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Three Future Hokies Hit the Hardwood on Thursday - My Thoughts

It's been one heck of a week for Seth Greenberg.

The season officially began last Friday, Oct. 15 with Late Night with the Hokies.

On Wednesday, Greenberg's club was picked by the media to finish second in the ACC - the program's highest ever preseason prediction.

One day after shining his gleaming mug across ESPN's television screens from the conference's media day, Greenberg was in Roanoke to watch three-fourths of his star-studded 2011 recruiting class hit the floor.

In a scrimmage with close to two dozen future Division I players, one soon-to-be Hokie stood out above the rest.

Thursday's scrimmage pitted Hargrave Military Academy against the famed Oak Hill Academy in a scrimmage at William Fleming High School.

Hargrave's Robert Brown, a 6-5 shooting guard from Clermont, Fla. was clearly the game's most valuable player.

He scored 28 points, second-most behind teammate and North Carolina commitment P.J. Hairston, who finished with 31.

The first thing to take notice of with Brown is his uncanny length. His freakishly long wingspan gives him an advantage on the defensive end, but also with the ball in his hands.

He already has a good height for an ACC shooting guard, but his length helps him tremendously when attacking the basket. It's going to be very difficult for anyone defending him to contest him at the rim.

He had some nifty finishes tonight in the paint, including a few using his left hand. Some major scouting reports questioned his ball handling ability; he seems to be improving in that regard.

He also showed off a sweet shooting stroke which will come in very handy in 2011, when players like Malcolm Delaney and Dorenzo Hudson are no longer around.

There has not been a player with Brown's skill set in Greenberg's program in a long time. The closest comparison to be made would be Carlos Dixon; although Dixon had a couple inches on Brown. Both have the natural ability to score from anywhere on the court both off the ball or with it in their hands. He's going to be a special player, if Thursday night was any indication.

Marquis Rankin, of Charlotte, N.C. also suited up for Hargrave, and got the starting nod at point guard.

Rankin was very quick and an aggressive defender. The starting point guard for Oak Hill was Keith Hornsby, a UNC-Asheville commitment. Rankin made it easy to distinguish between who was the future ACC guard, and who was headed to the Big South.

Rankin was a fearless on-ball defender, a trait that will translate smoothly into Greenberg's style of play. Tech's program is defined by active defenders in the backcourt (Zabian Dowdell, Jamon Gordon, Dorenzo Hudson).

The biggest concern with Rankin may simply be his size. He was listed at 6-1 on the roster, but that may be a little generous. Nevertheless, he's a bit thin, which needs to change before he can compete with opposing backcourts in the ACC, just ask Erick Green (and even Delaney).

Finally, C.J. Barksdale also started for Hargrave and had by all accounts, the least impressive game of the night.

It was easy to tell just by warm-ups that Barksdale was a typical Greenberg recruit. Six-foot-eight with great length and the quickness of a player 4-5 inches shorter, he fits the mold of Jeff Allen and Allan Chaney perfectly.

Oak Hill did not have anyone on the interior that blew me away, yet Barksdale had a very hard time establishing himself in the paint. He was soft on the glass, and struggled to finish even in good position.

He seemed to have a basic understanding of post moves with his back to the basket (a trait rarely utilized in Greenberg's offense), but he was simply not physical enough to convert inside.

Barksdale clearly has tremendous upside, but a few more trips to the weight room would behoove him before he hits the court in the ACC.

As sloppy as Oak Hill played (and both teams, for that matter), it was clear that the caliber of athletes on the floor would be unparalleled just about anywhere at this level.

For three future Hokies to be on the court and thriving the way they did (Hargrave won both halves by double-digits), means all will be well for years to come in Blacksburg.