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   Welcome to TSLMail #321- Friday, March 14, 2008    
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   Tech Sports News

Rebounding Key to the Hokies' Success
by Chris Coleman,

Virginia Tech has had a lot of unexpected success in basketball this year. Playing six freshmen, the Hokies finished fourth in the ACC and now stand at 19-12 overall, and are very much a part of the at-large bid discussion for the NCAA tournament. How did this young team get there? There are a number of reasons, but not the least significant is rebounding margin.

Virginia Tech has out-rebounded their opponents in 14 of their 17 ACC games this year. Including Friday's impressive 51-25 demolition of Miami on the boards, many of those games haven't even been close when it comes to rebounding.

VT Rebounding
Margin, ACC Games
Opponent Margin
Wake Forest +7
Maryland +3
Virginia +8
Georgia Tech +5
Duke +2
Boston College +9
Florida State +7
Virginia +10
NC State -5
Miami -15
UNC -30
Maryland +4
Georgia Tech +15
Boston College +17
Wake Forest +18
Clemson +15
Miami +25
Average +5.65

The Hokies have such a young team, and on many occasions they aren't quite up to the task offensively. Winning the rebounding wars helps overcome many of those difficulties. In past Seth Greenberg coached teams, Tech accomplished victory by winning the turnover margin. This year the Hokies have essentially broken even in turnover margin in ACC play, but they are using rebounding to gain an advantage.

Over the last five games, Tech has really been dominant on the glass. No one has even come close to matching the Hokies on the boards recently.

VT Rebounding Margin,
Last 5 Games
Georgia Tech +15
Boston College +17
Wake Forest +18
Clemson +15
Miami +26
Average +18.2

That's not just winning the rebounding margin battle, it's flat out dominating it. The numbers since the Georgia Tech game are pretty amazing.

As Seth Greenberg says, the Hokies rebound by committee. They have an excellent inside player in Jeff Allen who can hold his own against any big man he faces. However, there is a lot more to it than that.

The Hokies have the benefit of having the best, clear cut #1 rebounding wing in the ACC. Deron Washington is averaging 7.3 rebounds per game in conference play. No other wing in the conference comes even close. Maryland's Greivis Vasquez and UNC's Danny Green grab six per game, while Virginia Tech's own A.D. Vassallo is averaging 5.9. But they aren't really close to Washington, who is seventh in the conference in rebounding in ACC games.

Throw in Jeff Allen, who averages 7.2 rebounds per game in ACC play (9th in the conference), and that's one fine trio of players who can rebound. In fact, all three rank in the top 17 in rebounding in the ACC. That's not even counting J.T. Thompson, who averages 4.9 per game off the bench. When you look at all those guys and their impressive numbers, it's easy to understand why the Hokies have such impressive team stats.

They'll need every one of those stats and more when they face the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday. UNC is the #1 rebounding margin team in the conference, checking in with a +11.4 margin in conference play. From the standpoint of rebounding, this one is going to be a heavyweight slugfest. Expect the Hokies to be ready to play. Whether they'll be able to execute well enough to win is another question, but they aren't going to lose by 40 this time around. 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

Hokies Pound Miami Down the Stretch

March 14, 2008
Virginia Tech used a great defensive performance and a dominating rebounding effort to defeat the #5 seed Miami Hurricanes 63-49 in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on Friday afternoon. The Hokies notched an all-important win over a Top 50 RPI team, improving their chances of making the NCAA tournament. They'll face the #1 team in the land, the North Carolina Tar Heels, Saturday afternoon in the semifinals.

Hokies Set to Play Miami on Friday
March 13, 2008
Virginia Tech's first game in the 2008 ACC Tournament has been set. The Hokies will take on Miami, the #5 seed, on Friday at approximately 2:30pm. The Hurricanes defeated NC State 63-50 on Thursday afternoon.

2009 Class Needs: The Offense
March 13, 2008
Virginia Tech has addressed the offensive side of the ball in a big way over the past two recruiting classes. Combing the two classes, the Hokies have landed three quarterbacks, four running backs, six wide receivers (potentially more if some of the 2008 class "athletes" stick at wide receiver), four tight ends and seven offensive line prospects. Tech has acquired quality as well as quantity, but there are some needs on the offensive side of the ball that should be addressed.

2008 ACC Basketball Tournament Preview
March 12, 2008
The ACC tournament begins Thursday at noon. The 12 teams will play a total of 11 games over four days in Charlotte Bobcats Arena. The clear favorite in the tournament is UNC, who is playing better basketball than anyone in the conference right now. But as March Madness proves every year, being the clear favorite doesn't mean anything.

Painter Finishes Season with a Flourish
March 12, 2008
Booker T. Washington (Norfolk, VA) power forward DeShawn Painter entered the 2007/2008 season with high expectations as one of the most highly rated prospects in the 2009 class. The season did not go as planned for Painter, who admittedly struggled against top competition and defenses focused on taking him out of the game. However, by the end of the season, the 6-8, 215-pound prospect regained his swagger and is excited heading into the AAU season.

Greenberg Named ACC Coach of the Year
March 11, 2008
Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg has been named the 2007-08 ACC Coach of the Year. It is the second time Greenberg has been named ACC Coach of the Year. The first time came after the 2004-05 season, when the Hokies finished fourth in their inaugural season in the ACC.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 3/10/08
March 11, 2008
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Monday night, Seth Greenberg made it apparent that moping over the Clemson loss was very short-lived. The team is excited about the upcoming ACC tournament, and though there was some discussion about the Clemson game, there was much looking ahead, as well.

Kelly Concludes Terrific Junior Season
March 11, 2008
Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.) forward Ryan Kelly turned in an outstanding junior season performance, averaging 23.7 points, 9 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. The 6-9, 202-pound prospect helped his team to a 24-6 record, a conference tournament championship and a number four seed in the state playoffs.

Bassett's Miller Holds ACC Offer
March 10, 2008
Bassett (VA) offensive lineman Andrew Miller has enjoyed an outstanding past few weeks, receiving his first Division 1A football scholarship offer and then winning the Group AA state championship in the 285-pound division in wrestling. Bassett varsity football head coach James Gilbert sees more success in the future for his talented junior.

The Battle for ACC Coach of the Year
March 10, 2008
With the regular season over, it's time to decide who the ACC Coach of the Year (COY) is. Seth Greenberg is high on the list of candidates, but so are Miami's Frank Haith, UNC's Roy Williams, and the sentimental favorite, Wake's Dino Gaudio.

Checking in on Tech Signee Gene Swindle
March 10, 2008
Gene Swindle enjoyed a terrific offseason prior to his senior season, performing well on the AAU circuit last summer and dropping about 40 pounds from his junior season playing weight. Harry Gordon, who just completed his first season as Gulliver Prep's (Miami, FL) head coach, saw improvement in Swindle's game as the 2007/2008 season went on.

Around the ACC: March 10th, 2008
March 10, 2008
Another great week of ACC basketball is over, and with it comes the end of the regular season. Things ended as they were expect on top, with UNC and Duke leading the standings. There were a number of surprises in the league however, and we're sure to get more surprises in this weekend's ACC tournament.

Hokies #4 Seed in ACC Tournament; Will Play Friday at 2 PM
March 9, 2008
With Virginia's 91-76 victory over Maryland on Sunday night, the 2008 ACC Tournament field has been set. Virginia Tech has earned a first round bye courtesy of their fourth place finish in the league, and they'll play a quarterfinal game on Friday at 2pm against either #5 Miami or #12 NC State.

#24 Clemson Narrowly Beats Tech in Battle for Third Place
March 9, 2008
Two Demontez Stitt free throws with 3.8 seconds remaining propelled #24 Clemson to a 70-69 win over Virginia Tech, putting a serious hurt on the Hokies' NCAA tournament chances. Clemson improved to 22-8 overall and 10-6 in the ACC with the win, while Tech fell to 18-12 overall and 9-7 in the ACC. The Hokies are the #4 seed in the ACC tournament. Tech will get a first round bye in the tournament and will play in the quarterfinals on Friday at 2pm.

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Clemson
March 7, 2008
The Hokies will look to do something they've never done before when they take on #24 Clemson on Sunday afternoon: They will go for their fifth straight ACC victory. The Hokies have won four straight ACC games on two occasions, but never five. A road win over a Top 25 team would go a long way in securing an NCAA tournament berth for the Hokies. Clemson has a lot to play for as well, such as the #3 seed in the ACC tournament. It's also Senior Day for three Tigers.
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