In the shadow of Groundhog’s Day (just had to do it) the Hokies find themselves at the end of a long week. Once again the Hokies let a less than mediocre team slip right back into the game (twice) when allowing 10 and 16 point leads, to Miami and NC State respectively, slip right through their fingers. This team has looked better than I have seen, and about as bad. The good news is, that they still won those games. The bad news is that they may have just called for an early Spring. March/April may be months spent enjoying break and pondering a what if season. When the Hokies took on the Boston College Eagles, a team seated in a position the Hokies were predicted to hold in the ACC, they knew they had a chance to prove their worth. With an RPI of 60, they were almost exactly where they had to be, but they needed to win. The Hokies grabbed 40 rebounds, and limited themselves to 6 turnovers. Sadly, they shot just 34% from the field, and in any game that will hurt your chances. Jeff Allen, who is my current nomination for most improved player in the ACC, had 25 points, 19…wait yeah I said 19 rebounds, 1 block, 3 steals, and here comes the shocker…was 5/5 from the FT line. He shot 10 of 19 and 8 of his, VT, ACC, record setting, 19 rebounds were offensive. He also managed to only take 1 three point shot. On a night where the team couldn’t hit a shot, you might as well try your luck. I wanted to build up some anticipation before I said this, but I can’t wait any longer…he also managed to restrict is ever hindering fouls to 2. TWO! In 38 minutes, yes that’s only TWO minutes less than the full game. To put this in perspective, Malcolm had 3 in 40, which is 1 foul every 13 minutes. Jeff managed to do it once every 19 minutes. For a down-low power like Allen, that is truly staggering. Jeff Allen, now this teams most consistent asset, has developed into what the Hokie faithful have been waiting for all along. Now, is it too late? I would say that Tech has a strong chance to still make the tournament, but one player making us all wet ourselves is not going to raise those chances. We need a team effort, and a helluva lot better final shot play. In the game today, with under 30 seconds left and down by 2, Malcolm missed the front end of a 1 and 1, T-Bell was whistled for foul on what many would call “questionable” over the back rebound, and the final shot was taken by a wide-open, yet mildly unreliable Erick Green. Sure, Green has improved, and I would trust him with any mid-range to short range shot, but we have Malcolm Delaney on the team. Why, when we all know he can shake off a defender for fun, is he leading the point on a final shot. Why, if he is not open, are we not giving the ball to our hottest player…Jeff Allen…on the coldest shooting night of the year. I really must reiterate that Erick Green has been this teams biggest crutch when dealing with all the injuries, but he is not our best weapon for a buzzer beater. Even T-Bell has made some good threes this year. This play has haunted us in the past, and along with not having time-outs called before the last shot, and not having our Senior leaders, and best players make the plays down the stretch can get aggravating. It is all hind sight however, and the way that we can be so criticl, is based on the fact that we are not on the team. That being said, while this year has not been the crowd’s finest moment (less than stellar attendance numbers). I feel the students deserve a chance for the dance. I love the NIT crowds, and getting to see students (who deserve all the seats in the house) line up hours and days in advance to see us play Quinnipiac, but being able to watch us in a region we can’t get to on CBS would be nice too. This is the year that was supposed to be ours, and whether you like to blame it on injuries, or effort, or schedule, it doesn’t matter. All of those things are excuses, and everyone has got one. The Hokies are all out of excuses and it’s time to step up, or get ready for another early Spring.
Tech’s next big opportunity is against GT on Sunday at 1 p.m.. This was chosen as the Blackout game? (Maybe should have been Duke, for College Gameday and all). So I leave you with this…The Hokies, while searching for what they are only need to decide on who they want to be. I think they can be great, and I hope they realize it soon. For the hope of dancing…
About the Author
Written by Logan Cecchine
I am a Virginia Tech undergrad, and plan on graduating with a degree in human development, as well as a minor in leadership and social change. I am a huge fan of all sports, but college football and basketball are on the top of my list. I am a fan of the Boston Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, Denver Broncos, and my Hokies.