Nobody Said This Was Going to be Easy

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The
Virginia Tech basketball team has hit a bit of a rough patch in its season,
dropping a couple of games and losing a bit of its luster as the ACC’s
designated upstart media darling. The chances of Tech in this inaugural
conference year finishing first in both football and basketball was fairly
remote, anyway. In any event, unexpected success by both Tech and Miami has
thrown on its ear the ACC’s traditional method of determining its basketball
standings by merely flipping the football standings.

Tech’s recent glitch has come in large part due to the
inherent difficulties to be experienced when playing teams better than you.
Winning in that situation is always a bit tricky. Problems also seem to be
cropping up, caused by what looks a lot like other ACC coaches taking Tech a
little more seriously than did those pre-season prognosticators who designated
rock bottom in the standings as the finishing spot for the expansion teams. ACC
coaches spending more time game-planning for Tech is not a particularly good
thing, as the conference has some pretty good ones perfectly capable of
discovering flaws in an opponent, and the Hokies do still offer a few flaws for
viewing.

What rival coaches see is a team without a legitimate
inside game, no true point guard, not a lot of experience, an overall talent
deficiency and very little depth. The pattern that seems to be emerging is that
if the other guy has a good point guard, such as Maryland’s John Gilchrist,
who can neutralize Tech’s strong defense and not turn the ball over, Tech can
be beaten. And if that point guard can be paired with a strong post player, such
as Eric Williams of Wake Forest, Tech can be beaten badly. Two of the teams Tech
has beaten, Georgia Tech and NC State, were without starting guards BJ
Elder and Tony Bethel, and neither possessed the dominating inside presence of
Carolina’s Sean May or anybody named Williams. Tech’s team is what it is,
and it is going to continue to be very difficult

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