Tuesday, January 26, 1999

Hokie Hotline Notes

I was able to catch about half of the Hokie Hotline radio show Monday night.  Not enough to create a whole Hotline Notes update, but enough to mention some things here in News and Notes.  In the first half-hour, women's assistant coach Tisha Hill was on, and then Bobby Hussey was on for the last hour.  I caught all of Tisha's appearance, and the first 15 minutes of Hussey's appearance.

Tisha sounded like she was the third stringer, because Bill Roth mentioned that Coach Bonnie was speaking in Roanoke, and assistant Joe Mathews was recruiting in Pittsburgh.   So Tisha got to be on the radio, and was a pretty good guest.

Evidence that the women's program is still trying to grow out of its infancy is presented every time Coach Henrickson or one of her assistants appears on the Hotline.   What evidence?  Well, whenever women's basketball is featured, inevitably, people associated with the program will call in (posing as "real callers," I guess) and ask questions that sound prepared.  That's not so bad, but when they start giggling and saying inside jokes with the on-air coach, that's when it gets a little silly and unprofessional, and you can tell it gets under Bill Roth's skin, seeing as how he's the ultimate professional.

Monday night, sprinkled in amongst a few "real" callers were Hokie center Kim Seaver and a six-year-old kid who I think was someone's little cousin or something (although the kid asked a good question that we'll get to later).

Anyway, during Tisha's segment, she held forth with the usual coach-speak ("one game at a time," etc., etc.), but she also revealed the following information, worth reporting:

  • The Hokie women are #12 in the latest USA Today coaches' poll, and #11 in the latest AP poll, both released on Monday, and #4 in the all-important RPI ratings.
  • Friday's opponent, Xavier, is 5-1 against Tech in the last six meetings, including 2-0 last year.  XU is 6-2 in conference this year, and will have a big crowd for Tech Friday night (I'm not sure, but I think Bill said they would be "sold out" - not sure I believe that).  Xavier has a great inside-outside game on offense, and can penetrate, which has been giving the Hokies trouble lately.
  • In response to a caller's question, Tisha said that Tech has six scholarships to give this year in recruiting, and five kids have already been signed.  The sixth scholarship is being held for a possible "JC transfer or a post player."
  • Meg Hunter, who hasn't played all year (I think), is "taking personal time off from the team."  Sarah Hicks is taking a medical redshirt year (in response to the six-year-old caller's question).

Most of Bobby Hussey's portion of the show that I listened to was discussion and rehashing of the Dayton and Xavier games.  The most interesting part was the news that Ace Custis, who recently signed with the Dallas Mavericks, will be shipped off to Greece to play basketball for four months.  With the strike-shortened NBA season, there isn't really an opportunity for rookies to play and develop this season, so the Mavs thought it would be best to send Ace to Europe to play.

The good news is, not only does Ace get his $100,000-plus salary from the Mavericks, he'll also get another $100k+ for playing for four months in Greece.  Not too shabby.   The team Ace is going to play for has a 25,000 seat arena and "great fans," and Greece is pretty crazy about basketball and has a lot of NBA-caliber players playing in their league, so it's a good environment.  I'm rapidly becoming a Mavericks fan for the classy way they stuck by free-agent Ace through his knee rehabilitation and the NBA lockout.  Kudos to the Mavs.

Another interesting note is that when asked about the recently-failed deal to play the Tech/UVa games on campus, Hussey replied simply that, "Coach Gillen had a lot to do with that."  He means that UVa coach Pete Gillen, much like Terry Holland and Jeff Jones, didn't want any part of Cassell Coliseum.

Bristol Motor Speedway Game:  Could It Actually Happen?

Bruton Smith, owner of the Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) in Bristol, Tennessee, wants to do something unique and record-setting:  he wants to host a football game for the University of Tennesee at the Speedway, which would draw over 150,000 fans, shattering college football attendance records.

A very likely opponent for UT, should the game occur, is the Hokies.  This possible deal has been rumored on the message board, and is being worked on by Smith, UT Athletic Director Doug Dickey, and Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver.

I haven't had anything to say about it so far, because there hasn't been anything concrete to report.  Jack Bogaczyk wrote an article about the possible game two weeks ago, but, no offense, Jack, the article contained a lot of fluff and not one single usable fact or quote.

Finally, an article that sums up the feelings and opinions of all parties, and does a good job of bringing you up to date on negotiations, appeared on-line recently.  The article ran in The Tennessean on January 23rd:

Smith proposes UT football game at race track - The Tennessean, 1/23/99

Sounds like Tech and track owner Smith are ready to go, whereas Dickey is a little skeptical.  If Smith is actually able to pull this off, I know Tech would bite in a second (twelfth game or not).  The exposure and the chance to improve our much-maligned out-of-conference schedule would be awesome.

Make it so, Jim!

Tech Notes

DSU T-shirts for sale:  for those of you who enjoy poking fun at UVa, and referring to them as "Dopey Scissors University," HokieCentral has just the T-shirt for you.  Funny?  Silly?  Stupid?  You be the judge - check out HokieCentral's DSU T-shirts, on sale now through February 7th.  Snag this one-of-a-kind shirt while it's available, so you can wear it to the Tech/UVa football game this (grrr) October.  Got a Wahoo buddy or relative whose birthday is coming up?  Buy 'em one!

The DSU T-shirt is the first of a series of special merchandise offerings here at HokieCentral.  About once a month, I'm going to offer unique merchandise for sale here at HokieCentral, apparel and goods that you won't be able to get anywhere else.   Some of it will be Tech merchandise, some of it will be HokieCentral merchandise, some of it will be inexpensive, and some of it will be pricey.  I'll try to offer a little something for everyone.  Got any suggestions for what you'd like to buy, but haven't been able to find anywhere?  Email me at will@hokiecentral.com with your ideas!

But rest assured, this is the last piece of DSU merchandise I'll be offering.   I think it's interesting and humorous, but too much orange and blue will give any Hokie the heebie-jeebies!  Shudder.

Members Only updates in the cards:  for you HokieCentral members, hang tight.  I've been a little sluggish with updates since Baby HC was born (although the A-line's recent "Tech and the MNC" column drew rave reviews), but I'll catch back up soon.


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