Ernest Eugene (Assistant AD, Sports Medicine, Basketball)
Injury prevention is the #1 priority. They do injury screening as soon as new players arrive on campus, and they they develop an injury prevention program for them. The hope is that when they get to November, they aren’t dealing with injuries.
It’s important for Tech’s players to stay as focused on injury prevention in the offseason as they do during the season.
Eugene worked with the Wizards before joining Buzz Williams. That’s where he developed his niche as far as injury prevention goes.
At major college programs, you’ll see trainers and medical staffs doing the exact same thing. If they aren’t, they are probably behind the times.
The trust factor starts at day one, not after they get hurt. It has to start when they arrive, or when they are being recruited.
David Jackson is really critical in the whole process. You can’t have a training staff and a strength staff that are going in opposite directions. He and Jackson are always moving in the same direction.
Devin Johnson (Director of Player Personnel)
Johnson’s #1 role is managing the time of everyone in the program, including coaches and players.
There’s a lot that the fans don’t see that the players go through. For example, on Sunday they had a shoot around in the morning, then they had lunch. Then they had a Buzz’s bunch function. Then they got taped by the trainers. Then they played the game. After the game, they had a study hall.
Team Synced is an app-based program. The players can see their schedule on their phone anytime they want to. They can receive video, they can group message, etc.
It can be difficult for student athletes to manage their time. College is a lot different from high school. There isn’t much free time. Buzz Williams always tries to teach them how to make every second count.
Another thing Johnson helps with is community support. The players are heavily involved with local schools, etc.
Johnson has been with Buzz Williams since his New Orleans days. He hopes to keep working with them in the future.
Lyle Wolf (Director of Basketball Administration)
Wolf’s biggest challenge is being reactive to things that occur on a daily basis. It’s the ability to respond to last second changes that is difficult.
So many things go into a road trip. He and Devin Johnson have to be on the same page with regards to the plane, the bus ride, the manifest, etc. They have to make sure things run efficiently.
Tech will take the team to see Blue Man Group when they travel to New York later this month.
Wolf wants to stick with Buzz Williams for as long as possible. He has been a great mentor.
Jeff Reynolds (Director of Basketball Operations)
Tech used a lot of emotion in the Radford win, and the staff wasn’t sure how they team would respond against Lamar. They responded very well.
This team is growing on and off the court. They followed the scouting report very well, and took control of the game from the very beginning.
Lamar likes to fullcourt press. They wanted the game in the 80s. Tech put in a couple of little wrinkles to counter their press, and they were able to get the ball up the court right away.
Lamar’s guards are very good. They are similar to Radford’s guards. Tech was able to eliminate early catches and take away the catch and shoot. They made them put the ball on the floor.
Basketball is about angles. If they can extend the offense and make them put the ball on the floor, it gives the defense an advantage.
Tech assistant coach Steve Roccaforte used to be the head coach at Lamar. It was a big game for him. He really wanted to win.
Buzz Williams is starting to develop a rotation. The lineup has been the same the last few games, and they are playing the same eight or nine guys. That helps chemistry.
Chris Clarke has a big time motor. It never shuts off. The ability to start and stop is as important has having a motor all the time, though, and he’s starting to see that. Lamar backed off of him to take away the drive, and he’s recognizing that.
Clarke is a much better shooter than even he understands. As we get further into the season, he’s going to have to start making mid-range jumpers.
Winning at Radford was big. It was Tech’s first true road win of the Buzz Williams era. Radford really wanted to win that game, and the atmosphere was great.
It’s great for Reynolds to be back in the area. His wife is from Stuart, VA, and the move has been great for her.
This is the most energized, hard-working staff that Reynolds has been a part of.
Virginia Tech has held the Commonwealth Cup for 4034 days. #Hokies
— Commonwealth Cup (@CommonwlthCup) December 14, 2015