The Hokie Hotline (football and basketball season)
When: every Monday from 7:00-9:00 during football season, 7:00-8:00 during basketball season.
Click here 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.
Weaver said they have spent the last week preparing to go to the Gator Bowl. John Ballein is working hard to get the football operations set up in Jacksonville, and there has been quite a bit of administrative work as well. Roth asked Weaver how many Tech fans he thought would be in Jacksonville, and Weaver said he thinks Virginia Tech will have between 15,000 and 17,000 fans at the Gator Bowl on January 2.
Roth asked Weaver if he thought the loser of the ACC Championship Game should have to go right back to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl. Weaver said the Gator Bowl had the first choice and they wanted Virginia Tech. They have been very good to Tech throughout the years. When the Hokies went to Jacksonville to play Florida State, they treated it as a road game. The players didn’t have a chance to take part in any bowl related activities. Weaver said it’s not necessarily bad that Tech is going right back to Jacksonville.
Roth brought up the fact that good teams like Boston College and Georgia Tech are relegated to smaller bowls. Weaver agreed that those schools definitely deserve better bowls than what they were given. Schools that take fans get better treatment than others, and that could be what came into play with those two schools. In the winter meetings of the ACC, this will be a topic of discussion. Boston College finished tied for first in the Atlantic Division, and yet they have been sent to play in the MPC Computers Bowl in Boise. It certainly isn’t fair to the BC players.
The possible game with Wisconsin next season has not been finalized. Weaver was asked about the schedule next year, and he said one spot remains open on the schedule. It is very difficult to schedule teams, especially on short notice. And unfortunately a school Weaver would not name called recently and wants out of their future contract with the Hokies. Weaver said he is getting tired of it, and is going to start telling these schools to just go ahead and write him a check.
Roth brought up basketball attendance and all the unused tickets. Weaver said when the Hokies get into their ACC schedule the actual attendance will improve. It is difficult for many people to make weeknight games, especially people in the far reaches of the state. Weaver said they are going to work on a system where they can resell those seats. There are a lot of procedures involved, and it takes time. That will be a problem for the senior staff to tackle after the Holidays.
Greenberg said he is proud of his players for bouncing back with two victories after the heartbreaker at Duke. He looks at the second half of the Ohio State game, the Duke game and the past two wins and he sees that the team is making progress. The team is playing harder and more consistently, the team is being unselfish and they are getting to loose balls. The offense is executing better and the Hokies are spreading the court better and getting into the lane.
Greenberg said one of the biggest keys to beating St. John’s was beating their big men down the floor. The Red Storm had the advantage in size, but the Hokies were quicker and more athletic, and it showed on some fast breaks. Coleman Collins was the recipient of some great play by the guards, who would get penetration and then pass the ball.
Roth brought up Jamon Gordon, and Greenberg said he is a very valuable player. He makes other people better. He fills up the stat sheet and affects the game in a lot of different ways. He gets in the passing lanes, he rebounds the ball, he penetrates and passes, and he can also score. He has a complete game, and he currently leads the ACC in assists.
Greenberg said Wynton Witherspoon is getting back into the flow of things. He played harder for a longer period of time against St. John’s. He is still a little hesitant when pushing off his left leg. He had a great blocked shot in transition and he made a great extra pass to Coleman Collins on a fast break that was very unselfish. He is probably 70-75%. He plays with a great feel for the game.
Robert Krabbendam will start “almost” full practice on Tuesday, December 13. They are going to see how he progresses over the next two weeks and see how he is for the William & Mary game on December 27th. They’ll see how he is in terms of his quickness, his jumping and his ability to change ends of the court. If he can’t be full blast by William & Mary then he will be redshirted.
Krabbendam has his weight up to 235. If he redshirts, he’ll play next year as a sophomore at 250. He’ll be up to 260 by his junior year, and he’ll be a pro. “He has a chance to be that good,” Greenberg said. “He has great hands, he can shoot it and he has a great work ethic.”
Greenberg said it is important that the Stanford game is being nationally televised. VT has become a team that ESPN wants to put on TV. The more games you get on TV, the better it helps recruiting. The mother of one of Tech’s top prospects watched the St. John’s game and sent Greenberg a text message afterwards congratulating him on the win.
Greenberg said Stanford is a very good team. They are big and physical and some people picked them to go to the Final Four. They had a tough preseason with some key guys missing time with injuries. They have players who can shoot the ball and do the dirty work underneath. Greenberg’s biggest concern is that the game is at midnight. The time zone change will have an effect. They are planning on holding a practice on Thursday night when they get in town at 10 pm to get the players used to the late time.
Greenberg said Virginia Tech has very good players. Many of Tech’s players could play for most teams in the ACC. As time goes by and the Hokies get more television appearances, more people will begin to associate them with the ACC. Tech will get more good players in the future. Recent signee Jeff Allen is having a very good year at Oak Hill, winning MVP honors at a tournament in Kentucky. Nigel Munson (DeMatha) is a pure point guard who can deliver the ball. Lewis Witcher has had a terrific start to his senior season at Franklin County as well. A.D. Vassallo, Terrance Vinson and Cheick Diakite will be terrific players for Tech as well.
Stanford has a lot of depth up front, and that will be tough matchup for the Hokies. It is hard to deal with their offensive sets. Tech needs to be physical and rebound the basketball. The backcourt matches up well. They can compete with any backcourt in the country because of their toughness and experience. Power forward will be a tough matchup because Deron Washington will be giving up 40 pounds at times.
Billy Hite said Virginia Tech lost a recruiting week because of the ACC Championship Game. Everyone else was out recruiting while the Hokies were preparing for a game. Tech got back from Jacksonville at 5 am, and Coach Beamer, Coach Foster and Coach Ball were on an airplane by 9 am to go recruiting. Beamer was with Coach Cavanaugh on Monday night (editor’s note: they visited John Graves and got a commitment from him) and will be with Bryan Stinespring in the Tidewater on Tuesday. He’ll be in New Jersey with Kevin Rogers later in the week.
Hite said there is no reason for a running back recruit to overlook Tech because they have three good, young backs returning next year. The best tailback will play and it won’t matter what year he is. Also, the Hokies do a good job of getting their backs a chance in the NFL. Kevin Jones and Lee Suggs are currently in the NFL, Cedric Humes will definitely get a shot, and Mike Imoh could as well. Hite said Tech will try to sign two tailbacks and they have four on their recruiting board that they are in great shape with.
Roth asked Hite about offensive line recruiting. Hite said they got off to a good start there this year, and when Beamer travels north with Kevin Rogers he is visiting a couple of good offensive line recruits. The offensive line is the key to having a good offense, so recruiting at this position is extremely important.
Hite said Virginia Tech will match Louisville’s intensity in the Gator Bowl. The players were obviously very disappointed after the loss to Florida State, but they bounced back very quickly. They actually got over it quicker than the coaches and fans. Hite admitted that some of the coaches were still slightly down over it. There were a lot of tears in the locker room after the game, but they got over it quickly.
Hite said Louisville’s defensive front seven is very good. The team will start watching a lot of film later in the week. They have some guys who can fly to the football and run. On the offensive side of the ball, they have lost their quarterback to an ACL injury, but their backup is more than capable. They have good tailbacks and good wide receivers. They hung 68 points on North Carolina, so they are a very capable team.
Roth brought up the fact that in the last 25 games, Virginia Tech has not had their starting quarterback miss a snap because of an injury. That has helped the offense tremendously. Losing their starting quarterback can cripple an offense, and Tech has been lucky that it hasn’t happened to them.
Roth later brought up cornerback Rod Council, who signed with Virginia Tech but ran into some problems and is now starting for Louisville as a r-freshman. Hite said they have seen Council on film, and they didn’t miss on their evaluation of him when he was in high school. He is a very good player. Hite went on to say that defensive end Elvis Dumervil is outstanding and could start for just about anybody.
Ball said he was disappointed about the FSU game, but football teaches you that you can’t dwell on things and you have to move on. He is very pleased with how the group as a whole has performed this season. They have done a good job in the passing game and in the running game. They have done a good job of being team players and they understand that to win games you have to run the football.
Roth asked Ball what didn’t work against Florida State. Ball said they knew they had to make some plays when the opportunity presented itself, but they had to be patient. You always have to run the football, and the Hokies couldn’t do that. You have to be balanced, and Tech was one-dimensional.
Someone asked Ball why Eddie Royal didn’t have a breakout year. Ball said many expected that he would, but other players such as David Clowney and Josh Morgan really stepped up their games and there just weren’t enough passes to go around. There is only one football, and it’s tough to isolate just one guy in the offense. Royal became a more complete player this year. He is also a big team player.
Ball said he has a lot of talented players at wide receiver. And sometimes it takes a certain player longer to develop than other players. The talent is always there, but sometimes it might take a player longer to reach his potential. You have to play the ones that are the most prepared and are practicing the best. Tech has the luxury of playing the guys who are most prepared on a week-to-week basis.
Roth pointed out that Tony Ball used to coach at Louisville under Ron Cooper, who is now the defense backs and special teams coach at South Carolina. They have a new stadium and good facilities. Ball said he hasn’t had a chance to watch Louisville this week, but has watched them a few times during the season and they are a very good team. He also said Rod Council is a very good cornerback.
Ball said he wants Josh Hyman to increase his catching range to where he feels more comfortable catching the ball with his thumbs out. He also needs to continue to work on his speed. David Clowney has really stepped it up this year. He has a mental toughness that you just can’t teach. He needs to learn to run with better body control so he can better adjust to the ball.
Ball is coaching a very young group of receivers. They have made a lot of improvement since they first arrived at Tech. They have done a great job of blocking on the perimeter, and that is something that many people do not notice. But football coaches definitely notice it.
Ball said he wants his receivers to continue to learn the offense so they can execute better. He wants to feel better about moving them around so they can attack every opponent from every angle. They need to be flexible so a defense can’t focus on a particular player. Developing that ability will make the offense better.
- Monday was day 381 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup and day 437 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.