1. Nobody saw this coming. The Hokies came into this season having lost All-ACC guards Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon in addition to their only real capable low post offensive threat, Coleman Collins. Those three were the heart and soul of a Hokies team that went 22-12 overall and 10-6 in the ACC, including a sweep of UNC and a win at Duke. (Ed. Note: And a tourney win over our Illini.) Key returning players from last year were three-point sniper A.D. Vassallo and highlight dunk artist Deron Washington (URL#1). While these two were good in 2007, nobody expected anything from the Hokies this season, especially the ACC media, who pegged them for a respectable tenth place. Instead of settling for the NIT, Seth Greenberg has pulled out a minor miracle and his boys have their dancing shoes ready.
2. What are you, a freshman? With the exception of Deron Washington, A.D. Vassallo, and bench players Lewis Witcher, and Cheick "Recheickted" Diakite, freshmen have received most of the minutes this season. Seth Greenberg brought in his best recruiting class since becoming coach at Virginia Tech, and it has shown. Jeff Allen, at 6'7" and 258 pounds, has been a force down low this season averaging 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.14 steals per game to earn a spot on the ACC All-Rookie team. Allen has been huge for the Hokies this season, when he's not off bumping officials and getting suspended (URL#2). Though more of a shooting guard, Malcolm Delaney has been the starting point guard for most of the season and has had some success. He has a sweet stroke from beyond the arch and though he has struggled some against older, stronger guards, has shown flashes of greatness so far this season. Backing him up is the surprise of the season, 5'9" (on a phone book), 140 pound freshman Hank Thorns. The smallest player in the ACC playing significant minutes (22.1), Thorns has been huge coming off the bench, bringing in 104 assists on the season, good for ninth in the league and the most among ACC freshmen. Not to be forgotten, J.T. Thompson has emerged as a legitimate low post threat in ACC play and Terrell Bell has played well in limited minutes behind senior Deron Washington. Lastly, shooting guard Dorenzo Hudson joined the team in December, and he made sure everyone knew he was here by vomiting on the court against Maryland (URL#3). The Terps make me sick too, Dorenzo.
Eric Gordon has nothing on this guy. Speaking of Terps making me sick, let me tell you about Gus Gilchrist. In November 2006, Gus Gilchrist was a small time PF/C recruit who had committed to Virginia Tech. Prior to his senior season, he was largely under the radar to most ACC coaches and was not highly sought after. Seth Greenberg found him, and he believed he could be great for the Hokies. Seth was right, and his greatness began to show during his senior season. His numbers skyrocketed, he became the MVP of the Capital Classic, and his status as a major basketball recruit was flying up the charts. Fortunately for the Hokies, he was all locked up when he signed his letter of intent, right? Wrong. April 16 came for Virginia Tech, and to add insult to injury, Gus used the incident to get out of his letter of intent. He and his scumbag trainer, Terrelle Woody, looked at offers from other schools and eventually decided on Maryland. By doing this, Gus had to sit out this season, will sit the first half of next season, and has lost a year of eligibility. I don't know if you noticed, Gus, but we swept Maryland this year, you lowlife.The Hokie Nation is going to unleash hell on you next season in Cassell Coliseum. Good riddance. — Joe Crandley