Senior Night Disaster: BC 76, Hokies 61

Well that momentum didn't last long. Coming off an emotionally-charged victory over No. 1 Duke Saturday, the Hokies came out with no energy, suffering their worst regular season home loss since 2007 in a 76-61 setback to Boston College. The loss moves Tech squarely back to the bubble with little room for error in the season's final two weeks.

Tech got off to a good start in the game's first minute, scoring the first four points. That was about it for the good news, however, as Boston College went on a 32-10 run over the next 12 minutes to open a 18-point lead at the under-8 minute media timeout. The Hokies seemed to finally wakeup after the timeout, finishing the half on a 13-3 run to work their way back into the game at halftime, trailing 35-27. The main problem for Tech was the lack of defensive intensity. BC had numerous open shots early on, connecting on seven three-pointers in the half (on 13 attempts) as opposed to just six two-pointers (on 14 attempts).

Boston College Live Blog

The Duke win, while epic and necessary, isn't enough to get us into The Dance. Join us at 9:00 PM for another "must win". The live blog is after the jump.

Boston College (Game 2) Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (19-8, 9-5 ACC) @vs Boston College Eagles (17-11, 7-7 ACC)

When: Tuesday, March 1 @ 9:00 p.m.

TV: ESPNU

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

The Opponent: Coming off an emotionally-charged victory over No. 1 Duke on Saturday night, the Hokies finish off their home schedule with Senior Night against Boston College. Tonight's ceremony, scheduled to start at 8:45 p.m., will honor one of Tech's greatest senior classes in Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, and Terrell Bell. Walk-ons Prince Parker and Andrew Griffin will also be honored before the game.

BC comes in to town after a 63-44 victory at Virginia on Saturday afternoon. Since these two teams played about a month ago, the Eagles have lost 3 of 5, but all three losses have been by single digits. Simply put, this is a must-win game for BC if they want to make the NCAA Tournament. Their home loss to Miami last Wednesday was an absolute killer for their tournament hopes. In addition, BC can claim the series sweep and have an opportunity to catch Tech for 4th in the ACC with a victory.

Here’s a look at their projected starting lineup:

Virginia Tech Perseveres, Upsets #1 Duke 64-60

It doesn't get much better than this. Trailing by six in the game's final seven minutes, Virginia Tech used a 17-7 run to come back and knock off the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils 64-60 Saturday night in Cassell Coliseum. The win was Tech's 4th against team's ranked No. 1 and the third time in the last five years they've knocked off the top ranked team in the land.

The win strengthened Tech's chances at an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament, as it improved to 9-5 in the ACC with two games to play. Duke lost for just the second time in conference play this season and was bounced from the No. 1 spot just one week after it reclaimed its' position atop the polls.

Playing with a passion not seen this year, the Hokies got out to a fast start leading 9-4, but couldn't take advantage of the cold-shooting Blue Devils. Duke responded by taking it's first lead of the game at 16-14 with less than nine minutes remaining in the first half. Facing a deficit for the first time in the contest, Tech countered with a 15-6 run to open their largest lead of the night at 29-22. The Devils would not go away, roaring back to get within two at halftime at 33-31.

Hokie Happenings: GameDay in Blacksburg

Your sights and sounds of Blacksburg or wherever Hokie Nation is headed.

I am sure Kevin's recap of the Duke upset will be up later this evening or tomorrow after he's through covering the Hokies on the diamond, but for now I offer up the best signs I saw at GameDay. By the way, the atmosphere at GameDay was electric. The students came, saw and conquered. At one point the production crew had to signal everyone to quiet down because they couldn't hear Bob Knight be salty.

@TheHokieStone made this and @frinkahedron captured it outside of The Cassell waiting for GameDay to start. I owe them both a beer.

No. 1 Duke Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (18-8, 8-5 ACC) vs #1 Duke Blue Devils (26-2, 12-1 ACC)

When: Saturday, February 26 @ 9:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA

The Opponent: Alright ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time. We’ve been thinking of this weekend since the season began. It’s time to get off your rear end and get out to Cassell for what many are calling the most important game in Virginia Tech basketball history. You know the setup: ESPN broadcasting College Gameday from Cassell, the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils coming to town, and a national broadcast of the game at 9 p.m. on Saturday night. Need I say more? if that doesn’t get you pumped for this weekend, you might need to check your pulse.

This isn’t your older brother’s College Gameday. This, as Seth Greenberg so eloquently stated in another letter to the student body is an infomercial for the Hokie Nation. People know Virginia Tech as a football school and it’s time to show the nation that we are ready to become a two-sport school and we have the crowd support to do it.

Looking ahead to 2012 Recruiting

Editor's Note: The perfect segue from this morning's post.

This year more than ever, I got into the nitty-gritty of following VT recruiting, spending entirely too much time concerned over the decision-making process of 17 and 18 year old strangers. I definitely picked the wrong year to take it so seriously. No reason to stop now.

Here's a list of the early top-25 players for the state of Virginia:

What are your thoughts? Who do we need a most? Who do we have no shot at?

Hokies Coast Past Wake Forest 76-62

Virginia Tech did what it had to do on the road in Winston-Salem Tuesday night, taking care of business with a 76-62 win over Wake Forest. The win improves Tech to 8-5 in the ACC and sets the stage for a showdown on a national stage with Duke on Saturday.

The Hokies got off to a slow start, leading by just two at 20-18 with six minutes to go in the first, but went on an 18-7 run to finish the half and open up a 13-point advantage at halftime. The spurt was keyed by two three-pointers from Jarell Eddie, playing in his first game since being charged with possession of marijuana last week. He did not play in Saturday's loss at UVA. Tech shot 56 percent in the first half, highlighted by the 6-for-10 performance in the last six minutes. Even more impressive was that the Hokies did all of that despite turning the ball over 11 times in the first 20 minutes.

It was much of the same shooting-wise for the Hokies in the second half, quickly expanding their advantage to 20 points in the first six minutes at 51-31. The lead swelled to 21 at 69-48 with six minutes remaining before Wake Forest hit some shots at the end to close the final margin to 14, the Deacs' second-lowest margin of defeat in ACC play this year.

Eddie had his best game as a Hokie, scoring 17 points to set a new career-high, surpassing his old total of 12 set last month against Wake Forest. The freshman from Charlotte was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Wake Forest (Game 2) Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (17-8, 7-5 ACC) vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-19, 1-11 ACC)

When: Tuesday, February 22 @ 7:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN2

Where: Lawrence Joel Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC

The Opponent: The Hokies begin a crucial week of ACC play with a trip to Winston-Salem to take on the lowly Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The Deacs are just 1-11 in the ACC with the lone win being a 76-61 victory against Virginia on January 29. Wake is losing their conference games by an average of 20 points per game, and that includes a one-point defeat to Miami two weeks ago.

The Deacs currently have an RPI of 245, which is only better than five of Tech's opponents: Campbell, UNCG, Cal State Northridge, USC-Upstate, and Longwood. Needless to say this game is a must win. A loss in Winston-Salem tonight would be the proverbial nail in the coffin for Tech's at-large hopes.

Here’s a look at Wake Forest’s starting lineup:

Mike O'Cain is our new Offensive Coordinator*; Replaces Bryan Stinespring

The new recruiting territories leaked earlier takes a backseat to the blockbuster news that Bryan Stinespring will no longer be calling offensive plays for the Hokies. He'll be coaching tackles and tight ends and Curt Newsome will only be coaching interior linemen. How many Hokie line coaches does it take to screw in a light bulb anyways?

These latest changes seem to be the culmination to a total staff makeover. The Frankinator is no longer taking prisoners.

This flip-flop doesn't titillate me as much as it probably should though. Most recently O'Cain has been coaching quarterbacks at Virginia Tech, Tyrod Taylor pointed to him as much as any other coach for his success in Blacksburg. Before coming to Blacksburg he served as:

  • 2004: Clemson offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
  • 2001-03 Clemson: quarterbacks
  • 2000 North Carolina: offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
  • 1993-99 NC State: head coach

so he's got the experience, just lacks the flash, splash and sizzle as say The Fridge would have had.

What do you guys think?

*Stinespring could still retain the title of offensive coordinator, but if he's not calling the plays that would make him the Queen of England Blacksburg.

UVA Uses Three-Point Barrage to Sweep Tech 61-54

Virginia hit 11 three-pointers, including 6-of-10 in the first half, to build an insurmountable 15-point lead as the Cavs finished off a sweep of the Hokies with a 61-54 win in Charlottesville Saturday afternoon. The inexplicable loss sends Virginia Tech back to the bubble, something Hokie fans have become accustomed to in recent years. In a slight bit of good news, Tech stayed a game ahead of Boston College for fourth place in the ACC as the Eagles fell to North Carolina.

Tech was sloppy with the ball from the get go, turning the ball over eight times in the first 15 minutes. UVA wasn't much better, turning it over six times in the same span. Neither team was great from the field either, which led to some rather ugly basketball. That was until the 'Hoos hit four three-pointers to create separate runs of 8-0 and 7-1 to end the half up 28-23. Most of the three's were incredible shots that found a way in late in the shot clock. In fact, UVA was 6-of-10 from deep in the first half, but just 5-of-14 from inside the arc.

Virginia (Game 2) Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (17-7, 7-4 ACC) @ Virginia Cavaliers (12-13, 3-8 ACC)

When: Saturday, February 19 @ 1:00 p.m.

TV: ACC Network

Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA

The Opponent: The Hokies take their two-game winning streak to Charlottesville for a rematch with the Cavaliers Saturday afternoon. Tech lost to UVA back on December 5, 57-54, thanks primarily to a slow start. UVA led by as many as 16 in the first half before the Hokies came roaring back to get within two before falling by three.

Things are much different now, as Tech has won 13 of 16 since and the Wahoos have gone 7-10, including 2-8 in their last 10. UVA has had trouble scoring, failing to reach 50 points in three of those last 10, including a season-low 41 points against Duke on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at their projected starting lineup:

Changes

It's OK to wake up, you're not dreaming. On Monday afternoon Hokie Nation got exactly what we've been clamoring for since the Orange Bowl thumping and recruiting disaster(s), change. It was only one change, but to be overly dramatic, yet precisely accurate, it's a "Change We Can Believe In".

Billy Hite was the longest tenured football coach at Virginia Tech. He's been coaching running backs since 1980, under then head coach Bill Dooley. The backs Hite mentored and developed decorate the Hokies' record book–ten of eleven season rushing leaders, nine of eleven career rushing leaders and 26 of his backs inked NFL contracts. Ut Prosim, "That I May Serve", and Coach Hite did so loyally, professionally and successfully for 33 years as a coach and will continue to do so as assistant to the head coach and senior advisor.

By all accounts Shane Beamer is a tremendous young coach, relatable, well-versed, and he recruits like an animal.

Shane Beamer's first class as the recruiting coordinator (2009) for the Gamecocks was ranked as the nation's 12th-best class by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. South Carolina's 2010 class included running back Marcus Lattimore, the No. 10 player in the country according to Rivals.com, and the 2011 class was highlighted by Jadeveon Clowney, the consensus No. 1 player in the nation.

Pieces

As Hokie fans are already aware, there have been some new puzzle pieces added to an already crowded board. Below is a table of the coaches showing their old and new positions.

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