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|Welcome to TSLMail #205 - Friday, December 16, 2005||
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|Tech Sports News|
David Haskins, who won at Level 1. David won a $50 gift certificate to Kroger, just for playing the Kroger "Pro Challenge" football game on our web site.
You can play Kroger's "Pro Challenge" football game for a chance to win $1,000. Hurry, because time to play is running out!
Once you're at the Pro level, you can play and enter a sweepstakes drawing. First prize is $1,000 cash! Second prize is $250 cash! All Pro contestants have the same chance to win the cash prizes.
For playing at ANY level, you can enter a random drawing for a $50 gift card, with one card given away each week.
Get one of the ten highest scores, and you'll be given the chance to enter your initials, which are displayed at the beginning of every game.
How to play:
The Virginia Tech menís basketball team has gotten off to a solid 7-3 start and appears to be peaking earlier in the season than Seth Greenbergís first two teams. In the past two seasons, the Hokies ranked near the bottom of the Big East and ACC in many major statistical categories, but overcame these deficiencies by winning the turnover battle. Tech is winning that battle yet again this year, but they have also improved in several important elements of the game.
The Hokies have been playing great defense for the most part. They rank fourth in the ACC and 45th nationally (out of 326 teams) in scoring defense, allowing just 60.3 points per game. Opponents are shooting 40.1% against Tech, which is sixth in the ACC, in the middle of the pack. However, they do rank 69th nationally, ahead of teams such as Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Boston College.
Virginia Tech is flashing their superior athleticism by blocking shots. The Hokies block 6.2 shots per game, which ranks second in the ACC, behind Wake Forest. Tech ranks 17th nationally in this category.
The Hokies are also shooting the ball much better this year. While their 47.6% from the floor only ranks eighth in the ACC, it ranks 60th nationally. Tech also ranks 47th nationally in scoring margin, outscoring their opponents by an average of 12.2 points per game.
And of course, Tech is getting it done in the turnover stats as well. The Hokies rank first in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio and third in turnover margin. They also rank fifth in steals. They are an impressive ninth in the nation in turnovers, committing just 11.5 per game. They are second among BCS conference teams in this category.
Itís also time to dispel the myth that Seth Greenberg is "doing more with less." Greenberg is doing a great job, but he certainly has some very good ACC-caliber players on his team. Coleman Collins, Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon could start for many of the teams in the conference.
Collins, a 19-yeard old junior, ranks sixth in the ACC in scoring at 17.1 points per game. He is also seventh in rebounding, averaging 8.1 points per game. Since his return from home to visit his ailing father, Collins is averaging 18.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He looks to be Techís top threat offensively at this point. He has a good jump shot and good range, and he can also do the dirty work inside.
Zabian Dowdell is having a great season as well, especially after moving from point guard to shooting guard. Dowdell is averaging 15.9 points per game, which ranks 14th in the ACC. Both Dowdell and Collins have recorded career highs of 25 points in games this season. Dowdell has also tied a Tech record with seven three-pointers in one game. He is fifth in the ACC in steals.
Jamon Gordon is having a great year "filling up the stat sheet" as Seth Greenberg likes to say. He averages 5.5 assists per game, which ranks first in the ACC. He also leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio. Gordon does it all for the Hokies. He grabbed ten rebounds in one game earlier in the season, a remarkable feat for a 6-3 guard.
So itís time to kill the theory that Tech lacks talented players. The only thing the Hokies lack is another inside player to complement Coleman Collins. Deron Washington has done a great job at power forward, but he is more suited to the small forward position. That problem could be solved if Robert Krabbendam is able to come back effectively from his injury. We should know by the William & Mary game on December 27th.
In what has been a rare occurrence throughout the years, the Hokies will head to Las Vegas to take on a west coast team on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Tech will face the Stanford Cardinal at 12:30 am on ESPN. Meetings with west coast teams have been few and far between for Tech. The game will serve as another nationally televised game for the Hokies and will also increase their exposure in another region.
In the 1996-97 season, Tech flew west to Hawaii where they faced off against Hawaii-Hilo, Colorado and Illinois in the Big Island Invitational. The Hokies defeated Hawaii-Hilo, but were defeated by the Buffaloes and Illinois. Tech went on to finish the season 15-16 in Bill Fosterís last season.
In the second game of the 1991-92 season, the California Golden Bears traveled east, taking on Virginia Tech in Richmond. Cal beat Tech 68-59 and the Hokies went on to a miserable 10-18 season.
The most recent home-and-home series with a west coast team came against the USC Trojans. Tech traveled to Los Angeles during the 1985-86 season, where they beat USC 90-81 in a season that saw the Hokies go 22-9 and take a trip to the NCAA Tournament. In the 1987-88 season, USC returned the favor by coming to Blacksburg, where they were blown out by Tech 101-73. The Hokies finished 19-10 that year but did not make a postseason tournament because they were on probation.
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