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 he has not talked to the Gator Bowl people since last week, so he
doesn’t have any new estimates for how many Hokie fans are expected in
Jacksonville. He has been busy with other administrative duties, such as travel
arrangements. One Tech party will arrive on January 27, and another on January
Weaver made a confession and said on air that he couldn’t stay awake to
watch the Virginia Tech-Stanford basketball game this past weekend. Roth said
there were probably around 300 Tech fans at the game, which was an amazing
turnout. Las Vegas is a great city, and it is really a normal community when you
get outside the strip.
A caller asked if the ACC had a championship that is won by the school with
the best overall athletics. Weaver said as far as he knows, the ACC doesn’t
have an overall athletics championship. The Big East had the Commissioner’s
Cup. Weaver said he isn’t sure how the Hokies stood against the rest of the
ACC in all sports. Tech did finish 57th in the Directors’ Cup last year.
Weaver said he was recently informed that smaller sports such as lacrosse and
field hockey would count less in the Directors’ Cup standings in the future.
The major sports, such as basketball, football and baseball, will count more
than these smaller sports.
Weaver was asked how Tech’s facilities would progress over the next ten
years. He said Tech has two major projects on the drawing board that they hope
can be built simultaneously. First is a new field house that will be east of
Cassell Coliseum, on top of where the western most tennis courts now sit. The
second is a new basketball practice facility which would stand between the new
field house and Cassell Coliseum. New basketball offices would be installed on
top of the current practice gyms behind Cassell Coliseum.
Weaver was asked why Tech doesn’t play Old Dominion every year in
basketball. He said Coach Greenberg has a certain philosophy of scheduling. He
wants the Hokies to play televised games, and he wants to play teams from power
conferences such as the Pac-10 and Big Ten. He is trying to increase the
exposure of the program. You can get beat up in the ACC, and you need to make
sure you can get some wins out-of-conference to give yourself a chance to reach
Greenberg said it was really fun to help run a basketball program with his
brother. He said he was in awe of Seth. He is everywhere and he is constantly
working hard to make Tech better. He is as passionate about his job as any coach
in the country. He is such a great multi-tasker and he gets a lot accomplished
every day. There is no one out there who works as hard as he does.
Greenberg said the Hokies are about two seconds away from being 10-1, which
would probably put them in the Top 20 in some polls. They are capable of playing
at that level, but they are going to have to be better if they hope to finish
the season strong. The team has three more out-of-conference games that are very
important. After that there are 15 more ACC games, and they will all be very
tough. The Hokies have a lot of experience in close games, and that benefits
Roth said that Brad Greenberg handles the scouting for the Hokies, and he
does a great job. Greenberg said it is important for the players to understand
the tendencies of their opponents. They don’t get to watch as much tape as the
coaches. The Tech coaches try to give each player one or two things to look for
from particular opponents. For example, Coleman Collins was told that Stanford
center Matt Haryasz wanted to operate on the right block, and when he caught the
ball he would turn towards his left shoulder three-quarters of the time. This
type of scouting helps the Tech players to take away the opponents’ best move.
Even good players only have one or two great moves.
Greenberg said he is sometimes too honest about opposing players when he
scouts them. Seth sometimes gets on him and tells him not to downplay the
opponent. For example, Brad told Seth that Stanford point guard Chris Hernandez
was a good guard, but he couldn’t go to his left. Seth responded by saying
that he was the best guard in the Pac-10, but Brad said he wouldn’t trade any
of Tech’s guards for him. Hernandez and Haryasz played on the under-22 U.S.
National Team last year, but Greenberg said he wouldn’t trade Zabian Dowdell,
Coleman Collins or Jamon Gordon for them.
Roth asked how the Hokies are always able to come back in the second half.
Greenberg said the players are smart. They understood that they had to be more
aggressive against Stanford, so Jamon Gordon and others began to drive in the
lanes and dish to Coleman Collins. Deron Washington and others began fighting
hard for offensive rebounds. This is a smart group of players, and after they
get a chance to talk to the coaches as a group at halftime, they know what to
Greenberg has a lot of coaching experience in the NBA, and Roth asked him why
college basketball is better than the NBA. Greenberg said it was different, not
better. The NBA is unbelievable. The athletes are tremendous, and he said he saw
more great plays in his first week in the NBA than he saw in his first seven
years in college. It’s just a different game. People are under the impression
that there is no defense in the NBA, but that is not true. The defense is
outstanding, but the offense is just so good that it is hard to stop.
College is different because the players are younger and still learning. It’s
a chance to have more of an impact on a person’s game and life. In the NBA,
you coach them, or trade them or whatever, but they don’t want to be around
you except for a two hour practice session each day.
Greenberg was asked about his relationship with Seth and to compare it to
other coaching relationships. Greenberg joked that he could probably yell at
Seth more because he is Seth’s older brother. Sometimes they argue like
brothers in the middle of a staff meeting, and the rest of the staff thinks they
are crazy. Brad says that whatever he does, he does it with the full intention
of helping Seth. They are brothers and he wants him to have as much success as
Greenberg was asked which player was the best in the country: Adam Morrison
or J.J. Redick. Greenberg said he hasn’t really compared them. He thinks
Shelden Williams is the best player on Duke’s team because he is so hard to
guard and he is a big matchup problem. They are all really good players, but if
he had to pick one, he would choose Shelden Williams.
The team will be off until December 22. The team will be home for the
holidays until that date, and then they’ll come back to Blacksburg and get
ready for William & Mary. The attitude of the team is “excellent.” Their
spirits are high and they understand that they have a chance to do some really
good things this season. This is an unselfish team that makes the extra pass.
There is room for improvement, but the team knows there is a goal to shoot for
and they have a chance to have a season that they will really remember.
Beamer said he thinks the mood of the team is good. They understand that it
is important to just move on from disappointment, and to try and pick up their
11th win, which is a major accomplishment. Their goal is hang around the top of
the ACC every year, and if you knock on the door enough, sometimes you knock it
Roth asked how recruiting is going and what kind of a reception he is getting
in living rooms. Beamer said it is going well, and joked that receptions are
better in some living rooms than others. There are always some disappointments
in recruiting. They are far enough along in recruiting that they don’t need to
beg a player for too long, because there are plenty of other good players to
Beamer pointed out that signing a class that meshes well together is more
important than rankings and which other schools offered them. Tech found out
about chemistry the hard way a few years ago. It is more important to bring in
players who fit in well with the team concept. You definitely need some
difference makers, but they need to be a part of the team.
Beamer said his philosophy on offensive line recruiting has changed. He used
to think that recruiting a defensive lineman that is very athletic, or a tight
end that has a big frame, was a good way to find some quality offensive linemen.
That works, as Jason Murphy and Duane Brown are starters for Virginia Tech right
now, but the coaching staff has found that it doesn’t happen enough. You need
long, strong arms to play offensive line, so the coaching staff is now
recruiting players for specifically the offensive line.
Beamer said there is a lot to play for in the Gator Bowl. You just have to
understand that there just isn’t going to be a BCS Bowl every year, as much as
everyone wants that. There have been years where Tech would give a lot to be in
the Gator Bowl. Playing Louisville will be a tremendous challenge. There is a
lot to play for. Tech has a chance to finish in the Top Ten and win 11 games for
just the third time in school history. The seniors need to step up and make sure
the team is ready to play.
Beamer was asked how Tech will adjust to facing a very fast defense in the
future. Beamer said when you go up against a defense that is exceptionally fast,
you have to be able to run the football. The Hokies didn’t do a very good job
of that against FSU. The Seminoles’ secondary isn’t as good as Miami’s, so
they tried to take advantage of that. Marcus also needs to get out and run more.
There has been some space for him to run.
Beamer said Marcus is more patient in the pocket than Michael, but Michael
was able to make a lot of plays with his feet when he abandoned the pocket.
Marcus needs to establish a good balance of running and passing from the pocket.
That will make him an even more dangerous quarterback.
Beamer said Louisville is a very good team. They have perhaps the best
defensive player in the country in Elvis Dumervil, and their offense is
outstanding. The thing that scares him the most about Louisville is their
balance on offense. Their defense is underrated, and they generally give the
ball back to their offense with good field position.
Roth commented that the staff didn’t feel that they played as well as they
were capable in the past two bowl games. Beamer said going into the offseason
with a victory would be very important. Tech doesn’t want to endure yet
another offseason with a bitter taste in their mouth.
A caller asked about offensive linemen enrolling in January. Beamer said it
is good to get players at any position into school early, especially offensive
linemen. If they arrive in August, it is highly unlikely that they will be ready
to play as true freshmen. In the spring, the coaches have a chance to teach
fundamentals, and then the players can get a full summer of strength and
conditioning. And even better, the player can still be redshirted. There are no
negatives about enrolling in January.
Beamer said he really feels bad for Mike Imoh. Imoh will miss the Gator Bowl
because of surgery on his ankle and knee. It would have been Imoh’s final game
as a Hokie. He has worked very hard to become a good player, and has worked hard
to get over this injury. But it just isn’t working out. It’s better to go
ahead and have the surgery now so he will have the chance to work out for NFL
scouts in the spring.
Roth asked if the Hokies want to get back to running the football against
Louisville. Beamer said they did, and the reason they threw the ball so much
against FSU was because their secondary was weaker than their front seven. Tech
needs to be a good running team and focus their pass off play-action, with a few
regular dropbacks sprinkled in.
Beamer agreed that Tech took too long to get plays off in the no-huddle
offense against FSU. He said he spoke to Bryan Stinespring about it recently and
they hope to have it corrected. There were too many times when the Hokies were
trying to get the play off with just a few seconds left. That’s bad because it
wastes time, and it is also much easier for the defense to time their jump for
Roth asked Beamer if he anticipated any staff changes this season. Beamer
said never say never in this business, things change very quickly. If one guy
gets a job, and he is friends with someone on the Tech coaching staff, he could
easily steal him away from Blacksburg. Overall the Hokies have done a great job
in keeping the staff together, and right now it looks like it will remain
- Monday was day 388 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup and day 444 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.