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When not in foul trouble, Jeff Allen playing well

When Jeff Allen is on the court, he is playing about as well as any of Virginia Tech's players. The problem: Allen is seeing more time on the bench.

As the discussion continues about Allen's persisting foul trouble, the narrative should also include the question of just how well the Hokies would be playing if Allen were actually on the floor. If Allen can keep off the bench, it would give Virginia Tech a huge, and needed, boost in its final three regular-season games.

“He’s playing his tail off,“ Virginia Tech Coach Greenberg said Wednesday after his team's 80-60 loss at Boston College. “There’s no magic formula to keep him in the game."

Guard Malcolm Delaney said: "Got to find a way to keep Jeff on the court. We’re a great team with Jeff on the court. He’s got to play a little smarter.“

Allen played 14 productive minutes on Wednesday night, scoring 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting. He threw down a monster dunk in the second half and showed his quickness at other points.

But the problem on Wednesday, again, was that Allen played only 14 minutes. He has not played more than 20 minutes because of foul trouble in each of the last four games. Indeed, over that stretch, he has played only 20 of 80 possible first-half minutes.

On Wednesday, Allen picked up two fouls in the opening 6 minutes and 27 seconds and went to the bench. He played only 8 minutes in the first half. And he did not last long after halftime, either, picking up his fifth foul with 8:39 left. After Allen fouled out for a third time this season, Greenberg sat next to him on the bench, put his arm around him and spoke to him.

"I told him we’ve got a lot of basketball and he’s going be a big part of what we’re going to do and I have a lot of confidence in him," Greenberg said. "And I do.“

By Mark Viera  |  February 25, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
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