The Hokie Hotline (football and basketball season)
When: every Monday from 7:00-9:00 during football season, 7:00-8:00 during
for a list of radio stations, and to find the link for listening to the show on
the Internet (look to the right on the hokiesports.com page that loads when you
click the link). You can also watch the archive on hokietv.com.
Monday night’s Hokie Hotline featured men’s basketball coach Seth
Greenberg, athletic director Jim Weaver and head football coach Frank Beamer.
Conversation topics included Greenberg’s new freshmen, some major scheduling
news from Weaver, and how the Hokies will respond to the Miami loss.
Greenberg began the show by saying he isn’t sure if the Hokies are ready to
play, but they have to play. It has been the quickest and shortest preseason
Tech has ever had. They are starting the season one week earlier than usual. The
injuries to Robert Krabbendam and Wynton Witherspoon have set the team back
somewhat. But it’s the same for everyone in the season-opening NABC
tournament. They aren’t where they need to be, but that’s the same for
everyone in the country.
Greenberg said Krabbendam has a great attitude. He is 7-1 and he weighs 242
right now. He is going to give up his crutches next week. They aren’t going to
rush him back. They don’t want him to injure himself any further. They are not
going to set a timetable for his return. He’ll come back when he is ready. If
he is not ready by midseason then he will be redshirted.
Roth mentioned Wynton Witherspoon, and Greenberg said he was doing a great
job with his rehab. He may even be ahead of schedule. He had a great preseason,
and his light bulb was really coming on. He understands what it takes to be a
big time college basketball player. Last season he had no focus and no work
ethic. He finally began to understand in the offseason, and it was paying off on
the court before his injury. He is off his crutches and will begin conditioning
next week. They hope to have him back for the Morgan State game, but if not he
should be ready for Ohio State.
Roth asked Gree nberg about his junior class. Greenberg said they are a
special group. They are different players, they are different people, but they
have a great chemistry on the court. Zabian Dowdell is a clutch shooter. Jamon
Gordon plays very hard and is a great defender and rebounder. Coleman Collins is
a smart guy. He has his own column in the Collegiate Times. He scored 14 points
and had 18 rebounds against Sheldon Williams last season. He will graduate next
summer at the age of 19.
Greenberg says Collins needs to be a double-double guy every night. They need
for him to embrace his role on the team and to play well at home and on the
road. He needs to compete at a high level no matter who the opponent is. He
shoots the basketball well and he is a good rebounder. He just needs to compete
and focus for every single play.
Greenberg said the team, and the entire program, is still a work in progress.
They aren’t where they want to be. They are still feeling themselves out as a
team. They want to be a little more aggressive this year. Greenberg said they
need to be a better defensive rebounding team. The team must find easier ways to
score and continue to win the turnover battle.
Greenberg said he likes his freshmen. Cheick Diakite will be a fan favorite
because of the intensity he shows on the court. He has great upper body
strength, and his body is very chiseled for a freshman. He is 19 years old and
from Mali. A.D. Vassallo has taken a big step forward the last two weeks. He
missed time with an injury, so that set him back. He has played international
basketball and has a great feel for the game. He will be a very big contributor
to the program. Terrance Vinson is a hard worker, has a quick jumper and has
Markus Sailes is a guy who adds by not subtracting. He doesn’t turn the
ball over, he passes the ball well, and he won’t take bad shots. He led the
team in minutes played two years ago. His role might change this year, but he
will be a good player. He will be a good defender for the Hokies as well.
Greenberg said Deron Washington’s mother lost everything in New Orleans due
to Hurricane Katrina. Their house is still standing, but it is basically
destroyed. She is a school teacher, but the school she taught at is now closed
due to damage. She is currently living in Blacksburg to be near Deron.
Greenberg was asked about Diakite. He said he thinks he has a chance to be
special. He is just learning the game. He is very strong and fairly quick off
his feet. He has a rebounding and shot blocking mentality. They are working on
his running form right now to make him quicker. He is a little raw offensively,
but he will develop. He can be a great ACC rebounder and defender. His work
ethic is tremendous. Greenberg comes in to work out in the morning at 7 am, and
Diakite is always there on the treadmill when he gets there. He is very
appreciative of the chance to play basketball in America.
Greenberg was asked about recruiting overseas. He said they use the internet
and recruiting services. In the case of Cheick Diakite, the Hokies used
assistant coach Ryan Odom’s contacts. Odom had previously coached a player
from Mali when he was at American University. Virginia Tech placed Diakite at a
prep school, and he never visited anywhere else. Greenberg joked that when you
are in Mali, you don’t know the difference between Duke, North Carolina or
Greenberg said the NABC Classic tournament this weekend (the Hokies have
games on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday – see
the schedule) is an exempt tournament, so they get three extra games. They
are using experimental rules. The three point line is moved back slightly, the
lane is extended to create more spacing, and there is a charging circle
underneath the basket.
Western Carolina plays a lot like NC State. Their new coach used to be an
assistant at NC State. They will run a Princeton offense. Bowling Green is a
motion team. They will force Tech to be very disciplined defensively. Three
different games in four days concern Greenberg because of depth issues, but they
will be ready to go on Thursday night against Radford.
Virginia Tech will play Southern Mississippi in football in Blacksburg in
2006, on September 16. It will be a one game series. The Golden Eagles will
replace East Carolina on the schedule, who had an opportunity to start a series
with NC State. It was East Carolina who recommended Southern Miss as their
replacement on the Virginia Tech schedule. East Carolina’s 2006 game at VT will
be moved to 2014, and ECU will also make one additional trip to Blacksburg in
2015, making it a nine-game series.
ESPN is working to coordinate a Virginia Tech-Wisconsin series beginning in
2006. This would send Virginia Tech to Madison in 2006 instead of 2008.
Wisconsin would then make a return trip to Blacksburg in 2009. The trip to
Madison would replace the road game at Ohio next season.
(TSL Note: The Southern Miss game has been added to TSL’s Future
Schedules Page, and the ECU games have been moved/added. The 2006 Ohio game
has been dropped and replaced with a TBD. The Wisconsin games, currently
scheduled for 2008 and 2009, will not be changed until confirmed by the athletic
department in a press release.)
Weaver said ESPN has televised Wisconsin and Virginia Tech more than any
other teams in the country. Over the last ten years, Virginia Tech trails
Wisconsin by one telecast on ESPN. Wisconsin did not want to play Tech in 2008
because the game was scheduled to be part of a very tough stretch of games for
Weaver said he was approached by several officials after Saturday’s game
that were very impressed that the majority of Tech fans were still in their
seats late in the game against Miami. Weaver said despite the loss, the Virginia
Tech fan base was very impressive on Saturday night.
Frank Beamer began his segment by saying his team was disappointed, but okay.
The team played hard, gave great effort, but didn’t play very well. When
things started going against them, they just couldn’t get it turned around.
Beamer said he thinks the team might not have been paying as much attention to
detail as they should have been this past week. Beamer described the entire team
as “a little bit off.” Against a team like Miami, that little bit magnifies.
Also, Miami was really ready to play and they played great.
Beamer said the team can still accomplish a lot this season. They still have
a shot at a BCS bid if they win out. It will be important for this team to be
able to look back at the season and say they gave their best every week. So far,
they can do that. They must continue to do that.
Beamer said he thinks he could have done a better job of reminding people of
what was ahead. He said he was as confident as he ever was heading into the WVU
game in 2003, and he was as confident as ever heading into this game against
Miami. Things went Tech’s way against Maryland last year, things went Tech’s
way against Georgia Tech this year, and against Miami the Hokies were on the
other side of a game just going someone else’s way.
Roth asked Beamer about Marcus Vick. He said Marcus Vick was fine, and he’s
going to be okay. He must understand that not everything that happened was not
his fault. He was under a lot of pressure the entire game. Vick understands he
did some things that were not very good, but he will get better because of it.
Beamer said he believes his senior leaders have gotten the team back on
track. Jeff King, Darryl Tapp and Jonathan Lewis are doing a great job as team
leaders this year. People are looking at Virginia Tech to see how they respond
because of their tendency to go on late season slumps in the past. They must
overcome that this year.
Beamer was asked what Miami did to control Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi. He
said Miami was very experienced up front, with four seniors starting on the
offensive line. He also said that the Hokies were off as well. You have to give
Miami their due, but at the same time Tech could have done some things much
Someone asked if the outcome had a negative output on recruiting. Beamer said
it would not. He then went into a long speech about thanking the fans for their
performance during the Walk and during the game. The recruits were very
impressed with how the fans stuck by the team, even when things weren’t going
well. The recruits were able to see how Tech handles a loss, and that could be a
good thing. The coaches and players don’t panic after the game and they treat
things exactly the same as a win. Recruits notice things like that.
Roth commented that the Miami defenders were very tough to block. Beamer said
Miami is very talented. Their linebackers are big, fast and strong. They move
from sideline to sideline very well and they fill holes very well.
Beamer said he believes the attitude of the players is very good. The offense
and defense met as groups today, and the team seemed fine. The team will lift
all week, and will take Tuesday off. They will practice on Wednesday, there is a
JV game on Thursday, then take Friday and Saturday off as well. The coaches will
have extra time to prepare for Virginia during the off week.
Beamer said Eddie Royal’s hamstring tightened up during the game, and the
training staff was afraid to play him because they thought it might tear. The
doctors feel that with a week off to heal, Royal should be ready to play. Mike
Imoh experienced more swelling in his ankle after the game, and the off week
will be good for him as well.
Roth commented that at this point they don’t know where they will play in
the postseason, but there are a lot of possibilities. Beamer said there is a lot
of football left to be played, and things will shake out. The Hokies just have
to take care of their own business first.
A caller asked about Branden Ore. Beamer said he would be getting more reps
in practice because of Imoh’s injury. If he performs well in practice, that
could lead to more reps during games. They will just have to see how he
practices this week and next week.
Beamer was asked about playing Macho Harris on offense. He said they want
Harris to concentrate on being a good cornerback first. He is a young player and
they don’t want to throw too much at him at one time. They first must get him
ready to play on the defensive side of the ball.
Beamer said the special teams was close to making some big plays, but they
were “just a little bit off.” Darryl Tapp almost blocked a punt in a return
setup, Josh Morgan had a chance to have a nice punt return at one point, but he
dropped the ball. Brenden Hill had a chance to block a kick, but he didn’t
stay up field long enough. On another punt return, they had everyone taken care
of except the headhunter. The Hokies had two blockers on him, but they couldn’t
prevent him from making the tackle.
Roth asked Beamer about the new 2006 football schedule. He said Weaver does a
great job with scheduling, and it’s a difficult job. Southern Miss is a very
good football program. Beamer said he remembers when Bret Favre played the
Hokies when he played for the Eagles. Tech somehow managed to win the game, but
Southern Miss was a very impressive football team. They do a great job with
Beamer said he feels like Tech has a football team that can compete with
anyone. The Miami game didn’t turn out the way they hoped, but the Hokies
could have played much better. This won’t be the last time Virginia Tech gets
the opportunity to play in a big game like this.
Beamer was asked about Miami’s big run to start the second half. He said he
thought it had a big impact. Tech needed a big stop or a turnover. The Tech
defense had bounced it to a certain area where there was supposed to be a
tackler, but the tackler wasn’t there. Again, they were “just a little bit
Beamer was asked about the huge banner with all of the recruits pictures on
it. He said Tech didn’t organize it, but he believes it was some of Tech’s
fans who pay a lot of attention to recruiting. The athletic department is not
allowed to organize things like that when it comes to recruiting.
- Monday was day 346 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup, day 402 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy, and day 339 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the ACC football championship.