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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
Monday, January 31, 2005
by Phil Noftsinger

Tonightís show was broadcast live from Attitudes Bar in The Holiday Inn Blacksburg. Coach Seth Greenberg joined Bill Roth in analyzing the loss to Duke as well as the upcoming road game against a surprising Miami team. The main topic on tonightís show was the atmosphere in Cameron Indoor stadium and the officiating of the game. Although Greenberg couldnít comment on the officiating in this medium, many fans did express their support for the coachís strong support of his team after questionable foul calls.

Seth Greenberg

Coach Greenberg started out the interview portion of the show, stating that last nightís loss was a learning experience, wiped the slate clean and started working on getting ready for Miami. Roth said that the prevalent question is what did he actually say to garner two technical fouls, pointing out that the Coach couldnít evaluate the officiating in this medium. Coach said that he was disappointed with some of the play, with regard to rebounds after free throws. There were some things that happened that we would have preferred didnít, but itís going to happen. Itís a tough environment and they are a good basketball team. We just need to get better.

Roth said that some reports said that the Hokies stood up to Duke, pointing out that he felt they did. Greenberg said that given their coaches military background that a psychological game is being played as well as the actual physical game. He felt thatís the way they're taught and coached, whether itís the fans, or the way they do subtle things. Thatís all part of their game plan. The things heís concerned about are the inability to block out after free throws, the poor shot selections, after the half we have three out of four possessions with poor spacing. Greenberg said that when the team post defends and rebounds well, we have a chance of winning. Coach felt like the team didnít do either of those things well in this game.

Roth asked, for the minutes that Collins did play, did he think that his performance defending Williams was good, or would you want to put Deron on Williams next time. Coach said that neither of them were on him very long, but that Coleman did a decent job on him when he was in the game. If Williams makes the first hit, heís got an advantage on any player.

Kevin in Cary called in and said that there were a lot of Hokies at the game, mentioning also that Coach K talked a lot about expansion, pointing out that Coach Greenberg said that there were some people who didnít want us in the ACC. Coach said that on the play that Daniel Ewing got tangled up with Deron and the officials called the foul on Ewing, and it was just a gamesmanship by a veteran coach, and Coach Greenberg said that he wasnít going to allow Coach K to do that.

Jerry from Fredricksburg wrote in stating that he has been concerned for a long time about security at Cameron, asking if there was something that could be done at the ACC level to improve this. Coach said that itís a great venue and the Duke fans are actually kind of funny and creative. It is different that you have people walking right by you, as you're entering and leaving the court. Coach said that he brought these issues up to the Tech administration and he will let them handle them.

Roth asked about the status of Carlos Dixon (Dixon fell hard on his elbow after a lay-up). Coach said that the arm is not broken, but he didnít practice today and is receiving anti-inflammatory medication. Heís getting some rehabilitation and will be making the trip to Miami. Coach pointed out that Jamon and Carlos only played a total of 16 minutes.

After the break, Roth said that most of the e-mails had to do with officiating of the game, and that the coach cannot talk about that topic on the Hotline. Coach said that he received over 200 e-mails regarding the officiating in the game. Roth said that all the e-mails are very supportive. Coach said that heís embarrassed that he was ejected from the game, and a part of it was frustration. The kids work very hard and they need to know that heís in there with them. Coach said that he didnít say anything that warranted the ejection. Coach said that he went and got a popcorn, jokingly. He said itís disappointing, because he felt like he abandoned the kids. Roth recalled a story of Earl Weaver, when he was ejected from a game, and put on the Oriole mascot costume and came back to the game and sat on the bench.

Brad in Roanoke called in and asked about the upcoming Miami and Wake Forest games. Coach said that Miami is a very guard-oriented team, they have three guards that all have the ability to score 20 points per game. Their third guard in the mix had 29 points and nine assists against Wake Forest. Guillermo Diaz is quick and fast with the basketball, terrific anticipation, and heís the #1 volleyball player in Puerto Rico. Robert Hite had the big game against us last year. A lefty that shoots the ball with range, good anticipation. Up front they play King, Hamilton, and Frisby. Those three guys have a very simple role: rebound, post defend and set screens. King is the best shot blocker, Frisby is the best offensive rebounder. A big part of their offense is against the glass. We are going to have to perimeter defend well, and there will be a lot of long jump shots. We are going to have to contain their penetration. They will play some 2-3 zone on defense. Offensively they do a lot of the same things the Hokies do. Roth pointed out that Hite, #22, was 9-10 from the floor, and 5-5 from three point range last year against the Hokies. Coach pointed out that last year the Hokies hurt Miami with the 1-3-1, but we donít have the personnel to play that this year. They are a good basketball team. You have to take good shots because if you donít, they will run it right down your throat. Coach did not address Wake Forest prior to Roth going to commercial break.

After the break, Roth mentioned that Tech fans could watch the official recruiting signing ticker on, on Feb. 4th.

Roth asked Coach to update the crowd on the recruiting. Coach said that the Hokies have one scholarship left and they are still looking for a good front court player. He continued to state that Krabbendam a year from now, is going to be giving us solid minutes. He is skilled and Coach has a lot of confidence in him.

LT in Lynchburg called in stating that he was disappointed in Williams' attitude in the game, and was disappointed that Coach K would direct his players to play that way, noting that they have enough talent to win without playing that way. Also, he was disappointed that they didnít put in their subs earlier. Coach said he canít concern himself with how other coaches play their game. He can only concern himself with how his team plays. Coach said that the Hokies have a lot of work ahead of them, and heís focused on that.

Alan in Richmond called in and asked about the brief exchange between Coach Greenberg and a fan as he left the game following his ejection. Coach K walked down the whole bench after the game and didnít acknowledge any of the Tech players or coaches other than to lower his head and shake their hands. Finally he asked if there was anything that coaches can do to complain about the officiating in Cameron.

Coach Greenberg said that you can send all the tapes you want, but the officials will call the game as they see it. As far as Coach Kís attitude after the game, he didnít see it, and canít comment on what he didnít witness. Regarding the fans, Coach said that someone reached out across a "neutral zone", and it caught his eye that someone was reaching over. He was trying not to make eye contact with anyone as he was walking out, but he wasnít sure if someone was reaching out to hit him or what. He said he just turned and stared at the person. He said he will let the administrators figure it out. He did mention that there wasnít any significant barrierís there to separate the court members from the fans.

Ray from Ashland wrote in asking about ACC Tournament ticket availability. Roth said that the tickets would be available to the very highest level of donors at each member school. This year Tech does not have a full allotment, but even when Tech does, it is available to the very highest levels. If youíre going to get tickets, you probably already know that, joking that you probably have a building named after you already.

Mike in Roanoke called in and said that he was most proud of how the coach stood up and stuck by his team. Coach said that they just try to get the team to play as hard as possible and itís a process. The team is starting to get a better handle on that, and the teamís foundation will be built on a competitive spirit.

Roth asked the Coach if he is excited about the opportunity to re-match against Duke at home. Coach said that itís going to be a great atmosphere, but that in this league they have to play many good teams on the road. Coach said that itís not a revenge game, itís just the next one on the schedule.

Tim in McGaheysville called in and commented that to get a level playing field in Cameron, you have to be a national winning coach, to get the calls. Coach said that the team is a long way of where they want to be, and thatís the process that heís been talking about all along. It sounds redundant but the gameís pretty simple, and there are areas where the team needs to get better.

Roth said that a young sophomore stated that if we hadnít played Duke last night, everyone would be talking about the win over UVA last week. Coach said that it was a great win, and that the Cassell was a great atmosphere. We did a lot of good things in that game. Jamon made a great point, in that the team didnít really know how to play with a lead. Coach said that the team took care of the basketball in that game (11 turnovers), turned UVa over 22 times, shot 52% from the field, and our guards did a great job delivering the basketball. Coach said that he has talked a lot about creating an ACC environment, and he didnít think they will have a problem doing that the rest of the season. It started with NC State and it built to UVA. The students were unbelievable, and they took ownership of the game and they helped us win the game.

Roth said that itís interesting, if the team was still in the Big East, and beat UVA last Thursday and lost to UCONN, people would be saying at least you beat UVA. Roth said that fans would be saying at least you beat UVA, but now in the ACC, every game is a big game. Greenberg responded by saying that, the biggest thing is that we are not there yet, but the mentality of this team and program is, that they are not there just to be an opponent to be walked on by those teams. We are going to compete in every game, and we havenít done that yet. This is a very unforgiving league, and our student body and our alumni can relate to the teams in the ACC better than the Big East.

Barek in Blacksburg called in and asked about the football team sending in a tape to the officials regarding questionable calls, and wondered if similar action can be taken in the basketball arena. Greenberg said that he has a tape, but itís not going to resolve the issue. He said that he doesnít want to waste his energies on that. We need to extenuate what we are doing well, and fix the things we arenít. The bottom line is that we didnít play as well as we needed to, and thatís where his energy goes. He said heís not going to get caught up in the officiating. He said that the team is doing some good things, and the environment is building in the Cassell.

Brian in Millersville wrote in asking what he wants from Tech fans. Coach said that he wants it to be loud, to embrace and take ownership in the team, and help the team win. Every game needs to be UVA, and that environment needs to be at every game.

Steve in Blacksburg called in and said that he is a former basketball official and a Hokie who really appreciated him standing up for his team last night. His question was regarding whether or not officials are working to many games in a row on consecutive days and are loosing their edge. Coach said that many of the officials are independent contractors now, because the pay is so good. Also there are more games and a limited number of officials so they need guys to work games. They need to increase their rosters, sure. Coach said that those things are up to administrators and University officials.

Coach said that he called Rick Barnes today to get some advice on how he built Clemson.

Jared in Richmond called in and supportive of the coach and said that Sunday night the Hokie nation was angered a little bit, stemming from Coach Kís comments during expansion and culminating with the game. February 17th we are bringing Lane Stadium indoors and locking all the exits, and Coach K is going to wish that Cameron could get half that loud. Itís going to be that night. Coach said that you talk about that environment in Cameron, and one thing he is proud of is that his guys kept their composure. You didnít see one kid talk to an official, and they stayed focused on the task at hand. That tells a lot about those kids. Roth said that he didnít think the crowd affected them. Coach said that the teams mentality needs to not be "Oh Wow, were playing at Duke", but we are going to Duke to just win another game.

Roth asked about Wake Forest after the break. Coach said that Levy, heís a very tough match-up, a terrific offensive rebounder, and a good defender. Strickland gives them terrific athletic ability, and Williams is a huge body. They play real fast, Paul from the baseline is one of the best guys out there. Downy and Grey are terrific players, and they play a lot like Duke. Coach said that we are spreading the court because these teams overplay so hard, and that works unless you have a "Princeton-esque" offense. Our four and five guys donít handle the ball that way, so thatís not an option for the Hokies, so we spread the court and drive the ball when the defense overplays.

Monday was day 67 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, day 122 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy, and day 60 of Virginia Tech's possession of the ACC football championship.

-- Phil


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