Wednesday, February 23, 2000
by Will Stewart
Williams Out With Knee Injury
Without a doubt, the announcement of Tere Williamsís knee injury, which is covered in todayís Hokie Hotline notes, is a crusher to the Tech womenís basketball team. The Hokies have struggled to put the whole package together all season long, and with an A-10 tournament title being perhaps Techís only ticket to the NCAA tournament, the loss of their leading scorer and rebounder makes the mountain that much bigger to climb.
All season long, the team has battled to overcome the loss of so many leaders from last yearís 28-3 Sweet Sixteen club. Theyíve done pretty well, posting a 16-9 record, but wins against quality teams have been hard to come by.
The Hokies are battling for third place in the A-10 West. Second place is out of reach, so Tech will definitely not get a first-round bye in the tournament and will have to win four straight to take the title. Subtract Tere Williams, and the job of winning four straight games to take the A-10 tournament title becomes gargantuan.
But such is the task facing the Hokies, and they donít have any time to sit and cry over injured knees. Not every season goes as you would like to script it, and when things get tough, a team tends to find out a lot more about itself than it would if it was winning. Yes, thatís trite, but itís also true.
Senior Kim Seaver and freshman Christina Strother will step in to try and fill the void left by Tere Williams. The playing time can only do Strother some good, and for Kim Seaver, whose career is almost over, itís one last chance to log significant minutes and make a contribution.
Speaking of which, itís hard to believe, but Thursday nightís 7 p.m home game against La Salle is the final home game of the season, and thus, itís Senior Night. This year, the bloodletting wonít be as severe as it was last year, when the team said goodbye to five seniors. This year, the farewell is bid to Kim Seaver and fellow senior Missy Lemons (click on their names to check out their HokieSportsInfo.com bios).
Neither player has had quite the career they would have wished. Lemons never averaged over two points per game, and Seaver had a stellar freshman year, only to see her minutes and statistics decrease from her sophomore season on. But all the same, they have been a part of the program for four years now, during its phenomenal growth, and they both deserve a sendoff from a big crowd of adoring fans.
The relationship between the Tech womenís basketball team and its fans is a special one, so I encourage you to attend Thursday nightís game and say goodbye to the two seniors. Not to mention that with the injury to Tere Williams, the team now needs the support of its fans more than ever before.
After the Thursday night game with La Salle, the team travels to Dayton for its season ender against the Flyers and Hokie-killer Christi Hester. After that, itís off to the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Philadelphia. The tournament starts on Friday, March 3rd, and HokieCentral will be in Philadelphia to bring you complete coverage.
Softball Game Moved, Rescheduled: the Hokie softball teamís doubleheader with Radford, originally scheduled to be played today in Salem, has been scheduled for Saturday February 26th, and has been moved to Blacksburg. The games start at noon on Saturday, at Techís softball field. With warm weather forecasted for this weekend, you might just want to take this opportunity to get out the house, head down to Tech, and watch a little softball.
Baseball/Softball Coverage: speaking of softball, HokieCentral does plan on providing baseball and softball coverage this spring, as soon as basketball season is over and we can shift our attention to the diamond sports. So look for coverage shortly after menís and womenís hoops conclude.
Big East Womenís Basketball: so you think the Hokie menís basketball team is in for a tough time in the Big East? The Big East womenís league is no slouch, either. A quick look at the RPI ratings through games of February 20th reveals no less than four Big East teams in the RPIís top 15: Connecticut (#2), Notre Dame(#5), Boston College(#9), and Rutgers(#14). The almighty SEC only has 3 teams in the Top 15 of the RPI.
Sugar Bowl Ratings: the amazing stat of the week comes from this weekís Hokie Huddler, where it says that the Tech/FSU Sugar Bowl was the second-highest rated sports broadcast of the 1999 season, second only to the Super Bowl. This means that, among other games, the Sugar Bowl trumped the Final Four, the NBA Finals, and the World Series in the ratings. And the 2000 Sugar Bowl was the most-watched college football game since the 1997 Florida-Florida State game. Wow.