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Hokies move away from motion offense

Virginia Tech's experiment with the motion offense was short-lived.

The Hokies tried to install the offensive look this preseason, but it rarely seemed to surface in games. After Virginia Tech's win over Charleston Southern on Saturday, Coach Seth Greenberg said his team would not feature the motion, but it could surface later in the year.

"Motion is a democracy, and we weren’t ready for democracy," Greenberg said. "We didn’t make sure the guys weren’t getting the ball in the right areas. We weren’t posting the ball enough. We weren't getting guys freed up that we needed to get freed up. We were tentative."

Before swigging from a Diet Coke, he added: "It's not ditched forever. It’s ditched for a while."

The motion offense is predicated on player movement through passing and screens and maintaining proper floor spacing. It is designed to confuse opposing defenses and create openings for shooters.

The Hokies (9-1) implemented the offense during the preseason. But guard Malcolm Delaney said it was hard to adjust to the new look.

"You could see after like three passes, it just broke down," Delaney said. "We started it off, but after that, we were trying to move too much and we weren't balancing the floor out."

Delaney said Virginia Tech's coaches never formally announced that the team would stop running the motion. But he said they simply stopped discussing it after about the first month of the season.

There has not been a marked offensive improvement since then, but Virginia Tech has kept on winning.

Although the Hokies have run their offense mostly out of sets, Delaney said the experience of playing a new system should help down the line. He said learning the motion helped the players learn about floor spacing within their current offense.

"It's different," Delaney said, adding later, "I just don't like it, honestly."

By Mark Viera  |  December 22, 2009; 10:32 AM ET
 
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