Virginia Tech Basketball: Joey van Zegeren Leaving Program Permanently

Hokies redshirt junior forward meets with Buzz Williams, decides to move on after spending last three weeks away from team.

Joey van Zegeren is leaving the Hokies' program. [Mark Umansky]

Forward Joey van Zegeren has been away from the men's basketball team since the start of 2015, and now he's making that change permanent.

In a release Thursday night, Virginia Tech announced that van Zegeren will be leaving the program, becoming the latest player from the pre-Buzz Williams era to look for opportunities elsewhere.

The redshirt junior will remain on scholarship with the team and is still on track to graduate in May, even though the school notes that he "likely will continue his playing career at another institution or play professionally next season."

Williams suspended van Zegeren indefinitely back on January 2, and he says he met with the forward a number of times to work out the best solution for both parties.

Joey and I met several times over the past week," Williams said. "Today, we decided that it would be best if he leaves the team to focus on completing his degree and focus on his development as he looks toward the next phase of his basketball career."

Williams refused to divulge specifics about what van Zegeren did or said to earn his first suspension, saying only it stemmed from an incident in practice.

"I think we've been transparent in handling what we said, but I do think that at some point you have to be a part of a team. And what happens within a team is for the team, that's not me trying to hide anything," Williams said after the team's loss to Syracuse on January 3. "Joey's a really, really good kid. He didn't handle himself well, and there has to be right and has to be wrong, and he was wrong. He knows he was wrong. Our team knows he was wrong."

Van Zegeren was one of the few big men on the team, and earned plenty of early playing time. He only started three games this season, but he'd already notched career highs in points and rebounds per game with 9.8 and 5.3 respectively.

Now, the team is left with only three forwards that could conceivably play this season: freshman Satchel Pierce, junior Shane Henry and senior Christian Beyer.

But even with van Zegeren leaving prematurely, Williams insists there are no lingering hard feelings on his end of things.

He is good young man who continues to grow as a person and a player," Williams said. "I will be proud of him when he walks across the stage in May as a Virginia Tech graduate."


It's a real shame but it is what it is

Keep calm, Gobble on

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't incredibly disappointed. At least he's getting his degree and will have an opportunity somewhere else. This has been a rough season so far.

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

I'm going to be honest. This feels a little scummy to me. Buzz is over-signed for next season and I think the first player that gave him any problems he pushed out the door. I know its total speculation, but Joey didn't even seem like he was given a chance to earn his way out of the doghouse. I think Joey was a casualty for Chris Clarke.

There's a chance you could be right but, I don't believe what your thinking happened. I won't put any on here to stir up rumors but there is a reason he in the doghouse!

Not many comments on here annoy me, but explain how in the world you know what happened behind closed doors? Likewise, how do you know he wasn't given multiple chances in practice and never rose to the occasion? You can speculate all you want, but Buzz Williams runs quite the different program from James Johnson or Seth Greenberg and that's what you're looking at.

It is a fact that we had to many scholarships on the books for next year. Someone had to go. That already left a bad taste in my mouth. That shows little respect to the players on the current roster, it feels like SEC football. I like Buzz, I like the energy he brings, and the team certainly plays hard under him. He was either going to have to tell one of these kids that he was taking their scholarship or kick someone off the team. I think he took the easy way out, and I'm disappointed. If Joey did something bad enough to get kicked off the team, then do it right away. Don't indefinitely suspend him, offer some 2016 big men then decide to "mutually" part ways. He does run a different program, and for the first time I don't like it. I'm not saying what Buzz did was right or wrong, and I don't know the details. I'm just expressing my opinion and I don't like the way this went down.

Once again, you have ZERO knowledge of what JVZ did in practice to get suspended. Please re-read that sentence. You also do not know how JVZ did prior to that in playing in a manner that Buzz found acceptable. If you listened to Buzz's interviews & published comments, you would actually understand that he had tried to provide public reminders to JVZ that he needed to step up, without actually criticizing him directly.

You might be used to seeing players get 2nd/3rd/4th/5th chances, but you are ignoring how Buzz runs a program. He doesn't do that. This is why I have said repeatedly on here that no one should expect to see JVZ back on the team. Because I observed how Buzz coached at Marquette.

Buzz runs a tough program. Like the military. The weak can fall to the side, like the military. There is not coddling, like the military. There is a tremendous amount of dedication required, like the military. The result is a huge sense of rapport & team & unity. Like the military.

There will be casualties. Every year. Something that virtually everyone on here ignores is that college basketball has exponentially more transfers/player losses from every team every year in every conference now. There were over 600 player transfers this offseason. About 340 teams, over 600 transfers. Do the math, people. Almost two players leaving every team every year. Every team, every conference, every year.

It's the new world. Ignore it & whine that our proven elite new coach might expect too much of our players from our three straight last place ACC teams. Or... you could look beyond the knee jerk jump to pessimism. JVZ is gone. We all 'should' (emphasis) have known that was the case as soon as he was suspended. Buzz is not covert. Buzz is transparent - FAR more so than any coach we have had in any Hokie sport in years.

Best of luck to JVZ in getting his degree & pursuing his career in Europe. Turn the page.

I agree 100% (+1 leg). Plus, we had guys transfer every year before Buzz got here. Now at least we can replace the guys transferring with higher level talent. That is what we really need to do build our program into a winner. That is what Buzz is doing. It may take a few years but it will be worth the wait.

"Give me a fu¢king beer", Anonymous Genius

I had a longer reply, but don't feel like getting labelled a "Marquette fanboy," or whatever, since you're FAR more invested in Hokie Hoops than the usual fan.

But I would like to point out 2 things:
1. Please don't compare Buzzketball to the military. The value, and stakes, of the two are vastly different, and a college basketball program, even for the school I love and value, is the inferior of the two.
2. I would have to ask: is Buzz really transparent? JVZ is gone. For what, exactly, we don't really know. Is it for something heinous? Maybe. Is it for something trivial, that only a college basketball coach would care about? (That's not a Buzzslam - college basketball coaches are notorious control freaks as a rule, and can get away with it.) Maybe. But we don't know. I'd like to hope the punishment fits the crime, other than "we need the scholarships" or "you're from the program before I got here, so see ya!"

I just wish there wasn't the dismissive air of JVZ that I see - the 'good riddance' feeling. We, regardless of the regime in charge, asked/begged/cajoled him to come to our school and wear our name. If it didn't work out, it didn't work out, but he was still one of us.

I just wish there wasn't the dismissive air of JVZ that I see - the 'good riddance' feeling. We, regardless of the regime in charge, asked/begged/cajoled him to come to our school and wear our name. If it didn't work out, it didn't work out, but he was still one of us.

The "dismissive air" is reflective of the faith and trust we have placed in Buzz Williams and his ability to recruit with some of the top coaches in the country. We all know that Buzz's first two years are "development years" (a courtesy we haven't given Scot Loeffler but that's besides the point), I don't think anyone would be comfortable with this move unless a coach of Buzz's caliber was at the helm. I know Pierce made some excellent points about how not having JVZ will affect player development but honestly, I don't think his loss is really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

Look, I get it - JVZ is not a Dell Curry or Bimbo Coles (God, that certainly gives away I'm old), nor is he an earth-shattering player. And I know we want to climb the D1 mountain, and people believe that Buzz can do that, both in recruiting and "coaching 'em up." And this player wasn't the guy that was getting us to the Elite Eight.

But the attitude of "well, glad HE'S gone" for JVZ doesn't seem, well, right. Coaches already have all the leverage in college basketball, so this feels like kicking the kid when he's down. I can't believe he's that bad of a person. I fully admit I know no more than anyone else about what happened, or didn't happen, at this practice. But with all information being held, I'm skeptical. Unless it turns out he killed a manager at practice, I'm not sure how insubordinate he could have been to warrant getting his scholarship pulled.

And logically, if we kept him on until the term started, to give him a chance to get his degree, why not keep him on the team, and get a player out of it, too? (Again, this is where the not-knowing makes it hard to assess, and again, I can't imagine he's that bad a person.)

warrant getting his scholarship pulled

This didn't happen. He's staying on scholarship and will complete a degree this semester, at which point he can graduate and pursue other opportunities.

If Buzz is not to be trusted in making decisions regarding who is part of the VT basketball program, I have no idea why he is the coach and really do not understand why he is paid handsomely. Buzz should be trusted until he proves to be untrustworthy, then he should not be the coach of the team.

I have a highly regarded account of what has transpired and the statement by Buzz has been very accurate;

  1. An incident occured at practice for which JVZ was suspended
  2. Somethings (never named) needed to occur as a result of said incident before JVZ would be permitted to return to the team
  3. JVZ has ended his career as a VT b-ball player.

Buzz has repeated that JVZ is a good person but needs to be accountable for is actions, I do not see this as kicking a kid while they are down but as transparent as need be. Actually, discussing a players failings in public would be kicking them when they are down.

Perhaps I have missed it somehow, but I have yet to see anyone post anything along the lines of 'I'm glad he's gone' in regards to JVZ. People have posted something to the effect of JVZ broke rules, he is being punished. As I have already posted, Buzz also waited conveniently until classes started back to announce JVZ would not return, with no other purpose than to make sure JVZ got his scholarship long enough to graduate.

As for the extreme example you used to show the only way you thought JVZ earned dismissal 'killed a manager at practice' that completely ignores virtually everything that all of us should have learned about coaching from the time we were in Little League. There are rules. Rules have to be followed. By Everyone. The team is stronger when everyone understands that.

Defaulting to the Marcus Vick 'You don't have to follow rules if you are talented enough' mindset is a quick way to ruin a team & a program. Allowing JVZ back on the team because we need a big man in the paint defaults to that wrong mindset.

There's not been anyone that said JVZ was a bad person. Most, though, have recognized that he broke a team rule in practice. Buzz was transparent about that. Buzz did not resort to 'he committed a violation of team rules & there will be no further discussion' like we often see programs do. Buzz said it was in practice - meaning it was not legal violations or academic violations. I don't understand the desire to know more than that.

JVZ blew it, but nobody said he was a bad guy. They just said he blew it. If he blew it & Buzz didn't punish him, the entire team would know that only 'non-essential' players would be held accountable. That is extremely clear. Yes, we'll lose games because of it. JVZ will think about that while he completes his degree, thanks to Buzz waiting to dismiss him until after the semester began. Otherwise JVZ would be trying to find a way to pay for school. Buzz taught him a life lesson while also doing him a big favor. People need to understand that, not point negativity.

In sorry but your logic is flawed for several reasons:

1) you don't know the real story

2) if we're over signed for next year, why cut a guy mid year (you would wait until afte this season is over)?

3) why would you cut a guy at the one position you can't afford to lose anyone?

We put the K in Kwality

Because sometimes team integrity is more important than W's. Glad to see him gone


I don't like this one bit, but not for that reason. This was the last kid you run off. You need him.

As I have said previously, if it gets to this point, there are mistakes made by everyone.

The mistake in your thinking is this - you NEVER keep a player on the team just because you 'need' him. If you are the coach, you establish rules. Even the stars must adhere to the rules. It makes zero difference whether the player is a critical asset or not. In building a certain culture & set of expectations, you don't create favorites by allowing certain players to break rules without punishment. Otherwise the only message sent to the entire team is - 'If you are good enough, Coach will back down & let you do whatever you want'. Not exactly healthy environment. Buzz did what he needed to do, what he had to do.

Also, before anyone criticizes Buzz for poor perspective, remember two things. By holding steady, Buzz proved that HE is control of the team & that when a player breaks rules that hurt the team, the team should also hold the player accountable. Secondly, by waiting until classes started back, he allowed JVZ to stay on scholarship this semester & have time to earn his degree, which lasts much longer than a playing career. If he had cut JVZ immediately, JVZ would have had to pay his own way & might have dropped out instead of finishing his education.

JVZ shouldn't have deflated the basketballs and he never would have been kicked off the team....


The most reasonable (and most hilarious) guess as to why he left the team yet.

There some things players can't do. The slimy thing thing to do would be to play him and then cut him after the season. The up front thing to do is make the decision and stick by it no matter how much it hurts.

We are over-signed in the backcourt (Robinson and Allen are both point guards), and there will be attrition (likely plural) in the backcourt.

You could also look at it that while Joey did something wrong, he and Buzz did try to work it out and Joey felt that he no longer fit the program that Buzz is building. He now has spent enough time to get a feel for how Buzz runs things.

I'm not trying to add further speculation, but just wanted to point out that they might have mutually and amicably come to this decision.

As a Marquette fan, get used to it. It's called buzzcutting on the forums. It is what he does. He is very good at identifying Junior College talent, but has a tough time with high school players thus far. Many transfers and kids being moved off the team (buzz cut).

If your fanbase is like ours, there will be a camp that doesn't care and a camp that is concerned about it. Our administration seemed to get tried of it and that is why no real efforts to keep him. Winning is great, but there is a right way to do it.

Best of luck with Bret the Buzzard. You will enjoy his quirkiness and the wins, but you may have to hold your nose in the process.

You sound as though you disliked the multiple Sweet Sixteen & the Elite Eight finishes. Actually, you just sound like a bitter Marquette fan still determined follow Buzz months after his departure in order to criticize him. Good luck with that.

No, not bitter at all. For the record, I follow all former Marquette coaches. Rick Majerus (until his death), Kevin O'Neil, Buzz Williams, Tom Crean.

Buzz did some good things for Marquette and some not so good things. I guess you would have to ask yourself why a guy that had the success you mention left to take less money at a school with very little basketball success? Last year, Marquette was picked to win the Big East. Instead, the team finished in the bottom half of the conference under Buzz.

Our administration seemed to get tried of it and that is why no real efforts to keep him. Winning is great, but there is a right way to do it...

Best of luck with Bret the Buzzard. You will enjoy his quirkiness and the wins, but you may have to hold your nose in the process.

Still bitter about him leaving, are we? Can't really blame you, I really didn't like our experiment with a first time head coach learning on the job, either.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Of course, our last first time head coach didn't exactly take us to five NCAA tourneys with four Sweet Sixteens & an Elite Eight finish like Buzz did for Marquette. The truth is that Buzz did actually do well with HS recruits, even as he made sure to recruit the JC circuit. Since, as we all know, Buzz was a JC guy himself and felt it important to give a bootstrap chance to guys like himself (when he was younger).

I have to question the motive of someone who bothers to follow an ex-coach to other schools' message boards the next year just to criticize him. Especially when they do not use facts but instead distort and misrepresent what actually occurred in the departure.

I was referencing their current experiment with Wojo who has them playing at a fairly underwhelming 10-8 despite not playing a single ranked team.

I don't expect any Marquette fan to speak highly of Buzz after the way he bailed on them. I would be upset as well. The fact of the matter is that he had Marquette playing at a very high level before he came here and did it by doing things his way. The fact that Marquette fans are still so upset by him leaving that some show up here to try and tell us how negatively we should be thinking about him should be all you need to know about how good of a hire it was.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Wojo's team was picked 7th this year in the Big East. That's exactly where he has MU. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Marquette has played many teams that were ranked at the time. #2 Wisconsin, #20 Michigan State (ranked at the time), Georgetown twice (currently ranked 21st....OT was one loss), #20 Ohio State. Coming up, #7 Villanova twice, #25 Butler twice. So I'm not sure where you get "10-8 despite not playing a single ranked team." That's just terribly false.

Marquette played a terrible level last year. Picked to win the Big East, finished in the second half of the conference. No NCAA, no NIT. That's not at a high level at a place like Marquette.

Buzz didn't take Marquette to four Sweet 16's either. Not sure where you are getting your information. In his 5 NCAA trips, we lost in the first round one year after having an 18 point second half lead. Lost in the 2nd round another time. Two Sweet 16's and one Elite 8.

I'd like to know where Buzz did well with high school talent. He did tremendously well with JC guys, not with high school kids.

There is no motive, other than I like to see how our coaches do when they move on. You said I distort the facts and misrepresent things, well I've shown where you actually distorted the facts on his NCAA record and if you wish to make the claim about his high school recruits, please provide those facts.

My, how easy it is to create an entry in the urban dictionary, whether true or not. Folks should remember that is how the whole UVa definition of Hokie turned into something untrue, too...

Hey muwarrior, thanks for coming by and filling us in on this. Sorry my stablemates are going after you a bit. I'm excited to have the guy, and he's got us all fired up for the next few years. This year, I think we were all prepared to be a dumpster fire. I hope he can get us all in good form by year 3, but since I'm not really a big roundball fan, eh.

Did you find that the administration was pretty hands off about his implementation his roster strategy? For the Hokies here, does anyone think that would make a difference?

When you believe the facts, not the posts from bitter Marquette fans posting falsehoods, the story becomes very different. Anyone that would take less than one single minute to check online would know that the above bitter post by a poisoned Marquette fan was full of falsehoods (I'm being polite in not saying the lie word) and was completely 'inaccurate'.

Buzz was an assistant coach instrumental in recruiting good but not elite talent to Marquette. When Tom Crean left, Buzz was chosen by the AD to take over because of his personality, dedication, and obvious skill. Despite having really highly rated - but not THE highest rated recruiting classes, Buzz succeeded at an elite level by anyone's scale. When I say elite, I mean that in six years, he went to multiple Sweet Sixteens, & an Elite Eight finish. That sustained level of excellence is far to superior to anything in the entire history of Hokie basketball. Forever. This is not news to anyone except Hokie fans who routinely ignore basketball. Buzz performed at an elite level comparable to Kryzewski, Boeheim, Calipari, Pitino, Williams, Self & any other current coaching legend you want to match.

Buzz is an OCD personality. He became well versed in how influential conference affiliations were in determining the financial success of basketball programs. Buzz correctly projected how important it was for a school to have both a P5 football & basketball program.

Buzz could read and had adult mental capacity, so he understood how much the Big East/AAC television contract put his conference & especially his school behind the eight ball. Marquette lost their President & Athletic Director who both had enthusiastically supported Buzz for his ENTIRE career at the school. Buzz knew that new Athletic Directors like to put their own fingerprints on their coaching hires. Buzz also read the Milwaukee newspaper articles telling how Marquette had decided to de-emphasize sports/ In other words to stop funding them as much. Buzz knew he needed to find a program in a Power 5 conference where he could coach if he wanted to further his career.

Buzz did not offer Marquette the opportunity to retain him, as he knew the new admin was closing down interest in sports. Anyone who says Marquette was given an opportunity to match is a liar.. err... 'mistaken'.

Buzz came here without full knowledge of our program or situation. He just wanted a shot to rebuild, and in two short years we had become famous as a dumpster fire of a tragic program gone horribly bad in every way possible.

If anyone anywhere wants to provide any links that prove anything I've posted here false, go right ahead. The truth is that when you remove emotion and preconceived defeatist attitudes, you can understand that all I've said is factual. No matter what bitter Marquette college boys leap to proclaim, their posts on here are not factual.

if you took out the 1rst and 5th paragraph, and the last sentence this post would be fantastic.

Mr. Williams? Your son is doing just fine without you here to defend him so vehemently.

I am not going to downvote you like others have but you continuously take your posts past the point of necessary. Want to point out facts, do it, but there is no need to imply someone is a liar and there is also no way for you to know all the intricacies of what happened when Buzz came to Blacksburg.

Do I agree that it is unlikely that Marquette was not given a chance to retain him, with the third Athletic Director in about a six month period, a new President that didnt vocally support Buzz and also what went down with Buzz having to let his best friend/assistant head coach go for what many considered a minor recruiting violation at the behest of the second Athletic Director and the President. Sure I agree.

But there are so many possibilities, very much like what JVZ did or didnt do. Unless we are in the room, we shouldnt speculate. We should be happy that we have a basketball focused coach 24/7 and if given an eighth day it would be all basketball too. He is going to do what he thinks is best for our/his program and we are along for the ride. The energy this team has shown over the course of this season is why I buy into his program as much as anything else.

The fact that a MU fan is still upset is not surprising. Wojo is going to need three years to change Marquette into his style of basketball partly because he hasnt established his style and partly because of the normal transition of things. When you dont have a football team, basketball is your fan base's primary passion, so along with passion comes anger. Frankly what he posted didnt even ring of that much anger, it rang of a large dose of reality.

How do you think those of us hardcore roundball fans are going to feel if Buzz opts out of his contract at year three, when his buyout is at a minimum and he can jump to another school easily? We will be irate, but if he did do it, we also would understand where it came from. We just would see our hopes of a rapidly rising program potentially evaporating and we would be back to our trust in Whit to find another great hire to hopefully stop us sliding into basketball oblivion again. We would still be angry though, and I bet a few of us would trail him onto other fanbase sites and blast him for leaving. Its the cycle.

I appreciate your knowledge of the program and the time you have spent looking into Buzz and what makes him tick, but it doesnt mean you need to be spiteful to others that arent as knowledgeable. There was a time on here where it was near impossible for me to get more than five fans to click on a basketball topic. That still remains the truth for most other sports on here.

Be glad that we have a burgeoning fan base and educate without pontificating. If you have an opinion, say its your opinion. Others are likely to disagree, but that doesnt necessarily require a response. Many times they have good additional points that you may not have considered and yet others will obviously be picking dandelions in left field before posting. It takes all kinds to make a fanbase. No need for verbal combat, even if you enjoy it.

Insert every "drop the mic" gif ever created

well said Rob

How do you think those of us hardcore roundball fans are going to feel if Buzz opts out of his contract at year three, when his buyout is at a minimum and he can jump to another school easily? We will be irate, but if he did do it, we also would understand where it came from. We just would see our hopes of a rapidly rising program potentially evaporating and we would be back to our trust in Whit to find another great hire to hopefully stop us sliding into basketball oblivion again. We would still be angry though, and I bet a few of us would trail him onto other fanbase sites and blast him for leaving. Its the cycle.

I would be disappointed. Not because I would hate Buzz for what he would have done to us, but I would be shocked and disappointed to see him leave before a job is complete. Buzz strikes me as the kind of coach who is going to get into a program and take it to the highest level he thinks it can be playing, and then once its there, and he doesn't think it can go higher, then leave. Its what he did at Marquette. He got that program rolling, and jumped when he realized his job there was done. I don't see him leaving us until he is confident a very solid foundation has been built with the ability to continue on after he is gone. I don't see him leaving until that potential is realized.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

One thing I do know I would not do if Buzz left our program - whether in good or bad shape - would be this... I wouldn't take the time to go to another school's message board, sign up, and spend my time dropping false statements, tidbits of stories designed to cast a negative light on the coach, or insult the priorities of that school.

It just doesn't seem like a productive action or a reasonable mature action to undertake. It would seem to me to be a trolling move, with no real purpose other than that.

I haven't made one false statement. I have, however, been able to properly correct some false statements here.

All the best. And no, it wasn't a trolling move. It was from someone that has followed Buzz long before he was at Marquette, through Marquette, and now moving on. As I stated, he will do well at Va. Tech, it is a great situation for him.

Appreciate the welcome. Listen, I think Buzz will do wonders at a place like Va. Tech. You are a football school, the expectations are low. At Marquette, it's a basketball school and if you aren't performing you feel it. He was feeling it in a couple of areas. The change of scenery will do wonders for him and I expect some success.

I would say the administration was more and more hands on with roster strategy through his tenure because of his reliance on JC's. Marquette has had JC's before, but never the volume that Buzz had on the squad. There was also a very embarrassing sexual assault issue that did not help, put Buzz and the administration at odds with each other. It led to the firing of the AD and others. Bad news overall. One of Buzz's coaches also got fired for lying to the NCAA over extra benefits, that didn't help either. So in my view the administration started to get into Buzz's business a bit, and it was probably best for him to move on to somewhere with lowered basketball expectations (a football school) and a place that hasn't consistently won in 25 years. That's a perfect fit for Buzz, who will do very well in that atmosphere.

Goodness, for someone who is a fan of another program, you certainly are diligent in airing every bit of possible controversy you can nearly a year after your coach left your school. Good luck in your pot stirring.

You do conveniently drop certain bits of stories while leaving out the bulk of the same stories that make more sense, though, I will say that. You also manage to insult our school's dedication to basketball. Finally, you manage to ignore the published media reports of the reasons Buzz had for leaving Marquette while trying to falsely paint unscrupulous reasons as being a factor.

Excuse me for not 'welcoming' you due to your convenient distortions, though. Enjoy your basketball season, you have a coach that shows potential, if given time. Again, if given time.

I won't downvote you, though you deserve it for trolling/flaming. I'll just wish you a fun basketball season instead!

Do you believe "published" media reports tell the whole story? :) Sorry, but that's not how the real world works. All the best.

No offense, but when it comes down to what Buzz is saying and what an anonymous internet poster from a jilted fanbase says. I'll go with what Buzz is saying 10 times out of 10. I've met Buzz, and have had the opportunity to talk to him 1 on 1 in a private setting. I haven't met you.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Not to mention, the obvious question that a surprising number of posters on here seem to have ignored - why bother to go to a message board of another school, out of conference, just to toss out conveniently negative comments about a coach that left your school?

Sure, people have love for their school & teams, but what adult feels it necessary to go months later to another school's message board in order to throw stones at their coach? What constructive purpose does that serve? How is that not trolling/flaming? How is that acceptable behavior? No matter how 'pleasant' the wording, when the wording contains false statements and convenient major absences of facts and distortions of events, why would someone take the time to do that without the intent of negativity? And that is to be 'welcomed' and rewarded? Interesting.

How else to say it?

Apple, meet Orange.
Our roster turnover the last 18 months has been strictly new regime based turnover.
1) cleaning house of players that are below-par for the ACC.
2) players leaving who signed up to play for laid-back JJ, not intense Buzz
3) player (JVZ) who couldn't muster the maturity to respect his coaches

This post by Marquette Guy indicted buzz as generating a lot of turnover over multiple years. We're still years away from seeing whether or not that happens at Tech. Nobody who Buzz has recruited to VT has transfered or quit the team.

Wiley, Brown, Russell, Drakeford, Gray, Banks, Prioleau, Charleton, Midget, Bird, McCadam, Pile, Hall, Green, Fuller, Williams, Hamilton, Rouse, Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Hosley, Fuller, Exum, Jarrett

It will be interesting though to see in a year or 2 if one of his recruits is not playing at a real high level if he transfers and another JUCO comes in...

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

3) player (JVZ) who couldn't muster the maturity to respect his coaches

I'm not sure this is entirely fair. We don't know what happened. We'll never know. I'm okay with not knowing but this is completely speculative and we don't know if it's true. We may assume that it was an issue with respecting the coaches but we don't know for sure. There are a multitude of other reasons for which he may have been suspended which don't involve disrespecting the coaches.

I just don't think it's fair to say JVZ disrespected the coaches when we really don't know if that's the case.

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

I will say JVZ bucks the trend/is a different scenario. Mainly because I think they're is a lot of speculation about what happened. The team never released the details, which I think is appropriate, but from what I know it wasn't a purely a coaching issue. Just to alleviate this "Buzz forces players out" feeling I'm getting from a good amount of comments

I lived 2 floors below the guy and wound up in his suite a few times freshman year, and after running into him a few times I think it was better for both parties. I always had mad respect for Joey and wished him the best but I think buzz was looking for something else and joey didn't like Buzz's plan for his future. Trust me I know jvz and he's one of the most respectful people I know, all of this lack of respect for buzz is a bit of a reach. Whenever I saw him it was nothing but positive reviews. What I gathered from it all was they were both expecting different things from each other

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Sometimes people just don't mesh. It's a hard fact of life. It's got nothing to do with good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains. Sometimes it's just incompatible personalities.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

I agree, the specifics aren't one-to-one, but it supports Buzz's overall trend to turnover his roster.

Curious, which one do you think Muller is?

2) players leaving who signed up to play for laid-back JJ, not intense Buzz
3) player (JVZ) who couldn't muster the maturity to respect his coaches

Both of these comments are misguided. If you think JJ was laid back, you never witnessed a practice and if you think JVZ "couldn't muster the maturity," you didn't know him. No one will know what happened that day other than him and whoever it happened with, because every person you ask that should have knowledge of the situation says they "weren't in the room or weren't paying attention."

Now does the transfer and subsequent incoming JUCO player fit a trend? It very well could. Or maybe it is purely coincidental. Time will tell. As a fan I was excited about Buzz's hiring and am still optimistic about the direction of the program. But as someone who sees most of these guys on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, I find it odd that a player that was friends with everyone on the team and was one of the hardest workers in the program, just up and leaves.

Man, if nothing else, you bumping this thread has made me appreciate how dedicated swvadon has been to his ragequit. I'd almost forgotten about him.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

Wait what happened to swvadon??? He seemed like a pretty regular to me last fall

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

He was a constant presence and then just stopped posting. I won't even speculate as to why. He was always debating with people so I find it hard to believe it was over any one particular disagreement.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

It did indeed seem as if he ragequit

I don't miss him

Get your ass on the ground and we'll party

Big deal, you guys act like the ACC is dominated by big men...oh. Crap.

Yeah, this is not an ideal sitch we got going on this year.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." - Jay Bilas

Buzz knows what he is doing. He has already offered two more big men in the 2015 class since JVZ's first left the team a few weeks back.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

Dang !


I'm disappointed to hear this because I thought he was going to have a monster year this year. But if this is what's best for the program, so be it. So long, Joey.

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

As much as I like Buzz, this situation and this season is really testing my patience.

We all knew this season would be a struggle. You have to give him time, be patient.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

You must have had little patience & knowledge of the team prior to the season if that is the case. Everyone knew this season would be 'rough' (emphasis) back during the summer. Everyone knew we would have a losing record. Everyone knew we were shallow on talent. Everyone knew there would be a lot of attrition because there is always a lot of attrition in coaching changes these days.

So what has changed? People's expectations should have been realistic before the season, and should be realistic now. This is going to be a losing season, but one where the foundation for success is created. It takes time to do it right when our program was as fractured as it began. Next year will be a losing season. Get that in people's minds right now. It takes time.

Next year will be better than this season, but shelve those false expectations for tournament play because the problem is with unrealistic expectations, not the program. The desire for immediate gratification by some fans is the fault of the fans, not the program.

YES! THIS! Our program was a complete dumpster fire when Buzz came, we all should have known it was a 3-4 year project to get it in right standing. Especially with the way Buzz coaches and recruits, he's not the flashy, get the one and done type of coach. He grinds it out and actually builds a solid program that will hopefully last for years after he leaves.

Next year will be better than this season

To say the least...we have six underclassmen in our rotation right now that are going to get better after getting playing experience this season and having a full summer to train. We're brining in the top HS player in VA + 2 other four star players. We're getting two more players via transfer who can play immediately.

I honestly think we can compete for an ACC title in 2-3 seasons.

Patience guys as the great Aaron Rodgers said R E L A X RELAX. I still have faith that buzz will turn this around. We actually look a lot better style wise than last year. And while losing jvz wasn't good for us but its not like we were going anywhere. Trust me I know joey and he's a really good guy and I wish him the best but none of us can say exactly what happened. This is the year buzz needs to set the tempo and attitude for the program for the next few years

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Just so I'm clear (and everyone else is), is this the scholarship breakdown for next year:

Seniors: Adam Smith, Shane Henry (2)
Juniors: Devin Wilson, Seth Allen, Zach LeDay (3)
Sophomore: Malik Muller, Ahmed Hill, Justin Bibbs, Jalen Hudson, Sachel Pierce (5)
Freshman: Justin Robinson, Chris Clarke, Kerry Blackshear (3)

By Position:

PG: Devin Wilson, Malik Muller, Justin Robinson (3)
SG: Seth Allen, Adam Smith, Ahmed Hill, Justin Bibbs, Jalen Hudson (5)
SF: Chris Clarke (1)
PF: Zach DeLay, Shane Henry, Kerry Blackshear (3)
C: Satchel Pierce (1) are we still recruiting Levi Jones? And who's scholarship are we going to cut to make room for?

Not so sure Seth Allen is a PG or SG. Guess the literal term would be Combo Guard but he should help out a lot next year. This team needs instant offense badly, and he is just that.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

Seth Allen thinks he is a PG, came here to play as one. Transferred away because of the combo guard status he was being forced into with Melo Trimble coming in.

To make my point super irrelevant, I imagine he will take any minutes Buzz hands his way. There will be in interesting log-jam at the 1 though.

Hudson is more of a SF than a SG in my opinion. But I also don't think the distinction really matters in college. SG + SF = Wing

Wiley, Brown, Russell, Drakeford, Gray, Banks, Prioleau, Charleton, Midget, Bird, McCadam, Pile, Hall, Green, Fuller, Williams, Hamilton, Rouse, Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Hosley, Fuller, Exum, Jarrett

I would put Hudson as a PG with how Buzz has utilized him. Hill is more a SF and Muller is more a wing guard then point.

I agree with this. The ND game last night is evidence. When Wilson sat, Hudson was primary ball handler.

Tweedy can run like a dadgum antelope or whatever. I like to use scalded dog. Do antelopes lumber? Cheetah, OK. He runs like a cheetah. He's fast. - Bud Foster

I'm betting Wilson and/or Muller will transfer. I hope I'm wrong cause I love Wilson but I'm not so sure how he fits with how Buzz wants to play. Someone is more than welcome to correct me if I'm wrong, just a gut feeling.

That has been my impression all along as well. It goes against the mantra that many on here have of Wilson being the glue to the team, but that was under Johnson, which was 180 degrees different from this program. Wilson might stay, but I have him down as the second guard to leave the team, after Mueller.

I could see Mueller and/or Wilson leaving... but those are just guesses.

"Give me a fu¢king beer", Anonymous Genius

Yes, we are recruiting Levi Cook (and its Zach LeDay), and maybe others...and Allen came to VT specifically to be able to handle the ball.

I might sort them into 3 piles...primary ball handlers, secondary ball handlers, and post players.

Looking way too far ahead, it looks to me like there are 7 guys Allen, Bibbs, Hill, Hudson, Clarke, Robinson, and Wilson for 3-4 spots on the floor. I'd expect Smith and Muller to be behind that group. Wilson stands to lose minutes as well if Robinson ( a McDonalds nominee) develops as expected.

How many scholarship players are playing with right now? 8? What is the normal number? I thought most teams have at least a dozen...

Tyrod did it, Mikey!

There are thirteen available scholarships on a team in D1. When looking at that number, one must remember that would include who might be on scholarship but are not eligible to play. Seth Allen, for example, is a transfer who can't play until next year. If we had a redshirt, that would be a scholarship for a player ineligible to play. Malik Mueller last year was on scholarship but ineligible. JVZ as a freshman was a redshirt on scholarship who could not play.

It is extremely common for teams to have players on scholarship but unable to play, thus reducing the 'available' number of players below thirteen. As I mentioned elsewhere, there were over 600 players who transferred this past offseason among the 340 or so programs, meaning there are nearly two players per team ineligible to play. People need to spend at least one minute considering that. Virtually every team in every conference in every part of the country has an annual concern about players leaving the team.

I understand all that, but i just wanted to know what most teams put out on the court in given year? It seems we are playing with a lower number scholarships than the average and wanted someone with more knowledge to elaborate

Tyrod did it, Mikey!

My guess is that typically there's 10 or 11 active scholarship players on any given team, with a couple of red-shirts or injured players filling out the other scholarships.

Wiley, Brown, Russell, Drakeford, Gray, Banks, Prioleau, Charleton, Midget, Bird, McCadam, Pile, Hall, Green, Fuller, Williams, Hamilton, Rouse, Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Hosley, Fuller, Exum, Jarrett

While we are on the topic of scholarship numbers, people need to get their minds right about something else - there will absolutely be at least one, if not two, more players that leave the team prior to next season. Absolutely. Get that in your minds right now, if you don't have it there already.

Backcourt players are stacked like cord wood & there is not enough playing time for all of them, even playing a small lineup next year. The ones that fit Buzz's style & mindset the best will stay, those that do not, will not stay. Not that Buzz will kick them off, but they all know their minutes played, and all know how to use a calculator. They can determine how many minutes they will play next year when Buzz has more guys that he specifically recruited coming in to play.

And you know what? That's okay, too. That's the ways college basketball is now. It happens to every team in every conference across the nation.

If you thought this season would be anything less than a struggle, you are sorely mistaken. Buzz is a great coach who has potentially the worst possible roster to work with. His style does not sit well with everyone, but we will have players who want to play for him, and play well for him, in the near future.

This will be a multi-year rebuilding program, nothing less than that. We'll have to slog through and witness things like this happening in order to get to the ultimate goal: building one of the best basketball teams in school history.

So, while the going might be tough now, to suggest that Buzz can't turn this around is lunacy. If this move needs to happen for the team to progress, then so be it. It sucks, but it happens.

His style does not sit well with everyone

We know Buzz is a bit OCD and he describes himself as kind of crazy. I have heard from multiple people that he can be very difficult to work with. Some administration people at Marquette really did not like him. I'm going to say these are #sources because I don't want to say who told me these things, but the theme is he is not for everybody. I think this is why JVZ left. He probably wasn't getting along with Buzz and it eventually started affecting his attitude during practice. It became too much and he and Buzz agreed he would be better somewhere else. While I would rather have him on the team because he is a very good big man who is great on pick-and-rolls, it is what it is.
Players leaving is our new basketball world. There are more transfers than ever and Buzz's teams have a lot of turnover. You can speculate about Buzzcutting and slimyness, but I'll bet the majority of transfers found out they couldn't work with Buzz. As long as he is still looking out for the kids best interests even when they decide to leave the program, we as Hokies will be OK with it.

Outside it's night time, but inside it's LeDay

Like 60% of Iowa State's team is transfers. Seems crazy but like you said transfers are a big part of the game these days.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

I completely agree with this. I liken him to Jim Harbaugh in a lot of ways, but for basketball, obviously. The only aspect differing the two is Buzz won't have the instantaneous turnaround that Harbaugh experienced both at Stanford and the 49ers.

Essentially, we have to temper our expectations initially, and not jump the gun too soon. I know that's easy to do, especially considering we only had JJ for 2 seasons, we're kind of foaming at the mouth for a quick turnaround.

To those who want to question what Buzz is doing and whether or not we should trust him to run this program... lets review his resume, shall we?

NCAA tournament bids - 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Advance to second round - 2011, 2012, 2013
Advance to Sweet 16 - 2011, 2012, 2013
Advance to Elite 8 - 2013
Big East Regular Season Champions - 2013

The guy isn't stupid. He has a plan and he's sticking to it, and if you aren't going to buy in, your ass is going to get cut. He's going to make sure the team he plays is a team that has bought into his system and that alone will pay dividends long term. JVZ is not an irreplaceable player, and we'll be much better for this in the long term. In fact, with the levels to which Buzz is recruiting right now, I don't think we'll have much trouble in finding a guy who will fill in going forward. In fact, by the end of next year, I can completely see Pierce doing it just fine, as big men always tend to struggle early on before everything clicks.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Didn't Buzz basically say when he was hired that this was a job where he could go nowhere but up from where he had to start? Yeah, well he's right and the only way he's gonna go up is if he dictates a direction based more on what he thinks is necessary than his current roster (unlike Lefty had to do with football the last two seasons). He has a lot more leeway to make sweeping changes this season than he will in any following seasons. So yeah, I wish we had JVZ as a big man, but I'm gonna sit back and see where Buzz takes us and if that means a crappy season or two, so be it.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..


Looking forward to Buzz building VT Basketball. There is no JVZ in TEAM!

Confident, that BUZZ is going to build a TEAM that plays as ONE. In time, VT will pull down some big wins and more talented TEAM players will wind up in Blacksburg.


Stop it with the Negative Waves!


We all knew this year and next weren't going to be good on the hardwood.

Why is everybody getting all up in arms when we aren't doing well in the best conference in college basketball?

We haven't for many years. I remember when we didn't make the Big East tournament. I remember the infamous "bubble years".

I watched the dumpster fire's JJ put on the court. Buzz has won many more games than anybody here, let's trust the man. He's 9 months into a 4 year project.

I am no longer active here, nor will suggest people visit here. The majority of my interaction with Joe on here has been negative, and I was impressively, unimpressed at the tailgate.

saw JVZ posted up at sharkey's. seemed to be in good spirits.

Get your ass on the ground and we'll party

JVZ + Sharkey's + spirits

i see what you did there