Greenberg happy Virginia Tech can 'take a deep breath' this week
After finishing a stretch of two-straight weeks with three games in six days with a close loss at Boston College Saturday, the Virginia Tech men's basketball team gets a well-deserved break this week. The Hokies don't play again until Sunday in a rematch against Georgia Tech.
Coach Seth Greenberg said in an ideal world the team would have some sort of non conference game scheduled for the middle of the week. But given the team's depleted state and frantic schedule of late, Greenberg said the break comes at a good time because, "we’re gonna get to watch everyone else beat each other up during the week, take a deep breath."
The team got Sunday off, but will conduct two hard practices Monday and Tuesday before another day off on Wednesday. With just eight scholarship players remaining, Greenberg must walk a fine line between keeping his players in game shape and ensuring the Hokies have fresh legs for the stretch run of the season.
"I’m very, very aware and cognizant that our guys stay mentally and emotionally sharp and not get worn down in any of those other aspects," Greenberg said Monday during the ACC coaches' teleconference. "There’s so much strain on the kids this time of year when you’re in our situation. You’ve got a chance, and each and every game, the result – success or failure -- is blown so far out of proportion."
First and foremost on Greenberg's mind is defense. He once again reiterated how disappointed he was in the Hokies' defensive effort late in the loss to Boston College. He said much of Monday's and Tuesday's practice sessions will be dedicated to simple things like getting in a stance, close outs and help side defense since "we've got to get back to our defensive fundamentals."
Greenberg said the sessions will likely last less than 90 minutes, but the team will go up-and-down the floor -- something they haven't done in quite some time -- in order to maintain some semblance of conditioning. They'll also feature plenty of shooting drills since the Hokies shot just 34.5 percent from the field against the Eagles, and haven't finished a half with a shooting percentage higher than 42.9 percent since their win over Miami last weekend.
"I think this time of season ,sometimes you need to go back and get back to your foundation, which sometimes you don’t have a chance to do with three games in six days two weeks in a row," Greenberg said.
After taking Wednesday off, the Hokies will begin preparations for Georgia Tech. You'll remember the Yellow Jackets defeated Virginia Tech in Atlanta just two weeks ago. In
Another loss could spell disaster for Virginia Tech, which has slipped to No. 68 in the RPI as of Monday now that its record against the RPI top 50 is just 1-5. With two losses last week, Penn State dropped out of the RPI top 50, eliminating one of the Hokies wins in that category.
| February 7, 2011; 11:43 AM ET
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