Friday, March 26, 2010

Men's Basketball Season Recap 2009-2010

The season has come to an end for the Hokie basketball team and I feel it is my duty to give an adequate season recap to all of my loyal readers.


The Hokies had one of their best seasons to date amassing 25 wins and finished third in the ACC. The season started fast for Virginia Tech as they jumped out to a 12-1 record out of conference.

Virginia Tech stayed pretty dominant in the ACC until the Hokies hit a rough patch losing back to back to back to Duke, Boston College, and then Maryland at home. This stretch pushed Virginia Tech to the bubble to make the NCAA Tournaments.

During the final 12 games of the season, Virginia Tech managed to lose twice to Miami, the last place team in the ACC. The latter of the losses came in second round of the ACC Tournament. This loss to Miami securely pushed Virginia Tech off of the bubble and into the NIT.

During the NIT, Virginia Tech started by dominating Quinnipiac. The Hokies then took on the Huskies from UConn and beat them in a nail-biter. Their NIT run ended though at the hands of Rhode Island, another NCAA bubble team.


Best Game: Virginia Tech vs. UConn. The sheer importance of this game in the NIT makes this the top candidate for game of the year. UConn is usually a powerhouse in the Big East, and despite the down year, they still gave the Hokies a fight to the end. The Hokies needed some clutch defense with less than seven seconds left to pull out the two-point win.

Worst Game: Virginia Tech vs. Boston College. This game was painful to watch. In a stadium which literally looked like it had a crowd of 500, Virginia Tech was embarrassed from start to finish. The Hokies looked tired and sluggish and it seemed like they had no interest in being there. The 20-point loss to Boston College killed the Hokies in RPI and left a bad taste in the mouths of the NCAA Selection Committee.

MVP: Malcolm Delaney. It's hard to pick anyone but Malcolm for this award seeing as he led the ACC in points per game while contributing four rebounds and four assists per game. Delaney was the central point for Virginia Tech's offense and without him this season wouldn't have been nearly as successful.

Most Improved Player: Dorenzo Hudson. Once again, it's hard to pick anyone but Hudson for this award. Down the stretch, Dorenzo Hudson was the epitome of clutch, and without him Virginia Tech wouldn't have made their late run in the NIT.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hokies Claim NIT Win In Instant Virginia Tech Classic

The Virginia Tech Hokies may have been snubbed from the NCAA Tournament, but don't tell them they don't have anything to play for. The Hokies took on the Connecticut Huskies in the second round of the NIT this Monday night.

In a nearly packed house, students, alums and other Tech fans eagerly awaited the opening tip-off for what was to be a stellar game.

For the third straight game Malcolm Delaney failed to deliver for the Hokies, leaving Dorenzo Hudson in charge of the Hokie offense. Delaney finished with six points and only two field-goals made. Hudson stepped up in place of Delaney with 27 points all while staying out of foul trouble.

Connecticut was not short on firepower with players like Kemba Walker(18 points) and Jerome Dyson(15 points). Dyson found himself with four fouls late in the game so his playing time was reduced slightly.

After being down by five points at the half, the Hokies came out firing on all cylinders in the second half. 17 of Hudson's points came in the second half which sparked the Hokie offense and defense.

With 11 seconds left, the Hokies managed to make a series of key defensive plays against the Huskies. With .7 seconds left, the Hokies hit a clutch free-throw to extend the lead to two points. The Huskies missed a last second halfcourt shot and the Hokies rally past the Huskies in the second round of the NIT: 65-63

The Hokies match their season high total for wins in school history with 25. The Hokies will take on the Rhode Island Rams in the next round of the NIT at Cassell Coliseum.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament: Tough Love

Many Hokie fans have been upset recently over the 'snuffing' of Virginia Tech in the big dance, aka March Madness aka the NCAA Tournament. I am a die hard Virginia Tech fan, but let me tell you why we DIDN'T deserve to make it!

1) Strength Of Schedule: Out of conference, Virginia Tech had a strength of schedule in the 300's. That is flat out embarrassing. As for our total strength of schedule, it was 132. The only teams with a strength of schedule over 200 in the NCAA Tournament are conference winners.

2) Inability To Finish Down The Stretch: Over the last 12 games, Virginia Tech went 7-5 in conference play. This is pretty rough anyway, add in the two losses to last place ACC team Miami and a 20 point loss to Boston College and you can understand why the selection committee was a little hesitant on vaulting the Hokies past the bubble.

3) The Lack Of Big Wins: Let me now read the short list of Tech's 'quality wins:' Seton Hall (NIT team), Wake Forest (NCAA Tournament team #9 seed), Georgia Tech (NCAA Tournament team #10 seed) and Clemson (NCAA Tournament team #7 seed). That's it.

Some people want to question the selection committee's decision to take Wake Forest over Virginia Tech, and let me now present Wake Forest's 'quality wins:' Gonzaga (NCAA Tournament team #8 seed), Richmond (NCAA Tournament team #7 seed), Xavier (NCAA Tournament team #6 seed), Maryland (NCAA Tournament team #4 seed), Georgia Tech (NCAA Tournament team #10 seed), and Clemson (NCAA Tournament team # 7 seed).

If any of you even think that there is a comparison, you are simply in a heavy case of denial. Also, note that half of those wins for Wake Forest are out of conference. It's easier to beat teams that you see on a yearly basis, Wake was able to beat good teams that they rarely see.

That's it. Those are the facts; they aren't pretty but that's what they are. Perhaps if Virginia Tech would quit scheduling teams like Brown, North Carolina Central and UMBC (whoever they are), we would get a chance to play the big teams which we are scared to play.

It's not that I don't enjoy watching Quinnipiac basketball, it's just that I would rather watch Tech actually challenge themselves like the football team does.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Live Updates From The Quarterfinals Of The ACC Tournament

2:23 p.m.- Almost tip-off, pretty excited right now. Duke played a tough game against UVA just about 20 minutes ago. Hopefully this is another good game.

2:27 p.m.- Tip-off lost by the Hokies. Tech starts on defense by double-teaming a Miami player and forces a turnover. Good start for Virginia Tech. Victor Davila picks up an offensive foul early.

2:29 p.m.- Another great defensive play by Virginia Tech, Delaney ends up with the ball and hits a lay-up and draws the foul. Sadly, Delaney misses the free-throw. 18:18 left in the first, 2-2.

2:31 p.m.- Great shot by Dorenzo Hudson for the 3-pointer. Tech needs him to get hot early. 16:53 left in the first, 5-4 Virginia Tech.

2:32 p.m.- Hudson hits another deep 3-pointer. Hudson has 6 points early, as I write this he hits a short jumper and draws the foul too. Hudson now has 8 points, awaiting the free-throw. 16:08 left in the first, 10-4 Virginia Tech.

2:34 p.m.- First break in the action right now, great start for the Hokies. Hudson has 8 points early and the Hokie defense is forcing a lot of turnovers. Virginia Tech is up right now 12-7.

2:37 p.m.- Dorenzo Hudson is fouled while taking a 3-point shot. With 15:00 left in the first, Hudson already has 11 points. Virginia Tech leading, 15-9.

2:42 p.m.- Another intermission, and I have to say, Dorenzo Hudson is playing like a stud right now. He has 13 points already and we aren't even halfway through the first half. Delaney has been pretty quiet so far but he really hasn't been needed so far, though he has done a good job of drawing fouls.

2:48 p.m.- The game has gotten a little bit sloppy but the Hokies are still getting the ball inside pretty well. Miami is missing a lot of open shots which could bite them later on. 9:04 left in the first half, Virginia Tech up 24-16.

2:53 p.m.- Another intermission which has this game just a bit closer than it was. Virginia Tech has cooled off since their hot start and the shots aren't falling like they were.

2:57 p.m.- Virginia Tech is ice cold right now. The Hokies are only up by 5 now with 5:08 left in the first half. Score is 28-23.

2:59 p.m.- Intermission time yet again with under 5 minutes to play in the first half. Virginia Tech could use a run at this point to give them a spark going into halftime. Miami has stayed resilient despite being down early, kudos to them for that.

3:04 p.m.- With 2:17 left in the first, Miami just went on a run and now leads the Hokies 33-32. Virginia Tech is unable to rebound right now and can't hit a shot. The fast start has worn off fast and Miami is looking like they have all the momentum right now.

3:08 p.m.- There are 48 seconds left in the first half and Virginia Tech just found their shot again. Virginia Tech is now back up 37-35. I wanted a good game, I certainly have it so far.

3:10 p.m.- Halftime right now, Virginia Tech had the last shot of the half but Hudson couldn't hit the 3-pointer. Virginia Tech is leading right now 37-35. Hudson has 15 points right now, J.T. Thompson has 8 and Delaney has 5. The Hokie's defense has forced 12 turnovers so far which is impressive.

3:27 p.m.- The second half has started! The Hokies start with a quick basket and are playing good defense again. The defense has switched to a man-to-man from that zone they were running in the first half.

3:31 p.m.- Game is tied up again at 39 apiece. Virginia Tech just cannot hit a shot from outside the paint -- of course as I type that Bell hits a three ball. Virginia Tech is now up 42-41 with 16:00 left in the game.

3:34 p.m.- Bell hits another 3-pointer and now Virginia Tech seems to have some momentum. Jeff Allen is calling for a break from the court and seems a bit winded.

3:39 p.m.- Reggie Johnson for Miami has been held to only 3 points so far with 13:45 left in the game. Johnson put up 22 last round so this is a major positive for the Tech defense. With 13:20 left in the game Virginia Tech leads Miami barely 48-46.

3:40 p.m.- I am happy to report a Witcher sighting in this game and Lewis put up a layup for two points. Nice to see Lewis getting some playing time in this ACC Tournament.

3:48 p.m.- The game is still tight with under 10 minutes to play in the game. The Hokies lead by three right now up 51-48 but Virginia Tech is having trouble rebounding. Miami is getting too many second chance opportunities.

3:53 p.m.- Jeff Allen just made a very acrobatic falling shot. Allen is obviously tired but he is playing with a lot of heart right now. With 7:35 left to play, the score is 57-54 Virginia Tech.

3:58 p.m.- Virginia Tech has lost their lead and the game is now tied up with just under 7 minutes left. The score is 57-57.

4:04 p.m.- The momentum is 100 percent towards Miami right now. After the fast start, the Hokies have hit the brakes hard and are having trouble getting back into their rhythm. Miami leads Virginia Tech now 59-57 with 4:30 left.

4:11 p.m.- Jeff Allen just hit the double-double mark getting an offensive rebound. J.T. Thompson just drained a free-throw giving Virginia Tech a lead of 61-59 with 2:50 left.

4:16 p.m.- 1:31 left to play, Miami is up 66-65 on the Hokies. This is crunch time at it's highest right now. Delaney has been completely silent all game due to the zone that Miami has been running so it seems that the game is going to rest on Jeff Allen or Dorenzo Hudson.

4:19 p.m.- 46.7 seconds left, Virginia Tech ball and the possession arrow goes to the Hokies. Jeff Allen and Durand Scott are named the players of the game. The score is still 66-65.

4:20 p.m.- After a scramble underneath the Miami basket Virginia Tech has to foul Miami as the shot clock turns off. Jeff Allen fouls out with 25.7 seconds left in the game. Miami will shoot free-throws. Delaney missed about three shots underneath the basket, really struggling today.

4:22 p.m.- Miami makes both free-throws, Miami is up 68-65. Timeout Virginia Tech.

4:23 p.m.- After the VT timeout, the Hokies go with a questionable playcall to shoot a 3-pointer with Bell. Bell missed it way short and the Hokies have to foul again. Miami is now up 4 points, the game outcome looks bleak for the Hokies.

4:25 p.m.- Delaney throws up an airball with 12 seconds left, that about sums up the day for Malcolm. The Hokies lose to the 12th seeded Hurricanes: 70-65.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Q&A With Men's Basketball Coach Seth Greenberg

In the newly built basketball facility, men’s basketball head coach Seth Greenberg is busy game planning for the Hokies’ final regular season game against Georgia Tech.

Greenberg was a collegiate athlete for four years at Fairleigh Dickinson and has been in a head coaching position for 20 years. He is in his seventh season coaching at Virginia Tech.

The Hokies’ vocal head coach took a quick break from his game planning to sit down with the Collegiate Times.

COLLEGIATE TIMES: Wednesday was senior night for the team and it celebrated with a win over NC State. What is it like every year to lose seniors with whom you have spent so much time?

SETH GREENBERG: It’s emotional. I’m an emotional coach. I love my players. It’s a culmination of four years of hard work and growth of a relationship. To see Lewis and Paul, and especially Lewis who has been with us for four years, and see him grow and mature, not just in basketball, but as a person, and to see him have such a special night. I’m so happy for him.

CT: During the NC State game, you actually had to pump the crowd up. How weird was it for you to actually have to get Hokie fans loud for a change?

GREENBERG: I do that, I don’t know. I have these out-of-body experiences every once in a while. I just want to try and get them involved in the game and get them to take ownership in the game. I know our players feed off of that and it’s just something every once in a while that I seem to do, and most times they respond pretty favorably.

To read the entire interview, head over to the Collegiate Times website:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hokies Celebrate Senior Night With Win Over NC State

Hokie Nation said goodbye tonight to the two seniors on the men's basketball team. Lewis Witcher and Paul Debnam were honored before the game began and both got the nod to start their final home game.

The first half was incredibly slow with NC State putting up only 22 points. At the half Virginia Tech had a nine point lead.

The second half was much more energetic with Virginia Tech making their only three-pointers during the half. At one point during the second half, head coach Seth Greenberg actually had to pump the crowd up. It was odd to see on my end but the crowd lit up instantly.

Almost 85 percent of Virginia Tech's points were from three players: Malcolm Delaney with 21, Jeff Allen with 18 and Dorenzo Hudson with 21.

Late in the second half with the game nearly wrapped up, Paul Debnam was put back into the game shortly after an emphatic chant of "We want Paul!" began. Debnam not only fouled out Scott Wood for NC State, but he also got his only point of the night from a free throw; both sent the crowd roaring.

Virginia Tech snaps a three-game losing streak: 71-59

Virginia Tech moves to 22-7 on the season and 9-6 in ACC play while NC State falls to 16-14 on the season and 4-11 in ACC play.
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