News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Monday, July 14, 2003
by Will Stewart,

Jim Davis to Redshirt This Fall

Rising senior defensive end Jim Davis is going to redshirt this fall. Davis tore a pectoral muscle last fall, had it operated on in late March/early April of this year, and is still trying to recover from the surgery. Since Davis still has a redshirt year available to him, he's going to take it.

While the news is bad for Davis, a Highland Springs (Richmond, VA) graduate who prepped a year at Fork Union, it's somewhat good news for the Virginia Tech defense, at least long-term. Davis, Nathaniel Adibi, and Cols Colas are all going to be seniors this fall (Adibi and Colas are redshirt-seniors), and that would have meant the loss of all three after the 2003 season.

The Hokies suffered a similar loss in DE personnel after the 1999 season, when Corey Moore, John Engelberger, and Chris Cyrus all graduated. Tech had to play three freshmen (Adibi, Davis, Colas) and a green sophomore (Lamar Cobb) in 2000, and the lack of rush from the young DE's compromised the 2000 defense.

Colas and Adibi are both listed at the "stud" defensive end spot for the time being, but with the loss of Davis, the projected starter at the "end" spot, it's likely that Adibi will move to end and start opposite Colas. Behind the duo of Colas and Adibi, the Hokies will have true sophomore Darryl Tapp (at end) and redshirt freshman Noland Burchette (at stud).

Beyond that, in the three-deep, the Hokies will take a look at true freshmen Chris Ellis and Michael Brown, and one may figure in as the fifth defensive end in 2003. Rising junior Bob Ruff is also in the mix, but coaches' comments on don't project him as being part of the two-deep rotation.

With Davis returning in 2004, he'll anchor the defensive end spot and will provide seniority and leadership for Tapp, Burchette, Ellis, Brown, and Ruff. From that point on, depending upon possible redshirts for Ellis, Brown, and even Tapp (in case of injury), the Hokie coaches will have a lot of options for spacing players out.

If the Tech coaching staff plays their cards right, they won't lose three defensive ends to graduation at the same time any time soon, and they'll have a steady pipeline of defensive ends of varying levels of experience.

VT Defensive Ends (Without Regard to Position)







Colas (r-Sr.),
Adibi (r-Sr.)

Ruff (Jr.)

Tapp (So.)

Burchette (r-Fr.)


Davis (r-Sr.)
Ruff (Sr.)

Tapp (Jr.)

Burchette (r-So.)

Brown (r-Fr.?)
Ellis (r-Fr.?)


Tapp (Sr.)

Burchette (r-Jr.)

Brown (r-So.?)
Ellis (r-So.?)


Notes: Bob Ruff may not figure in the two-deep; either Michael Brown or Chris Ellis may not redshirt in 2003, putting one of them in Burchette's class with regards to eligibility.

In the short-term, an injury will impact depth at the position. Tech usually rotates four DE's on a regular basis, and this fall, if one of them gets hurt, they'll have to dip into their #5 defensive end or go with a three-man rotation, neither of which is optimal.

Tech Women to Host NCAA Subregionals in 2004

One big piece of women's basketball news that slipped under the radar during the ACC expansion crescendo is that Virginia Tech has been selected as one of 16 host sites for rounds 1 and 2 of the 2004 Women's NCAA Tournament. 40 schools bid to be host sites, so this was a nice "get" for Virginia Tech.

What this means, in simple terms, is that if VT makes the NCAA's, they'll get to play in Cassell Coliseum, because if a host school makes the tournament, they get to play on their home floor, no matter how low their seed is. Last year, for example, ODU was a host site, and the Lady Monarchs, with a #12 seed, got to play at home.

Last year was the first year for predetermined host sites. Prior to that, the top four seeds in each region got to host the first two rounds. VT's only chance to host a subregional under those rules came in 1999, when they made the NCAA Tournament as a #4 seed. The Hokies beat St. Peter's 73-48 and Auburn 76-61 in front of crowds of 10,052 and 9,812, respectively.

Tech's chances to make the NCAA's next year are very, very good. The Hokies return seven of their top eight scorers, including top scorer, top rebounder, and All-Big East second-teamer Ieva Kublina (15 points, 7.4 rebounds per game). The Hokies also bring back third-leading scorer and assist leader Carrie Mason, who set a Tech record for assists by a freshman with 106 and made's Freshman All-America team as an honorable mention selection.

The Hokies lose only second-leading scorer Chrystal Starling and point guard Emily Lipton, but they bring back center Erin Gibson (9.7 ppg, 7 rpg) and rising sophomores Kerri Gardin and Dawn Chriss, the two most highly-hyped members of last year's well-regarded recruiting class. Gardin (4.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and Chriss (3.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg) both came on strong late last season as freshmen.

To earn the designation as a host site, the Hokies only had to guarantee total attendance of 6,500 fans for both days of play. Needless to say, if Tech makes the tournament and plays in Blacksburg, they'll blow that guarantee away.

Tickets for the first-round doubleheader will cost $15, and for the second-round game, they'll cost $10. Kids and Tech students will be able to get two-day packages for $10, but adults will have to pay the full cost of $25 for a two-day package. The games will be hosted on March 20th or 21st (first round games) and March 22nd or 23rd (second-round game).


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