A Gym Rat’s Notebook: In Over His Head?

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watching sophomore forward Philip McCandies decide to leave the program last
spring, transferring to The College of Charleston, followed shortly afterward by
the dismissal of 6-8 junior college transfer Justin Holt, who was sitting out
the season as a transfer, Head Coach Seth Greenberg knew he needed to find some
replacements. And he needed them rapidly. His quest to add reinforcements to the
2004-05 team led him overseas at a time when many of the top caliber prospects
had already decided on a direction for the upcoming season.

Greenberg and his staff settled on 6-11 Robert Krabbendam
as the answer, albeit a late one, to the question of who might take up the
interior slack. Krabbendam had attended Copernicus, located in Hoorn, The
Netherlands, and he represented the first Virginia Tech basketball player from
that country, at least that we know of.

The early results of Krabbendam’s contributions for this
second edition of Greenberg’s Hokies have been spotty, at best. Weighing just
210 pounds, Krabbendam has understandably found the going tough inside, getting
pushed around and finding himself struggling to defend much stronger post
players on the court. In addition, he has struggled to establish any kind of
presence on the floor from an offensive standpoint, shooting at just a 25% clip
from the floor through the first 10 games, averaging 1.3 points and 1.9
rebounds. For anyone that witnessed the North Carolina game in Cassell Coliseum,
Krabbendam looked overwhelmed on the court. He was obviously nervous, fumbled
passes, and generally looked like someone out of his element.

While Krabbendam looks to be a reasonably mobile front
court player with solid agility, his shooting touch has been disappointing thus
far. Sources close to the program say that Greenberg remains high on the future
of Krabbendam, feeling that he just needs time and strength before becoming a
productive force in his remaining three years at Tech. Greenberg has done a good
job of pumping Krabbendam up thus far. When sophomore center