Tonight’s 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.
Bill Roth opened the show by introducing the head coach of the #4 team in the ACC, Seth Greenberg.
Coach said he’s 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,
you’re 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 women’s 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 1970’s.
Coach said that Coach Charlie Moir, Hokies coach in the 1970’s and 1980’s, was at the Maryland game
Bob in Richmond called in and asked how this year’s successes will affect specific recruiting opportunities.
Coach said that the benefits of this year’s season will proliferate in years to come, rather than this year’s 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 year’s 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 he’s really happy for Zabian, and there were some people that could have been selected over him but he’s
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 year’s 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 didn’t 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 he’s 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 it’s 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 haven’t started all season to knock them around. Those two kids take a beating, but
they are really good. The bottom line is it’s hard being those two kids. Chris Paul has overreacted more this year,
but it’s 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 doesn’t 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, he’s 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 that’s probably because they haven’t
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. It’s harder to double team Ra’Sean Dickey with the defense spread. They weren’t
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 didn’t 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 Elder’s 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 Collins’ return…pretty good. How many 8-8 ACC teams didn’t 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, who’s 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 don’t get in, it’s 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, it’s a joke. Coach said he’s 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 didn’t 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 he’s confident the Hokies season will be extended, and he’s 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 that’s nice, but these kids believe they belong, and they don’t settle. There’s a reason that Dowdell, Dixon,
Coleman, and Gordon have been successful, it’s because they practice extremely hard. You hope that work ethic rubs off
on the rest of your team.
- Monday was day 103 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, day 157 of Virginia Tech’s
continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy, and day 95 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the ACC
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