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Allen's disappearing act vs. UNC

Virginia Tech forward Jeff Allen looked as impressive as he has all season in the first half of the Hokies' 78-64 loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Sunday. But in the second half, Allen vanished.

Allen, a junior, scored four points, grabbed seven rebounds and recorded three steals in the first half. His final stat line looked exactly the same as it did at halftime, as he scored 0 points, grabbed 0 rebounds and recorded 0 steals in the second half.

“He’s got to be more consistent,“ Coach Seth Greenberg said of Allen. “He’s got to play harder for a longer period of time. I expect more out of him. We need more out of him if we’re going to be good.“

Although Allen is one of Virginia Tech's most talented players, he has not played consistently and has seemed to lack focus at times throughout his career. The meeting with the Tar Heels on Sunday night provided a fitting snapshot.

Allen showed glimmers of his potential against North Carolina. In the first half, guard Malcolm Delaney led Virginia Tech with 20 points but it was Allen who seemed to set a tone. Allen banged around in the paint with star Tar Heels forward Ed Davis and played him tough for 16 minutes.

After halftime, Allen played only 11 minutes. He sat out the final five minutes of the game, as North Carolina completed a brisk 9-0 run to push its lead to 69-55 and to effectively put away Virginia Tech for good.

The Tar Heels have some of the most talented forwards in the country in Davis and Deon Thompson. North Carolina's size would be the envy of most any coach: Davis (6 feet 10), Thompson (6-9), Tyler Zeller (7-0), John Henson (6-10), David Wear (6-10), Travis Wear (6-10).

While Allen rose to the challenge early on, he disappeared after halftime and the Hokies wore down. If Virginia Tech has its sights on an NCAA tournament berth for the first time since 2007, it needs Allen to show up, start to finish.

By Mark Viera  |  January 11, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
 
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