Tag:Virginia Tech
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 4:22 pm

Greenberg checks in from locked-down Va. Tech

By Jeff Goodman

Virginia Tech Seth Greenberg sat at his desk on Thursday afternoon, in the midst of a campus-side lockdown after a gunman shot and killed two people - including a campus police officer.

"It's sad. This is a peaceful, quiet, serene community," Greenberg told CBSSports.com. "This is not reflective of the environment here at all." "We're seeing that there are deranged people in any environment," he added.

Authorities continued to search for the gunman, who killed the police officer on campus during a traffic stop. Greenberg sounded in shock after the second major tragedy that has taken police on the Blacksburg campus in four years. In April of 2007, 33 people were killed by a gunman.

Greenberg said he and his staff have been in constant communication with his players and their families. He also said that one of his daughters, Ella, a cheerleader at the school, was locked down next door at the Coliseum.

"I can't even get to her," Greenberg said. "I've been texting with her consistently and I know she's alright."

"This place is all about community," he added. "It's the greatest sense of community and university of anywhere I've ever been. ... It's just so sad."

Final exams have been postponed. Greenberg's team defeated Rhode Island on Wednesday night and wasn't scheduled to practice today.

Photo: AP

Posted on: November 25, 2011 6:03 pm

Greenberg already eager to defend his schedule

By Matt Norlander

NEW YORK — If this were tennis at deuce, advantage: Virginia Tech.

But there is a return serve coming.

The Hokies mucked their way to a 59-57, just-held-on-to-it win over Oklahoma State Friday afternoon in the consolation game of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Decent W. Thing is, these two get another crack at each other on New Year’s Eve, at Oklahoma State, so who’s to say how big this win ultimately will be; the teams could cancel each other out if Okie State wins on Dec. 31. But Virginia Tech won on Nov. 25, and for now, that’s all that matters.

(The reason these two non-conference opponents get each other twice in one year is the unlikelihood and unpredictability of an early-season tournament like the NIT — Oklahoma State and Va. Tech scheduled each other long before they knew they’d get each other in NYC.)

Seth Greenberg’s team got a win, a confidence-builder. Still feeling the sting of the snub to last year’s NCAA tournament, winning a close one means something to Greenberg. It always does.

“The system’s flawed,” Greenberg said of the RPI, warming the cockles of my heart in the process. “We have a very difficult schedule … Kansas State, Minnesota, BYU, Rhode Island, it’s an extremely difficult schedule for such a young team. … I’ve never been able to figure out the RPI.”

To counterpoint Greenberg, none of the teams he mentioned are surefire tournament teams right now. Not easy ones, but nothing close to a Syracuse, which took beat Virginia Tech 69-58 on the eve of Thanksgiving.

I asked Greenberg if he considered bubble implications of this win for down the road, if he and his coaches were aware how winning this game and potentially earning a sweep over OSU in a month would possibly be paramount to his groups tournament chances. He already went into (and I offer this up playfully, not as a critique) defending-his-team’s-resume mode.

“The East Tennessee [State] win is going to help us; that team’s going to win 20-something games this year,” Greenberg said.

I couldn't believe it as he was saying it to me with a straight face. You can’t be using East Tennessee State as a defense ... ever. And he probably knows that, but he can’t help himself. It was funny to see Greenberg default back to that “mode,” if you will.

As for what this team is this year, without the departed Malcolm Delaney, the team's most valuable player last year, Greenberg said, “This team likes each other, is extremely unselfish. They have good trust and the upperclassmen, the few we have, are doing a good job with leadership. Dorenzo (Hudson) is the voice of the team. Erick (Green) leads by example and has total respect of his teammates, and Victor (Davila) is a guy that, when he opens up, people go, ‘Whoa,’ and pay attention.”

What Virginia Tech is best at right now: defending the long shot. The Hokies entered the game as the ninth-most efficient defense nationally against 3-pointers. Oklahoma State was 4-of-16 Friday afternoon — expect the Hokies back in the top five (they were No. 1 before losing to Syracuse Wednesday) by Saturday morning. Hard to judge Dorian Finney-Smith’s performance on an island, since he was a non-factor against Syracuse’s bigs, but he looked very nice against the Pokes. He helped out on a lot of second-chance points and had 14 boards, more offensive (eight) than not. He put up 10 points.

“He’s got a feel for the way the ball’s going to come off,” Greenberg said. “The big improvement was range. … He has a gift to rebound, but I think the best thing he does — he’s a facilitator. I think he makes other people better. He’s like a little kid on Christmas that has a lot of toys. He affects the game in a lot of ways. He can make enough shots to people honest, he can guard multiple positions, and he’s still learning a lot.”

The Hokies have another quick turnaround, as they host St. Bonaventure Sunday.

Photo: AP

Posted on: November 14, 2011 12:26 pm

Injury bug bites several in the opening week

By Jeff Borzello

The personnel shakeups in college basketball over the past few weeks have been alarming. There have been freshmen declared ineligible, players suspended for rules violations or NCAA issues and now injuries are beginning to hit a few contenders as well. Several players missed games over the weekend due to injury; are they replaceable?

Khris Middleton, Texas A&M

On Friday, Texas A&M announced that leading returning scorer Khris Middleton (right) had a partially torn meniscus in his right knee and would miss 3-4 weeks. Middleton, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 14.4 points and 5.2 rebounds last season, and already had six points in the opener before suffering his injury. In his place, Ray Turner has stepped up his offensive production. Turner isn’t as athletic or the inside-outside option that Middleton is, but he scored 20 points in each of the first two games and also grabbed 14 rebounds.

Jordan Green took Middleton’s place in the lineup, providing a little bit of everything at the guard position. Fortunately for Billy Kennedy, the Aggies have plenty of depth to replace Middleton for the near future. A&M does head to Florida on Dec. 17; Middleton would certainly help the Aggies’ chances in Gainesville.

Mike Marra, Louisville

Louisville continues to get hit with the injury bug. Rakeem Buckles was already out until at least mid-December while freshman Wayne Blackshear will also miss the next couple of weeks. Stephan Van Treese is also still out with an injury. The news got worse on Sunday, as Mike Marra tore his ACL and will sit out the rest of the season. Marra was a good weapon off the bench who could come in and knock down jump shots.

Heading into the season, the Cardinals were overflowing with wings. Now, sophomore Russ Smith and freshman Angel Nunez might need to play more minutes than expected, while Jared Swopshire could see some time at the three. When Blackshear does return, he will have a chance to make an impact immediately off the bench.

Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt

With Festus Ezeli, it’s a matter of suspension and injury. He was suspended for the first six games of the season, but then sprained his MCL and PCL and will miss six-to-eight weeks. Vanderbilt clearly misses its best inside player, as the Commodores looked stagnant offensively and lost to Cleveland State on Sunday, 71-58. The 6-foot-11 Ezeli averaged 12.8 points and 6.2 boards last season, and the Commodores are having a tough time replacing him.

Steve Tchiengang took Ezeli’s place in the lineup, and he has totaled nine points and 12 rebounds in two games. He’s a physical presence on the glass, but he lacks offensive ability. Jeffery Taylor is more of a perimeter threat, while Lance Goulbourne is not one to do much with his back to the basket. The only other frontcourt option is Rod Odom, another face-up player. Vandy needs to bide its time until Ezeli returns, relying on the perimeter group more than ever.

Short-term absences

Erick Green, Virginia Tech: With freshman Marquis Rankin already out, Green was expected to take on more of a point guard role. However, he missed the opener against East Tennessee State with an Achilles injury. He is a game-time decision for Monday night’s game against Monmouth. Without Rankin and Green, the Hokies struggled to control the ball, racking up more turnovers than assists. Sophomore Tyrone Garland better be ready. Tech is also without forward J.T. Thompson, who will miss the entire season with an ACL tear in his right knee.

Renardo Sidney, Mississippi State: Who really knows with Sidney at this point? He missed Saturday’s game with a groin injury, but head coach Rick Stansbury also said he was “sick” at one point. Arnett Moultrie stepped up in his absence, going for 28 points and 13 rebounds. Center Wendell Lewis saw an increase in minutes, but he is more of a factor on the boards and on the defensive end. Sidney should be back soon, but his attitude and conditioning is more of a concern than his injury.

Sammy Zeglinski, Virginia: The Cavaliers kicked off their campaign with a 37-point victory over South Carolina State on Sunday. Zeglinski, who played nearly 26 minute per game last season, missed the game with a sprained ankle. In his place, Jontel Evans handled the position effectively. The two split time last season, and Evans puts on more pressure at both ends. Zeglinski can play off the ball as well, and his injury isn’t expected to keep him out.

Photo: US Presswire

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: November 3, 2011 11:15 am

ACL injury benches Thompson for 2nd straight year

By Jeff Goodman

J.T. Thompson may have Robbie Hummel beat.

The Virginia Tech fifth-year senior tore his other knee on Wednesday afternoon, meaning he'll miss a second consecutive season.

Hummel, a star forward at Purdue, also suffered a pair of torn ACL's and has been out for nearly two years.

You've got to feel for both of these guys.

Thompson's injuries go beyond the ACL's. He also had a major ankle injury and a double-hernia. There was an MCL injury as well.

"He's such a good kid," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg told CBSSports.com. "It's brutal. He had worked his butt off and was playing great the last couple of weeks."

Thompson was slated to start this season. He averaged 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds as a junior a couple years ago.

Greenberg said that injury came in practice as Thompson was driving baseline and spun around. Thompson could petition the NCAA for another year of eligibility next season, but Greenberg said they haven't discussed it yet.

This is the latest injury for a team that has been snakebitten over the last couple of years.

Thompson and Cadarian Raines have both missed the last two seasons, Dorenzo Hudson sat out nearly all of last year and Allan Chaney was diagnosed with a heart condition that has kept him off the court for the last two years.

"We're not looking at this as an excuse and feeling sorry for ourselves," Greenberg said. "It's disheartening for the kid, but there's no time for us to feel sorry for ourselves."

"We're not going to build an excuse," he added. "My heart goes out to the kid. He's done anything and everything he's been asked to do."

Photo: AP
Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:15 am
Edited on: October 7, 2011 10:33 am

Va Tech's Marquis Rankin out 6-8 weeks

By Jeff Borzello

It was going to be hard enough for Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg to replace Malcolm Delaney no matter who was on the Hokies’ roster. Now, he will be without a top-100 point guard for up to two months.

Marquis Rankin, a freshman floor general from Hargrave Military Academy (Va.), underwent surgery on his left knee Thursday morning and will miss six-to-eight weeks. He injured the knee during a preseason drill, and the surgery was done to clean up cartilage in his knee.

Season tips Nov. 7

Delaney averaged 18.7 points and 4.0 assists last season, but Greenberg had a few options to replace his production. Erick Green is more of a combo guard, but he distributes fairly well and can also score well inside the arc. Sophomore Tyrone Garland saw inconsistent minutes last season, but he brings energy.

Rankin, despite his 170-lb. stature, is very quick and loves to push the ball. He is adept at getting into the lane and making plays for himself and teammates. He also has good length, which he uses to his advantage on the defensive end.

If Green can handle the point next to scorer Dorenzo Hudson, Greenberg will have an explosive offensive backcourt. However, if he is more comfortable off the ball, it will be interesting to see how much Rankin’s injury hurts the Hokies in the early part of the season.

Virginia Tech opens with East Tennessee State on November 12.

Posted on: August 29, 2011 7:31 am

Trippin': Va. Tech welcomes in (and back) talent

In our Trippin’ series, we’re talking to teams as they return from preseason trips to foreign locales. Click here for all Trippin’ related stories.

By Jeff Goodman

Malcolm Delaney is gone and so, too, is Jeff Allen. Allen Chaney, who was expected to be a major piece after transferring in from Florida a couple years ago, will attempt to play elsewhere after heart issues ended his career in Blacksburg.

But Seth Greenberg is still upbeat and optimistic – and for good reason.

He welcomes in his most highly touted recruiting class since his arrival in Blacksburg (a trio of Top 100 players) – and will also get Dorenzo Hudson, J.T. Thompson and Cadarian Raines back after all took medical redshirts last season.

The Hokies took a quick trip north of the border to Windsor, Canada, earlier this month and we caught up with Greenberg:

What Greenberg learned: "We have an unbelievable group of guys to coach. They are so attentive and so coachable. The energy was great."

What or who impressed him: "C.J. (Barksdale) was really active, especially on the offensive glass. It was nice to see. Dorian (Finney-Smith) didn’t really surprise me, but he was efficient scoring the ball."

- J.T. Thompson was held out after suffering a minor knee injury prior to the trip. Greenberg said Thompson, who tore his ACL and missed all of last season, should return any day. "He tried to play the first game and then took himself out after a minute," Greenberg said.

- Greenberg said he didn’t want to wear the team down and go on a lengthy trip overseas – and instead elected for the two games in Canada.

- Sophomore wing Jarrell Eddie didn’t play as he remains suspended as a result of an arrest for marijuana last February. "He had 10 terrific days of practice," Greenberg said.

- Two starters – junior guard Erick Green and senior forward Victor Davila – both return. However, Hudson averaged 15.2 points two seasons ago and Thompson has plenty of experience as a key guy coming off the bench.

- Freshman C.J. Barksdale got more minutes with Thompson sitting out the trip and was impressive.

- Greenberg said that freshman wing Robert Brown needs to get stronger.

- Greenberg said he didn’t go 10 consecutive days of practice prior to the trip – especially because of five freshmen. Instead, he gave them days off in-between three-day stints.

- Greenberg played 10 guys and everyone averaged more than 10 minutes per game in the two contests.

- Chaney will have a defibrillator put in soon and then will remain at Virginia Tech through the first semester before transferring in hopes of continuing his college career. ``We want to be there for him,” Greenberg said. "He needs to be around people who love him right now – who can help him with his next step."
Posted on: August 11, 2011 9:14 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:16 am

Allan Chaney's career at Virginia Tech is over

By Jeff Goodman

Allan Chaney’s career is over. At least at Virginia Tech.

The talented forward has been denied medical clearance to return to the court with the Hokies.

“Allan Chaney has been through a great deal in the last year and a half,” Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said in a statement. “Everyone involved in our basketball program feels for him. Unfortunately, this rare condition will prevent him from continuing his career here at Virginia Tech. We will do everything in our power to assist Allan as he goes through his next procedure and support him in every way possible.”

Chaney, a Connecticut native who transferred to Blacksburg after spending his freshman year with Billy Donovan at Florida, was supposed to be a major piece of Seth Greenberg’s plan.

Chaney sat out due to transfer rules two years ago and then was diagnosed with myocarditis in April of 2010 after passing out. He missed all of last season.

However, he was optimistic that he would be cleared last month.

``Well, I must say that I am disappointed, but Tech has done everything for me through this process and they still are!,” Chaney tweeted, I will play somewhere!”

``Wish things were different, but I can’t waste anymore time. Have to stay positive and move on.”

This is a situation that appears similar to that of Emmanuel Negedu, who had cardiac issues while at Tennessee, wasn’t cleared by the Vols – and then transferred to New Mexico.

His career with the Lobos lasted just 10 games. Negedu’s defibrillator produced a reading that ultimately ended his college career.

Now it’s likely that the 6-foot-8 Chaney will attempt to find a new home, somewhere that will clear him to play college basketball.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: August 10, 2011 10:45 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:03 pm

Virginia Governor spearheads in-state hoops event

By Jeff Goodman

I guess the Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is a legitimate college hoops fan.

McDonnell spearheaded the Governor Holiday Hoops Classic, a new annual doubleheader which will feature the top teams in the state.

``Virginia teams have appeared in Final Fours, won conference championships and are regularly ranked in national Top 25 polls,” McDonnell said in a statement.  ``Unfortunately, given scheduling constraints and conference affiliations, we too rarely get to witness our in-state teams competing against each other. The “Classic” will change that.”

It’s set in stone for the next two years – and could go beyond. However, McDonnell’s term ends in a couple years – and you can’t serve consecutive terms in the state of Virginia.

In the 2012-13 campaign, Richmond will play George Mason and Virginia will face Old Dominion. The following year Virginia Tech and VCU will play for the first time since 1995 – and James Madison will play Hampton.

The games will be played at the Richmond Coliseum.

``He remembers an old tournament years ago (1976-1991) in the state which was run by the Richmond Times-Dispatch,” VCU athletic director Norwood Teague told CBSSports.com. ``And he wanted to bring something like that back.”

``We’re elated with the event,” Teague added.

My guess is that Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg and Virginia head man Tony Bennett aren’t jumping for joy, though, having to play dangerous mid-majors such as ODU and VCU.

Teague said that McDonnell attended the entire CAA tournament and was also at VCU’s NCAA tournament games en route to the Rams improbable Final Four run.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com