Hokie Hoops Quickly Building an ACC-Caliber Program

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A look at the Virginia Tech basketball roster and the recruiting classes that
the Hokies have put together for 2005 and 2006 leads one to quickly realize that
the shallow bench that plagued the Hokies in their ACC debut this past year will
quickly be a thing of the past. By the 2006-07 season two years from now, VT
will go ten deep and will be able not just to rotate players in, but rotate
players in who can score and contribute.

This fall, thanks to a four-man 2005 recruiting class that yesterday
added AD
Vassallo
, the Hokies will have 13 scholarship players for the first time since
2002-03, Ricky Stokes’ last season as the head coach. Stokes over-recruited and
actually had 14 players on the roster that year, one of whom played as a
walk-on. That player’s identity was a closely guarded secret, though I think
Roanoke Times reporter Mark Berman figured it out. (I don’t recall who it was.)

After Stokes was fired in March of 2003 and Seth Greenberg was hired, the
team went through significant player attrition in the transition. The Hokies
lost three players (Eric Branham, Brian Chase, and Terry Taylor) to graduation,
and in the offseason, a wave of little-used reserves walked for various reasons:
Harding Nana, Deonte Smith, Dimari Thompkins, and Luke Minor.

That knocked the scholarship player count down to seven, and when three
freshmen entered in the fall of 2003 (Zabian Dowdell, Jamon Gordon, and Coleman
Collins), that bumped the Hokies up to ten scholarship players, the number they
suited up in both 2003-04 and 2004-05.

VT lost one player (Carlos Dixon) to graduation after last season, and the
four-man recruiting class of Hyman Taylor, Terrance Vinson, Cheick Diakate, and
AD Vassallo coming in this fall will boost the scholarship count back up to 13.

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