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.
Roth asked Greenberg about the officiating problems in the Duke-Florida State game over the weekend. All three officials were suspended for one game when it was deemed that the technical foul they called on FSU’s Alexander Johnson was not necessary. Greenberg said he didn’t see the play so he has no opinion, but all three officials involved are good officials. He would take them for any game. It’s unfortunate that it came to this. It was a statement by the ACC that all games are pivotal right now, and they need to be called correctly.
Greenberg said the officials were correct on Saturday night when they determined that Wynton Witherspoon was passing the ball when he was fouled, rather than shooting. Witherspoon missed the front end of the one-and-one. Instead of staying with his shot when he got bumped, he tried to pass it off to Coleman Collins.
A caller asked why each coach in the ACC wants the other conference teams to be good. Greenberg said that if each team is good, it raises your strength of schedule, and if you win games, it raises your RPI as well. That gives you a better chance of making postseason play at the end of the season. Greenberg said he believes the ACC is the best conference in the nation. There are no easy outs in ACC play.
Greenberg said that Markus Sailes committed two fouls on BC’s last possession. They had a foul to give, so they decided to give it. Sailes just gave the foul too soon. They wanted to foul BC late in their possession so they would have to inbound with just a few seconds left on the clock. This would force them to hurry their offense and hopefully they wouldn’t be able to get off a very good shot.
Greenberg said the one thing he wished he could do over is to play zone on BC’s last possession. They might have made a shot, or they might have gotten an offensive rebound, but he would still have liked to have seen how it would have played out. His real concern was rebounding, and that is why the Hokies played man-to-man on the last possession. They had gotten offensive rebounds on their previous two possessions.
Coleman Collins returned to Virginia Tech this week because if he missed another week of classes he was going to get some incompletes, according to Greenberg. Collins is a terrific student who is going to graduate in May in three years, at the age of 19. This summer he will begin taking graduate level classes. Greenberg said he would like for Collins to rebound the ball a little better and to be more aggressive, but it is tough to be very demanding of him right now. We’ll see the best of Coleman Collins next season.
Clemson is a team that is similar to Virginia Tech. They play a little undersized, they are quick, and they lead the ACC in steals. Vern Hamilton is an outstanding defender. They are very good with their pressure defense. It will be a tremendous challenge for Tech’s backcourt.
Coach Greenberg then took recruiting questions, one of which came from TSL’s own Will Stewart. He asked about recruiting in New York and if Tech is going to focus on that region, given the coaching staff’s background in that area. Greenberg said they definitely recruit New York. They have contacts in New York. With the success of the Big East this year, it is a little more difficult than usual, just like going into Maryland with Georgetown being so good is difficult. They are involved with several prospects from New York, but they have to pick their spots. You probability aren’t going to beat Syracuse and Uconn for a New York kid. Greenberg said they can’t take a New York kid just to take one. He has to be someone who will succeed, because when he leaves Virginia Tech, he will then be Tech’s best recruiter in that area.
Greenberg was also asked why Tech hasn’t recruited many Virginia players over the years. Tyrese Rice, Vern Hamilton and J.J. Redick are all Virginia players who went out-of-state to other ACC schools. Greenberg said they got a good one coming in next year in Lewis Witcher. He is the best player in this region since J.J. Redick. They did not have a scholarship available for Tyrese Rice. The coaching staff tried to get him to wait to decide, but he made his decision to attend BC before Marquie Cooke left Tech and a scholarship opened up. But A.D. Vassallo is a Virginia product, by way of Puerto Rico of course. Lewis Witcher is one of the top two players in Virginia this year.
Greenberg said the ACC is allowing Virginia Tech to expand recruiting. They can recruit in areas like California now. They are trying to move into the state of Ohio. Recruiting is going well, but it’s a process.
A caller asked Greenberg how long it takes to build depth at the ACC level. Greenberg said it’s tough, but Tech is definitely getting there. Just take a look at the roster right now. Tech is playing sophomores in Wynton Witherspoon and Deron Washington, and freshmen A.D. Vassallo and Cheick Diakite. The Hokies do not play a single senior. Tech is developing depth, and with Robert Krabbendam and Terrance Vinson coming back from injuries next year, and more freshmen thrown into the mix, the Hokies should have a lot more bodies.
Roth pointed out that Clemson is a very dangerous team. Vernon Hamilton has 13 games with three or more steals, and he leads the ACC in steals per game. He also leads Clemson in scoring. Shawan Robinson leads the ACC in free throw percentage at 93.3%. Robinson is apparently the only player on their team that can shoot free throws. If you take him off their team, their percentage is probably barely above 50%.
Greenberg said Clemson has some perimeter guys that can shoot the ball, but they are struggling right now. You just hope they don’t get it going against you. Their best offense right now is off offensive rebounds. Sam Perry can really get to the glass. He is very hard to block out. They also force a lot of turnovers. Vern Hamilton is as good an on-ball defender as Jamon Gordon. Virginia Tech mirrors Clemson right now, except the Tigers have a couple of seniors.
- Monday was day 430 Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup and day 486 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.