A service of TechSideline.com

Hokies Need More Stability in Basketball Recruiting
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #407, November 13, 2009

The 2009 Virginia Tech men's basketball recruiting class has a chance to do something that no Tech basketball class has done since the 2003 class. If all four members of this class can finish their career at Tech without transferring, it will be the first time that has happened in Blacksburg since Zabian Dowdell, Jamon Gordon and Coleman Collins accomplished that feat.

Player attrition has been a major problem for the Tech basketball program, as the following table illustrates.

Recruiting Classes, 2003-08

Stayed in Program

Left Program/Never Enrolled

Coleman Collins

Robert Krabbendam

Jamon Gordon

Justin Holt

Zabian Dowdell

Wynton Witherspoon

Deron Washington

Marquie Cooke

Cheick Diakite

Hyman Taylor

A.D. Vassallo

Terrance Vinson

Lewis Witcher

Tyrone Appleton

Jeff Allen

Nigel Munson

Terrell Bell

Gus Gilchrist

J.T. Thompson

Darrion Pellum

Malcolm Delaney

Hank Thorns

Dorenzo Hudson

Kendall Durant

Victor Davila


Gene Swindle


That's a lot of player turnover, and it's still possible that we could see a couple of guys from the left column move to the right column before it's all said and done.

Greenberg's first full recruiting class, the 2004 class, turned into a major failure. The only player in that class who finished his career was Deron Washington, who eventually turned into a second round NBA Draft selection. Washington was an excellent player for the Hokies, but the rest of his classmates ... not so much.

Greenberg recruited Robert Krabbendam from Holland, who never did anything of impact and left VT after his redshirt sophomore year. The jewel of the class, Marquie Cooke, was a bust and a trouble maker. Wynton Witherspoon transferred to George Washington, and Justin Holt was dismissed before playing in a single game. Overall, this was not a successful class.

The 2005 class was better, though it didn't get off to a good start. Hyman Taylor was dismissed just after arriving on campus. Terrance Vinson was a career backup who graduated, but never used up his eligibility and barely ever played. Cheick Diakite turned into a contributor, and A.D. Vassallo developed into one of the greatest offensive players in school history. 2-for-4 was a lot better than Greenberg's 2004 class.

2006 was another rough year. Tyrone Appleton didn't qualify thanks to an administrative error (not Greenberg's fault, or Appleton's). He went the JUCO route and now plays for Kansas. Nigel Munson transferred after his freshman season, and now plays Division II for the University of the District of Columbia. Lewis Witcher will finish his career, though he's never been more than a spot starter.

The Hokies signed a huge class in 2007, and it was hit or miss. Gus Gilchrist never enrolled, instead going to Maryland before matriculating at South Florida. His story is well-known to Tech fans. Darrion Pellum never qualified and now plays at Hampton. Hank Thorns transferred to TCU following his sophomore season. Jeff Allen, Malcolm Delaney, J.T. Thompson, Terrell Bell and Dorenzo Hudson are still members of the team. Overall, this will probably turn out to be a solid class.

The 2008 class featured three players, and Kendall Durant never qualified. Gene Swindle took a redshirt year, and isn't being mentioned for playing time. Victor Davila is penciled in as a starter this year. In all likelihood, only one of these three recruits will work out for the Hokies in the long run.

That brings us to the 2009 class, the current group of freshmen. Early results are encouraging so far. Seth Greenberg has already been quoted as saying Erick Green and Ben Boggs will play. Cadarian Raines would be playing too because of his size, if he wasn't hurt. The only recruit who isn't getting much mention is Manny Atkins, the most highly touted player of the group.

If Atkins works out, then this class has a real chance to go 4-for-4. Even if one of these four recruits doesn't finish his career at Tech, then 3-for-4 is a very solid step in the right direction. The Tech program needs more stability from their recruiting classes. 2009 is the first recruiting class since 2005 that saw all of its recruits quality, so that in itself is a step in the right direction.

Keep your eye on Boggs, Green, Raines and Atkins. If these guys contribute this year, and none of them leave in the offseason, then things look good for the future of the program.



Plush Hokie Bird: Exclusive!

Available exclusively at Campus Emporium! Our very own plush Hokie Bird stands 12" tall and and wears "GO HOKIES" proudly across his chest.
   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week
Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: Maryland
November 13, 2009
The Hokies travel to College Park, MD this week to face a struggling Maryland Terrapins squad, Tech's first opponent this year with a losing record. The 2-7 Terps have lost four straight ACC games after upsetting Coastal Division leader Clemson, and Ralph Friedgen's tenure at Maryland appears to be coming to an end. Virginia Tech will be scoreboard watching, as the Hokies need Duke to knock off Georgia Tech to have a chance at a fourth ACC title. Will VT be focused against a Maryland team that has nothing to lose?

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Brown
November 13, 2009
Basketball season is here, as the Brown Bears travel to Cassell Coliseum to take on Virginia Tech on Sunday at 4pm. This is a game the Hokies should win easily, but nothing can be taken for granted considering the injuries and illnesses that Tech suffered during the preseason.

Catching up with OL Caleb Farris
November 12, 2009
Caleb Farris' senior season was a tough one, as the 6-4, 295-pound offensive lineman battled a hamstring injury throughout while Rockbridge County (Lexington, VA) went winless on the year. Up next for the Virginia Tech recruit is a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for the Offense/Defense All-America Bowl, something he is certainly excited about.

Rev. Zeke Profiles Tech's Recruits
November 11, 2009
Cannon School (Concord, N.C.) guard/forward Jarell Eddie and John Bartram (Philadelphia, PA) guard Tyrone Garland followed through on the commitments they made and signed letters of intent with Virginia Tech today. TechSideline.com basketball recruiting guru Rev. Zeke Vodka provides in-depth analysis on the two recruits as well as East Ridge (Clermont, FL) guard Rob Brown, who is Virginia Tech's first commitment for the 2011 class.

Hokies Sign Eddie and Garland for Men's Basketball
November 11, 2009
The Fall early signing period opened today, and it was a good day for the Virginia Tech men's basketball program, as two recruits in the 2010 class faxed their letters of intent to Seth Greenberg. Jarell Eddie and Tyrone Garland are the newest members of the Tech basketball program, and they will join the team next year for the 2010-11 season.
Also: Women's Soccer Makes NCAA Tournament

Football Game Preview: #21 Virginia Tech at Maryland
November 11, 2009
Presented by Kent Square Condominiums:
Virginia Tech travels north to play Maryland in just their second trip to College Park since joining the ACC in 2004. The Hokies won at Maryland in 2005, and have beaten the Terps twice in Blacksburg. Already having clinched a losing record this year, Maryland will be playing for pride. That makes them a dangerous team.

Quick Take with Dave Telep
November 11, 2009
Today is the beginning of the Early Signing Period for Division 1 men's basketball. By next Wednesday, which is when the period ends, Cannon School (Concord, N.C.) guard/forward Jarell Eddie and John Bartram (Philadelphia, PA) guard Ty Garland are expected to sign letters of intent with the Hokies. Scout.com National Basketball Recruiting Director Dave Telep took some time to discuss Tech's class.

ECU Game Analysis: Hokies Grind Out Road Win
November 10, 2009
I didn't make it down to Greenville this time, but I'm told that the environment was "interesting" and the home team was jacked. Maybe they were a bit too jacked. ECU put a lot into this game, and they were hoping to elevate the status of their program in front of a national ESPN audience. But it didn't work out that way. While the Hokies went about their business in a grind-it-out fashion, the home team Pirates made too many mistakes at critical times and were never able to get into a good rhythm. In the end, it wasn't a very exciting game and before it was over many fans were looking for somewhere else to be, but after two disappointing losses, the Hokies will gladly take the win and move on to Maryland.

Farmer to Start Setting Visits
November 10, 2009
6-4, 265-pound tight end/defensive end Ethan Farmer, one of the top remaining uncommitted senior prospects in the state of North Carolina, concluded his high school career last week and will now work towards figuring out where he will attend college. The talented prospect boasts double-digit scholarship offers, but there are some programs that have impressed more than others as he figures out where he will visit.

Tech Talk Live Notes for 11/09/09
November 10, 2009
Presented by Bull & Bones Brewhaus & Grill:
There were a lot of good guests on Monday night's Tech Talk Live. Besides the usual segments from Jim Weaver and Frank Beamer, Bill Roth was also joined by former Tech receiver Antonio Freeman and current players Michael Via and Davon Morgan. Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring rounded out the football part of the show. Seth Greenberg also joined the show for a segment to discuss his team, which begins play this Sunday.

Monday Thoughts: East Carolina
November 9, 2009
I've always wanted to go to an East Carolina game in Greenville, ever since a high school buddy of mine attended ECU and I started paying attention to them. They went 8-3 in our freshman year in 1983, with narrow road losses to Florida, Florida State and Miami. The Virginia Tech and ECU programs were very similar in size and scope until the early 90s, when VT got invited to the Big East and started to pull away.

DeMatha Notes: VT Requests Film on Junior
November 9, 2009
Nationally recognized prep football program DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) has eight seniors with at least one FBS offer, including three that have committed to major FBS programs. The talent continues to flow in for head coach Bill McGregor, who'll likely have a powerful program for seasons to come.

Around the ACC: November 9, 2009
November 9, 2009
This deep in the season, we're starting to get a better idea of who will meet in Tampa for the ACC Championship Game. Georgia Tech is just one win away from clinching the Coastal Division, while two teams in the Atlantic Division have what seems to be an insurmountable lead over the other four schools.
   TSLMail is a trademark of TechSideline.com - Copyright © 2009 - All Rights Reserved
   To unsubscribe from this email, reply with the word "UNSUBSCRIBE" in the subject.