Steve Roccaforte (Assistant Basketball Coach)
Chris Clarke is a tough loss. It was unexpected. He has played well this year. The next man up has to step up. This is a tough stretch of games coming up, but three of the four are at home, and you have to win home games.
With Clarke out, Tech might play smaller at times, and they might play bigger at times. They’ll have to tweak some things to use the guys who are remaining.
West Virginia is a really good team. They’ll probably be ranked around #15 when they come to Cassell on Wednesday. They press and trap a lot. Their style of play is a lot different from what you see on most nights.
The mood at practice has been good. The players are glad to have another home game coming up. They seem energized. They’ve had two of their better back-to-back practices over the last two days. Tech’s preparation and execution are going to have to be nearly perfect to win the game, but they can do it.
Tech didn’t play as well as they were capable of against St. Joe’s. The first few minutes were a feeling out process and the game was close, but after that St. Joe’s simply did a better job.
Johnny Hamilton missed a couple of weeks of game action, so he was a bit rusty. But he’ll continue to get better, as will the team. With the injury to Clarke, other guys will have to step up and play well.
Tech piped in a lot of noise at practice and practiced 6 on 5 on Monday to prepare the team for the confusion that West Virginia’s press will bring. Their best offense is scoring off turnovers, and the Hokies have to protect the ball. They also have to keep WVU off the offensive glass. It will be a very aggressive game, and the Hokies have to physically and mentally prepare themselves for that.
Bob Huggins’ personality on and off the court are polar opposites. He is actually a really quiet, nice guy off the court. Ron Everhart is one of his assistants, and Everhart went to Tech. Everhart actually got Roccaforte his first job.
Roccaforte is looking to Tech’s older playes to help the younger players get through the grind of the upcoming ACC schedule. Seth Allen in particular can help in this regard.
Jalen Hudson has to step up more than anybody else with Chris Clarke out. Kerry Blackshear has made a lot of progress over the last four games. Zach LeDay has to continue to be a double-double guy. Seth Allen has to gear his game down a bit. But with Clarke out, Hudson is the main guy who has to step up.
Frank Beamer cleaned out his office on Monday, and it definitely hit home that he’s retiring. He continues to think about how blessed and fortunate he’s been over the years. He’s going to miss the players, the fans, and everybody.
Beamer is looking forward to what’s ahead. He has a wonderful wife. They are going to spend a lot more time together, though she might not be totally for that (he said jokingly). He also has grandkids. It’s been a good run, and to stay at one place as long as he has is special.
Beamer was looking through all the notes and cards he got after his retirement was announced. Most guys leave coaching on a sour note. Beamer didn’t, and he knows that doesn’t happen very often.
Beamer was very proud of the offensive staff. They went into the bowl with a good gameplan that kept Tulsa off balance.
Tulsa’s quarterback threw some great passes, and they had a couple of receivers who could go get the football. They were balanced as well. Their passing game helped their running game. The Hokies had their hands full.
Beamer was happy to see a punt return for a touchdown. They talked about it in their meeting that morning, and it happened pretty much how they drew it up. It depended on getting the right kind of punt, and they did. Stroman has talent, and he loves returning punts. It’s probably the hardest thing to do in football.
Beamer told the players after the game that he was willing to do anything for them that he could. He really enjoyed coaching this particular group of players.
Beamer tells Michael Brewer that he was a couple of inches taller, but he’s got everything else. He’s accurate and he knows how to play the position. Every guy on the team likes Brewer. A lot of times your QB might be a little arrogant, but he’s not. He’s a leader.
Brenden Motley is a really talented guy. Beamer thinks that if he’s the guy for a year, he’ll do well. Dwayne Lawson is very talented, but he has to get other parts of his life squared away.
Shane Beamer is a really good coach. He’s good in this business. He’s going to decide in the next few days about his next step. The other assistants are really good, too. Every member of the staff is going to be okay.
Beamer would consider doing some TV stuff in the future. He would enjoy that challenge. Of course, he’ll spend a lot of time with the grandkids. He’s fortunate to have such a great family, and fortunate to live in Blacksburg. He’s going to stay busy. He wouldn’t be a very good idler. He needs a project. He’s really looking forward to the future.
Virginia Tech has held the Commonwealth Cup for 4048 days. #Hokies
— Commonwealth Cup (@CommonwlthCup) December 28, 2015