VT Beat: Hokies Start Strong in Hoops

Hello and welcome to the “new version” of the VT Beat. My name is Don Deibler. For the past few months I have been writing the “Around the ACC” weekly article and now will be taking over the VT Beat for the foreseeable future. The article will touch base on Virginia Tech basketball and football as well as anything else we would like to talk about in relation to Hokies athletics. Enjoy!

Men’s Basketball Weekly

Many Hokie fans are excited about the start that the men’s basketball team has had so far this year. After a rocky offseason in which former Head Coach Seth Greenberg was fired, the program seems to have rebounded nicely. Currently the Hokies are sitting at 8-1. Don’t let the record fool you though, the Hokies have had an extremely easy schedule thus far. Only three teams on their schedule have been true tests: Iowa(W), Oklahoma St (W) and West Virginia (L). The others would be referred to by Dick Vitale as cupcakes. The true story of this season will begin to fold in about three weeks when conference play begins on the road against Maryland.

Point Guard Erick Green is putting on one of the better scoring performances we have seen in Blacksburg since Bimbo Coles was hitting jumpers. Green has scored at least 20 points in all nine games this season and is currently second in the nation in scoring. He is the leader of the team, and his performances and leadership down the stretch will have a direct impact on the outcome of the season.

Last Saturday, the Hokies fell to an old foe, the West Virginia Mountaineers. The game was tight and the Hokies got off to a slow start, falling behind by as many as 12 in the first half. However, the scoring got on track in the second half and the Hokies appeared to be in control. Some missed shots and opportunities down the stretch, combined with some players being in foul trouble, proved to be the difference. Erick Green had a shot to win the game at the last second, but came up just short.

Currently the Hokies are participating in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic Basketball tournament. On Monday they defeated Mississippi Valley State and will face Georgia Southern this Saturday as part of that tournament.

NFL Hokies Tracker – Below is a list of current NFL players that played at Virginia Tech. I will update their stats each week so that we can all keep an eye on some of the former Hokie standouts.

(Player name, team, position, jersey number, this week’s state)

-Brandon Flowers (Kansas City, Cornerback, #24) Started. 5 Tackles. 1 pass defended.

-Xavier Adibi (Tennessee, Linebacker, #58) No stats

-Jason Worilds (Pittsburgh, Linebacker, #93) 2 tackles

-Darryl Tapp (Philadelphia, Defensive End, #55) No stats

-DeAngelo Hall (Washington, Cornerback, #23) 7 tackles

-Will Montgomery (Washington, Center, #63) Started

-Joshua Morgan ( Washington , Receiver, #15) 3 Receptions, 30 yards, 1 TD

-Tyrod Taylor (Baltimore, Quarterback, #5) No stats

-David Wilson (New York Giants, Running Back, #22) 100 rushing yards, 2 Touchdowns 227 yds on returns including 97-yard Kick off return for a TD, team-record 327 all-purpose yards

-Kam Chancellor ( Seattle, Safety, #31) 3 Tackles, 1 Pass Defended.

-Jeff King (Arizona, Tight End, #87) No Stats

-Jarrett Boykin ( Green Bay, Receiver, #11) 1 Reception, 4 yards

-Duane Brown (Houston, Offensive Tackle, #76) Started

-Rashad “Roc” Carmichael ( Houston, Defensive Back, #20) No Stats

-Shayne Graham (Houston, Kicker, #17) 2/2 on Extra points

The following players on rosters but currently injured:

Injured TB Darren Evans (TEN); S Cody Grimm (TB); TB Ryan Williams (ARI)
Inactive: QB Michael Vick (PHI) – concussion; Eddie Royal (SD) – hamstring; LB James Anderson (CAR) – back, eye PS: WR Danny Coale (DAL) – torn ACL

“Off the Beaten Path” -Off the Beaten path will be part of the article each week. In this section I will examine a player, coach, team, issue that isn’t part of the mainstream media discussion. This week’s topic is Bruce Arians of the Indianapolis Colts.

In September Indianapolis Colts Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians received news that his superior, Head Coach Chuck Pagano, had been diagnosed with Leukemia and would need to take immediate and indefinite leave. Pagano assigned his duties to Arians, who would be the acting Head Coach while Pagano is gone. The entire team and community have rallied in support of Pagano and as an outsider watching this unfold it’s pretty amazing.

The tie in for this story to Virginia Tech is that Arians is a Hokie. In fact, Arians was the starting quarterback for the Hokies in 1974. His stats weren’t too impressive (53 completions on 118 attempts with 3 passing touchdowns, seven interceptions, and eight rushing touchdowns). Even though he didn’t get his jersey retired, the man is a Hokie through and through. He began his coaching career as many do, a Graduate Assistant at their Alma Mater. Since then, Arians has moved up the ranks and now finds himself leading the Indianapolis Colts to a potential playoff berth after winning just two games last season. Below is a list of Arian’s coaching positions:

1975-77: Virginia Tech (GA)
1978-80: Mississippi State (RB/WR)
1981-82: Alabama (RB)
1983-88: Temple (HC)
1989-92: Kansas City Chiefs (RB)
1993-95: Mississippi State (OC)
1996: New Orleans Saints (TE)
1997: Alabama (OC)
1998-00: Indianapolis Colts (QB)
2001-03: Cleveland Browns (OC)
2004-06: Pittsburgh Steelers (WR)
2007-11: Pittsburgh Steelers (OC)
2012: Indianapolis Colts (Interim HC/OC)

This week will be a crucial game for the playoff hopes of the Colts. They travel to Houston with a 9-4 record (8-2 since Arians took over) and as a projected 5th seed in the AFC, and are still contending for the AFC North Division title. If you don’t have a NFL team in contention for the playoffs, maybe you could root for the Colts. There is a special story unfolding in Indianapolis and a Hokie is right in the middle of it. Best of luck to the Colts and their coach, Bruce Arians.

Don’s Tidbits

Hokie Football will be back on December 28th when they take on Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl. ESPN will be broadcasting the game at 5:30pm (So make sure you get home in time for kickoff!)

-Baseball: Tech’s starting catcher Mark Zagunis has been named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason All-America second team

– Virginia Tech and Old Dominion agree to three-game football series. Old Dominion will come to Lane Stadium in 2016 and 2019 and the Hokies would play in Norfolk in 2018.

– Two Virginia Tech Football Players have been charged with setting off an explosive device. This appears to be a prank gone wrong but the charges against these two guys are as serious as can be. In the mean time, they will not be a part of the team. For the full story click here: http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/317507

What to look for this week:

1.)    Hokies in the NFL. Lots of former Hokies are going to be involved in important NFL games this weekend. Reference my article to find the Hokies involved in the game you’re watching so that you can root along.

2.)    VT Basketball. Those of you close to Blacksburg have a chance to see super point guard Erick Green take on Georgia Southern Saturday at 2pm. Unfortunately the game will not be nationally televised unless you watch it on ESPN3.com.

3.)    College football is back! That’s right. The bowl games begin this Saturday.

Until next week… Have fun. Be Safe. Go Hokies!


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