Down the Stretch, Things Become Clear

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Sometimes you have to watch a team for a full season before you get a feel for them. Or maybe I’m just not that bright, and what I was seeing took a while to sink in. It’s one or the other. But in the last two weeks or so, my thoughts about this team have finally crystallized, and I’m thinking about the future.

Seth Greenberg

This season started out strong, with the Hokies going 11-3 prior to ACC play. The team didn’t have any marquee wins, but the overall record raised expectations, especially considering that the ACC was expected to have a down year. We were calculating the Hokies’ chances to get to 20 wins and at least .500 in ACC play.

January took care of those delusions. The Hokies started 2012 by losing to Wake Forest, a team that went 1-15 in the ACC last year and was a serious contender for “worst team in the history of the ACC.” Things didn’t get much better after that. A 1-6 record for the month, with five of those losses coming by four points or less, sent the season in the wrong direction. The Hokies entered February with a pedestrian 12-9 record and a share of last place in the ACC. We were done kidding ourselves by the time February 1st rolled around.

Some time in early February, I had a brief conversation in the Cassell Coliseum stands with a member of the athletic department, and I told him, “All anyone is asking me, on the boards and in conversations, is whether or not I think Seth is on the hot seat.”

His immediate response didn’t address that. He said, “They don’t have any senior leadership. This team is really young, and they’re not getting leadership from the few seniors that they have.”

I thought that was an interesting comment, because it put the focus on the players, specifically Tech’s seniors, and not Seth Greenberg, who had drawn the ire of fans throughout the tailspin. I filed the comment away.

Recently, I pondered if this year’s Hokies