Hokies look to bench in taxing ACC
As Virginia Tech navigates a grinding Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, Coach Seth Greenberg said he would look to expand his rotation.
Starting with their overtime win Thursday at Virginia, the Hokies (16-3, 3-2) have four games in a 10-day stretch. They play at Miami (15-5, 1-5) on Sunday and then return to Blacksburg for games against North Carolina next Thursday and Clemson next Saturday.
"I've got to find way to rest guys," Greenberg said earlier this week. "I've got to sub right before television time outs and give some of our young guys a chance."
On Thursday, some of the numbers indicated that Greenberg had followed through on that philosophy. Erick Green, a freshman guard, played an efficient, sound 22 minutes without a turnover. But promising freshman Cadarian Raines, a 6-foot-9 forward, played only 2 minutes.
While Green has come along as a more vocal, assertive presence in the point guard role, the problem Greenberg has encountered is with younger players who still do not understand all of Virginia Tech's concepts and principles. Raines, for example, missed 10 weeks in the preseason and then during the non-conference schedule after breaking his left foot in practice in September. His development has been slowed by the injury.
Greenberg said mixing in the Hokies' four freshmen can be "kind of fragile" when those players are not on the same page with the older players.
"The whole thing is making sure you have the right combinations on the court," Greenberg said. "You can sub into a disaster if you don't have the right players on the floor. You can't just sub to sub. You've got to sub within the context of match ups and still have a chance to give guys rest."
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