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   Welcome to TSLMail #312 - Friday, January 11, 2008    
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Hokie Hoops Pre-ACC Update 
by Chris Coleman,

The Virginia Tech men's basketball team has finished its non-conference schedule. Starting this Saturday with Maryland, the Hokies will play 15 consecutive ACC contests. The competition will be at another level. This is why these players decided to attend Virginia Tech. The young Hokies have talent, but how will they fare in the most prestigious basketball conference in the nation?

Currently the Hokies are 9-6 overall, and 0-1 in the ACC. That puts them around Maryland (10-6, 0-1) and Georgia Tech (7-6, 0-1) in the standings. NC State and Boston College haven't been particularly impressive either. There is one major difference between Virginia Tech and those teams, however: The Hokies haven't had nearly as many home games.

Comparing the ACC's
Non-Conference Schedules
Team Home
Boston College 11 2 1
Clemson 8 3 3
Duke 7 0 5
Florida State 9 3 4
Georgia Tech 6 4 3
Maryland 12 1 3
Miami 8 2 4
North Carolina 7 6 2
NC State 7 3 3
Virginia 9 3 1
Virginia Tech 6 5 4
Wake Forest 10 4 0

That table includes games through Tuesday night's action. No ACC team has played fewer home games this season than the Hokies. Tech has played the second most road games in the ACC (5) and the second most neutral site games (4).

When you consider that six of Virginia Tech's top 10 players are freshmen, the Hokies have probably played the toughest schedule in the conference. It's true that UNC has played at BYU, Rutgers, Ohio State and Kentucky in non-conference games, but the Tar Heels are the #1 team in the nation. They don't have six freshmen.

Seth Greenberg could have scheduled for success, but he chose to get this team ready for the rigors of college basketball by giving them a tough schedule. The road game at Old Dominion (which was actually signed by Ricky Stokes) could be the toughest road environment that the Hokies face this year.

Tech has been very close in some of their games, losing to Butler in overtime, Penn State by five, ODU by three, Wake by two and Richmond by three. Greenberg pointed out on Tuesday night's Hokie Hotline that Tech could easily be 12-3, even with the strategy of playing a tough schedule.

Not all teams have the same scheduling philosophy. Take the defending National Champion Florida Gators, for example. Billy Donovan's team is completely new this year, just like Seth Greenberg's. However, Donovan decided to play an easy schedule. The Gators have played 11 home games, three neutral site games and just two road games.

Florida's Schedule
Opponent Where RPI Rank Result
North Dakota State Home 171 W
Tennessee Tech Home 305 W
NC Central Home 298 W
Rutgers Home 187 W
North Florida Home 337 W
Florida State Home 40 L
Stetson Home 242 W
Vermont Neutral 240 W
Jacksonville Home 196 W
Florida A&M Home 228 W
Georgia Southern Neutral 76 W
Charleston Southern Home 330 W
Ohio State Road 16 L
Temple Neutral 69 W
High Point Home 236 W
Alabama Road 84 W

I don't think Virginia Tech's record would be much different against that schedule than Florida's. The Gators are 14-2. I'm thinking the Hokies could pull 12 or 13 wins out of that group of teams.

Speaking of Florida, Charleston Southern head coach Barclay Radebaugh had this to say about the Hokies after Monday night's game: "They're the most athletic, longest team we've competed against this year. ... We just got overwhelmed."

The Buccaneers also played Florida earlier in the season. The Gators are similar to the Hokies, with five freshmen in their 10-man rotation. As a result of their easy schedule, as of Friday morning, Florida is #93 in the RPI (per at 14-2 (with a strength of schedule 290), while the 9-6 Hokies are #102 (SOS of 96).

The Magic Number is 7 ... or Possibly 6

Virginia Tech plays 31 guaranteed games this year. They've already played 15, and they have 15 ACC games remaining, plus one in the ACC tournament. That's 31. Tech will obviously need a winning record to make the post season, whether it be the NIT or the College Basketball Invitational (a new 16-team postseason tournament this year). has tickets
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That 31 is assuming the Hokies lose in the first round of the ACC tournament. If we stick with that assumption, Tech will need to win seven ACC regular season games. That would put them at 16-15 at the close of the ACC tournament, assuming they lost in the first round. An ACC team with a winning record is likely to garner an invitation to either the NIT or CBI. If Tech wins seven regular season games, then wins their first ACC tournament game before getting knocked out in the second round, they'll finish 17-15. That would just about guarantee a postseason berth.

However, the general consensus is that the Hokies will not win seven ACC games. They'd have to go 7-8 over the next 15 games. That will be tough, with so many young players.

If Tech wins six ACC games, they'll finish 15-15 at the end of the regular season. If they lose in the first round of the ACC tournament, they'll be 15-16, with no postseason. The best thing they could do in that scenario is win two ACC tournament games to get to 17 wins. A 17-16 mark would likely get them in one of those tournaments. 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

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Maryland

January 11, 2008
Virginia Tech begins the ACC portion of their schedule on Saturday afternoon when they go against the Maryland Terrapins. The Hokies (9-6, 0-1) played one ACC game in back in December, losing by two to Wake Forest on the road. Now they'll close the regular season with 15 straight ACC games.

Rose Preparing for Virginia Tech
January 11, 2008
Peter Rose turned in an outstanding senior season while leading Amherst (VA) to a 14-0 record and its second consecutive state championship title, earning AP Group AA Player of the Year honors. The 6-1, 180-pound Rose, a quarterback and safety for head coach Scott Abell, threw for 1,133 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 1,790 yards and 27 scores.

2007 Football Superlatives (Most This, Most That)
January 11, 2008
Xavier AdibiWith the season over, it's time to give our 2007 season superlatives. There were many great individual performances this year, and it's tough to leave out so many fine players. However, there were a few guys who stood out on a team that featured a lot of talented players. We'll give four awards for the offense, and four for the defense. The Special Teams MVP will round out the article.

Tweedy to Enroll at Tech; Clayton Sets Visit
January 10, 2008
Former Hermitage (Richmond, VA) S/LB Alonzo Tweedy will finally enroll at Virginia Tech. He enrolls this Saturday with classes beginning on Monday. Tweedy, who signed a letter of intent with Virginia Tech in February of 2007, is one of two grey-shirted prospects that delayed enrollment for one semester.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 1/9/08
January 10, 2008
Doing their first show in a few weeks, Len Martez and Chris Coleman went over the Orange Bowl loss (and Tech fans' reactions to it), then switched over to the basketball side of the house and talked about Malcolm Delaney vs. Hank Thorns at the point guard spot (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.4 MB, 14:27).

Orange Bowl Loss Brings Bowl Preparation Into Focus
January 10, 2008
One year ago, when the Hokies collapsed against Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the spotlight of criticism, blame, and analysis centered squarely on quarterback Sean Glennon, who turned it over four times as the Hokies fell apart. One year later, with underdog Kansas beating the Hokies in the Orange Bowl, the focus is in a different area: bowl preparation and offensive playcalling. This article will focus on the former, and answer questions about how the two teams approached the game, and whether Tech's bowl prep needs revamping.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 1/8/08
January 9, 2008
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Tuesday night's show was the first one-hour edition of the 2007-08 academic year, and head men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg held court (pardon the pun, which was definitely intended) for the full hour. The Hokies start the ACC portion of their schedule Saturday against Maryland, and Greenberg gave his thoughts on the state of the team.

Plans Coming Into Focus for Ocean Lakes Stars
January 9, 2008
WR/QB Marcus Davis and WR Randall Dunn are two of the top uncommitted seniors left in the state of Virginia, but both have lined up official visits for this month and could made decisions before the end of the month according to Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) head coach Jim Prince. Davis has officials lined up for each of the next three weekends, while Dunn has two visits set with one in the works.

Orange Bowl Analysis: Mistakes, Missed Opportunities Doom Hokies
January 8, 2008
The long delay after the regular season provides a lot of time for people to dissect every little detail about bowl games -- matchups, game plans, experience, who's hot, who's more motivated, and who has more to prove. But sometimes games come down to mistakes, missed opportunities and simple decisions that backfire. And so it was for the Hokies last Thursday night in the Orange Bowl. With the 24-21 loss to Kansas, the Hokies are now 1-4 in their last five bowl games and 1-4 overall in BCS/Bowl Alliance bowls.

Around the ACC: Bowl Results
January 8, 2008
The ACC had a poor showing in the bowls, going 2-6, the worst of the six BCS conferences and ninth out of the 12 conferences that put teams in bowl games. The league also lost its eighth straight BCS Bowl game. We bring you the rundown of all eight ACC bowls, and the offensive and defensive MVPs for each ACC team.

Hokies Finish Ranked in Top Ten
January 8, 2008
Virginia Tech finished #9 in both the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches' Poll released this morning. The Hokies finished the season 11-3 overall following their Orange Bowl loss to the Kansas Jayhawks. LSU finished #1 following their dismantling of Ohio State in last night's BCS National Championship Game.
Also: Message Board Cleanup Underway

Oscar Smith to Return Strong Group in 2008
January 8, 2008
A loaded Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) varsity football squad turned in an outstanding 2007 season, finishing with 13-1 overall record including an undefeated regular season, a Southeastern District championship and a Division 6, Eastern Region championship. Though the Tigers are losing outstanding talents such as wide receivers Kerry Boykins and Todd Harrelson, an outstanding group of players are returning as well.

Hokies Sink Buccaneers, Await Maryland
January 7, 2008
Virginia Tech scored the first 16 points of the game and never looked back in a 79-49 home victory over Charleston Southern on Monday night. The win moves the Hokies to 9-6 overall as they look forward to their ACC home opener against the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday afternoon.

5-Star Junior DeShawn Painter Boasts Top Offers
January 7, 2008
Virginia and Virginia Tech do not have to look far for one of the top class of 2009 basketball recruits in the country. 6-8 power forward DeShawn Painter, a junior out of Norfolk's Booker T. Washington High School, is rated a 5-star prospect by and and claims scholarship offers from some of the nation's best men's basketball programs.

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Charleston Southern
January 7, 2008
The Virginia Tech men's basketball team will play their last out-of-conference game of the season on Monday night when they host Charleston Southern. The Hokies will be looking got get back on the right track after a tough loss at Richmond last Thursday. Like Tech, Charleston Southern is a young team that relies on a number of freshmen.

Brandon Flowers to Turn Pro
January 6, 2008
The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday that Virginia Tech defensive back Brandon Flowers will declare for the 2008 NFL Draft. Virginian-Pilot reporter Kyle Tucker quoted Flowers' father Willie as saying that Flowers would go pro.

Florida DT Commits to Hokies
January 6, 2008
A day after landing one of the state of Virginia's most coveted recruits, Virginia Tech went to Florida to land its latest commitment of the 2008 class. Earlier today, Oviedo High School defensive lineman Dwight Tucker informed the Tech coaches of his decision to commit to the Hokies.

Williams Selects Virginia Tech
January 5, 2008
Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA) running back Ryan Williams, one of the most coveted prospects in the state of Virginia in the 2008 recruiting class, announced his college choice today at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. With his mother and Stonewall Jackson head coach Loren Johnson by his side, the 5-10, 205-pound Williams pledged to Virginia Tech.

Hokies Drop Orange Bowl to Kansas 24-21
January 4, 2008
Kansas took a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, and Virginia Tech couldn't do enough to come from behind as they lost the Orange Bowl 24-21 on Thursday night. The Hokies finished an otherwise great season on a sour note. They finished 11-3 overall, and were one game away from having the most wins in the history of the program. Kansas improved to 12-1 overall with their victory over Virginia Tech.

Countdown to Signing Day: One Month to Go
January 3, 2008
There is only one month left until the National Signing Day. While Virginia Tech has a big chunk of its 2008 class finished, there is still much work to be done before Signing Day comes. Check out which prospects remain on the board, how many more commitments the staff may be able to take and more in this latest edition of "Countdown to Signing Day."

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Richmond
January 3, 2008
Virginia Tech will look to win their third consecutive game when they take on Richmond in the Robins Center on Thursday evening. The Hokies are coming off wins over Hofstra and St. John's in the Aeropostale Holiday Festival in Madison Square Garden over the weekend. Tech is 8-5, and they still have a chance to reach 10 wins before facing the meat of their conference schedule, but they must defeat the Spiders to reach that goal.

Brookville's Thomas at Three Offers and Counting
January 2, 2008
Star junior Logan Thomas led Brookville (Lynchburg, VA) to a 9-4 overall record including a Division 3, Region III championship title in 2007. Thomas, the starting quarterback for the Bees, has drawn serious interest from Division 1A programs. He currently boasts three scholarship offers from ACC programs and is likely to receive more offers by the time his junior year comes to an end.

Q&A with Antoine Hopkins
January 2, 2008
6-2, 280-pound defensive lineman Antoine Hopkins, a star senior out of Highland Springs, verbally committed to Virginia Tech at Tech's home victory over East Carolina. Hopkins, who turned down offers from Tennessee and Virginia as well, turned in a terrific senior season, helping the Springers to an undefeated regular season and a district championship. And he is the subject of the latest "Q&A."

Keys to the Game, Matchups to Watch, and Game Projection: The Orange Bowl
January 1, 2008
Virginia Tech returns to a BCS bowl for the second time in four years as the Hokies meet the upstart Kansas Jayhawks in the Orange Bowl. Tech is peaking after winning the final five big games to claim the Hokies' second ACC championship. Kansas surprised the football world by winning their first eleven games only to fall to Missouri in the finale for the Big 12 North championship. Is Kansas for real, or will the Hokies' momentum be too much for the Jayhawks?

Hokie Hotline Notes for 12/31/07
January 1, 2008
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Monday night's show from Miami featured an hour with head football coach Frank Beamer, who discussed his team's preparation for the Orange Bowl.

Football Game Preview: The FedEx Orange Bowl
December 31, 2007
Frank Beamer and Virginia Tech will look to pick up their first BCS bowl win since 1995 when they take on the Kansas Jayhawks in the Orange Bowl this Thursday. The Hokies have a chance to win 12 games for the first time in school history, and they can also finish #2 in the final BCS standings. But to do that, they have to knock off Kansas, who has been beaten just once this year.

Green Run Star Ready for January Visits
December 31, 2007
Green Run (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive end Joe Jones picked up an official offer from the University of Tennessee recently, adding to the offers he had already received from three other Division 1A programs - Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia Tech. The first-team all-Tidewater selection has set two official visits for the month of January and will likely make a college choice in late January.
Hokies Beat St. John's, Win Holiday Festival
December 29, 2007
It was an ugly game, but the Hokies got it done. Virginia Tech knocked off St. John's 54-48 to become the 2007 Aeropostale Holiday Festival Champions. Tech closed out a close game in the final few minutes and improved their overall record to 8-5. They have two out-of-conference games remaining against Richmond and Charleston Southern before hitting the meat of their ACC schedule.

Hokies Smash Hofstra, Set Date with St. John's
December 28, 2007
Bad starts could be considered the reason for several Virginia Tech losses so far this season. That wasn't the case on Friday night, as the Hokies blew the doors off Madison Square Garden from the opening tip, routing Hofstra 84-59 in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated. Tech improved to 7-5 with the win, and they'll take on St. John's in the championship game of the Aeropostale Holiday Festival on Saturday at 3:30.

Basketball Game Preview: Aeropostale Holiday Festival
December 28, 2007
Virginia Tech had a great experience in Madison Square Garden last season, and they hope their trip this year nets the same results. Last year the Hokies blew out Seton Hall in the famous arena, and this year they are one of four teams taking part in the Aeropostale Holiday Festival.
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