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Basketball Season is Almost Here
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #453, October 8, 2010
We're approaching mid-October. That means the Virginia Tech football team is getting ready for the second half of the season. It also means that basketball season is about to start. The Hokies will begin practice next Friday night in Cassell Coliseum with "Late Night with the Hokies".
The event will take place on Friday, October 15th and will start around 9pm, after the volleyball game against Wake Forest. The first 3,000 fans will receive a special t-shirt. We'll have more information next week, as well as some information about several special recruits who will be in town.
This will be your only chance to check out the Hokies in action before their season opener against Campbell on November 12. Many familiar faces will be returning, and you'll recognize almost every player you see on the court for the Hokies.
Unfortunately, Tech will be without J.T. Thompson, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. Florida transfer Allen Chaney, a projected starter, will probably be out for the season as well with a heart condition. Sophomore forward Cadarian Raines has a foot injury, and probably won't be 100% when the season begins.
Other than that, Tech's rotation will look pretty much the same. Here's a quick look at the production the Hokies will have returning this season.
Despite the loss of Thompson, who averaged 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last year, that's still a lot of points and rebounds returning. Not to mention experience. All five starters return, though with the loss of Thompson and Chaney, the depth is questionable right now.
The Hokies are adding two new players, point guard Ty Garland from Philadelphia and wing Jarell Eddie from Charlotte. Both of those guys will get a chance to contribute this year, particularly Eddie.
With Thompson out for the year, and likely Chaney as well, there are serious depth issues in the post. Cadarian Raines is not healthy either, and he's only other interior player coming off the bench. That means guys like Eddie, Terrell Bell and Manny Atkins will have to see time at the "4" (power forward) position this year.
That might not be a bad thing. The Hokies are generally a more successful team under Seth Greenberg when they are running the court, and a smaller lineup provides and opportunity to do exactly that. Though they'll give up some size and some rebounding on the defensive end, it will be difficult for opposing big men to keep up with Bell, Eddie and Atkins in a fullcourt game.
Of course, basketball these days revolves around good guard play. The Hokies have the most experienced guard in the country in Malcolm Delaney, who has been starting since he was a freshman. He will be a Preseason First Team All-ACC selection, and will have an opportunity to play professional basketball in the future. He needs to get more consistent with his shooting in 2010-11, as well as avoid the injury bug.
Dorenzo Hudson made major strides last season, averaging over 15 points per game. If he can play at that same level this season, the Hokies will have one of the best backcourts in the country.
We'll have an in-depth basketball preview in the coming weeks.
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