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Posted at 9:10 AM ET, 02/14/2011

Virginia Tech's Jeff Allen on a double-double tear

By Mark Giannotto

Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg paused for a second to consider the question, knowing the implications his answer might hold.

After senior Malcolm Delaney put up a season-high 33 points in Sunday's 102-77 evisceration of Georgia Tech -- the eighth 30-point game of his career -- I asked the Hokies coach whether his team takes its cues from the senior guard.

Greenberg's response may surprise some.

“I think Jeff Allen, to be honest with you," he said. "Our guys know if Jeff Allen is into it, and playing ... that’s when we’re good."

Well, after Allen put up 25 points and 14 rebounds against the Yellow Jackets -- his fifth-consecutive double-double -- there's now little doubt he's playing the best basketball of his career. During this five-game stretch, the Washington native has averaged 20.2 points and 13.2 rebounds while shooting a robust 56.2 percent from the field.

Perhaps most importantly, he hasn't fouled out of a game since December and has played 186 of a possible 200 minutes to help aid this hot streak. Greenberg compared Allen to Pac Man on Sunday because of the way he's been "gobbling up rebounds."

"I'm happy it's happening," Allen said. "I'm not worrying about the foul as I used to. I’m able to just go in there and crash and if I get it, I get it.”

So while much of the talk heading into Tuesday's rematch with Maryland will focus on how the Hokies can contain Terrapins forward Jordan Williams again, maybe the bigger question is when, if ever, Allen's pace will slow down.

Neither had a particularly strong game when the Hokies defeated Maryland, 72-57, in College Park last month. Allen finished with seven points and 10 rebounds. Williams had 11 points and 11 rebounds, but it was a quiet double-double.

Williams and Allen are the only two players in the ACC averaging a double-double this season. But it's Allen who actually has more career double-doubles (40) than any other current player in the conference. He's got 12 this season, while Williams has 20.

"Jeff knows how important he is and I think his maturity helped him out this year," Delaney said Sunday. "He knows he has to be on the floor and doing what he’s capable of doing for us to be an NCAA team."

By Mark Giannotto  | February 14, 2011; 9:10 AM ET
 
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