The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team already had plenty to worry about with its NCAA tournament hopes up in the air heading into this week’s ACC tournament, but now there are concerns about the health of one of the Hokies’ star players.
Forward Jeff Allen did not practice Monday and is currently receiving treatment on his left ankle after “tweaking” it during Saturday’s loss at Clemson, Coach Seth Greenberg said Tuesday. The senior came up gimpy in the first half against the Tigers, but never left the game due to the injury. He indicated afterwards that it did not bother him the rest of the way.
“He’s gonna play Thursday; there’s no doubt about it,” Greenberg said. “I just hope he’s effective.”
On Monday, Allen was named to the all-ACC second team after averaging 13.8 points and 10 rebounds this season. But with Virginia Tech already down to eight scholarship players and dealing with questions over whether it has enough energy to make a run this week in Greensboro, N.C., an unproductive Allen would be devastating.
As for the Hokies’ thin bench, Greenberg provided a bit more clarity on the situation surrounding freshman Jarell Eddie.
Eddie is facing marijuana-possession charges stemming from a Feb. 15 incident and did not play in Virginia Tech’s loss at Clemson. It led to speculation that the Charlotte native may have received sanctions other than simply the one-game suspension he served when the Hokies lost to Virginia back on Feb. 19.
Greenberg has not shared many details regarding Eddie’s status since his arrest became public. But when pressed over whether Eddie’s playing time was a decision made from above, the coach said, “Right now, it’s in my hands and I’ll decide who plays.”
“At the appropriate time, I’ll make the choices of who’s gonna play and who they’re gonna play against,” Greenberg added.
Against Clemson, just seven players saw the court for the Hokies and freshman Tyrone Garland was pulled after an ineffective three minutes in the first half. The lack of a bench is something Greenberg expects Georgia Tech to try to exploit Thursday night.
“The biggest thing that concerns me is their depth,” Greenberg said. “I think they may take a page out of Clemson and try to extend their defense and try to wear us down. They’ve got 10 or 11 guys they can play.”