EXCELLENT DISCUSSION YESTERDAY, GUYS. Seems those days where I have to rush out the door, you folks do your best work in the comments section (if you missed it, it’s here). Allow me to weigh in on the Weaver/Johnson/Greenberg debate real quickly.
One of the things that’s most troubling to me about this bad Tech season is how much joy Greenberg must be getting out of it. You know he’s laughing in those ESPN studios every time he sees another lopsided Hokies score pop on the screen. He feels he’s been wronged, and on some level he’s right.
But on another level, he isn’t. I don’t think Greenberg got fired for failing to create a “family atmosphere,” even though that’s what Weaver said in the press conference. I think Greenberg got fired for repeatedly calling out his boss. How many of us could get away with that?
Put yourself in Weaver’s shoes. On one hand, you’ve got a basketball coach whispering that his assistants’ salaries aren’t competitive, which is a thinly veiled assault on your commitment level to basketball. On another, you’ve got assistants telling you they aren’t leaving for the money, some of whom are making lateral or even downward moves to exit Blacksburg. And that continues even AFTER you acquiesce and raise the financial commitment to assistants. Not sure how long you should be expected to put up with that.
Did Weaver screw up in firing Greenberg when he did? Oh, yeah, no question, and I wrote as much when it all went down. Weaver had nine years to determine whether Seth was the right fit. His handling of the split was poor all the way around — particularly with him not telling Greenberg first, which will never make sense to me. There was a way for these two parties to go their separate ways amicably without making Tech look like a circus, and Weaver failed miserably on that front.
But Seth has some culpability, too. A lot. He helped create this mess, and any pleasure he might want to take from Tech’s struggles now would be in poor taste in my opinion. He had a hand in it.
I always liked Greenberg. He was an awesome quote, never boring, and had a knack for getting his teams to play their best against top competition, which meant it was never a waste of time to drive to Chapel Hill or Durham to see the Hokies play. Then again, I did not have to work for him. And he did not have to work for me.
Now, none of this really answers the million-dollar question: Is Johnson the right guy to lead this team in the future? My answer: I don’t know yet. I have to agree with those who say the profile of recruits who are committing to Tech doesn’t seem overly encouraging. But until they get here, we don’t know if they’re busts or lower-profile players who will fit Johnson’s philosophy perfectly. See VCU for a program that’s taken guys other people overlooked and made it work. It takes a rare coach to do that, though.
Johnson’s one known strength when he took the job was his tireless effort to identify and lure players as an assistant. He deserves a chance to do that, to put a lineup on the court that does not include walk-ons, but those guys will have to prove they can play quickly.
SPEAKING OF OVERLOOKED: Berman has a feature on former William Fleming standout Jamelle Hagins, a lightly recruited player who’s averaging a double-double for Delaware. At one point this season, he was leading the nation in rebounding.
ACC LAST NIGHT: Duke rallies from a 10-point deficit in the first half to defeat UNC 73-68, while Miami improves to 11-0 in league play with a 74-68 win at Florida State.
STAY LOW: The price of a hit to the head could go up in college football next year, as the NCAA Football Rules Committee unanimously approves a rule that would eject tacklers who hit defenseless players in the head.
JEEZ, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY: The Olympic athlete known as “Blade Runner” has been charged with murdering his girlfriend.
NAME THAT TUNE:
She grew up in an Indiana town
Had a good-lookin’ mama who never was around
But she grew up tall and she grew up right
With them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights
Well, she moved down here at the age of eighteen
She blew the boys away, was more than they’d seen
I was introduced and we both started groovin’
She said, “I dig you baby, but I got to keep movin’…on”
Keep movin’ on