And We Have Basketball

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the ACC having put the wraps on a football season that saw newcomers Tech and
Miami waltz in and snatch two of the league’s top three bowl bids, attention
turned to the conference’s signature sport, at least for a while longer,
basketball. And what a week it was. The highlight, at least from this Tech fan’s
perspective, was the Hokies picking up their first ACC basketball win, knocking
off Clemson. So much for all of that 0-17 chatter.

The Tigers have historically been the ACC’s
worst program and they demonstrated they were not giving up that designation
without a fight. Clemson coach Oliver Purnell also kept intact his perfect
record, achieved through stints at Radford, Old Dominion, Dayton and now the
Tigers, of having never won in Cassell Coliseum. The names on the jerseys of
Purnell’s teams may change, but not the result in Cassell.

Tech won this game through what is fast becoming
the signature of this program under Seth Greenberg, strong defense, particularly
on the perimeter. With little in the way of scoring punch and practically
nothing passing for an inside game, Greenberg has created strong defense as the
base of his program. Good fundamental defense is the foundation of any
successful program in any sport, so it is a wise place to start. Defensive
principals infused into the Tech program now will pay dividends down the road,
when hopefully the talent level will be a bit higher than the skimpy amounts
currently on hand.

Seth Greenberg has managed to develop something
not seen in quite a while around Tech, a backcourt of reasonably good quality.
Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell are not going to be confused with Chris Paul and
Justin Gray, or Daniel Ewing and JJ Redick, but they are the best seen at Tech
in some time. A program that suffered through chronic guard problems during the
regimes of the two previous coaches can now count on quality backcourt play most
every game. This hasn’t been seen at Tech in a decade; you have to back to
Shawn Good and Damon Watlington entirely too many years ago. Strong guard