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Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
Monday, March 7, 2005
by Phil Noftsinger

Tonightís show featured Hokies head basketball coach Seth Greenberg and was broadcast live from Attitudes Bar in the Holiday Inn Blacksburg. Coach was very upbeat after the Hokies solid victory over Maryland at home on Saturday. The win lifts the Hokies to a two way tie for fourth place in the ACC with Georgia Tech, and provides the team with a first round bye in the upcoming ACC tournament.

Seth Greenberg

Bill Roth opened the show by introducing the head coach of the #4 team in the ACC, Seth Greenberg.

Coach said heís very proud of the team and the staff, everyone bought in and remained focused for a long period of time. Coach pondered the company that Virginia Tech finds itself in, with Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, and Georgia Tech all having byes in the ACC tournament along with the Hokies. Considering the preseason ranking of those teams, the Hokies are in pretty good company. This team was as resilient as they needed to be. They won some close games, but they were in those games to win. To see a healthy Dixon at the end of the season, to see Gordon bounce back and compete, to see where Washington was at the first ACC game and the last ACC game, to see the growth in Chris Tucker and Krabbendam and King, youíre amazed. The theme for the conference tournament is the "You're All In", meaning that it takes the whole team to win.

Roth asked about Zabian and Jamon sleeping in the Cassell after the Clemson. Coach said that the whole group played a great game, and that loss against Clemson was heartbreaking. We also sent some teams away from the Cassell with a heartbreaker too. Coach said that Clemson made some plays, and the Hokies were in the game at the end. We have said all along this is 27 separate entities and we had to move on. Coach said that if we defend and compete on the backboards we will have a chance to win the game. Offensively, the team really converted turnovers into baskets in transition.

Faye from Blacksburg wrote in, and asked why Erin Gibson of the womenís team did not receive the same presentation that Carlos Dixon received at the start of his last game. Roth said that the women do their presentations following the game and the men do it prior to the game. The timing of the presentations is up to each team's staff.

Kevin in Ellicott City, Maryland wrote in asking if the John Gilcrist six shooter incident was discussed during half-time for motivation? Coach said that it was not even a factor, the fans took care of that. Every time he touched the ball the fans booed.

JB in Cartersville called in and said that the coach is a stand up guy for defending Jamon Gordon, in that it was his responsibility to call the time out at the end of the Clemson game. Coach thanked the caller and said that the kids really fought their way back, and he was proud of the way they played.

Coach said that what has made our kids so confident in Cassell has been the environment that the fans have created. Coach said that the challenge was accepted by the students and the community has been unbelievable.

James in Indianapolis called in and asked how you plan for postseason play. Coach said that with great pride and pleasure. The team is going to the MCI Center with the expectation and desire to extend the season, and they have earned that opportunity. It will be terrific.

Paul in Forest called in and said that this year the atmosphere in the Cassell is as good as it was in the 1970ís. Coach said that Coach Charlie Moir, Hokies coach in the 1970ís and 1980's, was at the Maryland game

Bob in Richmond called in and asked how this yearís successes will affect specific recruiting opportunities. Coach said that the benefits of this yearís season will proliferate in years to come, rather than this yearís class. One of the questions from recruits has been is it just a football school, or will the fans get behind the basketball program with the same enthusiasm. Coach said that they have always said that the Hokie Nation is something that is very real, and we have taken Lane Stadium and moved it over a couple hundred yards and created one of the best atmospheres in the country. People want to come and participate. Coach said that in this class there is still a scholarship available for this yearís class and the team is involved with a couple good players. On future recruiting, the staff feels that current success is helping with those kids as well.

Roth mentioned the ACC All Conference team was announced today, and Zabian Dowdell received honorable mention. Coach said that heís really happy for Zabian, and there were some people that could have been selected over him but heís been a real contributor. This team is about the entire team though, not one particular guy. Roth pointed out that later this week the all rookie team and all defensive teams will be announced.

Charles in Richmond called in and asked what next yearís schedule looks like and asked who the go-to guy is when you need to have a shot to win the game. Coach said that the go-to guy depends on matchups. You need to have more than one, because the opponent will cover that guy. In the Clemson game, we had the ball in the hands of the guy we wanted to, and it just didnít go in.

Roth mentioned that Chris Paul, who hit the game winning shot last night against NC State, has been suspended for the first game of the ACC tournament. Coach said that heís the fastest player, and agreed that Wake did the right thing by making him sit. Coach said that Wake self-imposed the punishment, rather than have the league hand something down. Coach said that itís tough being Chris Paul, or JJ Redick for that matter. Everyone wants to get in those guy's faces and get after them, they are typically the smaller guys out there also. People are knocking them down and bumping them, and coaches are starting guys that havenít started all season to knock them around. Those two kids take a beating, but they are really good. The bottom line is itís hard being those two kids. Chris Paul has overreacted more this year, but itís a difficult situation.

Clark who was in the audience asked how it will be different preparing for the ACC tournament this year as opposed to the Big East tournament last year. Coach said that we played Rutgers a week before we met them again in the tournament. This time we are playing a team that was preseason #1 and expected to go back to the national championship. But the preparation doesnít change, regardless of who the opponent is. Today the team practiced broad based defensive tactics. Tomorrow they will do some specifics of a couple of sets that the Jackets run. Coach said they will add a wrinkle or two over the next day, and they will do some film work over the next couple days also.

After the break Roth talked a little about Georgia Tech, indicating that they were a team that was expected to repeat to the Final Four. Also, a team that probably has the most experience of all ACC teams, and a team that looks at this Virginia Tech game as a desperate win situation. The Hokies will be facing a very hungry team, and Roth asked the coach to size up this game.

Coach said that obviously GT is a team that had great expectations this year. They have the toughest backcourt in the country. Will Bynum is explosive off the baseline and had a huge game against the Hokies earlier this year. BJ Elder is a spot up, one two dribble, jump shooter, heís a physical player and solid defender. Up front they have a lot of options to go along with Luke Schenscher. They are one of the top defensive field goal teams in the country.

Roth said that they have had some trouble scoring recently. Coach said thatís probably because they havenít developed that chemistry they had last year, with the injuries. Last year down the stretch, they were very, very good. When you have guards that can make plays, and they bring Anthony Morrow off the bench and he can make jump shots. They are a terrific offensive rebounding team, and with Elder in the game it stretches out the defense quite a bit. This allows Schenscher to make plays. Itís harder to double team Ra'Sean Dickey with the defense spread. They werenít preseason number 1 for nothing. We need to set our defense and take care of the basketball. Coach thinks that they will extend their defense early to try and get turnovers. "We didnít shoot the ball very well against them in the last meeting, we need to do a better job of that." Overall the team is in good spirits, they are ready to play, they are tired of the "on the bubble/off the bubble" talk. They just want to go out and play.

Roth asked Coach to size up the Hokies' post season possibilities. Coach said that everybody has got a spin, but from his seat, 5-2 against those other schools we are competing against (1-1 against MD, 1-1 against State, 1-0 against GT) is pretty good. If BJ Elderís injury is a factor in considering GT losses, then so is Coleman Collins' cyst in considering VT losses. If you look at our RPI after Collinsí returnÖpretty good. How many 8-8 ACC teams didnít go to the NCAA Tournament? Coach said that a week ago we beat Duke and Miami, then in seven days we faded because we lost at NC State, whoís playing as good as anyone in the conference right now, and at Clemson in a freak, and we beat Maryland. We won three out of our last five, and in our league, winning three of your last five is pretty good. Over the Top 104 we have 8 wins. Coach said that the RPI has a serious virus. Roth said that the Hokies beat Maryland and yet dropped in the RPI. Coach said that if the Hokies win one game in the ACC tournament and donít get in, itís a farce. How are you going to take Georgia Tech and not Virginia Tech, which would be 2-0 against them at that point? If GT is in, and we are 2-0 against them, itís a joke. Coach said heís just trying to win another game.

Walker, a young Hokie fan (7 years old), from Radford called in and asked why Zabian and Jamon slept in Cassell on Friday night. Coach joked because they didnít pay their rent. They were so disappointed with the game against Clemson, that they just wanted to make sure they were ready for the game against Maryland.

After the break, Roth said that heís confident the Hokies season will be extended, and heís looking forward to seeing the team play this Friday.

Roth asked the Maryland coach after the game on Saturday, if he was surprised at how good the Hokies were, and he responded by saying that they never scouted them. They are as good as anybody in the league playing a 1-2-4. If you put Duke's Shelden Williams on the court with Tech's other guys, you get one of the Top three teams in the league. Coach said thatís nice, but these kids believe they belong, and they donít settle. Thereís a reason that Dowdell, Dixon, Coleman, and Gordon have been successful, itís because they practice extremely hard. You hope that work ethic rubs off on the rest of your team.

  • Monday was day 103 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, day 157 of Virginia Techís continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy, and day 95 of Virginia Tech's continuous possession of the ACC football championship.

-- Phil

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