Posted on 28 February 2011.
For the 66th and (hopefully) final time, Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, and Terrell Bell will lace up their sneakers and head onto the Cassell Coliseum court donning Chicago maroon and burnt orange. Paul Debnam, the heart and soul of the team will also bid adieu. And Prince Parker and Andrew Griffin, we hardly knew ya, but they will also be there for the final time. It will be a night of sadness in seeing them go, a night of celebration for their careers, and a night of reflection on their accomplishments both individually and as a team. Let us now reflect on their careers to date.
- Career Record: 84-46 (65%)
- ACC Record (Regular Season): 35-27 (56%)
- Home Record: 52-13 (80%)
- ACC Home Record: 23-8 (74%)
- Toughest Loss: #1 unc 68, VT 66 (3.15.08 – ACC Tournament Semi-Finals – knocked the Hokies out of the NCAA Tournament and cost them a chance at an ACC title)
- Biggest Win: Duh! VT 64, #1 duke 60 (2.26.11)
- Accomplishment: Tied the 1994-95 team for the school record for wins in a year with 25 in 2009-10
- Nearing History: With 4 more wins, this class will have the most wins in a four your span in VT history, surpassing the Dell Curry days of 1982-86 (87 wins).
This year’s class is very similar to four years ago when Tech said good-bye to three great players in Zabian Dowdell, Jamon Gordon, and Coleman Collins. Dowdell and Gordon are littered all over the Hokies’ top 10 career lists. This year’s class has two great players itself, along with a solid complimentary guy in Terrell Bell. Let’s look back at their careers.
Definitely one of the 10 greatest basketball players in school history. You could argue he’s top five, too (maybe that will be a project for me this offseason). He will finish his career third on the all time scoring list and may become the all time assist leader. He owns pretty much every free throw record in school history (by a wide margin), and is two 3-pointers away from 250 in his career. Plus, he is all but guaranteed to finish as Tech’s first ever two-time All-ACC First Teamer, and was Third Team his sophomore year.
Delaney has been extremely dependable ever since the tail end of his freshman season. He’s scored in double figures in 86 of 94 games over the last three seasons, and in 43 of 46 ACC regular season games. Malcolm led the ACC in scoring a year ago and is second this year. Can you believe he was actually coming off the bench behind Hank Thorns the first half of his freshman year? That seems ages ago now.
Just look at where he ranks all-time:
- Scoring: 4th (2126 – with 11 points on Tuesday, Malcolm will move into 3rd)
- Assists: 2nd (520 – needs 28 assists to move into first)
- Steals: Needs 21 steals to move into 10th (163)
Best Game: Wow, this one is tough. The problem is most of his huge games came in losses like unlv this year. The January ’09 game against clemson would have been an easy choice if VT had won. Malcolm had 25 at the half, including a 3/4-court shot at the buzzer. But VT choked up the lead and were defeated. He had 17 points and 10 assists against unc in the 2009 ACC Tournament, but again, VT lost (he’s actually had four great games against unc… all losses).
He did have 22 points, 8 assists, and 5 steals in the Aeropostale Holiday Championship Game in 2009, but who really cares about that game.
I’ll have a split decision here (both against georgia tech):
- 2.13.11 – 33 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals against georgia tech at home in a 102-77 win. Delaney hit 9/14 from the floor, 3/4 behind the arc, and 12/14 from the line. He had 22 points with 7:41 to go in the first half before foul trouble forced him to sit.
- 3.6.10 – 32 points, 9 assists, and a steal in a key 88-82 win at georgia tech to finish the regular season at 10-6 in the ACC (and make the NCAAs, we thought). Malcolm was 7/15 from the floor, 4/7 from 3-point range, and 14/17 from the line.
- Again, though, if we were picking a game win or lose, you’d have to go with that clemson game two years ago. He was unconscious.
- All-ACC Third Team – 2009
- All-ACC First Team – 2010
- ACC Player of the Week – 3 times
The Big Donut. He came in a bit doughy, then slimmed way down (perhaps too much), but has really become a Godzilla-like force this year. In past years Jeff would terrorize lesser opponents but struggle in ACC play. He never had more than three double-doubles in ACC regular season play in any of his past three years.
But this year that has all changed. Agent Zero has double-doubles in 8 of 9 games (all ACC games), in 9 games overall he’s eclipsed the 10/10 mark, and has 15 double-doubles overall this year. He’s 11th in the conference in scoring and 2nd in rebounding. Jeff seems all but a lock for First Team All-ACC.
Jeff made a great impression on all of us right from the start. He’s The Natural – great hands (in the post and making steals), great post moves, and now has a sweet mid-range jumper. It has all come together for Jeff. Is he top 10 all time at VT? Eh, he’s close, and with his career numbers, it would be tough to leave him out.
For more on his career, read this recent post: Go Nuts Big Donut
- Scoring: 15th (1625 – Jeff needs 82 points to move into 10th)
- Rebounds: 4th (1064)
- Steals: 3rd (222)
- Blocks: 5th (149)
Best Game(s): There are a lot to choose from recently, so I sold out and chose one new and one old…
- 2.26.11 – 18 points and 15 rebounds against the #1 team in the nation, duke, quality as a pretty good night. He also chipped in 2 assists and a block.
- 1.17.09 – 30 point, 9 rebound, 3 steals and 3 block performance against bc at home. VT won 79-71. Dude has owned the eagles, including his 25 points, 19 rebound game a month ago.
- All-ACC Freshman – 2008
- ACC Player of the Week – 4 times (3 times this year)
Came in as an athlete. Was compared to Deron Washington early on, but that turned out not to be fair. Terrell quickly developed into Tech’s best on-ball defender and has been matched with Tech’s opponents’ best for many of his years.
Has developed a deadly 3-point shot from the corner over the years that he consistently knocks down. Terrell hit 36% of his 3s last year and is hitting 44% this year.
Probably Tech’s best dunker on the break, though he never really developed the ability to drive and get to the basket on his own.
Best Game: 2.15.11 – Went 5/5 from the field, all of with were 3-points (and 1/4 from the foul line… yeesh) to help VT to a 91-83 win over maryland at home with 16 points. He also stuffed the stat sheet with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and a block. What a game for T-Bell.
Runner up would be 2.16.10 when he had 5 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 assists, and a steal in a huge home win over wake forest, 87-83.
Best Game: 1.02.11 – Had 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block in Tech’s blowout win of mt. st. mary’s this year. Oh, and a LOT of smiles.
If you’re looking for lessons on how to do the Dougie, Paul’s your man. He is a cheerleader on the bench. He is the match to VT’s fire. Paul is the guy that gets the team going before a game and passionately roots them on throughout. And when he has had a chance to play, he’s done pretty darn well.
Paul is a true crowd favorite. “We want Paul!” has become a regular occurrence at the end of home blowouts, sending the crowd into a frenzy when he gets in. And nobody smiles bigger than Paul when he scores in a game. Heck, sometimes you think he’s going to stop the game and ask for the ball.
Paul loved the ESPN College Gameday atmosphere. He hammed it up in the crowd during the show, and then danced his butt off before and after the game on the ESPN cameras.
Believe me when I say he will be tough to replace next year. You have to have a guy that keeps everyone up during a long season.
Personally, I can still hear him yelling, “Va-sigh-YOOOOO” in practice time and time again as A.D. would do something.
And Paul is the only Tech player to arm-curl me!
Joined the basketball team after football season ended this year. Scored on the only field goal attempt of his career against wake at home. He’s shooting 100%! Played in three other blowouts.
Walk-on that joined the team this season. Played against mt. st. mary’s and hit the only shot of his career. Saw action in two other blowouts against wake and gt.
NIEMO’S FINAL THOUGHT:
Tuesday night will be tough. It will be sad to see these guys walk out that tunnel for the final time. This was a truly special class. Thankfully, two members of this class will be back next year – cousins Dorenzo Hudson and JT Thompson. But Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney were truly special. Thankfully, it now looks like they will get a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament and end their careers in style. A win Tuesday on Senior Night would certainly help their case. We’ll miss you, seniors.