Tech Talk Live Notes for 12-12-11

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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.


Jim Weaver

Virginia Tech is a little over 9,500 tickets sold. One of the primary
reasons, if not the primary reason, Virginia Tech is in this bowl game is
because the Sugar Bowl likes Tech fans because they have travelled so well in
the past. Weaver realizes that we are in a downturn economy and the ball game is
on a week night, but they have to find a way to sell more tickets through the
school. The traveling reputation that Tech fans have spent years building could
be erased.

If you are a Tech fan who can’t go to the game, you can still buy a proxy
ticket through the Tech ticket office (click
here
). Those tickets will be donated to the military. Weaver is
asking the Hokie Nation to do everything they possibly can to get Virginia
Tech’s ticket sales up.

Weaver has no way of knowing how much the secondary ticket market is playing
a role in ticket sales. It has certainly affected the Orange Bowl in the past.
It has hurt Major League Baseball a lot.

Tech isn’t the only team in this situation. West Virginia has only sold about
6,000 tickets to the Orange Bowl. Michigan hasn’t sold their allotment to the
Sugar Bowl. Schools shouldn’t have to beg fans to go to the bowl games. Maybe
it’s the system. Maybe they need to take a look at the situation and change some
things.

Weaver thinks Tech will have 17-20,000 fans at the Sugar Bowl. His concern is
not that Virginia Tech won’t show up, but that Virginia Tech will have leftover
tickets in their allotment.

Weaver is pleased with how Seth Greenberg is bringing along a young
basketball team. He always does a good job of getting his teams to play hard.

Seth Greenberg

Virginia Tech is a work in progress. There are times when you see the good
Hokies. They’ve played a challenging schedule, and that’s helped the coaching
staff get a good idea of where they are as a team. They have to maintain their
intensity and competitive spirit for 40 minutes of basketball.

Greenberg would like to see the Hokies cut better and screen better. They
aren’t getting the ball into the frontcourt as quickly as he’d like.

Before Sunday’s game with Norfolk State, teams were averaging 23 points
against Tech in the first half. They were averaging 40 points in the second
half. The Hokies have to get tougher in the second half.

Overall, Tech isn’t guarding the ball like they need to be. They have too
many guys who aren’t stopping the ball. There are too many blow bys. The help
defense is late sometimes. They need to do a better job helping off screens.

There are definitely positives for this team, but they are playing four
freshmen and two sophomores. Tech’s experienced players need to give them more,
plain and simple.

This should be a really nice week of practice because the team doesn’t have a
game until Saturday. They can work on some things that will make them a better
team, rather than just gameplanning for the next opponent.

Erick Green was Norfolk State’s focus defensively. That helped to open up
Jarell Eddie for some shots, and he was able to knock them down. With room and
rhythm, Eddie is going to make shots. He’s got to get better at guarding the
ball in the halfcourt. Greenberg is very hard on Eddie, because he can be a
better defender. Eddie doesn’t understand that at this point.

You don’t discard players when you know they are capable of doing things.
Coaching is getting guys to realize their potential. Dorenzo Hudson and Victor
Davila have won games for Tech before, and they will do so again. This isn’t
blind loyalty.

Marquis Rankin is going to be really good. He makes Tech faster. He can guard
the ball. He sees the floor really well. He always pressures the ball, which is
important.

Tech is going to run some more screens, and try to get Jarell Eddie open off
some stagger screens. They are going to get Erick Green off the ball some, with
Marquis Rankin on the court at point. They are going to do some things for
Robert Brown. He’s got to get better feet. He can really shoot, but sometimes
his feet aren’t in the right position and he’s not balanced.

Greenberg is still working on the schedule for next year. They have an
opening for a made-for-TV game. He’s still talking to Bob Huggins about a VT-WVU
game.

Greenberg thinks it would be smart to not split the league into two divisions
in basketball. When there are two different divisions, you are competing against
each other for spots in the NCAA Tournament. One division might get four teams
in, the other might get none. It’s basically like two different conferences.

Greenberg thinks it’s important to move the ACC Tournament to different
spots. That’s important for building the ACC basketball brand. They can’t have
it in Greensboro every year.

Cornell Brown

It’s always exciting to go into the Superdome and play in the Sugar Bowl. It
was huge to go in that stadium and beat Texas when nobody thought the Hokies had
a chance.

Tech had a great season. There were many questions heading into the season,
on offense and defense, but the team went 11-2 and won the Coastal Division.
Tech has come a long way as a program. They expect to be fighting for the ACC
Championship every year.

The Hokies had an offense that scored and controlled the ball this year. That
really helped the defense, which was saddled with a lot of injuries.

Jeron Gouveia-Winslow was playing well before he got hurt. Kyle Fuller was
probably Tech’s defensive MVP, because he could play so many different
positions.

Brown believes that Jayron Hosley is ready for the NFL. He’s a big time
player. For a guy his size, he is very effective. He’s on a different level.

Clemson is a very athletic team. They just had Tech’s number this year. They
have a lot of seniors on their team on both sides of the ball. Probably their
biggest asset is their tight end, who will play on Sundays. They have four
senior offensive linemen. And their defense showed up to play for the two games
that mattered. The Hokies definitely had a target on their backs for those two
games, which shows how far the program has come.

Brown feels like the current team really enjoys each other. They enjoy
playing together. The senior class was excellent in providing leadership and
production on the field.

Kyle Fuller is going back to the secondary next year. Torrian Gray isn’t
going to give up a player like that to a different position.

Brown enjoys recruiting. He’s traveled from Pittsburgh to New York and New
Jersey. He gets to see a lot of players. In coaching, he gets to work with his
whips, the defensive line and throw around a little input with the secondary.

Losing the ACC Championship Game was depressing. You don’t want to get out of
bed or watch TV, but when you finally turn on the TV, you find out you are going
to the Sugar Bowl. It was a great consolation prize.

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is a smaller, faster Tajh Boyd. He
doesn’t have the receivers that Boyd has. He can affect the game in many ways.
He’s like the point guard on a basketball team. He’s going to control the tempo
and pace of his team.

Brown is going to do a lot of recruiting this week, and then get back to
practice and start focusing on Michigan. All bowls are important, but this one
is on a national stage against a big program like Michigan.

David Wilson

Finals week is going pretty smooth. His classes this semester are more about
final assignments rather than final exams.

It means a lot to win the Dudley Award and be the ACC Player of the Year. He
always sets high goals for himself.

Wilson was very excited to find out the Hokies were going to the Sugar Bowl.
He figured it would be the Chick-fil-A Bowl after they lost to Clemson. They
feel like they have been given another chance.

Wilson’s favorite run of the year was his touchdown run right up the middle
against UVA.

The Hokies have good players, great coaches and a clean program. If there are
any doubters about whether Tech deserves the Sugar Bowl, then they should watch
the game on January 3.

Wilson has been focused on the season since August. He’s doing his research
about the NFL. Coming out of high school, he just viewed college as a pit stop
before the NFL. But then he actually came to Tech and figured out how much fun
it is to play college ball. There’s nothing else like college football.
Regardless of what he decides, whenever he does move to the next level he is
definitely going to miss college.

Wilson involves his parents as much as possible in his decision making
process. They aren’t trying to persuade him in any direction. There are
positives and negatives to both sides of the question. He just hopes he makes
the right direction. Being a Heisman favorite next year would be a part of it.
So would making a lot of money in the NFL. Right now, he’s stuck in the middle.

For Wilson personally, he is very excited to play Michigan. He was recruited
by Michigan, and he watched Mike Hart a lot. They have a strong name in college
football. They are a legendary program.

The best part of going to bowl games are the bowl gifts. They get a lot of
great gift choices from the Sugar Bowl.

Playing in a bowl is exciting because you play a team you were never
expecting to play. This year for the Hokies it gives them a chance to get some
redemption for the ACC Championship Game and to close the year on a strong note.

Billy Hite

College football is a crazy game. Clemson had played poorly in their last
four games, and then they played great against Virginia Tech. Hite really felt
like the Hokies were going to win that game. They felt terrible after the game,
but then they felt so good on Sunday night.

Getting an at-large bid says something about the Tech program. Since 1995,
the Hokies have won more games than any other college football team. They don’t
need to apologize to anyone for this selection.

There was a sit down meeting with Wilson and his parents on Saturday. Wilson
loves Tech a lot. Hite thinks if a player knows he’s going to be a first round
pick, then he needs to declare. Coach Beamer had a lot of information for the
family to look at. They’ll make their decision after the bowl game.

Hite was in favor of Kevin Jones, Ryan Williams and Darren Evans going pro
early. He was not in favor of Shyrone Stith leaving. Stith wasn’t ready, but he
listened to Mel Kiper, who had Stith going in the late first round. As it turned
out, he didn’t go until the seventh round.

Hite called Kiper and told them that if Stith didn’t make the NFL, there was
no way his family was going to be able to pay for him to go back to school and
get his degree. He told Kiper he had no business rating Stith that high.
Fortunately Stith is doing well now.

Billy Hite was called up by Alabama Director of Football Operations Joe
Pannunzio about a week after Signing Day in February. He called to tell Hite
that Nick Saban had mentioned the Tech coaching staff, saying that he was tired
of dealing with a lot of the 4-star and 5-star recruits, and that they need to
start moving in the direction of how Frank Beamer and his staff recruit. That’s
a huge compliment.

Hite feels like Tech still needs to continue to develop depth on the
defensive line. They had a lot of injuries this year, and it’s always important
to have depth up front, on offense and defense. He likes what this team is all
about. If they can stay healthy on defense, they’ll be very good. Tech also has
some good young offensive linemen that are just waiting to step on the field for
the first time. Tight end will be a key position next season.

The SEC is benefited by the fact that the states in the south allow their
high schools to go through spring practice. Recruits from those states are a
little more advanced as a result of more practice time.

Hite doesn’t know new UNC coach Larry Fedora, but he seems to have done a
great job at Southern Miss. He has a seven year contract at UNC, which is fair
because there are going to be some penalties handed down from the Butch Davis
era. Hite, a UNC alum, is still upset about that, because he doesn’t think you
have to cheat to be successful at UNC.

Hite is still loving his new role on the coaching staff. He goes to practice,
he watches some film, but he doesn’t have as many working hours. He’s had a lot
of speaking engagements. It’s been great.

Hite is concerned about the number of tickets Tech is selling, but he still
has confidence that Tech fans will come through. If the Hokies want to keep
going to bowl games like this, they need to sell their allotment.

Michigan is a great program. Brady Hoke has done a great job with the team
this year. Their tradition is amazing. They have won 42 Big Ten titles and been
to 41 bowl games. That’s an incredible number. Their stadium seats 109,000. They
had over 114,000 people in the stadium when they beat Notre Dame this year.

Denard Robinson is a special player. He passed for over 2,000 yards and 18
touchdowns, and he also ran for 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns. Michigan was
110th in total defense last year, but they are up to 18th this year. The
turnaround has been amazing. That coaching staff has done a great job.

Monday was Day 2,571 of Virginia Tech’s continuous possession of the Commonwealth Cup.

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