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Tech had a great practice on Monday, though Greenberg isn’t sure the team was
as detail oriented as he would like. The effort was terrific however. The Hokies
had a good film session at 2:30pm and the players were focused, and they just
have to get ready to play more basketball.
As the weekend started to take shape, Greenberg had a feeling of what was
about the happen.
Greenberg talked to Herb Sendek on Sunday night. Arizona State also didn’t
make the tournament. They discussed the best formula for making the NCAA
Tournament. Sendek is a very bright guy. He’s going to go back the last 10 years
and analyze every single at large team.
Each selection committee has a different personality. Last year the Hokies
didn’t finish well. This year it was their non-conference schedule. It’s
important to get a feel for the constants and then go from there.
Greenberg is proud of what the team did. They were picked anywhere from 8th
to 11th in the preseason, but finished in a tie for third and got the bye for
the fourth time in six years. They have a great year.
As of Monday night, Tech had sold just 1,400 NIT tickets. That’s not enough.
If you like this team and appreciate what they did, the best way to show it is
to come to the game.
A year ago, Penn State was 70th in the RPI. Greenberg didn’t expect them to
fall to 193. He can’t predict the future. They schedule games that fit their
budget, and they schedule games that fit their philosophy. They are going to
have to evaluate that in the offseason.
Maybe the ACC should go to 18 games. That would help each team get a couple
of extra good games each year.
Greenberg expects to get a really good team in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge next
year. Penn State will come to the Cassell. The Hokies will play in a tournament
in California that features some really good teams.
Tech has a chance to have three home games in the NIT. They have just one
loss in the Cassell this year.
Greenberg spoke to Penn State coach Ed DeChellis on Sunday night. Ed is a
great guy. He texted Seth a lot during the season and apologized for wrecking
Tech’s non-conference strength of schedule. Penn State was in a similar
situation last season. They thought they deserved the NCAA Tournament, got left
out, but went on to win the NIT.
Greenberg also talked to Bobby Knight, who is completely in Virginia Tech’s
corner. Greenberg joked that he can’t share that conversation on live radio.
Life isn’t always fair. You just have to move forward. If the players truly
want to make a statement, they’ll keep playing exactly like they played all
Tech is close to maybe scheduling a home and home with a very successful
team. It would be a good game. A lot of stuff goes into scheduling behind the
scenes. If Tech is going to schedule home and homes, they’d like to make them
made for TV events.
Seth has been in contact with ESPN to try and get a couple of more made for
TV games. They tried to get in the Jimmy V Classic, but couldn’t. They’d like to
get in ESPN’s 24 hours of hoops special. They are also in discussions about
something that would be very exciting against another very good team.
Some teams have bad luck with scheduling, other teams don’t. William &
Mary was 245 in the RPI last season. Maryland and Wake Forest scheduled the
Tribe this year thinking they were going to get easy wins. Instead, they got
home losses to a bubble team (W&M finished #58 in the RPI). That actually
helped their non-conference strength of schedule. Virginia Tech scheduled Penn
State, who was good last year, but they fell off the map this year. That hurt
Do you want to play William & Mary, or do you want to play Penn State on
national television? Greenberg would take his chances with Penn State all the
Greenberg posed an interesting question. If North Carolina had Virginia
Tech’s exact same resume, would they have been in the NCAA Tournament?
Greenberg is mad at Jay Bilas, who said on ESPN that if you didn’t make the
tournament this year then you were no good. That’s an insult to every player and
coach on every bubble team who watched the show and didn’t see their name on the
screen. Mississippi State was one rebound away from winning the SEC. They got
left out as an at-large. Because they missed that one rebound, does that mean
they aren’t a good team?
ODU is a very good team, and if ESPN chose to televise a Virginia Tech-ODU
game then the Hokies would play it. But Greenberg would prefer higher profile
teams in made for TV games. The team Tech might be on the verge of scheduling is
a much higher seeded team than ODU in the NCAA Tournament.
There are plenty of positives to playing in the NIT. You get a chance to cut
down the nets in New York City. You get more nationally televised games. You get
a chance to validate who you are. If you’re a competitive person, that drives
Quinnipiac’s head coach is Tom Moore. He was a UConn assistant for years. His
team is built with the same mindset as Jim Calhoun’s UConn team.
Tech has already done their scouting report on Quinnipiac, and they presented
it to the team. It really comes down to defending ball screens and playing Tech
Malcolm Delaney is human. He’s going to have bad shooting games at times. He
just didn’t make his shots against Miami. It’s bad timing, but it’s going to
happen. He’s a great player. Tech isn’t 23-8 right now without Malcolm Delaney
having a great year.
Same with Dorenzo Hudson. He played most of the year on a bad foot. Greenberg
didn’t want him to practice on Monday, but he came in and said “Coach, I
need to practice.”
Greenberg was really concerned about Miami’s zone defense. FSU and Wake
Forest really struggled against it, and they were Miami’s two previous
opponents. Tech got good shots against it for the most part. They just didn’t
make them. They made them early on, but they didn’t in the second half. If you
look at the tape, there’s no difference in Tech’s shots in the first eight
minutes and the rest of the game. They just stopped making them.
Greenberg talked to Frank Haith on Monday morning. He feels bad for Miami.
They won 20 games and didn’t make the NIT. They deserved to.
You have to schedule teams that will help your national profile. When Tech
first scheduled Georgia, that was supposed to be a CBS game. Obviously it didn’t
work out like that.
Greenberg has already talked to Tech’s rising seniors about the schedule they
would like to play. They are excited about playing a competitive schedule. There
still needs to be some balance on there, however.
Ben Boggs hurt his ankle on the last play of practice on Sunday. It’s a grade
2 sprain. He thought he popped it, but X-rays were negative.
Greenberg will be doing a chalk talk with the students on Wednesday. It’s
important to reach out to them and show appreciation for what they’ve done all
Tech has to rebound the ball and defend ball screens. Quinnipiac will pack it
in defensively, so the Hokies have to have patience offensively.
Monday was Day 1,934 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.