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   Welcome to TSLMail #263 - Friday, January 26, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

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Winning, Fans Return to Cassell Coliseum

by Chris Coleman,

With last Sunday's win over Maryland, the Hokies pushed their record inside Cassell Coliseum to 10-0 on the season. With five more home games left on the schedule, Virginia Tech has a chance to make the 2006-07 seasons one of the best in this history of Cassell Coliseum.

Top Cassell Coliseum Records
Year Record
1975-76 14-0
1972-73 11-0
1965-66 10-0
1961-62 10-0

The Hokies have gone undefeated in Cassell Coliseum four times since the building opened for the 1961-62 season. Their best record came in 1975-76 when they went 14-0 at home.

Since that 1975-76 season, the Hokies haven't been able to go undefeated at home. In fact, they came up one game short on seven occasions. Their latest one-loss season at home came in 1995-96, with their only home loss of that season coming to #1 UMass. Tech was also 14-1 at home in 1994-95.

With those two back-to-back seasons, that corps of players that featured Ace Custis, Damon Watlington, Shawn Goode, Shawn Smith and Travis Jackson went 24-2 in Cassell Coliseum over a two year span. They were also 9-3 in 1993-94. That group did a great job of protecting the Cassell for three straight seasons.

Virginia Tech's all-time record in Cassell is 443-126 (.779 winning percentage). Only 126 losses at home since 1961-62 is a very good mark. That's an average of just 2.8 home losses per season in 45 years. If the Hokies keep up the winning ways at their current rate, they can improve that average this season.

In Seth Greenberg's three-plus seasons as Virginia Tech's head coach, the Hokies have posted an overall record of 44-14 (.759) inside the friendly confines of Cassell Coliseum. Greenberg has won at least 10 home games per year.

Greenberg's predecessors, Bobby Hussey and Ricky Stokies, did not have nearly as much success in the Cassell. Hussey and Stokes coached at Tech a combined six years. Hussey replaced Bill Foster following the 1996-97 season, and Stokes took over for Hussey after just two seasons. Their combined record at home was 48-38, just a 56% winning percentage. Before their tenures, the Hokies had won 82% (361-81, for a winning percentage of .816) of their games in Cassell Coliseum.

In their six seasons as head coach, Hussey and Stokes managed to drop Virginia Tech's overall winning percentage in Cassell Coliseum from 82% to 77% (409-119 record). And they did this playing against Atlantic 10 competition for three of those six seasons.

During the Hussey/Stokes area, attendance plummeted. The teams were bad, the styles were boring, and the opponents from the Atlantic 10 and even the Big East didn't excite the Tech faithful. (Not that the Big East did VT any favors; in four years of Big East membership, Syracuse never visited Tech.) During those six seasons, average attendance dropped to 4,250. During the 2001-02 season, attendance dropped all the way to an average of 3,501, the lowest in Cassell Coliseum history.

Under Greenberg, as the teams have gotten better and the competition has gotten a lot more interesting, attendance has steadily risen. It's impossible to know exactly how many people attend Tech basketball games because the athletic department uses the number of tickets sold as the official attendance number, rather than the number of actual fans in the stands. But for big games, the crowds are back.

Even back in Tech's glory days of basketball, Virginia Tech never averaged over 9,000 for attendance. Except for the past two years, when Tech averaged 9,406 fans and 9,763 fans, the highest average attendance for a season in Cassell Coliseum was 8,768 in 1987-88.

Not counting the seasons in ACC play, Virginia Tech has averaged over 8,000 fans per game just seven times.

Best Attendance Years in Cassell
Season Average
1973-74 8,750 13-13
1974-75 8,327 16-10
1979-80 8,567 22-9
1984-85 8,218 20-9
1985-86 8,449 22-9
1987-88 8,768 19-10
1995-96 8,358 23-6
*Numbers don't include
seasons in the ACC

For the most part, the Hokies have to be approaching 20 wins or more for average attendance to be more than 8,000. The one exception was the 1973-74 season, when Tech was coming off an NIT Championship. Tech rode that NIT Championship to good attendance for two seasons.

The bottom line is that the Hokies are 15-5, in second place in the ACC and ranked #23 in the nation. They have a great chance to get to 20 wins season. If they keep winning, expect to see Cassell Coliseum filled for the remainder of the season. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Around the ACC: January 25th, 2007

January 25, 2007
Boston College continues to hold the top spot in the ACC at 6-1, but Virginia Tech and UNC are both on their heels at 5-1. The league's RPI rating is a solid #1, according to, with eight teams in the top 36 of the RPI. We cover all the action from the past week and look ahead in this week's installment of "Around the ACC."

Class of 2008: All-Tidewater QB Casey Turner
January 25, 2007
For his junior season performance in 2006, Great Bridge (Chesapeake, VA) quarterback Casey Turner came away with first-team all-Tidewater honors. At 6-5, 210 pounds, the strong-armed Turner, also named Southeastern District Offensive Player of the Year, threw for 2,780 yards and 24 touchdowns.

2006 Football Superlatives
January 25, 2007
Every season has its highs and lows, peaks and valleys, and extremes. Here at TSL, we came up with about 20 categories, focusing mostly on the positive, and handed out awards to those most deserving. Here are our 2006 Hokie Football Superlatives, everything from Team MVP to Assistant Coach of the Year.

Weekend Visitor: 3-star OL Desmond Roberts
January 25, 2007
Desmond Roberts, still a serious target for the Virginia Tech Hokies, will make an official visit to Blacksburg this weekend. The three-star offensive line prospect out of Northampton (Gaston, N.C.) plans to arrive tomorrow, making what will be his first visit to Virginia Tech since the spring game last year.

The Latest on DE Michael Connolly
January 25, 2007
Virginia Tech has been eyeing 6-2, 240-pound defensive end Michael Connolly for the past few months, but the staff has not yet extended a full scholarship offer. The Cardinal Mooney (Sarasota, FL) prospect met with Virginia Tech coaches last week ... has anything changed?

2008 Class: Oscar Smith's Terrific Trio
January 24, 2007
Next season, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) returns 16 starters from a team that went 10-2 in 2006. Of the 16 starters returning for next season, Tigers head coach Richard Morgan says three juniors should receive Division 1 offers. In fact, two of them already have.

Hokies Release 2007 Football Schedule
January 24, 2007
Virginia Tech's 2007 football schedule was released on Wednesday afternoon, and Hokies fans have an exciting set of games to look forward to. Tech opens the season against three teams who went bowling in 2006 and closes it against top notch ACC competition in some big rivalry games.

Countdown to Signing Day: Two Weeks Left!
January 24, 2007
With just two weeks remaining until Signing Day, Virginia Tech, as it has been since last August, is pretty much finished with the 2007 recruiting class. Currently, the class is rated #17 in the nation by and #20 in the nation by There are a few targets remaining, however, so let’s take a look at what’s in store for these final weeks.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 1/22/07
January 24, 2007
On Monday's night's Hokie Hotline, Seth Greenberg joined Bill Roth and Mike Burnop via phone from Miami. Roth, Burnop and Greenberg had interesting comments about the Maryland game, as well as opinions on the outstanding student attendance.

#23 Hokies Hold On in MIami
January 24, 2007
#23 Virginia Tech jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first half, and held on in the second half for a 92-85 victory over the Miami Hurricanes in the BankUnited Center on Tuesday night. The Hokies improve to 15-5 overall and 5-1 in the ACC with the win, while Miami falls to 9-12 overall, and 2-5 in conference play.

VT Commits Reflect on Official Visits
January 23, 2007
Virginia Tech hosted a number of official visitors last weekend. Only Salem (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive lineman Chima Okoli was uncommitted, as the rest had previously committed to the Hokies. caught up with three committed recruits – Northwest (Germantown, MD) DL Justin Young, Varina DB Davon Morgan and Warren Central (Indianapolis, IN) RB Darren Evans for comments on their experiences in Blacksburg.

Basketball Game Preview: #23 Virginia Tech at Miami
January 23, 2007
Just two nights after knocking off Maryland in an overtime game in Cassell Coliseum, the Hokies are on the road in Coral Gables to take on the Miami Hurricanes in a critical ACC road contest for Virginia Tech. A win over the Hurricanes coupled with a Boston College loss to Florida State on Tuesday would give Tech sole possession of first place in the ACC.

2008 Class: RB/FB John Carter
January 23, 2007
As a junior last season, running back John Carter rushed for close to 300 yards on around 40 carries for Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA). Carter primarily played fullback and was the lead blocker for another talented back, Ryan Williams. Next season, the 5-9, 210-pound Carter will play for Osbourn High School and hopes to be the main man.

Okoli Gives VT Visit High Remarks
January 22, 2007
Three-star defensive lineman recruit Chima Okoli, one of the fastest rising prospects over the past few months, made an official visit to Virginia Tech this past weekend. Tech is one of three current finalists for the 6-5, 270-pound Salem High School (Virginia Beach, VA) standout, who enjoyed his time in Blacksburg.

Cardiac Hokies Squeak Out a Big One
January 22, 2007
It's January 22nd, and last night, in a surreal environment consisting mostly of students in the crowd, Virginia Tech equaled last season's win totals, with their 14th overall win and their fourth ACC win. Holding the fort at home is critical in the ACC, and with their 67-64 overtime win over the Maryland Terrapins, the Hokies ran their season record in Cassell to 10-0, 3-0 in the ACC. The train that leads to the NCAA tournament is still firmly on its tracks.

#23 Virginia Tech Takes Down Maryland in Overtime
January 21, 2007
The Hokies got back to their winning ways on Sunday night, beating Maryland 67-64 in Cassell Coliseum in overtime. Tech, #23 in the A.P. Poll, is 2-0 in overtime games this year, with a win at Duke to go along with Sunday's victory. They are now 14-5 overall and 4-1 in ACC play. Maryland, ranked #22 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll, drops to 15-5 overall and 1-4 in the ACC.

Basketball Game Preview: #23 Virginia Tech vs. Maryland
January 19, 2007
#23 Virginia Tech returns to action on Sunday night when they host the Maryland Terrapins in a key ACC matchup in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies are 3-1 in conference play and near the top of the standings, while the talented Terps are 1-3 and desperate for a victory. We could possibly see one of the better games of the season in Cassell Coliseum on Sunday.

2008 Class: All-State DB Jeron Gouveia
January 19, 2007
An all-state performer this past season as a junior, Stone Bridge (Ashburn, VA) star Jeron Gouveia has actually been a standout for head coach Mickey Thompson each of the past two seasons. He has been an important part of a Stone Bridge varsity football squad that has gone 23-3 combined over the past two seasons.
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