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Greenberg defends Allen's recent play

Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg has said that forward Jeff Allen needs to play with more consistency and avoid picking up fouls. But after the Hokies' 72-30 win over North Carolina Central on Monday, Greenberg defended Allen and projected him to finish strong this season.

Allen, the Hokies' best forward, has been up and down at times this season and has been in foul trouble at times. Allen, who is averaging 11.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, got in foul trouble early in a loss Saturday night at Florida State. His time was limited as a result and he scored only 3 points in 17 minutes.

"Yeah, he got in foul trouble the other day," Greenberg told reporters after Monday night's game. "He’s playing against 6-9, 7-foot, 6-11. It’s going to happen. He’s not the only guy that gets in foul trouble. You guys magnify everything negative that happens to Jeff Allen. Why don’t we accentuate the good stuff that he does?

“How many guys in this league average 12 and eight? How many guys? The guy is a good player. Everyone wants, ‘Jeff Allen, Jeff Allen, Jeff Allen.’ He’s not alone. Jeff Allen wasn’t the reason we didn’t compete offensively against Florida State. We lost as a team. It ain’t about Jeff Allen. It’s about our team. Do we need him to play well? Yeah, we need him to play well. But you know what, Jeff Allen sneezes the wrong way, you guys kill the guy. I think he’s made some progress. We’ve got to just get him the ball.“

At times, Allen has seemed to disappear in games. That happened in the Hokies' loss at North Carolina on Jan. 10, in part, because the guards did not keep him involved in the game by feeding him in the paint. Greenberg said the Hokies had to "empower him" by getting him the ball more often.

“I think Jeff’s going to have a great last 13 games," Greenberg said, referring to the remainder of Virginia Tech's Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. "Jeff Allen’s a good player."

The Hokies (14-3, 2-2 ACC) host Boston College (11-8, 2-3) on Saturday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum.

By Mark Viera  |  January 20, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
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