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   Welcome to TSLMail #201 - Friday, November 11, 2005    
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   Tech Sports News

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Hokie Hoops Shooting for Their Best Start in 23 Years
by Chris Coleman,

For the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team to make postseason play for the second consecutive season, it is important that they get off to a great start in out-of-conference play. They have an opportunity to do just that, with six very winnable home games to start the season. They got off on the right foot Thursday night, defeating Radford 80-50.

Good starts have been hard to come by for the basketball team in recent years. Even last year’s team, who knocked off teams like Duke, Georgia Tech and Maryland, lost a game in the early part of the season to VMI. Previous Tech teams have dropped games to opponents such as Radford, William & Mary and Liberty. Each year their schedule indicates that they have a chance to get off to a great start, but each year they drop at least one game that they shouldn’t.

Since the key to Virginia Tech’s season is starting 6-0, let’s take a look at how Tech teams from the recent past have fared in their first six games.

VT Men's Basketball, First 6 Games


First 6 Games

Final Record





































As you can see, there were a lot of 4-2 starts, and on paper that is a good record, but when you consider the type of teams that generally fill the out-of-conference portion of Tech’s schedule, it is not.

The last Virginia Tech teams that began their seasons strong where the teams coached by Bill Foster in the mid 1990s. For three consecutive seasons, Foster’s teams started the season 5-1. Those starts were crucial to the final record of each of those teams.

In 1993-94, the Hokies were blown out at Xavier in the fifth game of the season, but that was the only blemish in a 10-1 start to an 18-10 season that saw the Hokies get left out of the NCAA and NIT tournaments. The Hokies were 13-2 through their first 15 games that season, but promptly lost six in a row from the end of January to the middle of February. They then rallied to win four of their last five regular season games, as well as a Metro Conference tournament game, but were still left out of postseason play.

The 1994-95 team started the season 5-1 with their only loss coming to Illinois in the Puerto Rico Shootout. That team started out 10-1 as well, finished 6-5 in the Metro Conference, got left out of the NCAA Tournament and went on to win the NIT. With four juniors and a sophomore starting that season, things looked bright for the next year.

The 1995-96 team started 5-1 as well, with their only loss coming to the Georgia Bulldogs in Atlanta. That Tech team was 19-2 at one point during the season and went into the NCAA Tournament 22-5 overall. The Hokies defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay in the first round before falling to eventual national champion Kentucky in the second round.

The 1982-83 team was the last Virginia Tech team to start the season 6-0. The schedule that season was very similar to the Hokies’ schedule this season. Five of the first six games of that season were in Blacksburg, with the only road contest during that stretch in Lynchburg, VA against Liberty. The team then departed for Hawaii, where they competed in the Rainbow Classic. Then they returned to Blacksburg for a five game home stand. You can’t ask for a better schedule than that; the Hokies went 14-1 during that stretch.

Last season Virginia Tech blew any chance they had at an NCAA Tournament bid when they lost out-of-conference games to inferior teams in VMI and St. John’s. This year the Hokies need to take care of business against the lesser teams if they want to find themselves dancing in March.

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week
Ras-I Dowling an Emerging Prospect
November 11, 2005
Despite missing several games due to a knee injury, Deep Creek (Chesapeake, VA) standout Ras-I Dowling continues to draw the serious interest of Virginia and Virginia Tech, among others. The 6-2, 185-pound Dowling, who plays basketball as well as football, is an outstanding athlete who could play receiver or defensive back on the next level.

Commitment Update: Smith Shows True Strength
November 11, 2005
Seneca Valley (Germantown, MD) standout Andre Smith lost his mother to cancer just weeks before making his verbal commitment to Virginia Tech, but has shown exceptional character and strength in the face of adversity in what is his senior year.

Hokies Finish Off Radford With Strong Second Half, 80-50
November 10, 2005
The Virginia Tech men's basketball team got their season off to a good start, knocking off visiting Radford 80-50 in the opening game of the NABC Classic in Blacksburg on Thursday night. The Hokies got off to a sluggish start but got stronger as the game went on, using their superior talent and athleticism to defeat the Highlanders.

JV Game Impressions
November 10, 2005
The Virginia Tech JV football team downed Fork Union 37-7 on Thursday afternoon in Lane Stadium. The Tech defense was dominant, and the running game was able to wear down the FUMA defense as the game progressed. Once again, a number of young scholarship players took the field for the Hokies, and we also have a report on Virginia Tech recruit Todd Nolen and recruit Jacoby Ford.

Basketball Preview: NABC Classic
November 10, 2005
Virginia Tech men's basketball team will host the NABC Classic beginning tonight at 7 pm in Cassell Coliseum. The four-team tournament is a round robin event, meaning each team will play every other team once. The Hokies will play all three teams in a span of just four days, and the first team on Tech’s schedule are the Highlanders from Radford. The Hokies and the Highlanders will tip-off tonight at 7 pm, and will be immediately followed by Western Carolina and Bowling Green at 9 pm.

Spikes Has Great First Visit
November 10, 2005
Crest (Shelby, N.C.) 4-star linebacker Brandon Spikes' first ever visit to Virginia Tech was last weekend, and the Hokies did a great job making a first impression on one of the top overall recruits in North Carolina.
more Recruiting Report from "Tech Beat With Mike Harris"
November 10, 2005
On this week's show, Chris Horne and Mike Harris talked a little bit about the game -- a very little bit, fortunately -- and then went over the list of recruits that visited, and how their visits went. (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.3 MB, 22:11)

Photo Gallery: Virginia Tech vs. Miami
November 9, 2005
With the college football world watching, the Hokies went down in flames to Miami last Saturday night. We bring you 45 images from the game that was dominated from start to finish by Miami, but which produced some lasting images, nonetheless.

Eckerson Talks Recent and Future Visits
November 9, 2005
With his senior season completed, Lumberton (N.C.) 6-6, 270-pound offensive tackle recruit Hutch Eckerson is anxious to figure out where he will be next year. He will take his time in making a final decision, but is ready to focus on his decision making process. Last weekend, he made an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech for the Miami game and will make his first official visit next weekend.

Miller Set to Visit UVa
November 8, 2005
Highland Springs linebacker Jarrell Miller, fresh off being officially named to the 2006 Army All-American team, made an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech this past weekend. He discussed the experience and looks ahead to this weekend, when he plans on making an official visit to the University of Virginia.

Ford Sets Two More Officials
November 8, 2005
5-9, 175-pound Fork Union Military Academy wide receiver Jacoby Ford showed off his outstanding speed and big play ability on the first play of FUMA’s game versus Hargrave Military Academy last Friday. Lining up beside the quarterback in Shotgun formation, Ford took a pitch and sprinted towards the outside. With no room to run, he reversed field and outran the Hargrave defense for a 75-yard touchdown run. The speed and big-play ability he showed on this play are several reasons why Ford has seen his recruitment take off this fall.

5-Star Recruits Rates VT Visit a 10
November 8, 2005
5-star wide receiver Vidal Hazelton rated his official visit to Virginia Tech a 10. Hosted by Marcus Vick, the Hargrave Military Academy standout had positive things to say about the entire experience, including the players, coaches and fans.

4-Star McDaniel Impressed with "The Walk"
November 8, 2005
Landstown’s (Virginia Beach, VA) 6-0, 195-pound 4-star wide receiver Damon McDaniel had a great official visit to Virginia Tech. The highlight of the visit was the walk, which made a significant impression on a prospect rated as one of the top wide receivers in the country.

Miami Game Analysis: Canes Beat Hokies at Their Own Game
November 8, 2005
As last Saturday's game approached, the Hokies and their fans (and ESPN, I think) were looking to create the fabled Perfect Storm. Media hype, a rockin' Lane Stadium, a huge pre-game Walk, a team ready to prove its worth to the BCS … everything seemed to be coming together. But instead, it all came apart, and the Miami Hurricanes soundly whipped the Hokies at their own game: patient, ball control offense and stingy defense. The result was another hard shock of reality for a Virginia Tech team still trying to climb the mountain.

Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 11/7/05
November 8, 2005
Monday night’s Hokie Hotline featured men’s basketball coach Seth Greenberg, athletic director Jim Weaver and head football coach Frank Beamer. Conversation topics included Greenberg’s new freshmen, some major scheduling news from Weaver, and how the Hokies will respond to the Miami loss.

Hokies Sixth in the BCS
November 7, 2005
After their defeat to Miami over the weekend, Virginia Tech has dropped three spots from third to sixth in the BCS. The Hokies are ranked eighth in both the Harris Interactive Poll and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, but their computer rankings boost them to sixth in the BCS.
Also: Virginia Tech-UVA Kickoff Set for Noon; Men's and Women's Basketball Victorious in Exhibition Games

LeSean McCoy Visits VT
November 7, 2005 caught up with Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, PA) Athletic Director/Varsity Running Backs Coach Tommy Mealy for the latest on stud running back LeSean McCoy. The 5-11, 205-pound McCoy, a 5-star recruit considered one of the top overall prospects in the country, enjoyed his official visit to Virginia Tech this past weekend.

Richardson Close to Decision?
November 7, 2005
4-star Westlake (Atlanta, GA) linebacker recruit Morrice Richardson said a few weeks ago that a decision could come soon after this past weekend's official visit to Virginia Tech. Is the 6-2, 230-pound blue-chipper close to a decision now and where do the Hokies stand after a "very good" official visit experience?

4-Star DE Impressed with Virginia Tech
November 7, 2005
4-star Stephenson (Stone Mountain, GA) defensive end Jermaine Cunningham was impressed with the atmosphere of Virginia Tech's game versus Miami, the team's chemistry and the attitude of the players after Saturday night.

Assessing VT's Chances for a BCS Bid
November 7, 2005
Around the TSL offices, the big question fans were asking us leading up to the Miami game was what we thought VT's chances were of catching Texas in the BCS. Our answer was the same every time: "We're not talking about that until after the Miami game." It's now officially "after the Miami game," and though VT's shot at a national title has gone by the boards, they still have a chance at a BCS game.

Edwards Rates Visit a 9
November 7, 2005
Westlake (Atlanta, GA) defensive back Mario Edwards, who was hosted this past weekend by Virginia Tech freshman free safety Cameron Martin, rated his official visit experience at Virginia Tech a "9." Like several others, it was his first trip to Blacksburg.

Bowman Has "Great Time"
November 7, 2005
4-star linebacker Navorro Bowman has been high on Virginia Tech for quite some time, but this past weekend was his first ever visit to Blacksburg. It was a key trip for Bowman, as the Suitland (Forestville, MD) star expects to enroll in college in January of 2006.

Miami's Defense Dominates Hokies, Hurricanes Win 27-7
November 6, 2005
Blacksburg, VA -- Virginia Tech’s perfect season and national championship hopes were spoiled on Saturday night in a 27-7 defeat at the hands of #6 Miami. The Hurricanes dominated the Hokies at the line of scrimmage and used six Marcus Vick turnovers to cruise to an easy victory.

Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Miami
November 4, 2005
All eyes are on Blacksburg as the biggest game in college football thus far takes place on Saturday night. Forget Texas-Ohio State, USC-Notre Dame, or Penn State-Ohio State, THE game in college football this year is taking place in Lane Stadium. Miami versus Virginia Tech has become one of college football’s best rivalries, and no game between the two schools has been bigger than this one.

Matchups to Watch: Virginia Tech vs. Miami
November 4, 2005
Finally, the big game has arrived. The #5 Miami Hurricanes roll into Blacksburg for the biggest home game in Virginia Tech football history. Seemingly, all sports media are focused on this contest and ESPN appears to have moved their offices from Stamford, CT to Blacksburg, VA this week. Everyone is talking Hokie football and the media frenzy surrounding this game is unparalleled for a regular season game. In my many years of following Virginia Tech football, I’ve never felt so much anticipation for a home game. Virginia Tech has truly arrived as a national power in football.
VT Set for Major Recruiting Weekend
November 4, 2005
Quite simply, this weekend may be the biggest recruiting weekend in the history of Virginia Tech football. Blue-chip recruits from all over – Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina and of course Virginia – plan to be in Blacksburg this weekend. Four 5-star recruits and 12 4-star recruits are expected in town, with three 5-star players and six 4-star prospects on official visits.
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