First reported by Gobbler Country, Allan Chaney tweeted today that he has been cleared to play medically by doctors in Philadelphia, PA.

Chaney tweeted this earlier today:

Haven’t been this happy in 2 years!!! Just got the Clearance from Dr. Marchlinski yeaaaaa we back on! it’s #TheComeBack

–Allan Chaney

The doctor that cleared Chaney to play is Dr. Francis Marchlinkski, a cardiologist in Philadelphia, PA.

This might turn out to be much ado about nothing seeing as Virginia Tech is on record saying that they would never clear Chaney to play for Virginia Tech ever again.

At minimum, what this does for Chaney is provide him with another chance at playing major college basketball.  Whether he plays for Virginia Tech or not remains to be seen.

Will Chaney be returning for Virginia Tech? Probably not…

Given that the roster has undergone some major changes, it should be expected that the medical staff will at least give Chaney’s case another examination.  However, for liability reasons, I don’t expect that the Virginia Tech medical staff will end up clearing Chaney for play.

Chaney’s Hokiesports.com bio reads currently:

Missed summer workouts in 2010 after suffering a medical condition in the spring … Will not be cleared medically to play for the Hokies … Sat out the 2009-10 season after transferring to Virginia Tech from the University of Florida … Suffered a shoulder injury and was unable to practice with the team during the 2009-10 season.

–Hokie Sports

Time will tell if that bio will need to be updated, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for it.

Regardless, I hope that this provides Chaney with the opportunity that he deserves – that is – to play major college basketball.  He’s a great kid and I hope that things end up working out for him in the end after such a tough situation.

It’s been a rough off-season for Virginia Tech basketball.  We didn’t make any significant tournament in the post-season while having to watch UVA make the NCAA Tournament, we fired our coach in just about the crappiest way possible (timing, execution, etc…), and we lost two very important pieces of our roster in Dorian Finney-Smith and Monrezl Harrell.

It can’t all be bad though!  To follow up with the good news that Adam Smith will be playing for Virginia Tech down the road (after sitting out a year first), I want to keep the good vibes going!  Here’s a list of things you can look forward to next season.

You heard the man!

  1. A renewed passion and energy: Under Seth Greenberg the players weren’t exactly energized.  Virginia Tech had some of the worst passion that I’ve ever seen for a basketball program last year.  That lack of passion extended from the players to the fans who didn’t show up outside of when Duke and UNC came to town.  That should change under James Johnson.  J.J. connects with these players and should be able to get the most out of them emotionally.  The overall passion really starts with the players, after all.  Why should the fans care if the players don’t?  J.J. has already brought a renewed excitement among the players and that should carry all the way through the season.
  2. The progression of Erick Green: Erick Green had his coming out party last season.  We saw him transition from a decent scorer to one with a great touch, range, and ability to create his own shot.  Coming into the season there were questions of who would pick up where Malcolm Delaney left off with the scoring and Erick Green stepped up to the plate on that front.  I expect to see more of that progression this year as he hones his skills even more and learns new ways to make the other players around him better, just like elite point guards do.  For his sake, I hope that we also see a progression in terms of leadership – something that was severely lacking last season.
  3. The rebirth of a rivalry: The Hokies will once again renew the bad blood between the Mountaineers of West Virginia this season.  Starting this season, the Hokies will be playing in a home-and-home series with WVU in basketball.  This upcoming season will see Virginia Tech travel to Morgantown, WV to play, and in the 2013-14 season, WVU will travel to Blacksburg.  This home-and-home should really be good for all parties involved.  Who doesn’t like some good ol’ fashioned WVU hatred?
  4. Dot: For those of you that aren’t aware, “Dot” is Cadarian Raines’ nickname.  Personally, I am very excited to see how Raines progresses this season.  Towards the end of last season we began to see a major jump in ability/execution by Raines.  It’s like he managed to flip a switch in terms of his scoring ability and he became a legitimate threat in the post.  After a long off-season of grinding and training, I expect to see Cadarian Raines really step into the role of a big-time scorer and defender in the ACC.
  5. The ACC/Big-10 Challenge in Blacksburg: It’s always a fun time when ESPN comes to Blacksburg and this season should be no different.  As reported earlier in the week, the Hokies will play the Iowa Hawkeyes in the ACC/Big-10 Challenge.  This will be a good chance to show the nation that last year was an anomaly and that Virginia Tech basketball hit a bump in the road, not a cliff.

The Hokies have had some roster setbacks over the past couple of weeks.  Today however, the Hokies added a player to the roster.

According to Jeff Goodman on twitter (@GoodmanCBS):

“Virginia Tech has landed UNC Wilmington freshman Adam Smith, per source. Smith averaged 13.7 points last season for UNCW.”

–Jeff Goodman

Naturally, I went to look up just exactly who this Adam Smith was.  Here’s what you need to know about the Hokies new player.

Smith played one year for UNC-W where he averaged 13.7 points per game, 3.2 rebounds per game, and 1.6 assists per game.  As a freshman, Smith logged an average of 30 minutes per game.

Smith is a small dude apparently.  ESPN has him listed as 5’11, 160 which makes me think that he would probably be best suited as a point guard.

Smith is a 3-point weapon and that appears to be his strongest suit.  He shot 38% last season from the field, but shot 33% from behind the 3-point line.

What is very notable is that in his two games against ACC opponents Maryland and Wake Forest, he scored 23 and 32 points respectively.  This shows that he can at least hang with middle of the road ACC teams.  This is very promising.

What remains to be seen is whether or not Smith will have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.  It should be noted that Smith is transferring to Virginia Tech thanks to his ties to new Hokies assistant coach Mark Byington.  Byington was the lead recruiter for Smith when Byington was still coaching at the College of Charleston.

Here is a highlight video of Smith from his time at UNC-W:

[EDIT: From Mark Berman (@BermanRoanoke) on Twitter:]

“Smith says he will have to sit out the upcoming season. Then he has 3 years of eligibility. Was 2nd team Parade All-American in 2011.”

–Mark Berman

Are you guys excited about the addition of Smith to the roster?

Mark your calendars because on November 27th the Iowa Hawkeyes will be coming to Cassell Coliseum.

It was announced earlier today that the Hokies would be playing the Hawkeyes in the 14th edition of the ACC/Big 10 Challenge.  This will be head coach James Johnson’s first crack at the ACC/Big 10 Challenge.

All of the ACC/Big 10 Challenge games will air on the ESPN family of networks including ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPNU.

From what I hear, Iowa should be returning most of their core roster from last season outside of their leading scorer, Matt Gatens.  The Hawkeyes were 18-17 on the season and 8-10 in conference play.

Here is the entire set of ACC/Big 10 Challenge match-up games:

North Carolina at Indiana

NC State at Michigan

Minnesota at Florida State

Maryland at Northwestern

Iowa at Virginia Tech

Nebraska at Wake Forest

Ohio State at Duke

Virginia at Wisconsin

Michigan State at Miami

Purdue at Clemson

Georgia Tech at Illinois

Boston College at Penn State

When it rains it pours, right?

Well, it would certainly appear that way for the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team lately.  Yesterday we got news that Dorian Finney-Smith was requesting a transfer from the team.  Today, we get more concerning news with the roster as another player leaves – this time before they even stepped on the court.

Montrezl Harrell will no longer be a Hokie as another player leaves Virginia Tech’s program.

Montrezl Harrell, a 4-star recruit according to his Rivals profile, announced today that he is seeking to be released from his letter of intent to Virginia Tech.

Harrell’s departure marks the second Hokies player to leave the Virginia Tech “family” following the firing of Seth Greenberg.

New head coach James Johnson doesn’t seem too concerned though.

“We’re losing six points a game in Dorian Finney-Smith. Montrezl Harrell never scored a basket, never got a rebound for Virginia Tech.”

–James Johnson, Virginia Tech men’s basketball head coach

Yowza – Personally, I can’t tell if Johnson is being genuine, passive-aggressive towards Finney-Smith and Harrell, or both.

Regardless, Finney-Smith and now Harrell leaving Virginia Tech does raise some concerns for the depth chart.  The power forward position now lacks some depth and Tech now only has one player to round out this recruiting class in Marshall Wood.

Hopefully the new trio of assistants for Virginia Tech can get to work on recruiting some players and can make some progress in the spring.  Until then, the question marks surrounding the program keep popping up.

In a somewhat curious turn of events, Dorian Finney-Smith has decided to transfer from Virginia Tech in the wake of the Seth Greenberg firing.

Farewell, Doe-Doe

David Teel, who first broke the story, posted this on his blog:

“This has been brewing for months,” a source said, explaining that Finney-Smith never was comfortable at Tech.

I wish I could say that I was surprised at this decision but I’m really not.  If you followed Virginia Tech basketball closely last season and went to the games, it was easy to tell that there was something off about Doe-Doe.  I had a hard time putting my finger on it, but I don’t think it’s any coincidence in retrospect that he struggled like he did last year.

If you combine very tough competition, the struggles with his game during the season, strained relationships in the locker room, a general unhappiness/discomfort with Blacksburg as a town, and his main recruiter leaving for ODU this off-season, it’s not a surprise at all.

That being said, I’m sad to see Doe-Doe go.  He’s a player that has a lot of potential.  This off-season he has added 10 pounds to his frame which is what needed to happen a long time ago.  His leaving brings up some interesting questions regarding depth for the Hokies squad moving forward.

For all of Hokie Nation, good luck wherever you end up Doe-Doe (likely to be ODU).

UPDATE:  According to Ed Miller (@edmillervp), Dorian Finney-Smith isn’t interested in transferring to ODU like it was speculated today.

Finney-Smith not interested in transfer to #odu, according to his mother, Desiree Finney.

I guess time will tell to see where Doe-Doe ends up.

On March 9th, Virginia Tech’s season was over. In the second round of the ACC Tournament, the Hokies were beaten by the Duke Blue Devils for the third time that season. That loss marked the end of what can be simply put as a disappointing season. Tech’s record sat at an underwhelming 16-17, while their ACC record was a dismal 4-12. This was not the season that the fans, the team, or Seth Greenberg had in mind.

Fast forward to April 2nd, almost a month later. News outlets began reporting that Virginia Tech assistants Rob Ehsan and Jeff Wulbrun (director of basketball operations) were leaving for UAB. For Ehsan, this move was parallel in terms of the coaching hierarchy while Wulbrun was able to move up the ranks to a full-fledged assistant coach.

This move by Ehsan and Wulbrun marked the fourth straight year that at least one of Greenberg’s assistants had left to take positions at other programs.

Fast forward again, this time to April 13th – almost two weeks later. These same news outlets began running stories of another Virginia Tech assistant leaving. This time, James Johnson (or known around the team as simply J.J.) was leaving Blacksburg for another job within the ACC. In one swift move, Johnson became the third member of Greenberg’s staff to leave within a three week period as he departed to take an assistant coaching job at Clemson – a job slated to give him, as Norm Wood put it, “a significant raise.”

Fast forward for the last time to April 15th – two days later. Virginia Tech announced that they would be increasing the pay of new men’s basketball assistant coaches in order to keep up with the salaries offered by other ACC programs at the request of former head coach Seth Greenberg.

On that, an interesting quote was pulled from Virginia Tech Athletic Director, Jim Weaver.

“We certainly like the continuity that we have throughout the great majority of our department, and certainly we’d like to see that same kind of continuity in men’s basketball.”

Boom. There’s the word – continuity. That word would spell the end of Seth Greenberg’s tenure at Virginia Tech only eight days later.

It’s easy to see why Greenberg made his fair share of enemies during his time at Virginia Tech. Greenberg has a brash, outspoken, and brutally honest personality; and it’s easy to see why this New York attitude wouldn’t necessarily mesh well with others in the heart of Southwest Virginia. It was this clash of personalities that led to the lack of continuity that Weaver so strongly wants within his basketball program.

On April 23rd, Jim Weaver and Tom Gabbard, the associate director of athletics for Virginia Tech, sat at a podium and announced the “termination” of Seth Greenberg’s contract. Make no mistake either, the word “termination” was intentional. There was no “parting ways,” and there was no “letting go.” Instead, we saw Greenberg get terminated, and the rubble and debris that has been flying ever since could be pulled straight out of a Schwarzenegger film.

Here’s where I begin to take issue with everything that has transpired so far. We’ve fast forwarded, now it’s time to rewind for a second.

Rewind to the week of April 15th, this is when Jim Weaver and Tom Gabbard apparently made their decision that they were going to “terminate” Greenberg’s contract. That means that over the course of those seven days, they had agreed that they were going to let Greenberg go.

This begs the question, why did Greenberg first hear about his potential firing from David Teel during the afternoon hours of April 23rd? Why was Greenberg having to take time away from showing a recruit around campus to answer questions from media members about whether or not he still had a job?

Just before noon on April 23rd, media members and outlets received word of a press conference that was to be held at 4 P.M. that day. At 1:30 P.M., Seth Greenberg received the news in a private meeting with Weaver and Gabbard that he was being “terminated.”

While members of the media, and all of the Virginia Tech community for that matter, were left to speculate about what the press conference could be about, Greenberg had no knowledge about this press conference at all. The fact that the media and fans knew about the press conference before Seth Greenberg did is downright disrespectful to the man who pulled Virginia Tech basketball out of the gutter, washed it off, and gave it the clothes off his back.

Where was this notice ahead of time by Weaver or Gabbard? Sometime between April 15th and April 21st, Weaver and Gabbard made up their minds about what to do with Greenberg. Why was Seth not informed sooner about this decision? Why was he not given any chance to prepare for what was about to happen to him? I highly doubt it’s because Weaver and Gabbard couldn’t find the time between their busy schedules.

Why did Weaver and Gabbard wait until 8:20 A.M. on the morning of April 23rd to have Virginia Tech President Charles Steger sign-off on the decision? Why the haste in general? It’s surely no wonder why Greenberg felt “blindsided” about the decision to let him go, because he only had two and a half hours to process the decision before it was made official to the world on HokieSports.com via a live stream.

The fact of the matter is this – Greenberg gave Weaver nine of his best years, and in return Weaver gave Greenberg two and a half of his worst hours. There’s something seriously wrong with this scenario.

There are more questions that can be asked. Why did Weaver and company wait so long after the end of the season to make this decision? Why didn’t Weaver and Gabbard seek out Steger’s approval of the decision before the day of the decision itself? Why didn’t Weaver and Gabbard make this decision immediately following the first two assistants leaving back in early April?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, nor will I claim to. However, what I know is what I see, and what I have seen in this whole situation is an egregious hypocrisy by Weaver.

It is beyond me how Weaver can sit at a podium and preach continuity and family while simultaneously throwing Greenberg under the bus. The last time I checked, family members usually don’t leave each other out to dry in the worst way possible – at least, not a good family, that is.

There was a clear lack of respect for Seth Greenberg in the hours leading up until 4 P.M. on April 23rd. Greenberg pulled Virginia Tech basketball out of complete darkness and showed them the light (the NCAA Tournament), albeit for a brief period in time. In the end, however, Greenberg was left in the dark until the last possible moment by Weaver. This is an unfitting end to what was a mostly successful tenure at Virginia Tech given the situation that Greenberg inherited upon his arrival in Blacksburg.

For Weaver, it’s too late to do the right thing in this situation. That opportunity has long since passed. For his sake, I hope Weaver is able to pull in one of those “big name candidates” that he spoke so adamantly about in the press conference. If he can’t, he will have set Virginia Tech basketball back while painting the program in the poorest of lights.