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   Welcome to TSLMail #114 - Friday, January 30, 2004    
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RPI Ratings Not a Pretty Picture for VT Men's Team
by Will Stewart,

When it comes to basketball, I'm a guy who likes RPI ratings, probably because it has been many years since the Hokie men's team appeared in the human polls, and it will be many years before they show up there again. So the RPI ratings, which go all the way from #1 (St. Joseph's, yes, that St. Joe's, of the Atlantic 10, currently 17-0) to #326 (Loyola-Maryland, currently 1-18), are one of the few well-respected measures we have of where the Hokies match up in the grand scheme of things.

Certainly, the RPI ratings have their faults.  Like the BCS formula in football, they're way too dependent upon strength of schedule, in my opinion. But like I said, if you want to see the Hokies "ranked," that's about the only place you can do it, Jeff Sagarin's ratings being another.

That's the good news. The bad news is where Virginia Tech is ranked.

Through Thursday night's games, the Hokie men's basketball team is a pedestrian #142 in the RPI ratings, right behind such basketball giants as St. Mary's and Boise State. They are, however, just ahead of two teams that defeated them this year: #145 Ohio State (62-57 winners over VT) and #161 East Carolina (who beat Tech 74-67).

With the concession that VT still has 10 regular-season games to go, that RPI rating of #142 is better than almost anything the Hokies have posted since Bobby Hussey's last year as VT's coach (the oldest records I could find), In reviewing final RPI ratings of the recent past, it's remarkable how consistent the Hokies have been -- consistently bad.

VT Men's Basketball RPI Ratings
Season Record RPI Rating
1998-99 13-15 191
1999-2000 16-15 139
2000-2001 8-19 195
2001-2002 10-18 195
2002-2003 11-18 192
2003-2004 8-9* 146*
Ten games remaining

I don't think anyone has any preconceived notions of the Virginia Tech men's basketball program being better than it really is, but if so, seeing those RPI ratings puts things in perspective. No postseason appearances since March of 1996 (eight years now), and RPI ratings consistently in the 60th percentile -- or 40th percentile, however you look at it.

Something else that I found to be of interest was a chart I was able to compile of how the Hokies did against teams in the RPI top 100 during the seasons listed above:

VT Record by Opponents' RPI Rating



vs. RPI 1-25

vs. RPI 26-50

vs. RPI 51-100




































So the Hokies, since the beginning of the 1998-99 season, have been 66-94 (.413) overall, 17-62 (.215) against teams in the RPI top 100, and 49-32 (.605) against teams outside the RPI top 100.

Tech's lone victory against a top 25 RPI team in the last six seasons was their win over RPI #16 Connecticut last season, when UConn coach Jim Calhoun stayed at home to get treated for prostate cancer, and his team got blown out in Blacksburg, 95-74. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Marcus Vick Under Investigation
by Will Stewart,, 1/30/04, 12:20 am
Blacksburg town police searched the apartment of Marcus Vick Thursday, searching for evidence related to a possible charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Two teenage girls allege that Vick had intercourse with their 15-year-old friend after the three of them had been drinking liquor with Vick.
in News and Notes

The State of the Program, Part 5: Discipline, Attitude, and Leadership
by Will Stewart,, 1/29/04, 9:50 am
Much has been written and much has been said about the discipline, attitude, and leadership that were shown -- or more accurately, not shown -- by the 2003 Hokie football team. While this team was a collection of good players, particularly on offense, they were often undisciplined, were accused of having me-first attitudes, and suffered from a lack of leadership, both from the players and the coaching staff.
in TSL Pass

Huskies Destroy Hokies, 96-60
by Will Stewart,, 1/28/04, 11:30 pm
Blacksburg, VA -- With 5:21 left in the first half, the Hokies went on a 5-0 run to close this game to 26-20, UConn leading. The crowd of 7,908, the largest of the season in Cassell Coliseum, was rocking, and the Hokies were giving the #6 Huskies a run for their money.
in Men's Hoops

For the Hokie Women, a Long Way to Reach the Top
by Will Stewart,, 1/28/04, 4:25 pm
Tuesday night in Cassell Coliseum, there couldn't have been a more symbolic event than the lights going out, because at just about the same time, the UConn Huskies were turning the lights out on the Virginia Tech women.
in TSL Pass

A Gym Rat's Notebook #4: Defense in Numbers
by Elijah Kyle, 1/28/04, 2:45 pm
The Virginia Tech men's basketball team has seen four opponents eclipse the 50 percent shooting mark this season. All four of these occurrences have taken place in the last five games, and all have been Big East opponents. This is a troubling trend, and the chances of success greatly diminish during the second half of conference play if Virginia Tech is not able to reverse this trend.
in TSL Pass

Don't Do It, Bobby!
by Joseph Spiwac, 1/28/04, 10:50 am
In my opinion, a large part of being successful in life is seeing things that you hate, accepting that you canít change them, and then moving on. Why waste time and energy solving the unsolvable? Here are a few examples that I think apply to most of us.
in Voice of the Fan

Huskies Bury Hokie Women, 68-50
by Will Stewart,, 1/28/04, 12:15 am
Blacksburg, VA -- Call it "The Night the Lights Went Out in Cassell." A 25-minute delay caused by a power outage in Cassell Coliseum did nothing to slow down the third ranked Connecticut Huskies, who bolted to a 26-8 lead and held the Hokies at bay throughout the second half for the win. VT was led by Ieva Kublina with 19 points, and UConn was led by Barbara Turner with 15.
in Women's Hoops

Hokie Hotline Notes for January 26, 2004
by Phil Noftsinger, 1/26/04, 11:55 pm
Bill Roth opened the show by reviewing the news of the day: VT men's and women's basketball teams will both face UCONN this week. The women's game will be on Tuesday at 7 pm at the Cassell, and the men's game will be on Wednesday at the Cassell. UCONNís menís and womení teams are both ranked, at #6 and #3 respectively.
in Hokie Hotline Notes

Tech's Move to the ACC to Cost $4.5 Million
by Will Stewart,, 1/26/04, 1:25 pm
Sources have informed that between ACC entry fees and Big East exit fees, Virginia Tech's move to the ACC will cost the school $4.5 million.
in News and Notes

Wide Right: The First Weekend Without Football
by Jeff Cockey, 1/26/04, 10:35 am
What are we to do? Itís like being in the stands after your team has just intercepted the ball and the momentum is strong in your favor but that stupid ref in the red jacket decides to step onto the field to signify a six-month TV timeout. Your team gets cold, fat, lazy, and depressed and when he finally starts the clock (for a new season), the stadium is empty and everyoneís hooked on, of all things, baseball.
in TSL Pass

Hokies Battle but Fall to Hall, 83-76
by Will Stewart,, 1/25/04, 1:30 am
East Rutherford, NJ -- The Virginia Tech men gave Seton Hall fits but didn't quite have enough gas in the tank, falling by seven in a hotly-contested road game, 83-76. The Hokies were led by Bryant Matthews with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Sean Harris added a career-high 15 points and Zabian Dowdell 14 for the Hokies.
in Men's Hoops

Hokie Women Whip BC, 80-64
by Will Stewart,, 1/24/04, 10:25 pm
Blacksburg, VA -- Charles Dickens would have liked this one, because it was a tale of two halves. A Virginia Tech team that struggled through the first half blew Boston College out of the gym in the second stanza, scoring 49 second-half points on their way to an 80-64 win over 19th-ranked BC.  The Hokies had five players score 13 points or more, led by Ieva Kublina, who scored 15 of her 17 points after half time.
in Women's Hoops

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