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Malcolm Delaney's final days at Virginia Tech are channeled toward basketball

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"The beginning of the year I got too caught up into trying to be a pure point guard and do too much with the ball," said Delaney, who also keeps in touch with Anthony and fellow Baltimore product Rudy Gay. "I was trying to force some plays that I don't normally do. I learned to let that go after the first couple of games and start playing like myself."

The sense of ownership, more than just his deft shooting touch and slashing ability, has come to define Delaney's tenure at Virginia Tech.

"He has that thing in him - like a warrior," said teammate Erick Green, whose insertion into the starting lineup in December allowed Delaney to move back to his natural shooting guard position. "He always wants the ball in his hands when it's a close game or we need something to happen."

The best example of this bravado came when the Hokies defeated Maryland in College Park in January. Two days before the game, Delaney told reporters he believed the Terrapins had the "worst fans ever," inciting a slew of pregame rhetoric and a chorus of boos on game day.

He backed up his words, though, scoring 19 points and pantomiming to the crowd throughout. He called it the most fun he's had all season.

"I like stuff like that. I like playing in those types of environments," Delaney said, laughing now about his comments before that game. "That's just me. No matter who I'm playing against or what type of player, I always play like they think they're better than me or people think they're better than me."

Few in the ACC are, though. Delaney had a couple poor games this year, most notably a 2-for-18 shooting performance in a loss to Purdue early in the season and an eight-turnover night at Georgia Tech in January.

Each time he was despondent in the locker room afterward, shouldering much of the blame for his team's shortcomings, but came back with a vengeance. Just Sunday, he exploded for a season-high 33 points in a rematch against the Yellow Jackets.

Before this season began, Greenberg told reporters he hoped Delaney would "smile more and take the time to really appreciate what he's done."

Despite all the free time on his hands now, Delaney isn't ready to reflect. His typical day begins with shooting drills by himself in Virginia Tech's practice facility in the morning followed by a weightlifting session before the team's afternoon practice.

Delaney, though, admits his outlook is changing as his career winds down. There aren't as many doubters to prove wrong, but there's still an NCAA tournament berth to be had.

"I did everything that a college student should do," Delaney said. "I never failed a class here. I never had any problems off the court or in school or around campus. I've scored a lot of points. I did all that stuff. I just want to win. That's my only focus right now."


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