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With dunk, Green leaves impression

For all the talk about Erick Green's development and his need to play with more swagger, the Virginia Tech freshman made an emphatic statement about his growth with one ferocious dunk on Monday night.

With 6 minutes 45 seconds remaining in the second half, Green flushed an emphatic, one-handed dunk over a defender. Green was fouled on the play and made the subsequent free throw as the Hokies cruised to a 72-30 win over North Carolina Central.

Green led the Hokies with 11 points Monday in the win, but the highlight play was important for reasons that did not matter in the lopsided contest. It was evidence that Green was starting to show a bit of that confidence that players and coaches had said he was lacking when he arrived in Blacksburg.

"It started coming out today," Green said after the game. "They're always telling me to be more aggressive. I think tonight, I said, 'Forget it; I'm going to make mistakes, but I've got to come out and make plays.' "

After dunking the ball, Green walked away from the play with a confident strut before going to the free-throw line. The Hokies bench went wild, with players jumping up and down and waving white towels. [See 3:15 mark of video, below.]

"I bet nobody in the stands could have guessed he would do that," guard Malcolm Delaney said of Green's dunk before adding that his teammates were not surprised by it. "We know. We see it. That's why I said I push Erick, because he's a good player. He didn't realize his potential coming in, but he's starting to see it."

By Mark Viera  |  January 20, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
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