A Gym Rat’s Notebook: 2005-06 Preview: Perimeter Could be Right Stuff

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“And they all came to talk about it. They came to cry and laugh and fight
about it. While searching for the Promised Land, tired souls with empty hands
asking to themselves, ‘Is this all there is’?”

Those words from the song “Is This All There Is” by Los Lobos have been
quite applicable in recent years when applied to the basketball program at
Virginia Tech. Mired in deep mediocrity for far too long, the program languished
in the dust-bin regions of the Big East while being a collective drain on the
psyches of program followers. All the while, people were waiting for something
good to transpire during the winter that they could embrace.

In
the past, most of the questions surrounding the basketball team at the beginning
of the season were shaped in a negative manner, with limited expectations. But
this year, there is one pertinent question that has emerged that can now be
shaped on a different scale, looking for an affirmative answer: Does Virginia
Tech have the best backcourt in the ACC?

The immediate answer from most is that this program has a very fine
backcourt, and the duo of Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell has been instrumental
over the last two seasons in the improved play of the Hokies. But declaring
yourselves as best in the ACC is a large order and there are several programs in
this conference that more than likely are more deserving.

Duke has the reigning premier player in both the conference and backcourt in
senior guard J.J. Redick, and they bring in a freshman point guard in Greg
Paulus who was considered among the best players at his position from the high
school ranks last year. They also return sophomore DeMarcus Nelson, who was a
very solid contributor off the bench last season.

What about the Miami Hurricane backcourt? Guillermo Diaz, Robert Hite

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