Monday, July 1, 2013
Back on the Air With The New ACC
Editor's Note: My apologies for the weird font issue in the final section. I hate Blogger with a violent passion and will be moving to a new service as soon as I find one that suits our needs. Also, we just went over 100,000 page views all time despite our recent bout of woeful inactivity. Thanks for stopping by.
By Justin Cates
There's been a significant blackout here on the blog for the month of June. I apologize and will explain in due course. For now though, I'd like to extend a fairly warm welcome to the three new members of the Atlantic Coast Conference: Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame.
Their membership formally kicks into effect today and brings the number of conference members to 14.5 as Notre Dame is only partially in for football because, well, they can I guess.
Despite being driven by the ever-changing landscape of college football, the move really serves to solidify the ACC as the best basketball conference in the nation.
As such, given the current toxic nature of the Virginia Tech basketball program, I don't expect to see the Hokies compete any time soon even though the conference may well be an eight bid league come the big tournament in March.
It will be interesting to see how these programs evolve in the two biggest sports, football and basketball. I'm particularly curious to see how these hoops squads evolve from the physical post play of the Big East to the fast-pace style employed by the bulk of the ACC.
These schools have three of the finest coaches in college hoops so they shouldn't have a problem, still it's a vastly different style. Also, we call fouls.
I'm particularly excited for Syracuse to make only their second ever trip to Cassell Coliseum. It marks the only time since 1978 when the Hokies upset the No. 10 Orange by 17-points likely inducing a number of facial cringes in Jim Boeheim.
Syracuse was the only one of these new schools not to come to Blacksburg during Tech's brief stay in the Big East, likely because they are special.
They will fit in well with the Carolina schools who as all new members will quickly find feel entitled to things which they are not.
But enough negativity, welcome friends! Try the barbecue and don't get too comfortable.
Erick Green Drafted in NBA's Second Round
ACC Player of the Year Erick Green was selected by the Utah Jazz last week with the 16th pick of the second round (46th overall). He was promptly traded to the Denver Nuggets for their first round selection Rudy Gobert (27th pick) and cash.
Denver thinks very highly of Green who led the nation in scoring this past season. If he makes the squad, he figures to help a lack of depth in Denver's backcourt. They are led by former North Carolina star Ty Lawson at point guard with veterans Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala the other major guards.
Iguodala has already met with the Detroit Pistons so he may be on his way out. That would leave Denver perilously thin at the guard spots. If Green has a good summer league, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him suit up in the NBA next season.
Hokie Baseball Coach Pete Hughes Heads to Oklahoma
Virginia Tech is fresh off hosting their first NCAA baseball regional and posting 40-22 record, but they'll have to follow it up with a different head coach.
Pete Hughes decided to take the top job at Oklahoma last week after Sooners' coach Sunny Golloway left for Auburn.
Hughes spent 7 seasons in Blacksburg, rejuvenating a program that had languished at the end of legendary head coach Chuck Hartman's tenure.
As has become his custom, Tech athletic director Jim Weaver quickly hired Hughes' top assistant, pitching coach Patrick Mason.
Mason has himself led a turnaround during his three seasons in Blacksburg vastly improving Tech's pitching staff. He announced at his introductory press conference that assistant Mike Kunagonis would also be staying with the program as associate head coach.