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With new strategy, Jeff Allen staying in game

ATLANTA -- Virginia Tech's Jeff Allen has not been able to stay out of foul trouble this season and it has limited his productivity as a result. But Coach Seth Greenberg has recently been taking a different tack with the talented junior forward.

When Allen picks up his first foul in games, sometimes early in the first half, Greenberg sits Allen for a few minutes to allow him to cool down. As a result, in the past two games, Allen not picked up as many fouls and is able to stay on the court for longer.

"He's been great, and he's playing well," Greenberg said of the up-and-down Allen. "He's been a very good teammate."

Since Allen fouled out in a loss at Boston College on Feb. 24, Greenberg has employed his new method for managing Allen's playing time. It was evident in the Hokies' meetings with Maryland on Feb. 27 and North Carolina State on Wednesday.

In the first half of a double-overtime loss loss to the Terrapins, Allen picked up his first foul with 13 minutes and 39 second on the clock and went to the bench; he returned with 10:46 left.

In all, Allen played 44 of a possible 50 minutes in perhaps his best performance in a Virginia Tech uniform. He scored 25 points and added 15 rebounds. And he finished with only three fouls.

In a win over N.C. State, Allen picked up his first foul only 4:58 into the game and was immediately seated. He sat from the 15:02 mark until 11:41 remained in the opening half.

Allen picked up four fouls against the Wolfpack but was able to play 33 minutes, scoring 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting and grabbing 9 rebounds. He displayed his deft touch and added balance to a Hokies attack that that has been disproportionately led by Malcolm Delaney and Dorenzo Hudson.

Delaney credited Greenberg for the strategy, saying the coach has "thought through a great game plan for Jeff and keeping him on the court. We’re a much better team with Jeff on the court, and he knows that.”

"Sometimes he gets caught up in maybe that first foul wasn’t really a foul, and sometimes he tries to reach," Delaney said of Allen. "Now he can go to the bench and settle down and get ready to come back out, because he knows how important he is to this team and how much we need him to stay on the court.”

By Mark Viera  |  March 6, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
 
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