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Erick Green now 'playing my game' as Hokies freshman

Freshman guard Erick Green admitted to still feeling nervous before he enters games off the bench for Virginia Tech. But now, he says, he feels like he is finally confident and up to speed. And it has showed.

Green has played some of his best minutes of the season in the Hokies' recent games.

"I’ve started to feel comfortable," Green said. "I think at first I wasn’t being myself out there."

Green was somewhat passive earlier in the season, as coaches and players said he needed to be more assertive as the point guard who had to command the team on the floor. It has been a learning process for Green, but he said he felt like he has the trust of Coach Seth Greenberg, which has made him more at ease.

"I think he has a lot more confidence in me," Green said of his coach. "He’s always told me I'll make a lot more mistakes, just promise next player you're not going to have your head down. If I make a mistake, I'm going to try to get it right back on defense."

Greenberg said he was disappointed with Green's maturity in Virginia Tech's loss at Miami on Jan. 30, as the guard had trouble running the offense in the first half with his coaches teaching from the opposing bench, at the other end of the floor.

But against the Tar Heels on Feb. 4, Greenberg gushed about Green's performance.

Green stepped up in a big spot after Malcolm Delaney picked up his fourth foul with 12:07 left and was taken out of game. Delaney did not return until 7:01 remained. In Delaney's place, Green was be responsible for running the Hokies' struggling offense and helped Virginia Tech take off with a 7-0 run to gain a 61-52 lead with 9:44 left.

"His floor game, just in general, was excellent," Greenberg said of Green after the North Carolina game. "Just his decision making was excellent."

For Green is has been a learning process. But in an interview on Monday afternoon, Green seemed to have settled in Blacksburg.

"After I got over being nervous and shy on the court, I was fine," Green said. "Lately, I've been playing my game, getting my team right, handling the ball for my team. Trying to work on my jump shot, but . . . ”

Green's voice trailed off. In the last three games, he is 0 for 12 from the field. While he has gone cold shooting the ball, the recent promising signs have outweighed that negative. Green has developed a nice court presence as the Hokies push toward March

By Mark Viera  |  February 9, 2010; 11:45 AM ET
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