Tech Talk Live Notes for 1/24/11

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Tech Talk Live (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 see the show in person Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill in Blacksburg.


Kevin Dresser

  • Dresser has heard that Virginia Tech almost cancelled the wrestling
    program before he took over as head coach. The stories varied.
  • The coaching staff inherited a mess when they took over. They had very few
    athletes who were serious about wrestling. Most had gone to Iowa with Tom
    Brands. They knew that it was going to take time. The first couple of years
    were tough. Getting your butt kicked, especially in wrestling, is a
    humiliation.
  • The staff couldn’t wait to get past the first couple of years. They went
    to work recruiting, and after they got some good recruits, they have had
    some good results.
  • ACC wrestling is much improved. It used to be the weakest conference, but
    now Virginia Tech, Virginia and Maryland are all ranked in the top 20.
  • The wrestling program was in the right place at the right time, and the
    top floor of the new football locker room is completely dedicated to
    wrestling. It’s about 13,000 square feet of pure wrestling facilities.
  • The Hokies got it taken to them by Rutgers. Tech won’t be #3 when the new
    polls come out. Tech lost eight of 10 matches against Rutgers, and seven of
    those were by one or two points. It was actually pretty close, but the
    Hokies found out what it was like to have a target on their backs.
  • Dresser is proud of the team for responding the very next day and picking
    up a big win at Maryland. It showed they have some character.
  • Tech went to the national duals, where 16 of the top teams in the country
    participated. The Hokies beat Oklahoma State in their first match, then
    defeated Wisconsin, both highly-ranked opponents. They lost to #1 Cornell in
    the finals. Overall, it was a good experience for the program.
  • Competing for a national championship at Virginia Tech is a legit goal.
    Dresser didn’t accept the Tech job to finish 2nd. A lot of things have to
    happen, but the Tech program is capable.
  • The national tournament won’t be a team vs. team event. There are 10
    different weight classes, and any given team might only qualify six or seven
    guys to go to national. How those wrestlers do in the tournament will
    determine how the Hokies finish in the national standings. Dresser thinks
    the Hokies could get six or eight wrestlers to nationals.
  • Dresser thinks within the next couple of years the tournament format will
    change to a team vs. team event.
  • Tech will wrestle Lehigh on Friday night, and Lehigh just beat Cornell.
    Lehigh is very good, and it’s going to be a fight.
  • Chris Diaz (141) and Jarrod Garnett (125) struggled over the weekend, and
    they need to turn it up this week.
  • Dresser really likes Devin Carter (133), a true freshman from
    Christiansburg. He has really stepped up recently. He’s ranked 7th in the
    nation, which is very impressive for a true freshman.
  • Jesse Dong (157) won his match against Maryland in 29 seconds. He is one
    of Tech’s top wrestlers.
  • Tommy Spellman (184) had his career end with a neck injury, which is
    disappointing. He’s been a 4-year starter, but it’s the type of injury that
    they can’t fool around with.
  • David Marone (285) and Matt Epperly (174) have been wrestling well
    recently, and they need to keep turning it up.
  • Andrew Miller (285) is also on the wrestling team. The football coaches
    like him wrestling, because it helps with football. He can really move for a
    big guy. Dresser is trying to get him into wrestling shape. He’s a really
    tough kid.

Seth Greenberg (From Atlanta, preparing for the Georgia Tech game)

  • Greenberg joked that Dresser’s "good luck" text to him before
    the Maryland game gave the Hokies the motivation they needed. But that’s the
    great thing about Virginia Tech, all the coaches support each other.
  • Erick Green was named ACC Player of the Week. He’s playing with a great
    deal of confidence, and he’s earned that confidence. He’s got a great middle
    game, he’s defending well, getting deflections and making the right
    decisions.
  • Georgia Tech is very talented. Iman Shumpert might be a first round pick
    at guard, and Glen Rice, Jr. is having a very good year. Mo Miller is back
    in the starting lineup and playing well. Their backcourt is very good.
  • The Yellow Jackets have a very young frontcourt, but it’s a talented
    frontcourt. They are a team that beat UNC by 20. They are very good at home.
  • Georgia Tech is great off the ball screen, particularly Shumpert. They
    have a great history of guards in Atlanta. They have good guards and they
    are extremely athletic.
  • The Hokies have to take care of the basketball. That’s why they are
    winning. They are getting extra possessions because they are winning the
    turnover margin.
  • Malcolm Delaney is making all the right decisions, and even when he
    doesn’t score he plays well. Guys like Manny Atkins, Ty Garland and Victor
    Davila have given major contributions as well.
  • Manny Atkins is excited to play in his hometown, and so is Terrell Bell.
    Both were very good in the game at Georgia Tech last year.
  • Tech is shooting free throws, walking through some special situations.
    Then they’ll go back to the hotel and have dinner, then watch film. Having
    fresh legs when you are playing a limited number of players is very
    important.

Pete Hughes

  • Hughes was not only a baseball player at Davidson, but he was the starting
    quarterback for the football team as well. At the beginning of his coaching
    career, he coached 1-AA football at Northeastern. He decided to go with
    baseball because the job security is a lot better.
  • Last season was very satisfying a fun. Tech did a lot of things that the
    program hasn’t done in awhile. They won at Florida State and Georgia Tech,
    and made the national tournament.
  • Tech’s preseason started last week. They had great pitching last year, but
    they lost their entire weekend starting rotation to the MLB Draft. They have
    some young talent. Marc Zecchino has been around the program for awhile, and
    he’s had a great summer in the Cape Cod League. Joe Mantiply is a sophomore
    left hander who will have a chance. Patrick Scorggin is another option. They
    also have a couple of freshmen left handers who are very exciting.
  • Baseball in Virginia is good, and the Hokies have quite a few players from
    the Richmond area. There is good player development there.
  • UVA and Tech are playing well right now, and that makes it easier to keep
    the top players in the state.
  • Major League Baseball is Tech’s biggest adversary. They compete against
    the draft in recruiting, and keeping players on the team. Matthew Price left
    after last season, his sophomore year, to enter the draft. You are eligible
    when you are 21 years old or a junior, and Price was 21.
  • Tech has a really attractive home schedule this year. They play almost 30
    games at home. They will host six different teams who were in the top 25
    last year.
  • On Feb. 12, Tech will have Baseball Night in Blacksburg as a season
    kickoff. They’ve had Cal Ripken, Jr. in the past, and Billy Wagner will be
    the guest this year. He’s a southwestern Virginia guy who will bring a lot
    of interest. He just retired after the 2010 season after pitching his last
    year as the closer for the Braves.
  • There is also an auction at the event, with Tech merchandise as well as a
    lot of donations from major league baseball players. Everyone will get to
    eat at Bull & Bones, and leave with a nice shirt as well. The price is
    $75.
  • Hughes thought Tech had an Omaha team last year. To win a national
    championship, you have to get hot at the right time, stay healthy, and get
    lucky. South Carolina wasn’t playing good baseball at the end of last year,
    but they started to get hot against the Hokies and went on to win the
    National Championship.
  • The ACC will be like they are every year in 2011. They bring in high level
    recruits every year, and it will be one of the most competitive conferences
    in the country.
  • Tech will probably be picked near the bottom of the ACC this year. They
    don’t have the respect nationally at this point, but that really doesn’t
    matter until the end of the year. Hughes figures Tech will be picked 8th or
    9th, but he thinks they’ll be better than that.
  • Tech is blessed with a tremendous indoor facility. They can play
    simulating innings in there. Without that building in the last two winters,
    Hughes doesn’t know where they’d be with this team.
  • Hughes encouraged everyone to come out and see Billy Wagner on February
    12. He went from Division III baseball to the major leagues, and had a great
    career.

Monday was Day 2,249 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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