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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
, February 16, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger

The Hokie Hotline was broadcast live from Beamerís Restaurant in Christiansburg, VA. (Note: tonight's show was short.)

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

  • The Hokie men lost to Rutgers 85-52 over the weekend and will face Villanova on the road this Wednesday.
  • The Hokie women dropped a critical game to Miami this weekend and dropped out of the Top 25 AP poll.

Seth Greenberg

Roth began the show asking Greenberg about St. Johnís, who the Hokies will face this coming weekend, but Greenberg said that the focus right now is getting his team mentally ready to compete on Wednesday at Villanova. Roth asked about Villanovaís three guards, Mike Nardi, Allan Ray and Randy Foye. Greenberg said that Mike Nardi is a terrific passer who shoots a set shot, not a great on-the-ball defender, but very good off the ball. Ray is a tough kid out of St. Raymondís in NY, can really shoot it explosively off the bounds. Jason Fraser is not as athletic and not as quick, but a very good offensive rebounder. Curtis Sumpter is really a talented player who is a young sophomore; Will Sheridan off the bench is extremely athletic and plays very quick. Roth mentioned that they are an extremely talented team with all Top 50 recruits. Greenberg said that the game starts with great guard play, you can get back in the game with great guard play. This Villanova team has three or four McDonald's All-Americans. However, for one reason or another they have had difficulty winning a few games, because of not protecting the ball, among other troubles.

Bob in Christiansburg called in and commented on how proud the Hokie nation is of the positive achievements of the team. His question was regarding the simple expectation that was set for the team of getting to the Big East Tournament. His question is that now with the toughest part of the schedule behind us, with the remaining teams, not playing at a high level, what is the potential of us seeding into the tournament? Right now we are a half of game ahead of Miami, Greenberg answered, but our goal is to make the tournament, and then to improve our seeding. Thatís all not as important as winning as many games as we can. We canít do any of that if we play like we did on Sunday, we arenít going to beat anybody in the Big East if we only score three points in the first 12 minutes of the ballgame.

Greenberg came back after the break asking the crowd to show up to Cassell for the Hokies' home match-up with St. Johns. He said it really helps when the crowd' in the game and asked everyone who can come to do so. This will be the last time in the foreseeable future that St. Johns will play in the Cassell. Roth brought up the topic of St. Johnís coaching search. He felt that St. Johnís process for finding a coach wonít be as easy as sportscasters such as Dick Vitale of ESPN are making it out to be. Greenberg said it wonít be easy, but if they are willing to pay the money, they will get someone they want. The bottom line is itís going to take time, and itís going to be a process, because of the lack of available scholarships. If they can bring someone in who can put their arms around the St. Johnís fertile recruiting territory, then they will be back. Roth continued to press that it wonít be that easy, just because itís St. Johns.

Ronald from Tampa, FL (a USF fan and Greenberg supporter) called in with a question of where Greenberg picked up his 1-3-1 defense? Greenberg said he picked up the defensive scheme from Dr. Roy Chipman of Pittsburgh and took the defense and changed it around a little. Greenberg said that we donít play it very well right now, although we play it a lot. With the right type of players itís very effective.

The topic turned back to St. John's, and their upcoming search for a coach. Greenberg said that it will take at least a minimum of three recruiting classes to get things turned around. Roth contended that Fordham has the same recruiting ground and will be very competitive, causing problems for St. Johnís recovery. Greenberg argued that itís not the same at all, that you canít compare A-10 basketball to the Big East. Greenberg asked Roth if he was a recruit would you rather play against Duquesne or Syracuse? To which, Roth replied that he wanted to go to play with Coach Greenberg in the mountains of VirginiaÖGreenberg, "Perfect, now thatís the best choice." (Note: Rothís eligibility has expired).

Bernie from Nelson Co., Virginia called in indicating that he felt like the program was going in the right direction and wanted to have Roth and Greenberg talk about the Hokies recruiting and where we were headed next year, what our plans are, and he also mentioned not to worry about the Yankees, that Steinbrenner has enough money. Greenberg agreed that the notorious Yankees owner was probably solvent and appreciated Bernieís viewpoint that the program was going in the right direction. On the heels of that comment Roth asked Greenberg to give the audience an update on Marquie Cooke, one of Techís fall signees. Greenberg said that Cooke is having a great senior year, heís extremely explosive, heís tough, and he makes other players better.

Roth asked Greenberg to talk a little about Villanova, the Hokies' next hurdle. Greenberg said that he felt like Villanova was a team that was still trying to find itself. Itís certainly a very talented team, young, terrific point guard, but they have struggled finding a way to win. Tech's biggest task will be making sure that Villanova doesn't "find themselves" against the Hokies. Tech needs to be able to guard the screen and roll, and they have to keep Fraser off the glass. Sumpter and Matthews are a pretty solid match up, Ray is an explosive player, and Sailes will probably start across him, hopefully he can keep him in front. Greenberg mentioned that the crowd may work in the Hokies' favor a bit, since Philadelphia fans are not the most patient. If Tech can get up on them early and make some shots, now the fans will become restless and that can work in the Hokies' favor. It will be a tough environment, though, against a very talented team.

Roth wrapped up the show talking about Greenbergís travels for recruiting, and complimenting his hard work in that area.

-- Phil


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