Thursday, November 19, 2009

There's a UNC-Greensboro now?

I'm sure many of you knew there was a UNC-G, but I did that for effect. Brilliant, if I do say so myself. Apparently they are called the Spartans, and apparently we have played them several times in the last 5 or 6 years. Who knew? I guess they aren't very memorable because we throw the smack down on them every single time we play them. Tuesday night was no exception, although the beatdown wasn't as large as it could have been if we had actually shot the ball well. So with that, I thought I might include some points from the game against UNC-G:

- Foul shooting is our nemesis right now. Seth Greenberg and the players swear up and down that they practice 100 of them every day and that they are hitting the free throws in practice. My guess is that the team has game-time jitters and those will lessen as the season progresses. Hudson has been poor from the line so far, but I am pretty sure he started out badly from the line last season and turned it around by ACC play. What I do like is that Hudson is getting to the line more this year, and I'd like to see that continue.

- Erick Green got a little more time in this game (6 minutes... double his last game!), but he needs to be out there even more. Delaney was in the game for 37 minutes. That's just way too much. I'm not sure why Seth Greenberg is trying to wear Delaney out before we even get into January, but that seems to be the plan. You'd think last season would have been a lesson for him. Sometimes you just have to trust that your backups will play well when they're in the game. I would think it's similar to mother birds letting their baby birds drop like rocks from the nest to see if they can fly.

- The Hokies' defense really shined through in this game. They caused 23 turnovers while only committing 12. That's 13 extra possessions right there, which is nothing to sneeze at. We also limited UNC-G to 35.3% for their field goals, which would have been even more awesome if we had managed to hit better than 37.5% ourselves. It wasn't as though UNC-G was playing stellar defense either... we just weren't hitting wide open shots. I am glad, though, that if we had to have a bad shooting game, it was against a team that we dominated defensively. Jeff Allen had 6 steals and 3 blocks. He also had his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He is a monster, and I'm not talking about one of those lame cuddly monsters with buck teeth like from "Where the Wild Things Are". Monsters don't say things like, "I don't won't you to go, I'll eat you up I love you so." Monsters just eat children up without the commentary on love.

- Our offensive rebounding was stronger in this game, although you have to expect that considering UNC-G's tallest starter is 6'6" (and very rotund I might add). They had a couple 6'8" guys come off the bench, but overall we out-rebounded the Spartans on the offensive glass 18 to 13. They had more total rebounds than us, but that has a lot to do with the fact that we had 18 more possessions (from turnovers and offensive rebounds), plus the fact that we didn't shoot well which boosted the Spartans' defensive rebounds.

- Victor Davila and Jeff Allen both had excellent games, which is to be expected against a team as small as UNC-G. Will they be able to do it against bigger opponents? I don't know, but I will say this... I LOVE that both of these guys have really worked on their post moves. They are a real danger on the offensive end. I'd like to see Davila grab more than 4 rebounds per game, but he did improve his defense by racking up 3 blocks and keeping Pete Brown in check (which is a little like keeping a caged sloth in check, but it still makes me happy). Allen played excellent defense on the Spartans' best player, Ben Stywall. Stywall was 3-9 and a complete non-factor offensively in this game.

- Terrell Bell had a mixed game as he stuffed the stat sheet with 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 8 rebounds, but he also shot poorly and turned the ball over 5 times. Most of those were unforced errors where Bell got over-eager and whipped the ball out of bounds or stepped on the line. He could stand to clean up his play a bit, but I love his athleticism and defense.

- Manny Atkins, Gene Swindle, and Paul Debnam got into this game for the last minute. They basically got one possession, so there's not much to say except that they got into their first game.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Finally, an EASY Win!

Something clicked in the collective minds of the Virginia Tech Hokies in Maryland on Saturday as VT beat Maryland 36-9 in a game that was basically over by halftime. I have to hand it to Tyrod Taylor... he bounced back from a couple disappointing outings to have an impressive showing in College Park. TT was 13-23 for a whopping 268 yards and 3 touchdowns. It's hard to throw for 268 yards on 13 completions... it means he averaged better than 20 yards for every completed pass. If I were from the deep south, I would probably say something like, "Well slap my mouth and call me Shirley." So let's all be thankful that I grew up in Ohio and won't be saying such ridiculous things. Taylor also ran for 91 yards on 8 carries. He had a monster game.

I think Jake Johnson has been taking his benching by Coach Foster seriously. He has been giving up a lot of playing time to Lyndell Gibson, who had a good game himself, but Johnson led the team in tackles with 7, sacks with 2, tackles-for-loss with 2, and also added a QB hurry. If Jake Johnson can get his head screwed on straight, then the Hokies have a bright future at linebacker. Jake is a physically impressive player. I'd rather we not have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new starter. Gibson could be good as well, but the fact that I never really notice him in a game is disconcerting. You would never say that about Xavier Adibi... even when he was a freshman.

I like that Foster dialed up the pressure on Maryland's second-string QB (who isn't a terrible player). Our defense really seemed to be firing on all cylinders as auto enthusiasts and television commentators might say. And I like that Ryan Williams gives us a consistently solid performance week-in and week-out. He's only a freshman and he's one of the best running backs in the nation. Luckily, he can not bolt for the NFL draft as he's only been a member of a college team for 2 seasons (players can leave school early for the NFL draft after 3 seasons, which includes their redshirt year).

I'm excited to see the combination of Williams and Darren Evans next season, assuming Evans is full-speed by then. If he's not, then no offense to my man Darren, but I don't want to see him on the field except during mop-up duty. We return an arguably stronger team for next season and I will keep my hopes high right up until we either blow our chances to get into the ACC championship game, or we win the National Championship. I am really going to miss Cody Grimm, Nekos Brown, and Stephan Virgil. Kam Chancellor and Ed Wang are notable exceptions from that list.

Only 2 more regular season games left, then we get to go to a craptastic bowl game! If the rumors of the possibility of us playing Notre Dame are true, that would be freaking awesome. GO HOKIES!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ewwww... Brown

Let's talk turkey. We'll go with Hokie basketball today and football tomorrow. The VT men's basketball team kicked off their season yesterday with a 69-55 win over Brown University. That's right, they are indeed the red-headed step-child of the Ivy League, both in academics and in this case, basketball. The Bears were one of the worst teams in the Ivy League last season and they were not predicted to get much better this season. This is mostly because they rock a ton of underclassmen and also because they have a hard time recruiting talent. The smart athletes who can also play a little basketball go to Cornell, Princeton, and Penn. So you can see why I am a little disappointed in our 14 point win... I thought we were going to make some noise in the ACC this year, and we definitely still can, but good ACC teams usually blow out a bottom-dweller like Brown, and we didn't come close to doing that as we let them within 5 points twice in the second half and within 6 points as late as 8 minutes left in the half. That's not so great, but the history of Virginia Tech is to play up to (in this case "down to") our competition, so the result was not a huge surprise. However, a win is a win, and we'll take it!

You might be interested to know that Andrew McCarthy played in this game and scored a team-high 14 points! Andrew... loved you in Mannequin.

I subscribed to the CBS All-Access application yesterday in order to watch the game, but what I didn't realize is that I had to watch the game live. I thought I could watch it from the beginning any time I wanted to, and so was forced to learn a $9.99 lesson as I turned the game on with about 2 minutes left. I will be canceling the subscription after this month... book it. So my thoughts on the game are cheapened by the fact that I didn't really see the game, I just read the recaps and checked out the box score. With that said, here are some things I was thinking about:

- Delaney was exactly what he needed to be... great. He shot well, hit his three-pointers, got to the foul line and made his shots for the most part, directed the offense, and seemingly was active on defense. My only beef... he played 38 of the 40 minutes. Why? This isn't on Delaney, it's on Seth Greenberg. I realize that you may not trust Erick Green because he's a freshman and so you only gave him 3 minutes at the point, but he made his only shot (a 3-pointer) and regardless of whether he makes huge mistakes, he just needs more time against these crappy opponents to get ready for ACC play! If we continue to put Delaney out there for 38 minutes every game, he's going to be so battered and bruised by January that we'll get destroyed in conference play. That's what happened at the end of last season, and I don't want it to happen again.

- Terrell Bell got the start on the wing in place of the departed AD Vassallo, and he played well. Bell is not going to be the big time scorer that AD was, but he showed the same ability to rebound that Vassallo had, and Bell is a much (MUCH) better defender. He tacked on 8 points, which is enough... we just need him to continue to be a defensive presence on the floor. I had thought JT Thompson might start for us at the 3, but Greenberg decided to have Thompson back up Allen at the 4 and Bell at the 3, which gave him quite a few minutes. Thompson didn't have a good game (shot 1-7 and turned the ball over 3 times), but I think that's not always going to be the case, so I give our coach some love for the smart move. JT has played his best minutes in past seasons at the 4, so I thought it was wise to have him play both at the 4 and the 3 instead of playing JT entirely on the wing at the 3 where he seems less comfortable.

- Dorenzo Hudson looks like he is going to be our glue-guy this year... the kind of guy who doesn't always score a ton, but will stuff the box score with stats. He only had 8 points in this game, but he really seems to be making smarter decisions with the ball, as is evidenced by his 6 assists to 1 turnover. He's also getting into the paint, as is suggested by his 6 rebounds. He added a block and a steal for good measure. It would be nice to get more scoring out of Hudson, but if we can't get that, I hope we can still get the other stats.

- I've been wondering if anyone is going to step up and take some of Vassallo's heavy scoring load this season, and it looks like there could be a few candidates. Bell and Hudson both have the ability to do that... Hudson is more of a natural scorer than Bell, but Hudson seems to be more of a streaky shooter as well. The third guy is obviously Victor Davila, who had 8 points and seemed very comfortable in the post... at least offensively. His defense still needs a lot of work. Davila shot 50% with some nice post moves. I'd like him to shoot better than 50% at the free throw line, and his shot there seems to be evidence that he can shoot better. He has a nice touch and good arc (unlike his predecessor Cheick Diakite). I really want to see him get tough inside and rebound the ball better, but there's plenty of time for him to improve on that.

- As we learned from Hank Thorns last year, Seth Greenberg typically gives players a "green light", "yellow light", or "red light" for shooting 3-pointers. Thorns was given a "yellow light", meaning he could only shoot them when he was wide open and he probably had a limit on how many he could shoot. I think Jeff Allen was in the same boat last year, but I think he has a "green light" this year. Allen shot four 3-pointers, and although he only made one, I think we'll continue to see him shoot from out there. He is a good shooter, and really does need to improve his range to have any shot at playing in the NBA. No NBA team is going to take a 6'7" power forward who can't shoot from outside, regardless of how well he plays in college.

- What surprised me the most was that Ben Boggs got the most minutes of all the freshmen. He played 10 minutes, and seemed to be able to hold his own out there. Boggs was a terrific high school player, but the fact that he only played at the state AA level and missed all of his senior season due to injury made me think he would come in with the hardest road to getting playing time of all the freshmen. He totally rubbed my face in it. I should have known, but the most important thing for Seth Greenberg is the ability to play defense, so if you can do that, you can get playing time. Just ask Marcus Sailes, who couldn't hit the broad-side of a barn, but was a key contributor to our last NCAA tournament team. Because of this, if Cadarian Raines can come back from injury and show the ability to rebound and defend, he could easily steal a lot of playing time from both Victor Davila and Lewis Witcher, regardless of how much he contributes offensively. And finally, Manny Atkins didn't get any playing time, which was a bit of a surprise to me. I thought he was supposed to be a pure scorer, but maybe his defense was too bad to get him on the court.

- Greenberg confused me a bit in that he didn't send the scrubs in to play in the last minute of the game when we clearly were going to win. The only reason I can see for this is that he wanted his starters to get the feel of closing a game with a win. Coach probably wanted his players to show that kind of hard-fought effort in Brown's last possession, and he can't be happy that they ended up getting a basket.

Will this be another unlucky season where the Hokies get beat on several last-second plays? I don't think so, but you never really know. If Tech continues to let lesser opponents play even with them throughout the entire season, there are going to be some heart-breakers. But unlike with my 8th grade crush, my heart will be much better prepared this time around. I've got a sincere little shout-out to Ann and Chip for that golden nugget. granted it's hard for a girl to know you have a crush on her if you don't speak up, but that's neither here nor there...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nike Uniform Review

We have some cool new uniforms for the game against Maryland on Saturday. However, I am not the best source for conversations about football uniforms. That responsibility should fall to a man who knows what he's talking about. A man who can tell you the uniform being worn by every team in every Superbowl dating back to the very first one. That man is Lee, our special uniform correspondent. Take it away Lee...
Pat, I'm honored to act as a special correspondent for this special uniform segment of your blog. As a secure manly man, I still notice a good uniform and have somehow developed a trained-eye for subtle uniform changes. Sometimes it’s useful, most of the time it’s creepy. When I was a kid, my dad bought me a framed collection of the then 28 NFL team helmets. I paid delicate attention to each helmet, apparently due to a lack of modern conveniences in my humble West Virginia upbringing. So now, each time an NFL team changes their helmet, a small cash register sound reverberates in my head as I reflect on my priceless collection. This is my only explanation for how I pick up on such subtleties as the Jets changing their facemasks from white to black (when Boomer Esiason was their starter), or when the Ravens tried to pull a fast one and pretend like their original logo wasn't their decal with precious little angel wings on the sides (take that Ritt!), or when the expansion Jaguars intended to wear this helmet, but soon repented and went with this helmet. Unfortunately this poor guy had already cashed in on future Jaguar glory with this non-refundable purchase in 1995.

So here we are in 2009, watching the Hokies getting ready to debut their seventh different uniform combination and their third different helmet! And I have to say that I personally don’t mind, I think it’s fun to be uncertain of what your team will look like before they head out of the tunnel. I think the Hokies are quickly becoming the Oregon of the east for a few good reasons: they lack the tradition that will prevent many schools from ever changing (Penn State and Alabama come to mind for some reason), they have been a great team for the past 15 years, and they are the only team to brilliantly combine maroon and orange, so everything looks a little fresher and different. Considering Nike foots the bill and the special uniforms are auctioned off for charity, it seems like a win-win.

As for the Nike combat uniforms, Virginia Tech is the second (after TCU) of 10 teams that will debut a new look this year. I predict that like TCU and VT, the other participating schools will be short in tradition but rich in current success. Although I don’t love this uniform up close (especially the fading of the numbers from maroon to orange and the lines on the shoulder pads), I think they’re going to look great on the field. I love the white helmet and think the Hokies should seriously consider wearing it in different combinations. Still my all-time favorite combination is the uniforms the Hokies wore against Georgia Tech. As long as they avoid these uniforms, I think Tech’s uniform future is bright, I wish I could say the same about their offense.

Powerful stuff from a man who knows a thing or two about what looks bad-ass on a football field.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Purple Pirate Eaters

I'm not going to say that Virginia Tech's 16-3 win over ECU was a good game. I simply cannot say that. What I can say is that I'm proud of our guys for gutting out an ugly victory on the road, and I'm proud they kept their heads up after back-to-back losses. The defense let up a few sizable plays, but for the most part they held their ground and got turnovers when they were needed. Now, you could argue that ECU had more to do with those turnovers than VT did, but it's all semantics when looking at the win-loss column.

I had some friends over to watch the game, and admittedly we were more concerned with our own conversations and eating a fantastic spread of appetizers (shout-out to my wife) than the actual game. It was just boring to watch. Our offense struggled mightily against a team that has won a few games, but has really lacked a win against a quality opponent. They got beat down by both West Virginia and UNC, so for all the talk I heard about ECU being the probable winners of Conference USA, that distinction is like saying that out of all the guys who hunt for scraps with metal detectors, you're the absolute best. Congrats, here's a shiny nickel for you.

All in all, it's tough to get pumped up about a 16-3 game where craptastic ECU would continuously get in good field position for a score, then hand the ball over to us (once without the aid of any of our defensive players). The offense continued to look lackluster. Tyrod was driving me nuts... and maybe I just couldn't see the whole play, maybe his wide receivers were really struggling to get open, but it was frustrating to see TT hold the ball for so long only to unload a bad pass after getting 7-10 seconds of protection. I expect better than that. No. I DEMAND better than that! You're the starting quarterback for the best team in the ACC. Let's see you zip a pass into a tight spot instead of constantly throwing behind the receiver and making him adjust.

Urgh. Sorry, I need to apologize for the negativity. I am just still severely disappointed in our back-to-back losses. I thought our team had a legit shot at the National Championship game this season, and maybe I shouldn't have fooled myself. This defense hasn't been spectacular at any point of the season, and the offense is only a shade better than past seasons, so the obvious conclusion should be that we will be just as good as last year. I guess, being a Cleveland sports fan, I just want to be a fan of a team that is relevant towards the end of the season. Thank goodness for the Cleveland Cavs, otherwise I'd probably hop into the bathtub with a plugged-in toaster.

I take that back... way over the top. But for the first time in what seems like ages, the VT football team is out of the ACC championship hunt and we're going to have to settle for a mediocre bowl, at best. Meineke Car Care bowl anyone? Blah. It's tough to eat ramen noodles again when you've been eating steak for so long. My focus will probably shift more to player development at this point. Jason Worilds is a stud... does he come back next season? I would assume so. Nekos Brown is solid, but is he NFL draft-worthy? We have some promising interior players like Antoine Hopkins. Can he develop into a front-line force? Cody Grimm is one of my favorite players ever to don a Tech jersey, but is he anything but a special teamer at the next level? Will anyone besides Ryan Williams step up and assert themselves on offense? What happens next year when Darren Evans comes back? Those type of questions all of a sudden become much more intriguing than, "Will we win next week?" Because at this point, it doesn't seem to make that big of a difference.

But hey, I'll still be rooting for another 10 win season for Frank. GO HOKIES!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Picture for the Ages

My brother-in-law managed to snag this photo that is from the new practice facility. I can't believe that this image was chosen because as amazing as the play was for Deron Washington to leap over Paulus for a bucket... the image is Paulus with a mouthful of crotch. So like I said, I can't believe it, but that doesn't mean I don't absolutely love that it happened.

I'm going to miss the "Teabag Paulus" chants during home games against the Dookies. Luckily for us, Duke never fails to recruit players that every other team despises for their poor sportsmanship. Maybe next year I'll get to yell "Teabag Singler" as Jarrell Eddie leaps over him for a dunk? A man can dream.

Monday, November 2, 2009

2009-2010 Basketball Preview

WOOO-HOOO! I know it's considered pure blasphemy at Virginia Tech, but as many of you know, my true passion is Hokie Hoops with a modest edge over Hokie Football. Well with the season beginning in two weeks (November 15 against Brown), I thought I would throw some crap down in blog form and call it a season preview. GLHF (that's gamer talk for Good Luck Have Fun... I am not a gamer, although I aspire to be one day).

I'm excited for this season, as I have been the last several seasons, although it's probably because I have a tendency to see the good and neglect the bad. First off, if you look at the quality of our recruits last year to this year to next year to even the year after... the quality of the recruits is getting better and better. We have top-100 recruits in the coming years, which never used to happen, and I think a lot of it is because of the new practice facility that we've been hearing Seth Greenberg talk about for over a year now (it was finally finished in the offseason). Our incoming freshman class this year isn't eye-popping, but it's solid. Erick Green will play backup point guard from the start of the season and should be the best one to watch. Manny Atkins could see some playing time as a pure-scorer. He can hit the long-range jumper and he can slash to the basket, and he can rebound in traffic. Then again, Dorenzo Hudson was described the same way coming out of high school and has turned more into a defender, although his scoring improved late in the season. It is easier to predict Green as an ACC-caliber player than Atkins, although they might both be great when all is said and done. Ben Boggs missed most of his senior season with an injury, but he is back at full speed and Greenberg likes him to be a lock-down defender (probably not much of a scorer). And finally, we have a banger in Cadarian Raines. He doesn't have much in the offensive arsenal, but he's active, can jump out of the gym, rebounds and blocks shots. He's Cheick Diakite except with much better hands. Raines' negatives are that he is starting the season injured and needs to add more muscle to his frame. He also needs to develop some post moves, but there's a lot to like about him.

So, I guess my lead-in is why I'm not writing for a real publication instead of my tiny blog... I led with our freshman recruits rather than our returning players. Whoops. We return one of the best scorers in the ACC and a predicted first-team All-ACC point guard in Malcolm Delaney. Delaney scored about 18 points per game last season, but a lot of those points were from free throws late in the game when the other team was fouling to catch up. He scores well both from the 3-point line, going to the rim, or pulling up for a jumper. He just got way too tired-out last season and the wear and tear caught up with him, which is why Greenberg will need to lean heavily on Erick Green to learn the offense and defense quickly. Green will see plenty of minutes against Brown. We may see some point guard play from Dorenzo Hudson as well... Greenberg challenged him to play as much point in pickup games as possible during the offseason, and to focus on his dribbling. Either way though, Hudson would probably be our emergency point guard at best.

Also returning to the team is "The Big Donut", Jeff Allen. The name seemed apt when Allen was a freshman because of his rotund physique and the fact that he wore the number zero. The nickname grew significantly less funny last season as Allen shed about 30 lbs in the previous offseason. However, this past summer Allen was told to put that weight back on again, but with a good portion of that weight being muscle. This may sound strange because you are probably thinking, "The coaches wanted Jeff to get FATTER?" Well... yeah. Allen's per-minute numbers were better as a freshman than they were as a sophomore. A lot of the reason for that is because Allen's previous excess of weight is what allowed him to move bodies around in the low-post. Carrying that weight tired him out quickly, and the coaches saw that and asked him to lose the weight. Well, last season we saw Jeff get pushed around easier down low despite adding a little muscle and losing a ton of weight. The coaches then decided to put Allen on a regimen that would increase his weight, but do so at a safe pace that increased muscle mass as well. Allen is supposedly up to 255 lbs and is moving well and staying in shape, which I think will have big benefits for him this season. I am predicting that he averages a double-double, with at least 14 points per game and 10 rebounds per game. His low post moves are already fantastic... I don't think I'm being a homer when I say he has the best low-post moves in the ACC. But, I guess this all depends on whether he can keep himself from getting in foul trouble.

So we have 2 definite starters and then 3 guys who are likely to start. Those guys would be Dorenzo Hudson, JT Thompson, and Victor Davila. Their presence in the starting lineup will depend largely on whether they commit to defense. Greenberg was not at all happy about our team's spike in defensive ineptitude last season, and he wants to get back to the defense-first mindset that won us so many games with such lesser talent from 2004-2005 through 2006-2007. My gut tells me that it is going to happen. With a junior-laden roster and a coach who knows how to drill defensively, I see an improvement in that area this year. However, I also see a slight drop offensively. That can't be helped... we lost a big-time and clutch scorer in AD Vassallo.

Otherwise, our roster has some guys who might be able to step in and contribute. Terrell Bell shows signs of athleticism from time to time. Lewis Witcher may finally be able to put it all together for his senior season. Heck, Gene Swindle even has a chance to get in the mix... but I am mostly expecting the usual suspects to contribute.

Overall though, I like the Hokies' chances for success this season for several reasons:

1) We are being picked to finish in the bottom half of the league by everybody and their grandmother. In the past this has fired our team up and given them good motivation.

2) Our team is as experienced/seasoned as any other team in the ACC

3) We have a favorable schedule (although it might be a little light on big name opponents... could either help or hurt depending on if we win the games we should win and also win a few that we shouldn't)

4) And finally, I think the biggest reason is because the ACC is down this year. I mean think about it... most of the star players are gone. Just look at these player losses:

UNC - Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green
Duke - Gerald Henderson, “Teabag” Paulus, and Eliot Williams
FSU - Toney Douglas, Uche Echefu
Miami - Jack McClinton
Wake - James Johnson, Jeff Teague
NC State - Brandon Costner, Ben McCauley, Courtney Fells
Clemson - Terrence Oglesby, KC Rivers
BC - Tyrese Rice
GT - leading scorer Lewis Clinch (not exactly a star, but you know), Alade Aminu

Almost every one of those guys is a gigantic loss... not just a small one. So I know that losing AD Vassallo is huge, but so are these losses for the other teams. The ACC is young and inexperienced this year, which could open things up for teams like VT or even (gasp) UVA, who lost arguably their worst player from last year and that's it (addition by subtraction... also works for their coach Dave Leitao being fired and bringing in proven winner Tony Bennett). Maryland should also be competitive having only lost Dave Neal, a good shooter but poor rebounder/defender as a center. Guys, this conference is wide open this year... Delaney and Allen could have a field day.

And so with that, I will give you my prediction for this season. I am predicting a 4th place finish in the ACC and a trip to the NCAA tournament. We have been on the edge for years and I think this is the year that we finally put it together. This is an extremely attainable goal for the Hokies. In truth, it's possible our team could win the ACC this year, but I am not going to claim anything so outlandish. I really think we get a bye in the first round of the ACC tourney this season assuming there are no more major injuries. An injury to Malcolm Delaney would cause a complete 180 degree turn and would put us at 10th or 11th in the ACC. Maybe even 12th, although NC State would put up a major fight for that spot.