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   Welcome to TSLMail #152 - Friday, November 19, 2004    
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   Tech Sports News

Village Realty Wants You to Take a Vacation!

If you've been to North Carolina's Outer Banks, then you know what a great vacation destination it is, and if you've never been there, then you don't know what you're missing. TSL's newest sponsor, Village Realty, wants you to head to the Outer Banks!

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OOC Schedule Critical for Greenberg's Team
by Chris James, TechSideline.com

The Virginia Tech menís basketball team will begin the 2004-05 schedule tonight when they take on Loyola (Md.) at Cassell Coliseum. While that may seem like a yawner, never before in Tech basketball history has the out of conference schedule been as important as it is this season. Simply having a winning overall record means the NIT for ACC teams, and if the Hokies hope to accomplish this feat, they are going to have to roll through their out of conference schedule like never before.

Since 1999, Techís out of conference records when heading into conference play have been 6-5 in 1999-00, 6-5 in 2000-01, 6-6 in 2001-02, 6-6 in 2002-03 and 7-4 in 2003-04. The Hokies look to improve upon those marks this season. There going to have to if they want to make the postseason.

For the most part, the Hokies havenít exactly been playing the LA Lakers of the college basketball world out of conference. This year is no different.

Tech Men's Basketball Out of Conference Schedule, 2004-05

Team

Conference

2003-04

Season Outlook

Loyola (Md.)

MAAC

1-27 (1-17)

10th of 10

Maryland-Eastern Shore

MEAC

8-21 (6-12)

10th of 11

at William & Mary

Colonial

7-21 (4-14)

9th of 10

Chattanooga

Southern

19-11 (10-6)

2nd of 6 (North Div.)

at VMI

Big South

6-22 (4-12)

7th of 9

at St. John's

Big East

6-21 (1-15)

12 of 12

James Madison

Colonial

7-21 (3-15)

10 of 10

Western Michigan

MAC

26-4 (15-3)

5th of 7 (West Div.)

Morgan State

MEAC

11-16 (9-9)

5th of 11

Mississippi St. (neutral site)

SEC

24-6 (14-2)

1st of 6 (West Div.)

Bethune Cookman

MEAC

8-21 (7-11)

9th of 11

Three teams that are projected last in their conference. Two more teams that are projected next to last. 8 of the 11 teams that the Hokies play from out of conference are predicted to finish in the bottom half of their own conference.

The one exception, and this is a big exception, is Mississippi State. The Hokies play the Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans on December 30. State returns SEC Player of the Year Lawrence Roberts, and they are expected to at least win their division in the SEC yet again. However, the Bulldogs got off to a tough start this season, falling to Syracuse 71-58 Thursday night.

Unfortunately, rolling through their out of conference schedule has never been quite as easy as it should be for Tech. Under Ricky Stokes, the Hokies had a bad habit of coming out flat and getting upset. Taking a look at some of the teams to knock off the Hokies, and we see that Wofford, William & Mary, ODU, Murray St., Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Liberty, Chattanooga, East Tennessee St. and Radford have all beaten Tech since 1999, some more than once.

Some of those games were more painful than others. Just this past season, ODU came into Blacksburg and knocked off the Hokies. Tech had the game won, but the Monarchs managed to hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime. Bryant Matthews fouled out, and the youthful Hokies couldnít pull it out without him. That loss potentially cost Tech an NIT bid.

Another loss that sticks out came against Wofford on December 2, 2002. The Hokies were 3-1 on the year. They dropped their first game against St. Bonaventure that year, but rallied to beat Michigan, Toledo and American. It looked like the Hokies may have had something going, until the Terriers came to town. Wofford lit the Hokies up in the first half, taking a 43-26 lead into halftime. Tech tried to get back into the game in the 2nd half, but it was too late. Wofford held on for a 79-77 victory.

Later that season, the Hokies would go on to blow out Providence and Virginia, while crushing UConn by 21 points. However, the Hokies would finish 11-18, and Ricky Stokes would be out of a job.

Another accomplishment by the Hokies in out of conference play is losing to Liberty in Blacksburg in two consecutive seasons.

The first time came back in 1999 in Ricky Stokesí first season in Blacksburg. The Hokies looked to be in control at halftime, taking a 37-30 lead into the intermission. However, Liberty stormed back in the 2nd half and won the game by a single point, 62-61. The Hokies went on to finish 16-15 that season, 8-8 in A-10 play, but losses to Liberty, Radford and East Tennessee State cost Tech a possible chance to play in the NIT.

The next loss to Liberty came on November 28, 2000. Despite not hitting a single 3 pointer, and only shooting 37.8% from the field, Liberty managed to lead 28-19 at halftime. The Hokies tried to rally in the 2nd half, but fell short, losing 61-56. Despite the victory, Liberty never did hit a 3 point shot for the game, going 0-3. The Flames also shot a horrid 38% from the field, but Tech committed 20 turnovers and Liberty hit 23 free throws to Techís 4!

The Hokies look to change their history against out of conference opponents in the 2004-05 season. Tech had a young team last season, as only one player on the team was older than a sophomore, but Tech managed to go 7-4 out of conference and not lose to any teams the stature of Wofford. By the end of the season, when Seth Greenbergís team had grown up a bit, they likely would have beaten 3 of the 4 out of conference teams to whom they lost. Tech fell to ODU in overtime, Ohio St. by 5 and East Carolina by 7 in games that could have been won. So there is an air of confidence that the Hokies can get it done out of conference this season.

Looking at this seasonís schedule, Tech has a chance to be 7-0 heading into the North Carolina game on December 19. In this stretch, Techís toughest test will likely be St. Johnís on the road. Following the UNC game, Tech plays Western Michigan and Morgan State at home, and then plays Mississippi State in New Orleans. Tech has a very good shot to go 2-1 during this stretch. The final out of conference game for the Hokies is against Bethune Cookman on January 12. This game is sandwiched between two conference matchups against Florida State and Clemson, and it looks to be a sure win.

If everything goes like it should for Tech, meaning there are no upsets either way, the Hokies will finish their out of conference schedule 10-1. However, potential upsets include St. Johnís, Western Michigan and Chattanooga. Lose to any of these teams, and Techís hopes for an NIT bid take a major hit.

The Hokies open their season tonight against Loyola (Md.) in Blacksburg. Game time is 7:00, and it won't be televised.

Click here for TSL's Men's Basketball Page


Adelphia's Commonwealth Cup Contest -- VT/UVA football ticket giveaway!

Monday at 10 a.m. is the deadline for entering your name to win a pair of tickets to the VT/UVa football game.

Grand Prizes Ė 3 winners will win 2 tickets to the Virginia vs. Virginia Tech Game at Lane Stadium on Nov. 27th.

How to enter - fill out the online registration form below and hit submit. It's that easy. No purchase necessary.

One entry per person. A random grand drawing will held on or about November 23, 2004. For official rules and regulations, click here.



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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week


Gym Rat's Notebook: You Gotta Believe
by Elijah Kyle, 11/19/04, 12:30 pm
One could probably accurately portray head coach Seth Greenberg as someone who is most comfortable micromanaging his teams and players. That was the case last season, when the Hokies confounded most everyone with their winning record, and has been his modus operandi in previous stops at Long Beach and South Florida. In his second season directing the Hokies, things just might be a bit different for Greenberg, and consequently his team and players.
in TSL Pass

Virginia Tech 55, Maryland 6
Hokies Roll Terps in Massive Beat-Down

by Stefan Adams, TechSideline.com, 11/19/04, 2:30 am
Blacksburg, VA ó Despite a dominating 55-6 victory over the University of Maryland, Thursday was a tumultuous day for the Virginia Tech football community. The Hokies arose in the morning in first place in the ACC, waiting for nightfall so they could battle against the University of Maryland, but early in the day, the team found out that Herma Beamer, head coach Frank Beamerís mother, had passed away at the age of 86.
in Football

TechSideline.com Recruiting Report Archive, 11/17/04 (MP3 Audio)
by TechSideline.com, 11/18/04, 11:40 am
This week on the TechSideline.com Recruiting Report, Will Stewart and Mike Harris review quarterback recruiting and then review the 1990 recruiting class that included Maurice DeShazo, Antonio Freeman, and Jim Pyne. The segment on the 1990 class contains some interesting stuff and some good history. (Time: 23:36)
in TSL Pass

Keys to the Game: Maryland
by Raleigh Hokie, 11/17/04, 11:30 am
After finding themselves alone at the top of the ACC standings, the Hokies take the field this Thursday night against a Maryland team that is fighting for season survival. The Terrapins come in knowing that they have to win their final two games against Virginia Tech and Wake Forest in order to be eligible for a bowl game. The Hokies know that they are in a position to have a special season if they take care of business, and that starts with Maryland.
in TSL Pass

Maryland Game Preview
by Jeff Ouellet, 11/16/04, 4:30 pm
Few occupations can be as fickle as that of a college football coach. Three years into his tenure, Ralph Friedgen was a larger than life figure in College Park as he guided the Maryland Terrapins to an astonishing 31 wins. Only two coaches Ė ever Ė matched that total in their first three seasons: Miamiís Larry Coker and former Oklahoma head man Barry Switzer. The combination of Friedgenís creativity and the leftover talent from the Ron Vanderlin era (a very underrated recruiter) helped fashion the most successful recent ACC program north of Tallahassee.
in Football

Hokie Hotline Notes for 11/15/04
by Phil Noftsinger, 11/16/04, 11:00 am
Bud Foster and Coach Beamer preview the Maryland game. Jim Weaver also comes on the show and "plays dumb" when asked about the huge 80-yard VT mowed into the grass of Lane Stadium (there are no secrets on the Internet, and we've got the picture to prove it).
in Hotline Notes

ACC Title Race Coming Down the Home Stretch
by Chris James, TechSideline.com, 11/15/04, 10:15 pm
After another round of ACC games this past weekend, the Hokies have found themselves all alone at the top of the ACC standings thanks to a 31-21 Miami victory over UVa on Saturday. However, the ACC race is still very much up in the air. Take a look at the standings of the current contenders along with their remaining games.
in News and Notes

Lane Stadium West Side Expansion Pics
by TechSideline.com, 11/15/04, 1:15 am
In just a few weeks, the 2004 home football season will be over, and West Side expansion will kick into high gear with a sprint towards completion in August of 2005. Here are the latest pictures showing the concrete structure that will house the new West Side expansion.
in Lane Stadium Expansion

 
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