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7-Footer Michael Durr Changes Mind, Reopens Recruitment

It was just last Thursday that I wrote this story about associate head coach Chester Frazier leaving Virginia Tech and returning to his alma mater, Illinois. In that story I noted how amicable the decision was, the great respect Frazier and head coach Mike Young had for each other, and how no one could begrudge him going back to the school he played at a decade earlier.

Despite all that, I did express some concern. “Why?” some people asked. I had two thoughts, but only answered with one. The first was when you lose a really good assistant, you have to replace them with someone just as good, and there’s no guarantee that will happen. In all my years in the corporate world, you were very good and very lucky if you just hit on 50 percent of the people hired that ended up being as good as expected. It’s just the nature of the hiring process.

What I didn’t say about what concerned me was this sentence in the story about Frazier: “His fingerprints are all over just about every one of the key recruits the Hokies have landed, and he’s liked by just about everyone.”

If you’ve had a hand in all the key recruits, that means just about all the key recruits expected you to be there when they arrived. If you were a deciding factor and you’re not there, there was a possibility that players could back out of their commitments, since whoever is the replacement isn’t going to know all the recruits.

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Former Coach Dave Odom Not A Fan Of The Transfer Portal

In his 22 seasons as a college basketball head coach and another eight years as assistant at Virginia during its 1980's successes, Dave Odom has a wealth of knowledge that is hard to surpass.

He doesn't force his opinions on anybody, although he doesn't find the current climate particularly healthy.

Take the transfer portal, a list of players who are marketing themselves -- or have been advised to market themselves -- for another school.

"I am violently in opposition to the idea because I think it breeds and teaches our young people that being disloyal and unappreciative is acceptable," said Odom, a former Wake Forest head coach who makes his home in Winston-Salem, NC

"I do not believe that we, as adults who have trod the path, need to be teaching that lesson. Coaches who say we need to be more lenient in what these kids want -- whether it's one time or two or whatever it turns out to be -- they fear they'll be shut out recruiting-wise."

In the past week, Virginia lost two of its underclassmen to ACC rivals -- guard Casey Morsell to North Carolina State and forward Justin McKoy to North Carolina.

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Recent Comments
Page Moir

Change has come

Coach is not wrong, but probably not right either. Coaches and the NCAA have enjoyed the good life and now that has passed. The NC... Read More
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 22:24
Dave Scarangella

The response has been interest...

I posted this on several other social media places, and it seems older fans don't like it, younger fans do, and really younger fan... Read More
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 23:07
Dave Fulton

Well Groomed, On Target

Yessir Dave Odom. You were well groomed during your yeats at UVA in the traditions of the Honor Code along with loyalty to your te... Read More
Thursday, 15 April 2021 11:57
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College Notebook: Recruiting, The Portal and More

You had to wonder why more ACC men's basketball programs didn't jump after Jay Heath before he signed with Boston College out of Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C.

There should be more action now with word that Heath has entered the transfer portal.

Heath, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, averaged a team-leading 14.5 points and had a team-high 42 made 3-pointers for the Eagles, who finished 4-16 and ended the season without six-year head coach Jim Christian.

The Eagles completed the season with Christian assistant Scott Spinelli at the helm and ultimately selected Earl Grant as their new head coach.

Grant, most recently the head coach at the College of Charleston, was an assistant at Winthrop and Wichita State . He has an ACC background after years as an assistant at Clemson.

One of his coaching mentors was Gregg Marshall, who resigned under pressure as Wichita State head coach prior to the 2020-21 season.

After eight straight seasons of 20 wins or more, Wichita State finished 16-6 under Isaac Brown, who was promoted to interim coach following Marshall's resignation and later elevated to head coach.

The Portal and More

Playing time wasn't an issue for Au'Diese Toney, the University of Pittsburgh junior who entered the NCAA Transfer portal earlier this week.

Toney, a 6-6 swingman out of Huntsville, Ala., averaged a team-high 34.9 minutes per game for the Panthers and led the team in scoring with 14.4 points per game.

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Recent Comments
Dave Fulton

Education?

I don't suspect any of these various folks floating around the transfer portals have put much emphasis on getting an education.... Read More
Thursday, 25 March 2021 12:20
Dave Scarangella

I don't think you can paint ev...

There are probably some just looking for more playing time and don't care as much about school. But I know the 6-9 young man from ... Read More
Thursday, 25 March 2021 12:28

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Doug Doughty

Doug Doughty

He's the dean of the UVA beat, and creator of College Notebook, which has entertained fans for 45 years. Meet Doug Doughty

Ricky LaBlue

Ricky LaBlue

A longtime sports fanatic, Ricky is now channeling that passion into the world of sports media. Meet Ricky LaBlue.

Stephen Newman

Stephen Newman

The only things he loves more than following Virginia Tech and Washington sports teams are dogs. Meet Stephen Newman.

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