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ACC coaches give high praise to Delaney

Before the season, Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg said that only uninformed college basketball followers would think Malcolm Delaney is one of the most underrated guards in the country. Those who know, he reasoned, would be well aware of Delaney.

There is little debate, though, that Delaney has proven himself to be a bona fide star. He is the Hokies' best player and one of the top guards in the ACC.

Delaney, a junior, leads the ACC in scoring (19.9 points per game), is seventh in assists (7.8 per game) and fifth in playing time (32.8 minutes per game). He has has scored more than 25 points six times this season. And he has left an impression on some coaches of teams the Hokies have played recently.

"He has supreme confidence and he believes in himself," Florida State Coach Leonard Hamilton, whose team defeated the Hokies last Saturday night, said this week in a teleconference. "His teammates believe in him. He never seems to get rattled, regardless of how you defend him. He has tremendous court savvy. He knows how to draw fouls. If you back off of him, he has unlimited shooting range. If you push up on him, he can take it and pull up and shot the floaters. And once he gets inside, he has the ability to get inside with the big men. I think he's the whole package."

Delaney scored 23 points and added seven assists in 40 minutes against the Seminoles. While Florida State's post players overwhelmed Virginia Tech in the paint, Delaney was the consistent scoring presence for the Hokies. He made 6 of 15 shots from the field, including 3 of 7 from three-point range.

"The system is growing onto his talent," Hamilton continued. "He's tremendous. He has great speed and quickness and the ability to go along with it. There's not doubt in my mind he's one of the most dangerous offensive guards in our league."

Delaney scored 28 points in a win over Miami on Jan. 13. What was perhaps most impressive was Delaney's ability to get his teammates involved, dishing a season-high 9 assists in an impressive and easy win for Virginia Tech.

"I think he's terrific," Hurricanes Coach Frank Haith said this week in the same teleconference. "He has great size. He can shoot the ball. He can drive it. And now he has tremendous respect."

By Mark Viera  |  January 21, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
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