BLACKSBURG, Va. — Virginia Tech men’s basketball Coach Seth Greenberg is about as active as any college basketball coach on Twitter. But as he perused his account recently, the coach noticed many of his players’ updates included the word “chilling.”
This did not sit well with Greenberg. He is trying to form an identity for his young squad before ACC play.
“Chilling is out of the vocabulary,” Greenberg said with a smile during his postgame news conference. “If I see ‘chilling’ on Twitter, they immediately get a message from me: Coach Greenberg doesn’t chill, he just strictly grinds. Chilling is a bad word. You can’t have success and chill in the same sentence. If you’re chilling, you’re going backwards.”
The Hokies took another step forward Monday night. Virginia Tech used a 17-5 run just after halftime to blow open what had been a close game throughout the first half and cruised down the stretch for their fourth straight victory. The Hokies shot 61.3 percent from the floor in the second half.
Senior Dorenzo Hudson led the charge with 16 points and junior Erick Green chipped in 12 points and eight assists. After the game, Greenberg said an MRI exam on Sunday revealed Hudson has a slight tear in his left meniscus that he will have to play with through the rest of the season.
That, though, was secondary since Finney-Smith and classmate Robert Brown took a more aggressive tact from recent games. Finney-Smith was hot from the get-go and finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Brown added 14 points off the bench, including a thunderous dunk off a steal on a North Florida outlet pass that ignited the Cassell Coliseum crowd.
Both had been targets of Greenberg’s ire.
Finney-Smith had been getting into foul trouble too often and wasn’t asserting himself on offense or on rebounds.
Brown had lost some of his competitive edge after shooting 35 percent from the field in his previous five games coming into Monday. He and Greenberg talked before the game about being tougher with the ball, and working harder off it.
“Coach Greenberg really fired into me and told me I need to be more aggressive. I need to spend more time in the gym,” Brown said.
Playing their second game in three days, the Hokies only led by one with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. But they went on a 10-2 run before halftime, highlighted by consecutive jumpers from Brown and a three-pointer at the buzzer by sophomore Jarell Eddie.
From there they grinded out another easy victory, and no one was more pleased than Greenberg.
“They’ve got to learn to grind because they’re going to have to grind in the league,” he said.
●INDIANA 107, HOWARD 50: The 17th-ranked Hoosiers had six players score in double figures and rolled to the second-most lopsided victory in school history.
The visiting Bison (3-9) shot just 30.6 percent from the field, went 3 of 15 from beyond the arc, needed 25 minutes to finally crack the 20-point mark and wound up with as many turnovers (19) as baskets. Simuel Frazier had 13 points, the only Bison to reach double figures.