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Not to sound like a paid shill, because I've hyped these guys before, but the ACC Area Sports Journal is fast becoming one of my favorite college sports publications. The only thing wrong with them is that I don't have time to read every issue cover to cover, but the Journal, in its 27th year, sure does know their ACC football and hoops.
('Scuse me while I take a break. I'm still giddy about VT being invited to the ACC. I'm all verklempt, or however you spell it. Less than five months to go before VT is in the ACC, folks!)
Their latest issue includes a rundown of ACC coaching salaries for both football and basketball -- very interesting stuff. Unfortunately, it doesn't include BC, VT, and Miami salaries, just the current ACC teams, but I was able to scare up most of the data I needed to chart the salaries of the coaches of all future 12 ACC teams.
Please note that the following salary and annual financial package info does not include some bonuses, incentives, etc. The exact figure coaches get paid is very hard to nail down or research, but the following tables give you a very good idea of what ACC coaches are paid. (The total annual packages for Boston College's coaches were unavailable, though Google.com tried really, really hard).
The ACC is almost a "you get what you pay for" arrangement, when it comes to football coaching salaries. The guys with the top compensation packages generally finish near the top of the league. And it's pretty obvious that with Beamer's package being what it is, the pressure is on him to produce, though part of the reason he is compensated so well is that he's been at VT longer than any ACC coach has been at their school, with the exception of Bobby Bowden.
Now for the basketball coaches.
Well, there's nowhere for Seth Greenberg to go but up. From a financial standpoint, Greenberg has got to be licking his chops about VT heading to the ACC. If he improves VT to the point where the Hokies can finish close to just the middle of the league, he'll have some bargaining power when the next round of contract negotiations come around.
Speaking of Greenberg and the Hokies....
With 7:22 to go in the first half of their January 31st game with Syracuse, the Hokies were trailing 37-14. They were 8-9, had lost six out of their last seven, and including a 96-60 whipping by Connecticut, had been outscored 133-74 in the last 52 minutes and 38 seconds they had spent on the basketball floor.
The season was slipping away. Seth Greenberg was in danger of losing his team.
The Hokies rallied and closed to within six points of Syracuse at 53-47, though they would later lose 76-64. They then came home and whipped #23 Providence 69-57 and Georgetown 80-65.
From that dark moment at Syracuse when the score was 37-14, the Hokies have outscored some pretty good opponents -- two of them ranked and all three with winning records -- by a combined score of 199-161. They have pulled their record up to 10-10 (3-6 Big East), and are -- gasp! -- in 12th place in the Big East.
If a giant meteor hit the earth today, the Hokies would make the Big East Tournament in Madison Square Garden. Well, not really, but you get my point.
What in the world has happened? Why the sudden resurrection? Okay, let's not get excited, because it's just a couple of games, but you've got to be impressed with what Tech has done.
From where I sit, the following things have happened:
1.) Defense has improved. After six of Tech's first seven Big East opponents shot over 50%, the Hokies have suddenly locked down two straight opponents -- Providence shot just 39%, and Georgetown shot just 42.3%. Tech has scrapped its 1-3-1 zone trap, which was pretty effective at times early in the season, in favor of a man to man. "We were switching up defenses, playing all kinds of defenses, trying to confuse people," Greenberg said after the Georgetown game, " and I decided, you know what? Let's be good at something." So he put the team in a man to man and started stressing defensive fundamentals, and it has paid off.
2.) Coleman Collins has blown up. The light bulb has gone on for 17-year old freshman post player Coleman Collins. Collins, a bright kid from Stone Mountain Georgia who scored 1470 in his SATs and won't turn 18 until July, has suddenly come out of his shell. After not scoring in double digits for a month, Collins blew up on Providence and Georgetown, dropping 21 and 20 points respectively, including six dunks. The 6-8 Collins is playing with confidence and power, taking the ball to the hole with authority. Sometimes it's ill-advised, sometimes it's awesome, and all the time it's a welcome sight.
3.) Team chemistry is peaking. I've been watching the player interaction very closely lately, and I like what I see. After a blown play, VT players will find each other and knock fists in a show of solidarity, with a "get 'em next time" attitude. One of VT's guards, either Jamon Gordon or Zabian Dowdell, threw a beautiful bounce pass to an open spot in the paint against Georgetown, but Bryant Matthews, of all people, failed to go to the open spot and receive the pass. After the ball went out of bounds untouched for a turnover, Matthews made a big show of holding his head in his hands, and then seeking out the passer to apologize for blowing the play.
Something's clicking with these guys, and I can't help but think back to the Syracuse post game, when Bryan Randall, who sparked the comeback in that game with a career-high 8 points and a team-high 5 rebounds, stood up in the locker room after the game and gave an impassioned speech about how not playing up to your full potential can cost you games (gosh, wonder what he was talking about?). Since then, the team has come together and is putting up some great stats and some wins.
They may lose their next seven games. They may sit at home for the
Big East Tournament ... again. They may, on the other hand, finish with a winning record and/or go to New York. But
whatever they do, the 2003-2004 Hokies are fun to watch.
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
Still on a Roll, Hokies Whip Georgetown, 80-65
A Gym Rat's Notebook #5: Georgetown a Must Win?
Hokie Hotline Notes for February 9, 2004
Recruiting Profile: Andrew Bowman
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