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   Welcome to TSLMail #315 - Friday, February 1, 2008    
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Hokie Freshmen Logging Big Minutes
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com

It's well-known that Virginia Tech is playing a lot of freshmen this season. Six freshmen are playing significant minutes for the Hokies. If it seems to you that Tech is playing more freshmen than any other team out there, you are correct. In the ACC, it's not even close.

Take a look at the following table. As you can see, no one is approaching Virginia Tech when it comes to freshmen getting playing time.

ACC Minutes Played by Freshmen
Team Total Minutes Minutes
by Freshmen
% of Minutes
by Freshmen
Virginia Tech 4275 2223 52%
Boston College 3850 1385 35.9%
Wake Forest 3825 1204 31.4%
Duke 3825 1074 28.1%
Maryland 4225 1101 26%
Clemson 4100 1031 25.1%
NC State 4025 956 23.7%
Georgia Tech 3825 786 20.5%
Virginia 3850 711 18.5%
Florida State 4475 506 11.3%
Miami 4025 299 7.4%
UNC 4225 89 2.1%


Over half of the minutes played at Virginia Tech have been played by freshmen. It's not uncommon to look on the court and see a lineup of four freshmen. It's impressive that the Hokies are 4-3 and alone in third place in the ACC.

There are a number of impact freshmen across the ACC this year. In college basketball, it's common to see a freshman step up and play a lot of minutes. In the ACC, seven freshmen have played over 500 minutes this year.

ACC Freshmen over 500 Minutes
Player Team Minutes
James Johnson Wake Forest 568
J.J. Hickson NC State 561
Malcolm Delaney Virginia Tech 550
Kyle Singler Duke 525
Jeff Teague Wake Forest 521
Jeff Allen Virginia Tech 520
Rakim Sanders Boston College 509
*Hank Thorns is 8th in minutes played for freshmen,
with 478 minutes


Jeff Allen is averaging 27.4 minutes per game this year. If he had played 27 minutes per game in the two games he was suspended, he would have 574 minutes this year, tops amongst freshmen in the ACC. That would give the Hokies two of the top four freshmen in the ACC in minutes played, had Allen not been suspended. As it stands now, they've still got two of the top seven, with Malcolm Delaney a strong third overall.

Hank Thorns is very close to being included. There are three more freshmen that have played between 400 and 500 minutes this year. They are: Biko Paris of BC (419 minutes), Demontez Stitt from Clemson (465 minutes) and Hank Thorns of VT (478 minutes). Thorns is very close to that 500 minute mark, and as it stands now the Hokies have three of the top eight freshmen in the conference in minutes played.

J.T. Thompson is only fourth in minutes played by freshmen at Virginia Tech (327 minutes), but that's still more minutes than any freshman who plays for UNC, Miami, Florida State, Virginia and Georgia Tech. He would be second in minutes played for Duke, Maryland and NC State.

Some of Virginia Tech's freshmen have some impressive individual accomplishments this year as well.

  • Jeff Allen is 23rd in scoring (12.5 ppg) and 5th in rebounding (7.9 rpg) in the ACC. He is also 4th in steals (2.11 spg).
  • Allen is 4th in the ACC in field goal percentage (51.6%, min. of 5 made field goals per game)
  • Allen is 3rd in defensive rebounds, averaging 5.63 per game.
  • Malcolm Delaney is 10th in the ACC in assists per game (3.29 apg). He is 4th in the ACC in free throw shooting in conference games (25-of-28, 89.3%)
  • Delaney is also shooting 47.4% from three-point range in ACC play.
  • Hank Thorns is 5th in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.81). Delaney is 9th with a mark of 1.60.
  • The Hokies have had five freshmen score in double figures in at least one ACC game (Thorns, Delaney, Allen, Thompson, Hudson). Terrell Bell just missed being included with a nine-point performance against Duke.

We're only a little over halfway through the first year of their careers, but this is as good a start as anyone could reasonably hope for from Tech's fabulous freshmen class.

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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Virginia

February 1, 2008
Virginia Tech goes for a season sweep of in-state rival UVA when the teams meet in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. The Hokies won the first meeting 70-69 in Charlottesville on a Deron Washington running layup in overtime, and the teams split their two games last season.
more

Dunn Discusses Final Official Visit
February 1, 2008
Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) wide receiver Randall Dunn returned home last night from what will be the final official visit he makes before announcing his college choice. The 6-3, 215-pound standout made an official visit to the University of Virginia on Wednesday and Thursday and took some time to discuss the visit as well as his impending decision.
more

Virginia Tech is Demler's "Dream School"
January 31, 2008
The Hun School (Princeton, N.J.) place-kicker/punter Scott Demler had visited Virginia Tech one time prior to the official visit he made last weekend. The first visit came last summer, shortly after the 6-1, 190-pound prospect attended camp at James Madison University. As soon as he arrived in Blacksburg, he knew then that Virginia Tech was where he wanted to go.
more

Class of '09 Profile: RB/CB Damien Thigpen
January 31, 2008
The other half of Stonewall Jackson High School's (Manassas, VA) dynamic running back duo turned in a solid performance at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Junior Combine earlier this month. While it wasn't his best showing, 5-9 speedster Damien Thigpen did post one of the faster 40-yard dash times at the event.
more

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 1/30/08
January 31, 2008
Yesterday evening, host Len Martez and TSL's Chris Coleman reviewed the week in Tech basketball and previewed this Saturday's game against Virginia. They also discussed some football, including the commitment of Joe Jones and the outlook for next year. (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.6 MB, 15:21).
more

Green a Savvy, Determined Point Guard
January 31, 2008
Millbrook (Winchester, VA) junior Erick Green ended his recruitment last Friday, announcing his commitment to Virginia Tech. The 6-2, 170-pound standout, who also had been offered by George Mason, James Madison and St. Joseph's, felt he found the right fit in Blacksburg. And Hokies head coach Seth Greenberg may have found his future point guard.
more

Tech Scores Commitment #28
January 30, 2008
Virginia Tech has struck again in the state of Virginia. This morning, Virginia Tech scored commitment #28 in the 2008 class, with twenty of the 28 verbal commitments hailing from the state of Virginia. Who is the latest member of this highly regarded recruiting class?
more

Hokies Smack Florida State, Creep Up in ACC Standings
January 30, 2008
Virginia Tech jumped on Florida State early and never let up, downing the 'Noles 89-80 in a long, foul infested game in Cassell Coliseum on Tuesday night. An early 18-2 run gave the Hokies a huge lead, and FSU could never catch up despite a hot shooting second half. Tech improved to 13-8 overall and 4-3 in the ACC. They are now in fourth place in the conference. With a Boston College loss at UNC on Thursday night, the Hokies would be in sole possession of third place.
more

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Florida State
January 29, 2008
Fresh off a road win at Boston College on Saturday, Virginia Tech returns home to take on Florida State in a big conference matchup on Tuesday night. The Seminoles are coming off a tough home loss to NC State, but the race to see who can finish highest behind Duke and UNC is still on. They are still squarely in the mix, and stealing an ACC win on the road would mean quite a bit.
more

Hokie Hotline Notes for 1/28/08
January 29, 2008
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Monday night, Tech men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg reviewed the road win over Boston College, talked about J.T. Thompson and Jeff Allen, and previewed the matchup with Florida State tonight at 9 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum.
more

One More Visit for Marcus Davis
January 29, 2008
Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) star Marcus Davis has one more official visit left - he heads to Morgantown this weekend to visit West Virginia University - before he will make his college choice. Dolphins head coach Jim Prince believes all five finalists - Connecticut, North Carolina, Penn State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia - remain in contention.
more

Big Win in Beantown Puts Hokies in Good Position
January 28, 2008
From where I sit, Saturday's victory over Boston College was the most important win of the season for the Hokies. It was also the most unexpected, and by grabbing a big win on the road, the Hokies have closed out a tough early portion of the ACC schedule in great shape for the six-week stretch run of the season.
more

Decision Time for Taylor
January 28, 2008
After making an official visit to Virginia Tech this past weekend, Beaufort (S.C.) star defensive end Devin Taylor has now taken all five allotted official visits. The next step for the 6-6, 220-pound prospect is to make a decision, and one could come by the end of this week. The finalists include Duke, N.C. State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
more

Around the ACC: January 28th, 2008
January 28, 2008
We're a little less than halfway through the ACC schedule, and one thing is clear. Duke and UNC are at the top of the conference, and everyone else is fighting for third place. This is how it was when we grew up watching the ACC. This year, there are no Cinderellas. There are about eight teams behind Duke and UNC with a legit shot to finish third. It's going to be a battle down to the final weekend.
more

Dunn Expects to Decide on Signing Day
January 28, 2008
Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) wide receiver Randall Dunn, one of the hottest remaining targets in the state of Virginia, made what was his third official visit this past weekend when he went to the University of North Carolina. The 6-3, 215-pound Dunn used one word to describe his overall experience in Chapel Hill.
more

Highland Springs Standout Returns to Blacksburg
January 27, 2008
Almost five months after making a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech, Highland Springs (VA) defensive lineman Antoine Hopkins finally made his official visit to Blacksburg. He enjoyed everything about the experience, but admits that there was one major highlight.
more

Resilient Hokies Pull Out an Overtime Win at BC
January 26, 2008
In a game that few people were giving them a chance to win, Virginia Tech went on the road and knocked off Boston College 81-73 in overtime, denying the Eagles a share of second place in the ACC. For the second game in a row the Hokies were without Jeff Allen, but a great team effort got them the victory. Tech is now 12-8 overall and 3-3 in ACC play. The Eagles dropped to 12-6 and 3-2 in conference play.
more

Report: Millbrook's Green Commits to Hokies
January 26, 2008
According to a report in the Winchester Star, 6-2, 175-pound junior point guard Erick Green has given a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech. The Millbrook (Winchester, VA) star made his decision known last night, just before his team's 64-46 win over Handley.
more
 
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