Empty Seats, New Tattoos at the ACC Tournament
Some early notes from Zach Berman in Atlanta:
>> The game begins in 30 minutes, and the cavernous dome is empty. That’s not entirely surprising for the Virginia Tech-Miami game, but both teams spoke yesterday about shooting and playing in what will be a sterile environment. There was plenty of Clemson orange in the hotel this morning (although for full disclosure, Clemson is staying in the media hotel), and the close proximity of Clemson and Georgia Tech means today’s second game might receive a vivacious crowd.
The 7 p.m. game between Maryland and N.C. State might draw interest because of the attractive time slot, so here’s a question for the readers: Will there be fewer fans attending the first game between Hokies-Hurricanes game at noon, or the Virginia-Boston College game that might not tip-off until late in the 9 p.m. hour?
>> For those who see a colorful tattoo on one of A.D. Vassallo’s arms and wonder if you have seen it before, you likely have not. Vassallo did not appear to have the tattoo during last Wednesday’s game against North Carolina, although he had it for Sunday’s game against Florida State. When Vassallo was asked yesterday about the tattoo, he had no comment. Coach Seth Greenberg asked when he learned about the tattoo. “The day he walked into the gym and it was on,” Greenberg said. Included on the tattoo is a basketball player wearing No. 8. Greenberg said to Vassallo, “your dad must have been number 8.”
>> If there’s a louder cheer after Hokies forward Terrell Bell scores, it’s because the native of Stone Mountain, Ga., will have a large contingent rooting him on. Bell grew up 20 minutes from the Georgia Dome. Bell has not scored in four of the past five games. Greenberg had mentioned him earlier in the season as a possible fourth scorer outside of Vassallo, Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen, but Bell has become a primarily a defensive player for the Hokies.
>> Pay attention to whether guard Malcolm Delaney grimaces during the game. He suffered a hard fall on his hip during a Feb. 25 win over Clemson.
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