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   Welcome to TSLMail #316 - Friday, February 8, 2008    
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   Tech Sports News

2008 ACC Football Recruiting Rankings
by Chris Coleman,

Every year at this time, recruiting services like to come out with their list of rankings for each school's recruiting class. The Hokies did very well this year in the national rankings, as did several other ACC teams. Nine ACC schools finished in the Top 45 nationally when you average the rankings of and

ACC Recruiting Rankings
Team Rivals Rank Scout Rank Average
Miami 4 3 3.5
Florida State 8 5 6.5
Clemson 12 11 11.5
Virginia Tech 18 20 19
Boston College 33 22 27.5
NC State 31 29 30
UNC 34 30 32
Maryland 32 52 42
Georgia Tech 49 38 43.5
Wake Forest 58 65 61.5
Virginia 61 62 61.5
Duke 65 70 67.5

The consensus is that Miami and Florida State signed Top 10 classes, while Clemson is very close to being Top 10. The Tigers actually had the #2 class according to ESPN, but you won't see them ranked that high anywhere else. Virginia Tech also did very well, finishing with a Top 20 class according to Rivals and Scout.

The two services disagree about several ACC classes. Scout has Boston College at #22, just two spots behind the Hokies, while Rivals has them at #33 and nowhere close to Virginia Tech. Still, it's a solid class for the Eagles.

On the other hand, Rivals obviously thinks much higher of Maryland's recruiting class than Scout does. Rivals ranks Maryland #32, while Scout has them at #52. If Ralph Friedgen is still recruiting the same type of players that he has in the past, that #52 could end up being more accurate.

Only three ACC teams failed to finish in the top half of Division 1-A in recruiting. Virginia and Wake Forest tied with an average of 61.5, while Duke brings up the rear as usual with an average of 67.5.

In a few years, we'll be able to look back and determine how accurate these ratings are.

Hoops Stats Down in Most Areas

Virginia Tech has completed nine of their 16 regular season ACC basketball games this year. They are currently 5-4 in the conference, despite playing six freshmen regularly. We can take a look at their statistics in ACC games to compare this year's team to last year's team.

ACC-Only Stats Comparison, 2006-07 and 2007-08

2006-07 2007-08 Better
or Worse?
Stat ACC Rank Stat ACC Rank
Scoring Offense 72 ppg 6 72.3 ppg 9 Better (+3)
Scoring Defense 71.4 ppg 5 73.9 ppg 2 Worse (-3)
Free Throw % 71.1% 7 68.7% 8 Worse (-1)
FG % 47.3% 3 41.6% 10 Worse (-7)
FG % Defense 43.9% 4 43.2% 2 Better (+2)
3-Pt. % 35.6% 6 26.7% 12 Worse (-6)
3-Pt. % Defense 35.4% 6 37.6% 8 Worse (-2)
Rebounding Margin -2.7 10 +5.1 2 Better (+8)
Blocked Shots 4.44 5 4.3 6 Worse (-1)
Assists 12.44 8 10.7 10 Worse (-2)
Steals 7.3 4 7.0 6 Worse (-2)
Turnover Margin +2.0 2 -1.0 8 Worse (-6)
Assist/TO Ratio 1.16 3 0.64 12 Worse (-9)
Average -- 5.31 -- 7.31 --

The Hokies have improved a bit in a few categories, but overall their numbers are much lower than last year. They rank an average of two spots lower in the categories listed in the table above.

Tech is averaging slightly more points per game in ACC play this year. However, the ACC is a better offensive conference this year, so Tech's ACC scoring rank slips from sixth to ninth, despite the improvement.

Defensively, Tech is giving up 2.5 more points per game in ACC play, but they have moved up in the standings from fifth to second. As noted above, ACC teams are scoring more points this season.

The Hokies have also made a slight improvement in field goal percentage defense, and they've also moved up in the standings in that category, from fourth to second.

The only category where the Hokies have made more than a slight improvement is rebounding. Tech replaced Coleman Collins with a rebounding machine in Jeff Allen. Cheick Diakite is a good rebounder, and Deron Washington and A.D. Vassallo are arguably the best rebounding wings in the ACC. Throw in the emergence of J.T. Thompson, and that's a pretty good rebounding team.

Such an improvement in rebounding has partially made up for getting worse in other phases of the game. Tech's three-point shooting and overall field goal percentage have dropped off the face of the earth after the loss of Zabian Dowdell, and his departure has hurt free throw shooting as well.

The difference in turnover margin isn't as drastic as you might think. The Hokies were +2 on average last year, and -1 so far this year. However, that is showing signs of going up. In their most recent four games, Tech broke even against BC, was +5 against FSU, +3 against UVA and +7 against NC State. That's looking more and more like last season.

Tech is actually forcing more turnovers this year than last year. ACC opponents turn the ball over an average of 15.8 times per game against the Hokies this year, compared to just 12.8 times per game last year. However, VT is turning it over about six times more per game after the loss of Dowdell and Jamon Gordon.

The most dramatic decrease is assist-to-turnover ratio. Tech was third last year with a ratio of 1.12, but this year they are dead last in the ACC with a ratio of 0.64. That's barely half as good as last season.

If you're expecting to win another five ACC games over the second half of the conference slate, your expectations are probably a bit too high. These are not the stats of a 10-win ACC team. 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

2008 Football Recruiting Analysis: Best Class Ever?

February 8, 2008
Is this Virginia Tech's best class ever? On paper, the answer is no, as Tech's 2005 class was rated higher nationally by However, from top to bottom, this class is rock solid. Focusing on those top, top gets like U.S. Army All-American Ryan Williams and offensive tackle Vinston Painter is easy to do, but what is most striking to me is how solid this class looks throughout.

Hokies Release 2008 Football Schedule
February 8, 2008
The ACC released the 2008 football schedules on Friday afternoon, including Virginia Tech's schedule, and the rumored 12th opponent turned out to be true: The Hokies will be playing Western Kentucky in Blacksburg on October 4. The schedule features two Thursday night games, as usual, and three November ACC home games.

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Miami
February 8, 2008
You've heard the expression "every game is big." That couldn't be more true than in ACC basketball, but it's especially true for Saturday's game between Virginia Tech and Miami. The loser of this game can pretty much forget about having a chance at the NCAA tournament, unless they can make a run in the ACC tournament in March. The Hokies are playing at home, and they need to hold serve.

A Look at 2008 ACC Football Recruiting Star Ratings
February 7, 2008
Now that all the letters-of-intent have come in, we can take a look at the recruiting classes around the ACC. It was a strong recruiting year around the conference, which was much needed. The usual culprits are found at the top of the rankings, as well as at the bottom. Where do the Hokies stack up? About the same place as usual.

2008 Football Recruiting Class Analysis: The Players
February 7, 2008
Virginia Tech's class, on paper likely the best Tech has ever had, is made up of seven 4-star recruits, 19 3-star recruits and five 2-star recruits. While the seven 4-star kids certainly stand out, from top to bottom this class is filled throughout with potential impact players. Let's take a look at the players in this class by position.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 2/6/08
February 7, 2008
On yesterday's show, Len Martez and Chris Coleman broke down Virginia Tech's huge 31-member recruiting class, taking it in two segments: the offense and the defense. Check out this double-length edition of the Len Martez show, checking in at a whopping 25 minutes long. Who says you can't get more for your money these days? (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 5.8 MB, 24:56).

Hokies Sign 31 to Letters of Intent
February 6, 2008
Virginia Tech received 31 letters of intent from football prospects today, the largest recruiting class in Frank Beamer's tenure at Virginia Tech. The class includes 22 players from the state of Virginia, also a record for Beamer at Tech.

Mackey Chooses VT
February 6, 2008
Virginia Tech has added yet another talented prospect to the defensive line, as Leon Mackey, a 6-4, 275-pound defensive end out of Newark, Delaware, signed with Virginia Tech. Mackey, who is attending Hargrave Military Academy this academic year, chose the Hokies over Florida State, North Carolina and N.C. State.

National Signing Day
February 6, 2008
Today is national football recruiting signing day, which is a very high traffic day on We've modified the home page to direct you to the Signing Day Ticker. Please check out our News and Notes update for more detail.

Slow Start Dooms Hokies in Raleigh
February 6, 2008
Virginia Tech got off to a terrible start, and although they rallied in the second half, it wasn't enough to overcome a big first half deficit as NC State picked up a 73-63 win in Raleigh. The loss dropped the Hokies to 14-9 overall, and 5-4 in the ACC. NC State is now 15-7 overall, and 4-4 in conference play.

Photo Gallery: Hokies 72, Hoos 65 in OT
February 5, 2008
Before we put last Saturday's victory over the Cavaliers completely to bed, let's enjoy a 55-image photo gallery. Our gallery comes from a variety of sources and captures both the pagentry of Virginia Tech basketball (including cheerleaders and High Techs!) and the thrill of an overtime win over a fierce rival.

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at N.C. State
February 5, 2008
Halfway through their ACC schedule, the Hokies have played their way into NCAA tournament bubble consideration. They'll try to build up their resume even more when they travel to Raleigh to take on NC State on Tuesday night. Beating the Wolfpack on the road would be a huge step for Tech, who has yet to beat a team in the Top 50 of the RPI.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 2/4/08
February 5, 2008
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Seth Greenberg and the team were en route to Raleigh on Monday night. He joined Bill Roth and Mike Burnop for several segments via phone from the team bus. Greenberg talked about last week's big wins and previewed tonight's opponent, NC State.

Dunn Reflects on his Decision
February 5, 2008
Shortly after informing his head coach, Jim Prince, of his college choice, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) star Randall Dunn received a phone call from Virginia Tech primary recruiter Curt Newsome. Newsome had just been informed by Prince that Dunn, a 6-3, 215-pound wide receiver, would be joining Tech's 2008 recruiting class.

Around the ACC: February 4th, 2008
February 4, 2008
We're getting to the stretch run of the ACC schedule. Two teams, Virginia Tech and Florida State, have played half of their ACC games, and the other 10 teams have played seven. Duke and UNC sit at the top of the ACC standings, while Georgia Tech, Florida State and Virginia have basically played their way out of the NCAA tournament picture, with Boston College possibly joining that group soon. Everyone else is squarely in the hunt.

Davis Headed to Blacksburg
February 4, 2008
A day after teammate Randall Dunn gave his verbal commitment to Virginia Tech, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) quarterback/athlete Marcus Davis followed suit. The 6-5, 215-pound prospect, rated the #9 prospect in the state in's Postseason Top 30, picked Tech this morning over offers from Connecticut, North Carolina, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia and more.

Davis to Reveal Decision Tomorrow
February 3, 2008
Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) star Marcus Davis will reveal his college choice tomorrow, Ocean Lakes head coach Jim Prince told this afternoon. The first-team all-Tidewater selection is expected to choose between Penn State and Virginia Tech. He also considered scholarship offers from North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, among others.

Ocean Lakes Star Makes His Decision
February 3, 2008
Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) wide receiver Randall Dunn made his college choice this afternoon. After narrowing his list to North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech, the 6-3, 215-pound senior has decided to play his college football in the state of Virginia. Which in-state program did he choose?

Hokies' Mastery of Overtime Continues Against UVA
February 2, 2008
Virginia Tech overcame yet another second half deficit as the Hokies rallied to knock off UVA in overtime 72-65. It was Tech's second overtime win of the year against the Hoos, and their third overall. This marks the first time since the 1968-69 season that the Hokies have beaten UVA twice in the same season. Tech improved to 14-8 overall and 5-3 in the ACC with the win, and they still sit all alone at third place in the conference standings.

Myer Excited About Opportunity at VT
February 1, 2008
Virginia Tech's staff first started pursuing Manheim Central (Manheim, PA) place-kicker Justin Myer "about a "month and a half ago" according to Manheim Central head coach Mike Williams. The 6-1, 190-pound senior accepted a recruited walk-on spot with the Hokies in early January, choosing Tech over a scholarship offer from Division 1A Temple as well as Maine, William & Mary and others.
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