the first to 1500-1000-200-149 though either way).
  • Malcolm Delaney needs 13 assists to become VT’s all time leader.  He needs 12 steals to crack the top 10 there.
  • Playing in MSG is pretty cool.  Although these seniors played a combined four games there their freshman and sophomore years in the Aeropostale Somethin-or-other.

I’m not going to post ‘HO-KEYS TO WINNING’.  We all know we ‘should’ win this game and win it easily if the guys hearts are in it.  b-c ranks in the bottom 100 in the nation in offensive efficiency, and bottom 35 (of 350) in defensive efficiency.  So they cannot score or stop decent teams.  They’ll play mostly man and probably haven’t seen much zone against them this year.  What they do do well is not turn the ball over, which the Hokies need to get transition opportunities.

Will VT be focused?  I’m not sure, and I’ll give them a pass if they aren’t.  I think they’ll react one of two ways:

  1. The seniors will realize their dreams of playing in the non-VT Invitational are over and basically have a tee time setup for Thursday.
  2. Come out on a mission to finally make it to the self-proclaimed ‘Most Famous Arena in the World’… I’m talkin’ ’bout in the streets of New York!  The revolution has to start, don’t waste no time in the streets of New York.

We shall see Wednesday night if the guys have a New York state of mind.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, Game Previews, NIT8 Comments

The VT Rules For That other tournament | Whose Corn Flakes Did We Pee In?

Every year I take a look at how absurd it is that VT didn’t make that other tournament, and ended up in the Virginia Tech Invitational (the NIT).  Clearly there seems to be one rule for the rest of the ACC, and another set for the Hokies.  Tech gets more snubs than Smith & Wesson.

In this article I’m going to break down data on Virginia Tech compared to comparable ACC teams that have made that other tournament over the last seven years (since VT entered the league).  I’ll use regular season records, and regular season plus the ACC Tournament combined wins, to analyze the data.

REGULAR SEASON ACC DATA: (Breakdown of the last seven ACC seasons)

  • 10-6: Virginia Tech is the only team to finish 10-6 in the ACC and not make the ncaa tournament (2010) at least as far back as when the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.  7 other teams have gone 10-6 in the last seven years, and all 7 made it.
  • 9-7: Amazingly, only 5 of the 9 ACC teams that have finished 9-7 in the regular season the last seven years have made the big dance.  Well, amazing until you realize Tech posted 2 of those 4 teams that didn’t make it (’08 and ’11).  The other two are florida state, who went 9-7 in 2006 and finished fifth, and boston college who went 9-7 this year and tied for fourth.
  • 8-8: 4 of the 7 teams that have finished .500 (8-8) in the league over the last seven years made the tournament.  That’s better than 50% of teams finishing just .500, and better than the odds when you go 9-7!  The Hokies, of course, didn’t make the dance when they finished .500 in 2005, and haven’t made it 3 out of 4 times when they finished OVER .500.
  • 4th Place or better: 84% of the teams that finished fourth place or higher, including tied for fourth, in the ACC regular season standings have made the ncaa tournament (27 of 32 times).  Virginia Tech fielded 4 of the 5 teams that didn’t make the tournament while finishing in fourth, or tied for fourth. bc this year is the only other team to ‘accomplish’ that feat (their mistake was being tied with VT).
  • Worse than 4th Place: In the 4 seasons where Tech finished in 4th place and didn’t make the ncaa’s, 6 different teams that finished below the Hokies in the ACC standings made the tournament.
  • Under .500: 3 teams that finished under .500 (7-9) in the league made the big dance over the last 7 years.  Granted, georgia tech won 3 ACC Tournament games last year, and maryland and nc state won two when they did it.  But it goes to show the lack of consistency and how the rules seem to work against the Hokies from year to year.


  • 86% (30/35) of the ACC teams that finished over .500 in the regular season over the last seven years made the ncaa’s.  VT represents 3 of the 5 that didn’t.
  • Remove VT and 94% of the teams (29/31) that finished over .500 made the dance.
  • 81% (34/42) of the teams that finished .500 or better made the dance.  Tech represents half of those 8 that didn’t.
  • Again, remove VT and it is 89% (33/37) that made it of teams finishing .500 or better.


duke 83 29 74.1% 7
north carolina 83 29 74.1% 6
maryland 60 52 53.6% 3
florida state 58 54 51.8% 3
boston college 49 47 51.0% 4
VT HOKIES 57 55 50.9% 1
clemson 56 56 50.0% 4
wake forest 49 63 43.8% 3
miami 43 69 38.4% 1
uva 43 69 38.4% 1
nc state 42 70 37.5% 2
georgia tech 41 71 36.6% 3

^^^Just take a look at that.^^^  The ACC has 38 tournament bids in the last 7 years, and Virginia Tech has just 1 of those bids.

  • VT has the 6th best winning percentage, just 1 bid.
  • 4 of the 6 teams with worse winning percentages have more bids than VT.  3 of those 4 teams have 3 or more bids to VT’s just 1.
  • georgia tech, at just 41-71 in league play and has just 7 road wins in 6 years, has 3 bids.  And they had the second worst coach in the league that whole time!
  • I bet nc state fans sure miss Herb Sendek right now!  He got them to the tourney almost every year, Lowe is/was 0/5.


Let’s look at how teams did in terms of making the ncaa tournament when getting to ‘X’ combined wins between the ACC regular season and the ACC Tournament since Tech joined the ACC (e.g. VT had 11 combined wins this year and 10 last year).

  • 11 Wins: Of the 6 teams to finish with 11 combined wins, Virginia Tech is the only team not to make the big dance.
  • 10 Wins: 10 teams have finished with 10 combined wins and 7 made the ncaa’s.  Virginia Tech represents 2 of those that didn’t (2008 and 2010).  bc this year was the other.
  • 9 Wins: 6 of 8 teams that have ended with 9 combined wins made the ncaa tournament.  Just maryland and florida state, both in 2006.  VT has never finished with exactly 9 combined wins.
  • 8 Wins: Only 2 teams have made the ncaa tournament with just 8 combined wins.  Both were in 2007 and of course duke was one of those teams, with georgia tech the other.  VT, of course, did not make it the 2 times they finished with 8 combined wins.


  • Virginia Tech is the only team in the last 7 years (probably longer) in the ACC to get 11 combined ACC regular season and tournament wins, and not go dancing.
  • VT is the only team to win 10 regular season games in the last 7 years and not go to the ncaa’s.
  • 12 of 16 teams to get 10 or 11 combined ACC wins went dancing.  VT marks 3 of the 4 that didn’t (11 of 12, or 92%, of teams not named Virginia Tech made it with 10 or 11 combined wins).
  • 29 teams have received ACC Tournament First Round byes in the last 7 years.  Virginia Tech is the ONLY team to get a bye and not make the ncaa tournament… and it has happened to VT THREE TIMES (2005, 2008, and 2010).


  1. Keep playing challenging out of conference schedules: The Hokies need to keep playing schedules similar to what they did this year out of conference.  The tough thing is next year they will be young.  But, better to schedule tough and take some lumps early.  Avoid playing teams like East Popcorn State and have a horrible RPI due to a rough SOS.
  2. Play more ‘good, not great’ programs: Yes, k-state, unlv, okie state, and purdue are solid out of conference games.  But VT went just 1-3 in those games and the win was against the worst of the four.  Yes, penn state ended up being a top 50 RPI team and a ncaa team, but that was a surprise (just like how bad miss state was also a surprise and you cannot blame VT for that).  The rest of the OOC schedule was poo-poo.  The Hokies need to play more teams that are consistently around the top 100, even if it means some more road/neutral site games… road/neutral wins count more anyway.
  3. Win some of those tough OOC games: The Hokies blew grand opportunities this year.  They had purdue, a top 15 RPI team, dead to rights but choked at the end of regulation.  And they were in the k-state and unlv games before they got away.
  4. Get lucky on your ACC schedule: VT has had a very poor ACC schedule the last few years in terms of strength.  VT played unc, duke, fsu, and clemson just once in the regular season this year, and duke and fsu just once last year.  As luck would have it, unc was horrible last year when Tech played them twice.  And the biggest stroke of bad luck — by beating fsu a second time this year, VT knocked them out of the RPI top 50 and cost themselves not one but two top 50 wins.  Hard to believe the team that finished all alone in 3rd place in the ACC at 11-5 (fsu) wasn’t a top 50 team.  Not much the Hokies can do about that, but it should get better over time, and the league should get better — or at least closer to where it used to be.
  5. Figure out who we’ve cheesed off and either: a) buy them back into our good graces, or b) eliminate them!
  6. Shut up and handle your business: I do think the ‘certifiably insane’ and general conduct does take a toll.  No one likes to be told who you should take, especially from an up-start program.  Do your business on the court.  Win 10 regular season games, or 10-11 combined with the tournament, and the odds show you should get in… well, unless you are VT.  Maybe we should change our name?  Niemo U has a nice ring to it.

Here’s hoping I don’t have to update this article next year.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, NCAA Tournament24 Comments

Hokies left out of the NCAA Tournament … again

Well, folks, it’s not like you can say you are surprised. We have wins over duke (No. 1 seed), two wins over fsu (which made the tournament), and a win over penn state (which also in the big dance), and we got left out. We won 11 conference games in the ACC including regular season and the ACC tournament. The Hokies made it to the semifinals of the ACC tourney, beating the No. 3 seed, fsu. And yet, Seth Greenberg and his 21-11, 11-8, Hokies got the big old snub once again from the NCAA tournament selection committee.

What more can we say? The NIT selection show is at 9 p.m., tonight. We would assume the Hokies would be a No. 1 or 2 seed and will host 2-3 games, assuming they win. Excuse us if we’re not all giggly about those prospects.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, NCAA Tournament, NIT39 Comments

Are We In?

I don’t mean to date myself (especially because I still have street cred with the youth of America), but I have the lyrics to Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again stuck in my head.  I will paraphrase but — Here we go again, possibly walkin’ down the only road we’ve ever known (the NIT).  Are we walking along the lonely street of dreams again?  Or will we find what we’ve been looking for? (A NCAA Tournament bid.)

Personally, I think we are in.  Here’s why:

  • 11 total ACC wins:  Yes, only 9 were in the regular season, and 10 in the regular season weren’t enough last year.  But without having doing any research, I will all but guarantee you no ACC team has ever won 11 games during the regular season and tournament and not made the Big Dance.  Look at gt last year – they were 7-9 in the regular season, won 3 in the ACC Tourney, and got in.  I have to think 11 is enough, even in a very down year for the league (reputations mean a lot).
  • 3-2: VT was 3-2 against the top three teams in the ACC.  Even in a downyear, that means something.  The win over duke, and two over florida state, reflect well.  And while the Committee will likely miss this fact, VT had a shot to beat unc at the very end, on the road.
  • 21 wins: With our schedule (90th), that ain’t bad.
  • penn state: The nittany lions with their run in the Big(12)10 Conference have vaulted into the top 50 of the RPI, giving VT an extra top 50 win.
  • Tech has two neutral site wins against top 75 teams in four chances.
  • VT is 6-4 in their last 10 games: Anything over .500 is good down the stretch since there are few cupcakes this time of year in a power league.
  • 3 more teams get in this year: We would have been one of the extra three that got in last year, and three years ago, and I think we will fit somewhere in around the last few in this year.

These things are borderline NCAA-worthy:

  • VT is 2-5 against top 50 teams.
  • Tech is 6-8 against top 75 teams.
  • The Hokies are 8-8 against top 100 teams.
  • Jerry Palm had us in, on the bubble, but not one of the last four in (so somewhat firmly in — #11 seed) after Friday’s action.  (and bc, who beat us twice, out).
  • Joe Lunardi has us as the second-to-last team in.  #12 seed in a first round game (Tuesday or Wednesday in Dayton).

A few things are also working against us…

  • florida state: with their loss to us, they dropped out of the top 50 of the RPI.  So instead of 4 top 50 wins, VT has just 2 (duke and penn state).
  • RPI: #61 – good, but not great.  Very borderline.  Plenty of teams with higher RPIs won’t get in.
  • VT has just one road win against a top 100 team.  Not sure this is that big of a deal though.  Neutral site is a better judge and VT is 2-2 in neutral site games against the top 75.

And, oh nelly, if Tech had just been able to close out the purdue game, which we had won, or the game at unc, VT would be a lock.  Both teams are top 12 RPI teams.

Again, I think we are in.  Is it just blind, biased optimism?  Maybe.  Is it me wanting it so bad for these seniors?  Probably.  But I really think we have put together a NCAA Tournament resume.  We deserve the job. Especially when they are hiring 68 this year.  While it is no sure thing, I think we will finally find what we’ve been looking for.

Posted in 2010-11 Season14 Comments

Hokies fall in semis | duke (15-3, 29-4) 77, Hokies (11-8, 21-11) 63

The Hokies’ NCAA tournament hopes now rest in the hands of the selection committee. Virginia Tech lost in the semifinals of the 2011 ACC tournament, 77-63, to the No. 2 seed duke.

Senior guard Malcolm Delaney led? Tech with 17 points, while sophomore Erick Green also scored 17. Victor Davila was the only other Hokie in double figures with 11. Jeff Allen was a non-factor, registering just two points and seven rebounds and fouling out in the second half.

Despite only 15 hours of rest since their gut-wrenching and near heart-breaking win over fsu, the Hokies came out strong against the defending national champs and kept it close for most of the first half.

But, with the game tied at 14-14, duke went on a 14-2 run to take a 12-point lead, 28-16, and led 39-28 at the break.

Tech fought stay in the game, but the devils didn’t have the same kind of off-day shooting-wise that they had in a loss in Blacksburg earlier this season, and managed to keep at least a 10-point lead for most of the second half.

Meanwhile, the Hokies played with a great deal of intensity and heart. They wanted this game and it showed. But they were clearly running on empty and struggled from the field, especially from behind the arc. Tech was 0/5 from three point range in the first half.

Tech stands at 21-11 overall and 11-8 in the ACC. Their chances are good for an at-large bid, but there are no guarantees.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Recaps9 Comments

Game Highlights | VT 52, fsu 51

Here are the highlights from the final 30 seconds of last night’s miracle win…

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Highlights0 Comments

Semi-Final Saturday Preview (and a Look Back at the Quarters) | #6 VT (11-7, 21-10) vs #2 duke (14-3, 28-4) | Saturday at ~3:20 PM


  • Head to your local Hard Times (Web Site Link) to watch the game!  It will start 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first semi-final at 1 PM.
  • The Hokies are in the semi-finals for the third time in five years.   They were unable to advance to the title game in 2007 or 2008.
  • The big news is duke may be without ACC Player of the Year Nolan Smith.  He injured his toe midway through the second half on Friday and did not return, and looked to be in a lot of pain.  But I should note duke outscored maryland 22-11 without him to blow open a close game.
  • Losing Smith would be a huge deal as he was the best player on the court back in Blacksburg two weeks ago (other than maybe Jeff Allen).  But he has been the star of stars for duke.  Don’t feel too bad for them though if he cannot go, they have a lot of stars (tic).
  • Seth Curry had a horrible game in B’burg but I bet he’ll have a better day Saturday being away from Tech and the Dell Curry legacy.  He needs to step up for the devils… let’s hope his shot is off again.
  • VT won last time because of great effort, and duke being off from deep (4/20).  With the Hokies having tired legs Saturday, they will have trouble getting out on three-point shooters which means if duke is on, this could be a long day.  And I’d expect to see duke pound it inside and crash the boards like fsu did to get the Hokies in foul trouble.  But Nolan is by far their best penetrator.
  • Let’s hope Malcolm Delaney can be the best guard on the floor Saturday.  He was just 4/15 (1/6 on 3s) against duke the first time.  Without Smith guarding him (perhaps), let’s hope he can get things going.
  • And I have checked with the ACC officials, and Allen, Davila, and Delaney will start the game Saturday with 0 fouls (phew).  Let’s keep it that way and not force David Jackson to start stretching Prince Parker on the bench.
  • I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see VT blown out in this game with or without Smith playing.  The Hokies had such an emotional victory, and have to be back on the court 15 hours later.  Jack Bauer, anyone?  This seems like an episode of 24 and VT (CTU) will have a tough time taking down Starwood/Jonas Hodges (duke).   They have to be exhausted after two straight days of playing (although uconn will be playing for a fifth straight day Saturday).  But this team continues to amaze me, so maybe they have a little bit more magic dust in their bag left for Saturday.


Position Virginia Tech duke
Guard 11 Green 6-4 2 Smith 6-2*
Guard 23 Delaney 6-3 30 Curry 6-2
Wing/Forward 1 Bell 6-7 12 Singler 6-8
Forward 0 Allen 6-7 34 Kelly 6-11
Forward 14 Davila 6-8 5 Ma. Plumlee 6-10

If Smith cannot go, look for Tyler Thornton and Andre Dawkins to fill in his minutes.  Thornton is more of a point guard than Dawkins, but Thornton is a freshman.  But duke is down to three guards (Seth Curry, too) if Nolan cannot go — boohoo, welcome to our world.


Virginia Tech duke
RPI 65 4
PPG 70.2 (4) 74.3 (2)
Pts Against 66.1 (5) 63.6 (3)
FG % 44% (1) 44% (4)
3-Pt % 36% (4) 34% (8)
FT % 74% (3) 74% (2)
Scorer Delaney 18.6 Smith 21.6
Rebounder Allen 10.1 Ma. Plumlee 8.7
Assists Delaney 4.1 Smith 5.2
Steals Green 1.8 Curry 1.4
Blocks Davila 1.2 Ma. Plumlee 1.7

Note: Team stats are from ACC games only along with the team’s ACC ranking, player stats are from all games this season.



  • WOW!  What a roller coaster.  The end was like a movie.  I mean, did you think VT had any chance of winning with Delaney, Davila, and Allen having four fouls with about 7 minutes to go?  I wasn’t sure we were still going to have enough guys on the court by the end.  Yet they found a way.
  • I said we’d be out of fingernails by Selection Sunday.  Well, it turns out our bid may have come down to the fingertips of Derwin Kitchen.  The ball was still on them at 0.0 and VT had their win.  Reminds me of Al Pacino’s speech in Any Given Sunday — and the noles were a few inches too late Friday (thank God).  It’s crazy to think that if there had been 4.8 seconds left when fsu got the ball instead of 4.7, they’d have won.
  • I was screaming for us to foul with 30 seconds left.  But Seth going to the 1-3-1 trap after fsu’s timeout was brilliant.  Got us the steal that led to Green’s go-ahead shot.
  • Speaking of which, hats off to the Winchester Rifle.  He was mis-firing all game, just 1/12 from the floor.  But he stepped up and took that go-ahead shot with confidence and nailed it.  Erick didn’t let the miss at the end of at bc scare him today.  Boy has balls.  And he played great D on Kitchen’s run.
  • Manny Millions looked like the only Hokie playing hard in the first half.  Credit him with keeping us competitive.
  • Yes, for the 16th straight VT game, the team that shot better from 3-point range won.  VT’s 6/22 (27.3%) was good enough to beat 4/15 (26.7%).  Maybe that got us that extra tenth of a second!
  • Have to think VT locked up their invitation to the NCAA Tournament.  11 ACC wins has to get us in, but we seem to find new ways to get shafted each year.  But I’m confident now.  Congrats to these guys.
  • WOW!  That’s all you can say.  Now on to Saturday.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Previews5 Comments

There is a God | Hokies (11-7, 21-10) 52, florida state (11-6, 21-10) 51

Box Score

The Virginia Tech Hokies’ NCAA tournament hopes got a huge boost Friday night as Tech beat the No. 3 seed fsu in the 2011 ACC Tournament, 52-51, in a sloppy, low-scoring game, that for at least one half set the sport back a half century.

The Hokies overcame a 10-point, second-half deficit and tied the game at 49 on a Manny Atkins three pointer from near the Virginia Tech bench with three minutes to play. The noles retook the lead, 51-49, before Malcolm Delaney hit 1/2 free throws with :41 seconds left to cut the lead to one, 50-51.

Erick Green was just 2/13 on the night, but he hit his biggest shot of the game, a long two from the top of the key, with 4.7 seconds to play to give the Hokies their first lead, 52-51, since early in the opening half when they lead 4-3.

fsu still had a shot, though. Derwin Kitchen got the ball in the far corner and appeared to hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer as the noles’ bench and about a dozen fans erupted in celebration. But after nearly five minutes of reviewing the shot, it was clear that the ball was still on his fingertips when the clock hit 00:00:00. The officials left the scorer’s table and waived off the basket, thus giving the win to the Hokies.

Aside from the thrilling end, this game was ugly; something Hokie fans have witnessed so often this season. Everything that could go wrong, practically did. Things got off to an ominous start when head coach Seth Greenberg called a timeout just 41 seconds into the game and got into a verbal argument with first-team All-ACC guard Malcolm Delaney, whom Greenberg promptly benched for :32 seconds.

Greenberg could be seen trying to talk to Delaney, but the star player turned his head away from the coach, clearly not interested in what he had to say.

It got worse. Jeff Allen picked up two fouls less than five minutes into the game, while Davila finished the first half with three fouls and Delaney was called for two fouls. The Hokies couldn’t hit a free throw, or a field goal for that matter, the entire first half. It took Virginia Tech six and a half minutes to register their first field goal and were under 50 percent from the charity stripe until Delaney hit a pair with less than a second left in the half. The finished the half 7/13 from the FT line and trailed 19-27 at the break.

The Hokies shot a pathetic 17.9 percent from the field on 5/28 shooting in the first half. They had only 19 points and two of those came on a pair of Delaney free throws with less than a second to play in the half. The 19 points is the lowest first-half total by the Hokies all season. Their lowest scoring output in a half was 18 in a 72-57 road loss to georgia tech.

The second half didn’t get off to a particularly great start either. After a quick 4-0 run by the Hokies, Davila picked up his fourth foul, while Delaney and Allen picked their third less than five minutes into the second half. It was all downhill from there.

From there, the noles pushed their lead to 10 points, 28-38, with 13:25 to play. Then, the Hokies finally found some rhythm. Tech used an 11-3 run to cut fsu’s lead to one, 39-40 with nine minutes to play and it was a decent game from then on out.

With 3:05 remaining and Tech trailing 49-46, Manny Atkins came of a screen near the Hokies’ bench and drained a three pointer to tie the game at 49. The Noles regained the lead with a minute to play, 51-49. Delaney was fouled in the act with :41 to play, but missed the first and made the second, to cut the lead to 50-51.

The noles had the ball and the shot clock off when fsu called a timeout. On the inbounds pass, Allen stripped the ball giving the Hokies the ball. Green hit the eventual game winner, but only after replays showed that fsu’s would-be game-winner did not count.

Foul trouble nearly killed the Hokies Friday night. Delaney, Davila and Allen all played with four fouls each for the critical final five minutes of the second half, which hindered their ability to play aggressive basketball. Despite that, Tech kept the game close and allowed them to hang with the noles before overcoming the adversity.

The Hokies will face No. 2 seed duke tomorrow in the ACC semifinals.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Recaps29 Comments

Preview | #6 VT (10-7, 20-10) vs #3 florida state (11-5, 21-9) | Friday ~9:20 PM

Spread: VT by 1.5 (wow, wasn’t expecting that — clearly Vegas doesn’t think Singleton is playing).

The Hokies kept themselves firmly on the bubble Thursday by beating georgia tech, now they have a chance to punch their ticket to the Big Dance with a win over florida state.   A loss means a lot of anxiety between now and Sunday evening.

The big question is: will Chris Singleton play?  fsu’s lone star (he’s to the noles what Toney Douglas was two years ago) has been out since February 12th when he suffered a foot stress fracture against uva.  He’s been shooting and warming up lately before games.  Personally, I don’t think he’ll play.  I think they’ll save him for the NCAA Tournament next week (they have a bid locked up) to protect his future and give him more time to heal.

Even if Singleton cannot play, don’t think this game will be a walkover.  The noles have been playing surprisingly well since their franchise man went down.  They beat uva despite the fact Chris went down early in the game while fsu was behind, and they’ve won three of five since.  One of those losses was to unc (yes, the unc that has won 12 of 13) where fsu led with under 10 seconds left before Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer to win it for the heels.  So these guys can still play… though I’m not sure how.  And to be fair, five of the six teams they played without Singleton (including uva) had losing ACC records.  Friday will be a test for the noles, who won’t have the hunger VT should have.

Note that teams playing on consecutive days tend to have an advantage early in games since they tend to be in the flow more quickly.  All you have to do is look at Tech’s record on short turnarounds (6-1) in ACC regular season games to see that.  Or look at the Big East marathon ( I mean Tournament) — there have been tons of upsets where teams that played the previous day upset a higher seed that was resting.  That will be key to Tech to jump up early.


  • 3-Pt%: In VT’s last 15 games, the team that shot a higher percentage from behind the arc won.  (Though in the first meeting between these clubs, VT was just 1/8 from deep — FTs won them that game).
  • Transition: fsu plays great defense.  That’s how they win with or without Singleton.  They aren’t going to drop 80 or 90 on you.  So the Hokies have to find ways to get easy buckets.  Push the ball like they did against georgia tech and attack the rim, Green and Delaney.
  • Protect the ball: The noles need turnovers to fuel their offense.  They are good in transition.  The Hokies need to make smart passes, and avoid giving up a lot of steals (fsu is #2 in the league in steals).
  • Urgency: Tech needs to play like they did Thursday, or like they did against duke — like they were playing for a NCAA Tournament bid.  In many ways, they are.  Win Friday and I feel they are a lock.  Lose, and again, they are the mercy of the Committee, which hasn’t worked out too well the last 3 years.
  • Battle Inside: The noles aren’t a team that’s going to bomb you out of the gym from deep (8th in the league in 3s made per game).  They want to penetrate.  VT has to work hard to cut off noles on the dribble, while being smart and not fouling, then box out and deny fsu second chance opportunities.


  • All-time: fsu 25-18
  • In ACC Play: fsu 6-3


Jeff Allen scored 24 and snagged 11 boards on his way to ACC Player of the Week honors.  VT hit 34/37 free throws to fuel the win.  Chris Singleton had 22 points and 8 rebounds for fsu.


Position Virginia Tech florida state
Guard 11 Green – 6-4 22 Kitchen – 6-4
Guard 23 Delaney – 6-3 21 Snaer – 6-5
Wing/Guard 1 Bell – 6-7 4 Dulkys – 6-5
Forward 0 Allen – 6-7 10 White* – 6-8
Forward 14 Davila – 6-8 5 James – 6-10

*Singleton would play for White if he plays.


Virginia Tech fsu#
RPI 64 45
PPG 70.2 (4) 68.2 (7)
Pts Against 66.1 (5) 65.2 (4)
FG % 44% (2) 44% (3)
3-Pt % 36% (4) 34% (7)
FT % 74% (3) 68% (10)
Scorer Delaney 18.3 Singleton 13.8, Kitchen 10.1
Rebounder Allen 10.0 Singleton 7.1, James 5.6
Assists Delaney 4.3 Kitchen 3.6
Steals Green 1.9 Singleton 2.1, Kitchen 1.8
Blocks Bell 1.1 James 2.3

*Team stats are from ACC games only (and ACC rank), player stats are for all games.

# Since my thought is Singleton won’t play, I’ve listed their second leading ‘whatever’.


  • f-l-o-r-i-d-a s-t-a-t-e! florida state, florida state, florida state… WOOOOO! [Sorry, but guys should not be yelling ‘Woooo’ at the end of your school cheer]
  • Established in 1851
  • 31,000 undergrads, 8,500 post-grads
  • Was an all women’s school from 1906 to 1947 when it became coed. Lee Corso (ESPN Gameday personality) joked that when he went on his recruiting visit to the florida gators, he barely saw any women, but when he went to fsu, he barely saw any men… he went to fsu.
  • Burt Reynolds went to fsu.
  • Jim Morrison attended fsu for a stretch and got arrested for a prank after a football game.
  • Richard Simmons went to fsu (chuckle)
  • Ted Bundy killed two fsu Chi Omegans during his serial killing spree back in the late ’70s.
  • fsu has 2 titles in football (as Hokies know all too well) and 3 title game appearances in the College World Series, but lost all 3.
  • 2 Heismans – Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke
  • florida state is the only school VT hasn’t beaten on the road in football OR basketball.  0-1 in pigskin, 0-4 in hoops.

Posted in 2010-11 Season, ACC Tournament, Game Previews10 Comments

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