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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
Monday
, February 3, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger

The Hokie Hotline this week was live from Beamerís Restaurant in Christiansburg, VA.

Bill Roth opened the show by reviewing some of the news of the day:

  • The Hokie Womenís basketball team climbed to #20 in the latest AP Poll
  • Tech Men and Womenís teams will face Providence this week
  • The 2004 football schedule has been released and can be reviewed at www.hokiesports.com
  • National Letter of Intent day is this Wednesday

Seth Greenberg

Bill Roth began the interview portion of the show discussing Bryan Randallís play and how many Hokie fans have been impressed with his increasing abilities. Roth mentioned that he doesnít seem intimidated by playing against these tough Big East teams like Syracuse. Greenberg mentioned that Randall shouldnít be intimidated playing at Syracuse. Coach added that Randall threw for 500 yards in the Carrier Dome, and that the punishment he takes on the football field is nothing compared to what he faces on the basketball court. Coach said that as his basketball skills continue to improve, he is providing leadership and a competitive spirit.

Coach said that many people have asked why donít you just start Randall since heís playing so well, but you really need to have that bench player who can change the momentum of the game. Randall brings a new style and toughness off the bench, and can change the direction of a game. He did mention that you may start seeing him get in the game earlier, if someone else isnít getting it done. Greenberg said that heís just not ready to bring Randall in at the start of the game yet. Coach did mention that heís no different in practice than in the games. You're not just around a kid when your around Randall, you're around a man. Heís very mature and heís got unbelievable leadership skills.

Roth mentioned that Randall spoke to the team after the game. Greenberg confirmed this and said, "that heís very comfortable with who he is, and thereís no hidden agenda about him. We are a better just to have him around. He brings us maturity that we sorely need."

In discussing the Hokies' next match up against Providence, Greenberg agreed with Roth in that he felt like this Providence team was actually better than the Syracuse team the Hokies fell to last Saturday. Providence plays a much different zone than Syracuse, they extend out, distort passing lanes, and have a shot blocker in the middle. They shoot the ball as a team better, and the team is a much more experienced than Syracuse. On the defensive side, they play a great zone defense, and finally, they went into UConn and beat the Huskies. This is a very good basketball team who won 8 of their final 10 last year.

Coach mentioned that Matthews will face off against one of the stars of Providenceís team in Ryan Gomes. We donít have a person thatís physically strong enough to defend him. They arenít as good a passing team as Pitt, but they are still very good in the passing game. All around a mature team, that won games late last year.

Roth moved on to comment on the fact that the ACC meetings were held last week, and the football schedule was given to the athletic directors. Roth mentioned that while the basketball schedule wasnít solidified, we did get a feel for what the schedule might look like. Greenberg confirmed that we definitely have a clearer picture of what our home and away schedule would look like, although we donít know exactly how many conference games there will be just yet. UVA and Miami are still our constants, and it looks like Tech will have a very attractive home schedule, which could include Duke, Carolina, and/or Maryland.

Coach said we would probably have the most attractive home schedule in the history of this university. Regarding the toughness of the schedule, Coach said, "Give me a schedule and we will play it". Greenberg said they also have bigger issues than simply who they are playing.

Jonathan in Dublin called in and wondered about Bryan Randallís eligibility when it came to basketball, and whether or not it was independent of football. Greenberg responded by saying that Randall will be able to play this year, next year, and the year after. However, the third year would depend on his involvement in NFL combines and other activities. He did say that he really hadnít talked much to Randall about this topic, and he doesnít want to speculate too much. Greenberg said that heís just appreciative to Coach Beamer for letting Bryan play, and that heís been a real boost to the basketball team.

Maliki (sp?) in Blacksburg called in with a comment that heís seen some strong leadership skills from Jamon Gordon recently, and he wondered whether or not Jamon would develop into the style of leader that we are currently seeing in Bryan Randall. Coach did say that Jamon does have good leadership potential, but that he needs to foster that potential before he can get people to follow him. He competes at a high level, he understands the game, and itís very important to him. Coach says that he can see Gordon developing into a strong leader.

Barek in Blacksburg called in and wanted Greenberg to comment on Providenceís perimeter shooting, because the Hokies have struggled recently defending the perimeter. Greenberg said that McGrath can really shoot the basketball, Brewington can shoot well, and Gomes is shooting 36% from the three. Against Syracuse, VT tried to double off the passer and did a good job overall, but Gerry McNamara made some unbelievable shots. Coach said that strategically you have to defend inside Ė out. Baskets that they are giving up in transition is another topic, but in the half-court you have to focus on defending inside-out, and unfortunately were just getting "scorched" on perimeter defense.

Roth pointed out that McGrath, for Providence, is really a great point guard. Greenberg agreed and stated that heís 6í 2", heís a bigger version of McNamara for Syracuse, but that McGrath doesnít shoot as quick. Greenberg said that heís a much different player than he was last year, and thereís been a lot of improvement. McGrath was a highly recruited player out of high school, and heís really got an exciting future.

Linda in the audience wanted to know how a player decides, when on a break-away, to lay-up or dunk. Roth joked that this is something that Greenberg rarely faced during his playing career. Greenberg said that it really just depends on if you can jump high enough to make the dunk. He did point out that on several occasions we have missed some dunks, and we need to be careful about giving up easy points.

Matt in Salem called in and had a hypothetical question, in regards to if we had a big center, where might Coleman Collins and Alan Calloway be moved to. Matt pointed out that it seems like these two are just getting their brains beat in by the bigger players in the middle. Greenberg agreed that they are overmatched physically at times, but Coleman is 17 years old and defending guys like Okafor and McNeil. Coach said that he felt like Coleman was more of a power forward, although he has to improve his passing and his ability to face off a defender and put it down. Coach pointed out that you canít lose track of how young Coleman is, and we're asking him to do a great deal. Coach felt like he was having a great freshman year.

Greenberg followed up, that by having our younger players play against these top players, we developing our players much faster. Coach did mention that because we are overmatched in either experience or from a physical side, it is not going to be an excuse. We;re focusing on getting in there and competing regardless, and we need to learn to play through that.

Deborah in Chesterfield County called in regarding the two players (Shawn Harris and Fabian Davis) that were suspended from the team, and if their careers at Virginia Tech are over. Greenberg responded by saying that he didnít say their careers are over, but that he will continue to evaluate it on a day to day basis. As the coaches continue to meet with the players, they will continue to re-evaluate. The players are not linked either, and one may return earlier than the other.

Randy in Blacksburg called in and wanted to know about recruiting the big man who can play inside. Greenberg said thatís very important, and they're looking for a frontcourt player. Itís a focal point of the daily staff meetings, and they have to continue to develop the guys they have, as well.

Roth closed the show by wishing the Coach good luck on Wednesday night against the Friars of Providence.

-- Phil

          

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