Tuesday, February 20, 2007

TSF Odds N' Ends

The Virginia Tech Basketball team has won every game this season against the vaunted Tobacco Road trio of Wake Forest, UNC and Duke. These perennial powers fell victim to inspired play by the Hokies, who then proceeded to go 0-2 against the last-place-in-the-ACC NC State Wolfpack.

Yes NC State had the fourth best 3 point shooting performance in men’s college basketball this season on Sunday evening. But much of that can be attributed to the pathetic VT “defense”, which seemed to forget or ignore the concept of rotating help defense. The Hokies can win when their backcourt plays as well as anyone in the nation, but whenever the backcourt has “just” a good game, they will lose due to the complete lack of frontcourt performance. Let’s look at the TOTALS for Cheick Diakite, Coleman Collins, Lewis Witcher and Robert Krabbendam from the game on Sunday – 11 points on 45% shooting, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 blocks, and 1 steal. The performance of NC State’s Brandon Costner – 13 points on 71% shooting, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 blocks, and 1 steal. I mean, ARE YOU FRIGGIN KIDDING ME?!?!?! The lowest scoring starter for NC State by himself had a better line than the combined line for all 4 Virginia Tech players in the paint.

Fortunately Tech has stellar guards along with Deron Washington and they will certainly get a few more games at a super-high level (hopefully starting tomorrow night against BC) which means a few more wins. But it only takes one loss to knock you out of the ACC or NCAA tournament which means Tech will only go as far as these guards will take them. It makes me sick that the frontcourt isn’t stepping up and competing to make this team a real threat. I wonder if Coach Greenberg can get them to start sometime between now and March.

Bud Foster continues to demonstrate his mastery of understanding the game of football and declares that Kam Chancellor will be at rover in the spring.

Word had begun to spread that the QB position will be open for competition in the spring and Chancellor was to take some snaps there. But Kam has a chance to make the NFL at rover/safety. Rover is a position that can be the QB of the defense and like CB Brandon Flowers, Chancellor just has a feel for the game while also possessing amazing physical abilities to go with it. This is a great move for the 2007 defense and once Kam gets some snaps at rover, I view him as being a combination of Aaron Rouse’s size/speed with Cary Wade’s mental ability and instincts and therefore may be better than both.

And finally, in an interview with our friends at the Roanoke Times, Noland Burchette talked about the Chick-Fil-A Bowl and preparing for the NFL Combine while also revealing some very insightful thoughts about the 2006 team’s viewpoint of the QB position.

Burchette and fellow defensive end Chris Ellis made a lot of calls on the offensive line by recognizing their fronts and blocking schemes which vastly helped Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi make plays. When Burchette went out with a broken arm in the first half it wasn’t just a demoralizer for the team but it hurt the defensive scheme as well simply due to the fact that backup ends Nekos Brown and Orion Martin, while physically talented, just didn’t have the experience to make the right reads on the offensive line.

Burchette also validates a claim I’ve made for the past year – the team just wasn’t behind QB Sean Glennon. He never won that locker room over because they never fully believed in him on the field. A direct quote from Burchette – “I feel like they should have been playing Ike Whitaker a long time ago, and, at least, giving Cory Holt a shot.”

He comments on how he felt that the coaches gave Glennon too many chances and how, from what he’s heard, Ike Whitaker has come back recharged from his rehab and is working very hard. In Burchette’s opinion, if Whitaker keeps that up, “there’s no reason he {Whitaker} shouldn’t be starting this year.”

Let’s keep in mind a few things about Burchette’s comments. First of all, you may be wondering where these comments were during the season. The answer is that, during the season, you have to read into the players’ comments. Phrases like “the defense feels like it’s our job to carry the team” and “we just gotta score some to help the offense out” tell you that the players are really saying that Glennon stinks and they have to carry the load. But they can’t make direct comments because they are a team and they have to stick together. That’s a credit to the coaching staff for preaching unity and team to these guys.

Unfortunately, it’s also the coaches’ job to change things around when they aren’t working and Ike Whitaker wasn’t properly handling his business off the field and the coaches were afraid to try Cory Holt so they just kept sticking with Glennon.

Now that Burchette is no longer on the football team he is free to speak his mind and his comments shed light on the views of the players that ARE returning in 2007. The coaches have no choice but to try Whitaker, Holt and maybe even Greg Boone because one way or the other they have to have someone in the QB position that the team believes in and that person is NOT Sean Glennon. These are no longer just the comments of a maniacal TechSuperFan but are heard straight from a player who was on the 2006 football team.


The Leftorium said...

Glad to hear Burchette give an insider's account of how some people around the team feel. Also, cheers to him for NOT saying anything during the season and talking out of school.

Also, many of us feel as if it's a pipe dream to expect Ike to take over next year, but if Burchette thinks its possible -- and he seems like a smart enough guy -- perhaps there is hope?

MadJay said...

As they said 83 times in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy - "there is always hope".

Every night when I say my prayers I add in a little blurb about Ike Whitaker overcoming his alcohol issues and becoming the starter on this team.

Keep the faith leftorium and save room in your hoping for someone to rise up at whip linebacker as well. We'll learn a lot more in a month when spring practice starts.