Thursday, January 22, 2009

Many pieces added up to Wake loss

How much should be made of Virginia Tech's surprising victory over previously unbeaten and top-ranked Wake Forest Wednesday night?

Well, it didn't significantly change the world of ACC basketball as we know it.

"This does not diminish what Wake Forest basketball is right now," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said.

The Deacons were going to lose sometime. The fact it happened at home against Virginia Tech was moderately surprising but it was clear throughout the night the Hokies were going to be a handful. The Deacons were knocked off their game early by foul trouble and the temporary loss of Al-Farouq Aminu, who required four stitches to close a cut on his forehead.

But the Deacons weren't sharp at either end. Coach Dino Gaudio said his team didn't play hard enough on offense or well enough on defense.

Now they have a week to wait on Duke's visit knowing the Blue Devils will likely take over the top spot they are sure to vacate when the new rankings come out on Monday.

"There's tough kids in that locker room," Gaudio said after the game. "There's no doubt in my mind they'll bow their necks, come to practice Friday and go back to work."

The Hokies did almost everything right (except shoot free throws down the stretch). They played exceptional defense in the first half, shut down Wake Forest's transition game and scored when they had to in order to fight off the Deacons' second-half comeback.

"Our challenge now is not to drink the Kool-Aid," Greenberg said. "Enjoy this. The second we get to Blacksburg, it's over with because in this league, it can be very fleeting. You can be on top of the world one day and finished the next."

-- Ron Green Jr.