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.
Where: 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.
Greenberg began the show by saying that the Hokies got a good win on Saturday against a good Florida State team. They have very good balance on the inside and the outside. They have a number of good players. Tech did the things they needed to do to win. Greenberg is disappointed that they didn’t close out the first half very well, but they got the job done in the end. Offensively the Hokies got the ball where they needed to get it. Zabian Dowdell had good rhythm and took good shots. Markus Sailes gave them good minutes and Deron Washington played with a lot of energy.
Roth said that Virginia Tech and Clemson have played three games in the ACC and all three have been decided at the buzzer. Greenberg said both teams mirror each other. They are both athletic and a little undersized. Clemson has a little more experience with three seniors that play regularly. They are a very tough basketball team. They are coming off a great win over Virginia.
Allen Calloway will not play in his final home game against Clemson, but the coaches are trying to convince him to come out in warm-ups at least, just so he feels like he is more of a part of what is going on. Bob Ritchie has been a great walk-on. He made the team when they needed bodies, and he has made great contributions in practice.
Greenberg was asked if he thinks the NIT selection committee will seriously consider Virginia Tech if the Hokies finish at .500 after the ACC Tournament is finished. Greenberg said he hopes so. If you think about it, if the Bowling Green game had been called correctly, the Hokies would already have 15 wins and would already be guaranteed a .500 record. Greenberg said it is very hard to pick a field of 65 for the NCAA Tournament, and it’s tough for the NIT as well. The selection committee has a brutal job.
A caller asked about the status of Jeff Allen. Greenberg said he really isn’t sure if Allen will be here next year or not, but he will be a Hokie in the future. He will be a big part of the program. He is having a great year at Oak Hill. Allen is part of the program, and he will be a terrific player. He is a hard-working player.
Greenberg was asked if it was possible to play Nigel Munson, Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon at the same time next year. Greenberg said you can play Jamon Gordon anywhere. Against Florida State he was guarding Al Thornton at times. (Thornton is FSU’s 6-7, 208-pound power forward). Gordon got 16 rebounds against Clemson. Greenberg said that lineup of Munson, Dowdell and Gordon will probably be on the floor at times. It will depend on how quickly Munson picks up on things when he comes in. Greenberg said Munson was “a mailman.” He delivers and he makes plays. Most importantly, he is a winner.
Greenberg was asked about shooters on next year’s team, and if any of the incoming freshmen can shoot. Greenberg said Nigel Munson can shoot the ball, and Lewis Witcher can shoot it out to about 17 feet. A.D. Vassallo is a great shooter right now, and Zabian Dowdell led the ACC in three-point shooting percentage last season. The Hokies will have weapons next season, they just have to find a way to get them open looks at the basket.
A caller asked Greenberg about the day-to-day duties of the coaching staff during the offseason. Greenberg said there is no offseason in college basketball. Once the season ends, the staff is back to underclassmen recruiting. They also work on their individual workouts. The team is off until the Final Four, and once the Final Four is over the players are back to individual drills and weight training. They will also go through the tape of every game this season to get a feel for what they need to do better.
During the month of April, the staff will go on the road and recruit. They attend tournaments every weekend in April. They do basketball camps over the summer, and in July they go back out recruiting. Greenberg said he basically has no life, but he has a great wife and three kids. He is fortunate to have a great support system at home.
Greenberg was asked how he planned to improve the team’s free throw shooting. Greenberg said that they need to get their best free throw shooters to the line, and improve their other players during practice. It would be nice if they could get A.D. Vassallo to the free throw line. Greenberg said he has talked to Vassallo about his shot fake and drawing fouls. He needs to better understand how to create contact. Free throw shooting is definitely a concern.
Greenberg said Robert Krabbendam’s light bulb is starting to go on. He is really pleased with his practices over the past ten days or so. He had a heart-to-heart with Krabbendam about ten days ago, and explained that these practices are his games, and that he needs to go all out. He’s done a great job. The next step is for him to be a little more assertive defensively. He is holding his spot and turning and scoring on people in practice, which is great to see. He is throwing the ball out of double teams really well and he is fighting for position. He still needs to learn to challenge shots and rebound better.
Greenberg, who was on Jim Rome’s radio show on Monday afternoon, explained how he got to know Rome. He was doing a local show out of San Diego, and he is a big Santa Barbara supporter. Santa Barbara and Long Beach State had a huge rivalry and a brawl broke out in one of the games, which the Santa Barbara players started. The next day, Rome started blasting the Long Beach players on his radio show. Greenberg’s wife, Karen, called in anonymously to the show, and Rome hung up on her.
The next day, Greenberg had the Long Beach SID call Rome. Greenberg got a segment on Rome’s show, and ended up being on the entire show talking college basketball. From that point on, they became really good friends. Greenberg went to Rome’s wedding. Rome works very hard at what he does, Greenberg said; he is one of the hardest working people he has ever been around.
Greenberg compared coaching in Los Angeles to coaching in Blacksburg. He said in a big city environment, you can draw a radius around your school and just recruit in that radius. You’ll probably be okay if you do that. You can’t do that in Blacksburg, but in L.A., you also don’t have a fan base like the Hokie Nation behind you. In L.A. you have the Lakers, the Clippers, the Dodgers, the Raiders, the Angels, the Kings, UCLA, USC, etc. The passion that the locals have for the program is something that is very special in Blacksburg.
Greenberg said the neutral site game against Florida next year is not going to happen. Florida does not want to play the game. They are working on other games, and a possibility is playing Villanova in Atlantic City. They are also looking at the Wooden Classic in Los Angeles as a possibility. They will definitely be in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge as well, because the top 11 ACC teams play in the Challenge, and the Hokies have clinched at least 11th place in the conference.
Greenberg said he really isn’t sure what the Hokies will do from a scheduling standpoint next year. They will have a very experienced team. Do they create as challenging a schedule as possible? Do they go with a balanced schedule, with teams from #50-125, and eliminate the top teams since they will get plenty of them in ACC play? It’s a tough decision, and the staff will make the decision soon. Greenberg said they will play an exempt tournament again to get three extra games.
- Monday was day 451 Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup and day 507 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Black Diamond Trophy.