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   Welcome to TSLMail #63 - Friday, January 24, 2003    
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   Tech Sports News

This Week in Recruiting
by Will Stewart,

The good recruiting news for Hokie fans is that VT targets ATH Chase Anastasio and DE Chris Ellis did not commit to Virginia during their visits to UVa last weekend. Of the two, Anastasio would have been the more likely player to do so, as he is perceived as a UVa/Notre Dame lean over VT. But both players will continue to take visits -- including to VT this weekend -- before deciding.

Headlining this weekend's visitors are Anastasio, Ellis, LB Xavier Adibi, and RB Rodney Kinlaw. Adibi and Ellis roomed together on their visit to Maryland two weeks ago and got along well. Anastasio will be accompanied by teammate John Kinzer, a VT commitment who is trying to sway Anastasio to commit to VT (according to this week's VT Insider by Randy King).

Kinlaw remains VT's only running back target still on the board, as possible target Alonzo Coleman committed to Hampton this past week. Coleman would have preferred an offer from VT, but he did not receive it and decided to take the offer from Hampton, instead. (Congratulations and good luck to Alonzo.)

Also tripping with the five players mentioned above: VT commitment ATH DJ Parker, Adibi's teammate at Phoebus High in Hampton. So the setup for the Hokies is a good one: teammate DJ Parker and friend Chris Ellis are there with Adibi, and teammate and friend John Kinzer is there with Anastasio. The company for those guys is taken care of, and the VT staff and players will also go all-out to make sure that Kinlaw feels welcome and is comfortable.

The other activity in recruiting this week surrounded long-time VT commit Courtney Denson, who had been committed to VT since June. Denson had an in-home meeting with Tech coach Charley Wiles Tuesday, and in the wake of that meeting, Denson told TSL's Chris Horne that he was no longer committed to VT, and that the Hokies were not in the picture. He is now looking at Auburn, Nebraska, South Florida, and Rutgers (where two of his receivers have already committed).

The news on Denson is not a surprise. He had been sending mixed signals, to say the least. Denson was telling Tech-oriented recruiting sites such as TSL and Hokie Haven that he was still committed to VT (even going so far as to say he wasn't taking other visits), then turning around and telling other sites, such as one Auburn-focused site, that he was not committed to VT and was taking other trips.

The VT coaches apparently confronted Denson about this, and the two sides decided to go their separate ways. See our TSL Pass update.

That moves QB recruit Cory Holt up the chart to the top of Tech's QB prospect list. Holt has long favored the Hokies, but had not received an offer, primarily because he is a high academic risk. Holt says he now has an offer from VT, and he will visit on Jan. 31st, the last visit weekend of this recruiting season (see our TSL Pass update on Holt). Holt is almost certainly prep-school bound but is a very strong QB candidate (6-4, 200, 4.6 forty, good basketball player, as well).

You can keep up with VT recruiting in much greater detail with a subscription to our TechSideline Pass service. TSL Pass costs $34.95 per year, but monthly ($4.95) and quarterly ($10.95) subscriptions are also available. Click here to subscribe.

This Week in Men's and Women's Hoops

The Hokie men's and women's basketball teams both pulled off big wins this week. The men topped Virginia 73-55 on Tuesday, setting off a wild celebration in Cassell Coliseum. It was the fourth straight strong performance by the men, who had performed well in losses on the road to Villanova and Connecticut, and had blown Providence out last Saturday.

The men's record now stands at 8-8, with two more home games in the current four-game home stand. Saturday they play St. John's in a 2 pm matchup that is critical in more ways than one. Number one, it's a chance to even Tech's Big East record at 2-2 with a victory over the Red Storm (9-5, 2-2). Marcus Hatten, who gave the Hokies fits last year, leads the Red Storm and the Big East with 23.4 points per game.

Number two, it's a chance for the men to build momentum with the Hokie fans. Not only were over 8,000 fans in attendance for the win over Virginia, but a national TV audience, including lots of Hokies, watched on ESPN2.

Number three, the football recruits listed above will be in attendance, and it's a chance for Hokie fans to impress them.

VT will honor the football team at half time and will also give away a chance to accompany the football team on a road trip next season. For full details, see the press release.

It promises to be a fun game -- a big hoops encounter with one of the Big East's best players, a chance to win a third game in a row and continue the team's comeback, and a chance to win a trip with the football team. What's not to like? Be there, Hokie fans! Tickets are $15 and can be preordered for pickup (handling fees apply) by calling 1-800-VATECH4.

If you can't make the game, then you can watch it on ComCast SportsNet (CSN -- formerly HTS) or on these other networks.

In women's basketball, they didn't storm the court, but the ladies did get a big win over #23 Rutgers, 66-64, in overtime on Wednesday. This game was critical for the Tech women, for many reasons. It's their first win over a ranked opponent this season, and it makes Tech 13-4 (4-2 in the Big East). The Hokies are now fifth in the Big East, one spot ahead of Rutgers.

The win also did a lot of good for Tech's RPI rating, vaulting them from 35th to 30th (Rutgers has a high RPI rating, currently #16, even after the VT loss). As the Hokies come down the season's home stretch and have an eye on 20 wins and the NCAA's, keeping their RPI rating up is important. Last year, Tech was the highest-rated RPI team that did not make the NCAA tournament at #35.

Keep up to date with VT men's and women's hoops on TSL's Men's Hoops and Women's Hoops pages.

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TechSideline Pass - $34.95 a Year

We wanted to give a quick thank you to everyone who has signed up for our new TechSideline Pass subscription service. TSL Pass includes premium articles, premium recruiting content, and subscriber-only message boards (including a much-requested recruiting board for subscribers only). is your one-stop shop for all Virginia Tech sports information, commentary and discussion. We're extremely excited to announce that we are now providing our subscribers with full-time exclusive football recruiting coverage, as well as subscribers-only message boards (as requested!). We have our usual great staff of writers to give you the finest coverage of the Hokies that you can get. Take your fanship to the next level with a TechSideline Pass subscription!

Just look at what you get for only $34.95:
(Monthly and Quarterly options also available)

  • Feature Articles
  • Interviews with recruits
  • Editorials
  • Flash recruiting updates from Chris Horne, our in-house specialist - New!
  • Recruiting prospect and class evaluations - New!
  • A subscribers-only Recruiting message board (only accessible to subscribers) - New!
  • A subscribers-only message board for general discussion - New!

As an additional bonus, all subscribers will receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at, our online store providing Hokie-related apparel and gift items. If that's not enough, you should know that your subscription will help support your favorite website,

For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. To give TSL Pass as a gift (one-year subscriptions only), click here.

-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

One to Build On? Time Will Tell
by Jim Alderson, 1/22/03, 3:45 pm
In November of 1990, Frank Beamer, in his fourth year, chalked up one of the first of his many signature victories by knocking off Virginia in front of a raucous Lane Stadium crowd and ESPN cameras. A little over 12 years later, a different Tech team has accomplished the same in Cassell Coliseum.
in TSL Pass

Hokies, Matthews Smoke Cavs, 73-55
by, 1/22/03, 1:30 am
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Bryant Matthews scored 22 of his career-high 30 points in the second half Tuesday night and Virginia Tech beat Virginia 73-55, emphatically ending a six-game losing streak against the Cavaliers.
CBS SportsLine recap Box Score
Column: A Cacophony in Cassell - by Will Stewart,
Voice of the Fan -- Wide Right: Totally Jacked - by Jeff Cockey

Decommits, Wafflers, and Mysteries
by Will Stewart,, 1/20/03, 12:45 am
A friend of mine, with whom I trade frequent emails about Hokie football, has a question he asks me often this time of year: "Have I ever told you," he asks, "how much I hate recruiting?"
in TSL Pass

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