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   Welcome to TSLMail #71 - Friday, March 21, 2003    
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Click here to order Top 30 Juniors
by Will Stewart,

It's just about time for coverage of the 2004 recruits to kick in at, and we'll start it with the first version of our in-state player rankings. Last year, we did a top 40 list, but this early in our coverage, we'll limit it to a top 30, with additional players on the brink of making the rankings.

Without further ado, here's the Top 30 Juniors/Rising Seniors:

TSL Top 30 Juniors
1) Sean Glennon, QB, Westfield
2) Jerod Mayo, LB, Kecoughtan
3) Ahmad Bradshaw, RB/DB, Graham
4) Lee Bujakowski, QB, Hopewell
5) Antwain Carey, RB, Deep Creek
6) Cedric Peerman, RB, William Campbell
7) Ryan Pond, QB, Western Branch
8) Chris Long, DT, St. Anne's Belfield (STAB)
9) Randy Hippeard, QB, Colonial Forge
10) AJ Brown, DB, Liberty (Bealton)
11) John Bradshaw, OL, Stafford
12) Jeremy Gilchrist, WR, Salem (Virginia Beach)
13) Chris Spinner, RB/LB, Liberty Bedford
14) Jon Kirchner, DE, Rockbridge Co
15) Kevin Allen, DB, Highland Springs
16) Olu Hall, DE, Robinson
17) Endor Cooper, LB/RB, Hylton
18) Kent Hicks, DB, Culpeper
19) Patrick Preston, DB, Franklin Co
20) Frankie Caldeyro, WR, Churchland
21) Austin Casey, LB, Salem
22) Eddie Royal, WR, Westfield
23) Brandon Ore, RB, Indian River
24) Brandon Holland, TE, Northside
25) Jacob Phillips, QB, Bath County
26) Nathan Bryant, DL, Liberty Bedford
27) Sam Wheeler, LB/FB, Blacksburg
28) Devonta Brown, LB, Charlottesville
29) Jamaal Jackson, WR, Deep Creek
29) Evan Taylor, RB, Princess Anne
30) Robert Barcliff, RB, George Wythe (Wytheville)

On the brink (in alphabetical order)
Daniel Bailey, RB, Centreville
Ian Childress, DE, Liberty Bedford
Samir Ghriri, DB, Brookville
David Hearington, WR, Hopewell
Matthew Scott, RB, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake)
Purnell Sturdivant, LB/RB, Lake Taylor
Tony Willis, OL, Highland Springs
Josh Zindenberg, RB/DB, Poquoson

To view the list as a formatted web page that includes the Roanoke Times rankings for cross-reference, click here.

The state (or Commonwealth, if you prefer) is heavy on skill players this year, with five of the top 30 being QB's, another eight listed as running backs, four as wide receivers, and four as defensive backs.

There are only six players listed as OL, DL, or TE in the entire Top 30, so if the Hokies are looking to stock up on those positions, they may need to go shopping out of state more than usual.

Starting in April, we'll begin adding players to our database for the 2004 recruiting class, and as we go along, we'll round out our Top 30 (which will probably turn into a Top 40) with height and weight data, plus college choices, as that information becomes known.

Coaching Search

It has been 11 days since Ricky Stokes was fired as Virginia Tech's men's basketball coach, and true to his word, Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver is conducting the search alone, privately, and without giving information to the media.

One name has emerged more strongly than others at this point: Chattanooga coach Jeff Lebo, who is probably at the top or near the top of the Hokies' wish list. Lebo has a five-year 96-52 coaching record in four years at Tennessee Tech and one year at Chattanooga. His teams have gone 68-25 (0.731) in the last three years. Prior to being a head coach, he was an assistant at ETSU, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina.

For more info on Lebo, click his name above for his bio, as posted on the Chattanooga web site.

Beyond Lebo's name being mentioned, there isn't anything concrete. Former Hokie greats Bimbo Coles, Dell Curry and Alan Bristow have "expressed interest" in the job, as they say. Hokie basketball fans will note that that's three of the four retired jerseys hanging in Cassell Coliseum -- somebody give Ace Custis a call, and see if we can go four-for-four.

Curry and Bristow's interest is best described as lukewarm (see a recent Roanoke Times article for more detail), while Coles absolutely, positively wants it.

Also in the Coles article is a quote from former Chattanooga and VCU head coach Mack McCarthy expressing interest in the job. Other names being thrown about are fired UCLA coach Steve Lavin and even Wagner coach Derek Whittenburg.

Hokie Women Tip Off in NCAA's Saturday

The 7th-seeded VT women's basketball team will open play in the NCAA Tournament Saturday morning -- yes, Saturday morning -- against 10th-seeded Georgia Tech. The game will be played at Purdue University's Mackey Arena and will tip off at 11:14 a.m.

ESPN and ESPN2 will be showing all or part of every game in the women's NCAA Tournament, and in this case, the VT/GT game will be shown in its entirety -- at least in the state of Virginia. The game is also available to DirecTV subscribers on Channel 780.

You already know that Virginia Tech is led by junior forward Ieva Kublina (15.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.0 blocks per game), senior forward Chrystal Starling (11.1 ppg), and freshman guard Carrie Mason (10.8 ppg).

Georgia Tech's best player is 6-5 senior center Sonja Mallory (16.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg), who could give VT fits, as Tech center Erin Gibson is only 6-2. The Yellow Jackets also feature 5-10 junior forward Fallon Stokes (15.4 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Guard Megan Isom shot 35% from three-point range.

For local Hokies, the game will be broadcast on WFNR 100.7 FM, and a webcast will also be available via

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Recruiting Profile: John Kinzer
by Chris Horne, 3/20/03, 10:00 am
The game was over, and Robinson was celebrating its second Virginia AAA, Division 6 state championship in five years. The Rams had just crushed the Thomas Dale Knights 40-7, in a game featuring then seniors and current Virginia Tech Hokies Cary Wade and Mike Imoh. Also on display were several of Robinson’s outstanding junior prospects, who would no doubt be heavily recruited as seniors.
in TSL Pass

For Most, A Special Time of Year
by Jim Alderson, 3/18/03, 11:25 am
It was paradise for a basketball junkie. This past week, dubbed ‘Championship Week’ by ESPN, produced so much basketball that it was impossible to take it all in; games were everywhere, as up to six channels at a time on my cable system delivered an avalanche of competition between not only the marquee powers and conferences of the sport but every other league as well.
in TSL Pass

Hokie Women a 7 Seed in NCAA Tournament
by Will Stewart,, 3/16/03, 11:05 pm
The Virginia Tech women made the NCAA Tournament as expected, landing as a #7 seed in the East Region. They'll play #10 seed Georgia Tech in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Saturday, March 22nd.
in News and Notes

Recruiting Profile: Chris Ellis
by Chris Horne, 3/14/03, 11:15 am
Following the press conference where he announced he would be a Virginia Tech Hokie, Chris Ellis did something he has never done before – sign autographs. A surreal experience for one of the state of Virginia’s top players, it is telling of how far he has come in such a short period of time.
in TSL Pass

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