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  TSLMail #365- January 16, 2009    
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 Tech Sports News

No Sophomore Slump for Delaney
by Chris Coleman,

Heading into this basketball season, some fans wondered whether Virginia Tech's sophomore class would have a dreaded sophomore slump. While it can be argued that the Hokies haven't played as well as they are capable, you can't argue against the idea that Malcolm Delaney is developing into one of the finest scoring guards in Virginia Tech history.

Seth Greenberg has coached a few top-notch scorers in his Virginia Tech coaching career, namely Bryant Matthews, Zabian Dowdell and A.D. Vassallo. Let's compare what these three players did as sophomores to what Malcolm Delaney is doing this year.

No Sophomore Slump for Delaney
Player Season PPG

Malcolm Delaney



Zabian Dowdell



A.D. Vassallo



Bryant Matthews



Dowdell and Matthews went on to develop into First Team All-Conference players, and A.D. Vassallo could end up doing the same thing this year. Yet Delaney is further along from a scoring standpoint as a sophomore than any of those outstanding players.

Of the players on that list, Delaney is obviously the most similar to Dowdell. They play the same position and they can both knock down the outside jumper. Delaney probably has a smoother stroke, but Dowdell could penetrate and score around the basket like no other player in the ACC as a senior.

To reach the level that Dowdell played at as a senior, Delaney is going to have to expand his game a bit. He needs to pack on muscle mass so he can get to the basket easier and finish better. That was the big difference we saw in Dowdell between his junior and senior seasons. He bulked up in his upper body and outmuscled weaker guards. He got to the basket, finished, and drew fouls. He went to the free throw line 191 times during his senior season.

Delaney is already very good at getting to the free throw line. However, he could get there even more if he could get to the rim more often. As a career 83.1% free throw shooter, Delaney has tremendous potential if his offensive game improves like Zabian Dowdell's.

Dowdell finished his career sixth in Virginia Tech history in scoring with 1,785 points. Only Bimbo Coles, Dell Curry, Dale Solomon, Perry Young and Allan Bristow scored more points. If Delaney stays at the same pace for the rest of his career, he'll be right up there as well.

Tech played 35 games last year. If they played 35 games in each of Delaney's four seasons, and he averages 16.6 points per game, he will finish his career with 2,078 points. That would put him fourth in school history in scoring, just behind Solomon, who finished with 2,136 points.

Of course, the Hokies might not play 35 games in each of Delaney's remaining seasons. That would cut into the final numbers. However, if he improves at the rate of A.D. Vassallo or Zabian Dowdell over his final two seasons, he could end up averaging a lot more than 16.6 points per game.

Here is a list of Tech's Top 10 scorers of all-time, with Delaney's projected numbers. It assumes he continues to average 16.6 points per game, and the Hokies play 35 games each year for the remainder of his career. Just for fun, we assumed that A.D. Vassallo will average 18.1 points per game for the rest of this season. That would put him in the Top 10 as well.

Top 10 Career Scoring Leaders
Player Points

Bimbo Coles


Dell Curry


Dale Solomon


Malcolm Delaney


Perry Young


A.D. Vassallo


Allen Bristow


Zabian Dowdell


Bob Ayersman


Ace Custis



Those numbers won't necessarily be accurate, but it's safe to say at this point that the Hokies have two of the best scorers in school history on the same roster. That's a luxury Tech has rarely had in the past. Perry Young and Dale Solomon played together for one year, and Young and Curry played most of their career together. It's probably not a coincidence that the best era of Virginia Tech basketball took place from 1978-1986. The Hokies went to four NCAA tournaments and three NITs during that time period.

The Hokies will lose Vassallo at the end of this season, but it appears that they are on track to at least reach the NIT. Next year Delaney will assume the scoring load, and Tech will need another player to step up and complement him, just like he has done for Vassallo over his first two seasons. If the Hokies can find another major scorer to go along with Delaney next season, the Seth Greenberg era should continue with success. 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: Boston College at Virginia Tech

January 16, 2009
Virginia Tech will play the final game of their short home stand on Saturday afternoon when they take on the Boston College Eagles. If the Hokies can win this game, they'll have a winning record in the ACC and put themselves in a better position to take on three consecutive Top 50 opponents.

Moses to Make Next Official Visit
January 16, 2009
Meadowbrook (Richmond, VA) offensive lineman Morgan Moses will not head to the University of Alabama this weekend as had been previously scheduled, but he will make an official visit. The 6-7, 340-pound senior, who has already made official visits to West Virginia and UNC, now plans to visit the University of Virginia.

Robinson DE/LB Updates Recruitment
January 16, 2009
Robinson (Fairfax, VA) defensive end Jordan Stanton will leave later today for an official visit to James Madison University. Next weekend, the 6-4, 240-pound senior prospect heads to Old Dominion for another official visit. JMU and ODU are currently the only offers he holds, but Stanton continues to receive interest from Virginia Tech and Virginia.

Gough Earns WP All-Metro Honors
January 15, 2009
6-6, 260-pound Liberty (Bealeton, VA) senior Kory Gough performed very well in 2008, his first full season as a starting offensive tackle. In addition to helping the Eagles capture a Group AAA Division 5 Northwest Region championship, he earned Washington Post first-team all-metro honors for his play.

One Year Later, Hokies In Same Position
January 15, 2009
Virginia Tech easily handled a solid Richmond basketball team on Wednesday night, and the first half was arguably their best half of basketball this season. Tech is now 11-5 overall and 1-1 in ACC play, and they are sitting in basically the same spot that they were last year at this time.

Hokies Brush Aside Richmond
January 15, 2009
Virginia Tech used a big first half run to knock off the Richmond Spiders 62-48 in Cassell Coliseum on Wednesday night. The Hokies took a 24-6 lead in the first half and never looked back. They are now 11-5 on the season, with a 1-1 mark in ACC play. Up next is a big conference game against Boston College.

Q&A with Logan Thomas
January 14, 2009
Brookville (Lynchburg, VA) recruit Logan Thomas represented the victorious East squad in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 3rd. Coming off a senior season in which he led Brookville to an undefeated regular season and a runner-up finish in the Group AA, Division 3 state playoffs as the team's starting quarterback, the Army game offered a glimpse into what his future at Virginia Tech.

Chris Coleman Named Managing Editor of
January 14, 2009
Effective today, Chris Coleman is named the Managing Editor of founder and General Manager Will Stewart will step down from his Managing Editor duties and will assume the Associate Editor duties for TSL from this point forward. Stewart will remain as General Manager of the site.

TSL Participating in MDA Lockup Again in 2009
January 14, 2009
For the last two years, has raised money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association by participating in the MDA's yearly "Lockup." Over that two year span, we have raised almost 8,000 dollars, and we're back again this year! This year's event is on January 29th, so we have roughly two weeks to reach our target goal of 5,000 dollars.

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Richmond
January 14, 2009
Virginia Tech will play their final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday night. The Richmond Spiders travel to Blacksburg, and they'll be looking to knock off the Hokies for the second year in a row. A win would give Tech their sixth victory in the past seven games.

TSL Audio: The Jerry Miller Show, 1/12/09
January 14, 2009
Monday afternoon, Chris Coleman and Jerry Miller reviewed the VT-Virginia basketball game from Saturday, talked about VT hoops and ACC hoops in general, and discussed the point guard position for the Hokies (WMA format, approx. 3.0 MB, approx. 13 minutes long).
The Jerry Miller Show appears on The Sports Addict Radio Network every afternoon from 1:00-3:00 pm in Blacksburg (1430 AM), Charlottesville (840 AM), and Bluefield (1050 AM), and from 2:00-4:00 in Martinsville (1160 AM).

Acree Earns Top Honors at Army Combine
January 13, 2009
Nick Acree made his presence felt at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Junior Combine earlier this month, performing well and earning first-team all-combine as a defensive lineman. The 6-6, 300-pound Acree impressed in several phases, including one-on-ones and the shuttle, but decided not to show off his weightlifting prowess after pulling a shoulder out of place two days before the combine.

2008 Football Review: The Defense
January 13, 2009
Last week we looked at the 2008 season of the Virginia Tech offense. Today, we'll switch sides and look at Bud Foster's defense, which had another tremendous season. Despite losing so many key players from the 2007 team, the Hokies once again finished in the Top 10 in total defense, coming in at #7. That's the fifth year in a row they have accomplished that feat.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 1/12/09
January 13, 2009
Seth Greenberg joined Bill Roth for the Hokie Hotline on Monday night. They discussed Saturday's big win against Virginia, why Jeff Allen is struggling, and the upcoming game against the Richmond Spiders.
more's Postseason Top 40
January 12, 2009
The state of Virginia's 2009 recruiting class is one of the deepest in recent memory, with over 50 prospects currently committed to Division 1A programs with more to come before Signing Day arrives. Here is the final ranking of the top 40 prospects in the Commonwealth's 2009 class.

Around the ACC: January 12th, 2009
January 12, 2009
Now that each ACC team has played at least one conference game, it's time for our first basketball edition of "Around the ACC". For the most part, the season hasn't been a surprise. However, one team in particular isn't having the start to conference play that they envisioned.

Three New Players Set to Enroll
January 12, 2009
Three new players will be enrolling at Virginia Tech for the spring semester. Class of 2008 members Ben Barber, Tony Gregory and Eric Martin will be enrolling in school next week, and they will go through spring practice with the Hokies.

Vassallo and Delaney Lead Hokies Past Hoos
January 10, 2009
Virginia turned a double digit second half deficit into a very close game, but in the end Virginia Tech pulled out a 78-75 victory in Cassell Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. The win moves the Hokies to 10-5 overall and 1-1 in ACC play. They'll host Richmond in their final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday night.

TSL Audio: The Jerry Miller Show, 1/5/09
January 9, 2009
Chris Coleman and Jerry Miller kicked off 2009 this past Monday (sorry we're so late getting it posted!) by discussing the ins and outs of VT's Orange Bowl win over Cincinnati (WMA format, approx. 3.0 MB, approx. 13 minutes long).
The Jerry Miller Show appears on The Sports Addict Radio Network every afternoon from 1:00-3:00 pm in Blacksburg (1430 AM), Charlottesville (840 AM), and Bluefield (1050 AM), and from 2:00-4:00 in Martinsville (1160 AM).

Barber to Enroll Next Week
January 9, 2009
Ben Barber stayed close to the Virginia Tech program last fall, attending a junior college near Tech. He will officially become part of the program when he enrolls in Blacksburg next weekend, 11 months after signing a letter of intent with the Hokies.
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