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Although Virginia Tech has only been through the conference wars for one
season, they managed to get into a heated rivalry with Duke very quickly.
The game in Durham saw Seth Greenberg get kicked out and then get spooked on the
way out of Cameron. In Blacksburg, Tech scored a memorable upset and also
upset the Redick family when Tech fans crowded the Redicks and made them feel
threatened. So don't expect a lot of warmth this time around.
Don't be at all surprised if J.J. Redick goes off. He was not at all
happy about the situation up there last year, and over the course of his career,
he has enjoyed sticking it to people when he gets annoyed.
As for Virginia Tech, Coleman Collins continues to develop. He's
averaging 14.8 ppg. and 8.2 rpg. Guard Zabian Dowdell continues to
excel with 14.4 ppg. Soph. Deron Washington is playing well , scoring
almost at the same clip at 14.3. Jamon Gordon is hitting for 10.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg,
and 5 rpg.
Those four, along with Markus Sailes, get the majority of the
minutes. Freshman A.D. Vassalo is also getting his share.
Sailes, who redshirted last season, has made a nice comeback from his injury
and is contributing again.
So far, Tech has beaten Radford easily, lost to Bowling Green, gotten by
Western Carolina, beaten Mount St. Mary's, Marshall, and Morgan State, before
losing to Ohio State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Duke of course is still working the new kids in, and Paulus and McRoberts are
both just about there. Paulus has struggled a bit with turnovers and some
on defense, but his passing is just so pinpoint gorgeous that you just wait to
see what's next. And McRoberts really, is there. All he really needs
is experience and a better jumpshot. Otherwise, he's the real deal.
Last year, in Durham, Duke put a big whipping on Tech, and they fumed about
the officiating until the rematch. Coleman Collins picked the occasion to
have his coming-out party.
Of course, a big part of the fun of this game is going to be watching the
Crazies go after Greenberg. It's been awhile since they've had such a big
target. In terms of ACC coaches, maybe the last guy to come through
Cameron and seem so inviting was Lefty Driesell. Dean Smith and Gary
Williams were roundly disliked, but it's not like they acknowledged it or fed
p>Greenberg has, and it'll be awhile before they let him forget about it.
On the other hand, though, by the end of last season, Tech had developed a
serious distaste for Duke, and Duke wasn't real thrilled with them,
either. So whatever happens Sunday night, don't expect Duke to come out
flat or lacking intensity - or Tech either, for that matter. It's going to
be a very hard-fought game.