Let's face it folks. This basketball season is over for the Hokies. Many of us holding out hope that there was enough left in the tank to make a slight turnaround and get back close to .500 to finish the season now know that's not in the cards. There will likely be no beating Duke, as the Hokies spoiled their best chance at that Thursday night, a quasi-benchmark for a good season since the Hokies entered the ACC. Erick Green, as great as he is, can not will this team to win all by himself. In the Hokies' 32-point home loss to the Blue Devils Thursday, Green was one of three players on the team who made any kind of meaningful contributions to the team (the other two were C.J. Barksdale, a rarity, and Cadarian Raines). The other 10 players who received playing time contributed a total of 3 MADE SHOTS, 3 assists and 8 rebounds in a combined 121 minutes (that's out of 200 total team minutes). That's crazy town people.
No, instead of turning the season around for the good and making a last stand, they have turned in the exact opposite direction. The wheels have fallen off, and this is exactly the season we all feared it could be. Since their undefeated streak to open the season ended at West Virginia, the Hokies are 4-15, including losing their last nine straight. For a season that started out so promising, the reality of what the team is now is almost incomprehensible. This team is the polar opposite of the team we saw in November and early December. This team is the worst Virginia Tech men's basketball team in exactly a decade. The 2002-03 team was 12-17 (4-12) in the Big East in Coach Ricky (the program killer) Stokes' last season, a team that went 5-13 to finish the season.
Beyond the exuberance of the early season undefeated streak and Erick Green's assault on the record books and his bid to lead the nation in scoring 2012-13 is a lost season. The challenge will be to make sure that it's only that: one rogue, terrible season. But the way the program is trending, and the impending loss of Erick Green who will exhaust his eligibility at the end of the year, would suggest the Hokies are in for a long, painful stretch unless some changes are made.
Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on regarding the firing of Seth Greenberg, it is an ill-conceived opinion to deem him responsible for the mess the Hokies are currently in. After all, how can you hold a coach accountable for a season he wasn't allowed to coach? That's like finding a person guilty at trial without being allowed to provide their own defense.
On point tonight RT @vtphreak4evr And by the way, apparently this game/season is all Seth Greenberg's fault. At least according to some.— GobblerCountry.com (@gobblercountry) February 22, 2013
Furthermore, in Greenberg's nine seasons at the helm of Virginia Tech's basketball program, his teams posted approximately two losing seasons (14-16 in 2005-2006 when the team members had to attend six funerals for players' families in a five week span and 16-17 in 2011-12, his final season), neither of which nearly as far from .500 as this team will likely be. There were no indications that this year's team would be as bad as it currently is, with the same group of players coming back to the team minus Dorenzo Hudson, Victor Davila and Dorian Finney-Smith (possibly). Certainly the cupboard wasn't bare. He also didn't leave the team in its current state of roster flux, as he had signed consensus top-100 prospect Montrezl Harrell (now at Louisville, over offers from the likes of Florida and one rumored to be from Kentucky before they were full up), Marshall Wood (who contrary to erroneous reporting by some, only considered not attending Tech AFTER and because of Greenberg's firing) and wanted to take at least one more player in the 2012 signing class, something he was working feverishly to do. Also, as Dorian Finney-Smith's transfer is concerned, there is no shred of evidence that suggests Greenberg was the cause for his transfer, as has also been erroneously reported. In fact, according to a source close to the program, Finney-Smith transferred simply because he didn't fit in well with the student body in Blacksburg and wanted to go to a place he felt more at home, something Greenberg had no control over.
As TrevorSGreene has opined, and is now a prevailing opinion among those in the know regarding Virginia Tech's basketball program, Jim Weaver is directly responsible for the current state of the Virginia Tech basketball programs (men's and women's)
RT @vtphreak4evr How Jim Weaver is able to skate by w/ no repercussions after he single-handedly killed both basketball programs beyond me.— GobblerCountry.com (@gobblercountry) February 22, 2013
His hiring (and firing) practices have been scrutinized, and his decision to wait over a month after the end of the season to fire Seth Greenberg showed indecision, a lack of leadership and ultimately crippled the men's program for the foreseeable future. So he, not Greenberg, not James Johnson, is to blame, AT LEAST as far as 2012-13 is concerned.
With five regular season games left and at least one ACC Tournament game guaranteed, this team still has an outside chance at winning a few more games, and a one-in-a-million shot at finishing .500. But realistically, this team is done and this season is over. The heart isn't there (except for one player, guess who?), the effort comes and goes and the talent level of opponent is often greater than or equal to what the Hokies are putting out there night in and night out. Tired from running an up-tempo system with few bodies and mentally tired and frustrated from the constant defeats, the Hokies have completely fallen apart in the last half of the season, a reminder of Weaver's shoddy personnel decisions and the ultimate reality: That 2012-13 was a lost season.