BLACKSBURG, Va. — About four hours before tip-off Thursday night, Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg received a phone call from Montgomery County Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt, who was trying to get in touch with Greenberg’s senior captain, guard Dorenzo Hudson.
Pettitt was in the middle of a preliminary hearing in Montgomery General District Court after Virginia Tech place kicker Cody Journell and two other people were charged with breaking and entering into Hudson’s off-campus home on Wednesday night, and she needed more details from Hudson about what happened.
That served as the backdrop to Virginia Tech’s 71-50 rout of Eastern Michigan at Cassell Coliseum on a night when basketball took a backseat to the legal system.
Though Hudson has not been charged with any crime after allegedly having a handgun pulled on him Wednesday night, Pettitt said in court Thursday that the break-in had to do with Hudson’s roommate, Sean Allen, allegedly stealing a large amount of marijuana from one of the defendants. The prosecutor also acknowledged that Hudson and Allen got in an altercation with the men who broke into their home after the incident occurred late Wednesday night.
Nonetheless, Hudson was in the starting lineup less than 24 hours later and finished with eight points in 22 minutes. Point guard Erick Green added 12 points and sophomore Cadarian Raines chipped in 10 as the Hokies led by as much as 30 in the second half en rout to their fifth straight victory. After the game, Virginia Tech did not make any players available to the media.
“Dorenzo Hudson was not charged with anything and he’s a member of good standing with our basketball team,” Greenberg said during a tense postgame news conference.
Greenberg was reluctant to go into further details about the case, but when pressed about Hudson’s situation the coach added: “We talk to our players all the time about decision-making, and I have the utmost confidence in our guys. The court system will take care of itself. . . . I know Dorenzo Hudson is going home to spend the holidays with his family.”
The Hokies started off slowly in their third game in five nights, struggling to play at a fast tempo against the 2-3 zone Eastern Michigan employs. Soon, though, Virginia Tech (10-3) found itself in another blowout.
The Eagles went 16 minutes 22 seconds without scoring a field goal, a sequence that spanned the final 11:22 of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half. And so after taking an 11-9 lead midway through the first half, Virginia Tech went on a 30-6 run to take control of the game for good.
Eastern Michigan (5-7) ended the first half with just nine points, the fewest Virginia Tech has given up to an opponent since joining the ACC in 2004.
The Eagles made just three of their 21 shot attempts in the first half three days after Greenberg criticized his team’s defense in a win over North Florida.
The Hokies have nine days off before a New Year’s Eve matchup at Oklahoma State, and then move on to ACC play next month. But the question that seemed to hover over everything Thursday night is how Hudson fits into that future.