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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
, February 9, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger

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

Roth began the show by reviewing the news of the day:

  • Bryant Matthews was named the co-Big East Player of the week along with UCONNís Emeka Okafor.
  • Coleman Collins was named the Big East Rookie of the week for his performance against Providence (21 points, 9 boards).
  • The Hokies will face Georgetown on Wednesday at the Cassell.
  • The Hokie women will be on the road Tuesday at WVU. The Hokie women are 17-4 (6-4) and the Mountaineers are 17-5 (8-2) and in 2nd place in the Big East. You can listen to the game on 106.7 in Roanoke or 105.3 in Blacksburg. The game will also be broadcast over the internet. Log on to for more details.
  • VT Womenís softball gets its season started this month by playing in the Georgia Tournament. The Hokie women will also square off with the US Olympic team in an exhibition match up on February 27th.
  • The 2003 Virginia Tech football video is also available at the Tech Bookstore.

Seth Greenberg

Roth opened the show by asking Greenberg how the week has been after the Hokies' big win over the 23rd ranked Providence Friars last Wednesday at the Cassell. Greenberg said that practice has been great all week. The kids are energized and revitalized. The win helped show the team the benefit of all their hard work. Coach talked about the win in terms of the team really starting to buy into what we're trying to do schematically. We had contribution from everyone, we defended well, and took good care of the ball. Coach specifically pointed Coleman Collins and Jamon Gordon out as two players who had outstanding games.

Greenberg said that now we have something to build on, but that win is in the past. We are focusing on Georgetown on Wednesday, and we're going to have to play well to beat them. Coach mentioned that the team has been under the weather a little lately, as Philip McCandies came down with the flu and Gordonís knee had some swelling this week.

Roth pointed out that Greenberg had re-instated Shawn Harris to the team (Fabian Davis and Shawn Harris were suspended from the team for unspecified violations of team rules on January 28th). Greenberg said that Harris would dress for the game, and he has had a good week of practice and has handled the situation well. He was very happy to have him back.

Jeff in Blacksburg called in and pointed out differences in this yearís team versus last year. He stated that he thinks the team really takes on the personality of its coach, and that this team seems to play with more heart and doesnít quit. He asked the coach to talk about the new guard he has coming in (Marquis Cooke), and he asked if there was a different strategy used when recruiting a big inside player versus a guard. Greenberg said that Cooke was a player that defends well, heís very unselfish with the ball, and heís a winning player.

Regarding recruiting, he said that you approach it the same, but thereís just not as many big guys out there. Itís more difficult because everyone needs one, but the supply is much more limited. Coach did mention that we would go anywhere to find the right player. Our strategy is to identify our prospects early, and then really go after them.

Roth pointed out that the coach has said that itís possible that we donít need a true center such as Okafor for UCONN. Greenberg agreed. We need a wide body that can get in there and move people around. We need someone with quickness and can pass the ball. Regarding getting a 6í11" player? Greenberg said you need to be a little lucky, and certainly we would like to find someone that size. We really need someone that can draw the double team, and someone skilled enough to move around. Roth pointed out that it sounded like he was looking for someone in the Terry Taylor mold. Greenberg agreed with that statement, and indicated that we have a much better chance of finding someone like that, than the traditional big guy.

Roth brought up the topic that Brad Greenberg does all the scouting for opposing teams, and that under Stokes, the Hokies rotated assistant coaches responsibility for scouting opponents. Greenberg confirmed that, and indicated that it gives the team one voice to listen to. Itís nice because the scouting material is presented the same way each time. Certainly they go over the film as a group, and thereís involvement from everyone. He felt this helps develop chemistry. However, every team is different so that doesnít say that we will attack a 2-3 zone the same way for each opponent.

Doug in Rocky Mount called in and said that he was very un-impressed with the Providence Coach Tim Welsh, who threw his coat down after having a heated discussion with the refs. This led to a technical foul late in the game. Roth jumped in and said that Welsh had a valid argument, that he was trying to sub in and the refs just missed it. Greenberg added that Welsh is a good coach and a good guy. Coach did say he was surprised he threw his coat, because it was a nice coat. Roth mentioned that it wasnít as bad as when Bob Hill of Fordham threw his coat down after storming to middle court several years ago, upset with the officiating.

Roth asked the coach to comment on the problems facing St. Johnís after their trip to Pittsburgh, where several players were caught breaking curfew to attend a strip club. The coach responded by saying that you canít hold these kids' hands 24/7, but that he does cut articles out like that to show his team what can happen if you make poor decisions. He said that those players showed very little respect for their teammates and their University. He added that this will affect them for the rest of their lives.

Greenberg took a minute to point out that ESPN Radio broadcasters had blamed this incident on former SJ coach Mike Jarvis (who was fired six games into this season), indicating that he recruited the wrong sort of player. Coach defended Jarvis, indicating that itís absolutely ridiculous to try and blame the coach. These kids came from a good high school with a good coach. He pointed out that the high school coach was actually a probation officer as well, so itís not as cut and dried as ESPN was making it out to be. Greenberg said overall itís a terribly sad situation. Roth asked if St. Johnís would have any trouble finding a new coach given the scholarship problems this situation has caused. Greenberg said that he didnít think so, that whomever comes into that program on a coaching level will probably have a seven year contract, with enough time to overcome those difficulties.

Barek in Blacksburg called in and wanted to know if the coach had been working on free throws as the team had much better success from the line in the Providence game. Coach said that they work on technique, but that heís not been hammering it, as it tends to become more of a hindrance. He was pleased with the foul shooting last Wednesday and pointed out that at one point the Hokies had made 15 straight from the line.

Dale called in on a cell phone from Rt. 81, and wanted to know if the coach would be interested in a 6í6" 190lb recruit, with a 36í vertical, who could put on enough to get to 230lbs. Greenberg said that we donít need suspects, we need prospects. We need someone to come in and compete right away, because next year were going to playing against pro level competition. We donít have the luxury of recruiting a guy and developing him for 3 years. Unlike football, we canít move a player around based upon his development. Roth disagreed a bit, saying that most coaches use the younger team excuse, for what is actually a bad program. Greenberg said that itís true you have to have balance in your classes, typically you want to have 3 players in each class, that way you can have 1 or 2 guys that may be works in progress.

Roth asked Greenberg to talk a little about Georgetown, who the Hokies will face this Wednesday at Cassell Coliseum. Greenberg said that this Georgetown team is a younger team, not freshmen, but sophomores. They do have a senior in Gerald Riley who has 73 points over the last few games, heís big and rangy and strong. They have Brandan Bowman from California, whoís tough, quick, and a solid defender; Darrel Owens, who is shooting 50% from three point range. This Hoya squad will attack, and foul on every play if necessary. They have 11 steals per game. Greenberg did say they are actually behind the Hokies in that category in league play, though. They have good depth, and they are shooting much better.

VT has to be on their game early, as Georgetown is a quick strike team. They are playing with a lot of confidence and have good ability to get back into a game if they get down. They are 13-6 and coming off a year in which they played in the NIT Championship game. Roth mentioned that their coach Craig Esherick was an assistant under well-known Georgetown coach John Thompson, and that for all 29 years that Esherick has been associated with the program, they have gone to the post-season.

Roth and Greenberg reminisced a bit on the Thompson era Hoyas who played in the McDonough gym, which Roth described as the worst facility in college basketball. Greenberg pointed out that that was a different time, and you could get away with being an elite program without the best facilities.

Alex in Blacksburg called in wanting to know what happened to Markus Sailes, who ran down the tunnel after being dunked on by a Providence player. Greenberg said that he rolled his ankle on that play, and it was kind of humorous as he went down the tunnel and didnít come back out. We all waited for him to come out, and nothing happened. He did mention that Sailes missed two practices, but heís fine and will be playing in the Georgetown game on Wednesday.

Greenberg did take a minute to ask that we have a good crowd for Wednesdayís game, and that he took the time to thank all the students in the Collegiate Times for all their support. He really wants the fans to show up for the four home games VT has left this season and help be part of their success for this season.

Roth wrapped up the show by asking Greenberg to discuss Rutgers a little bit, whom the Hokies will face on the road on Sunday. Greenberg said they have players with good range, they're big and physical, and the team has good depth. He said they are very good at home, and that their coach made the comment that the RAC is good for at least 5 wins a season. They played a tough game against Seton Hall. The Hokies' game against Rutgers will be the Big East game of the Week on Sunday (Editor's note: the game is not listed in the televised game list, but check local listing.)

-- Phil


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