Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Praise for Al Groh

By David Teel

October 27, 2008

If Virginia football coach Al Groh ever needs a reference, or even an agent, he should call Virginia Tech basketball coach Seth Greenberg.

At the ACC's basketball media gathering Sunday in Atlanta, Greenberg called Groh's work guiding the Cavaliers from a 1-3 start to first place in the Coastal Division the best coaching job he's seen in his five years in the conference.

Greenberg's remarks were unprompted and knowledgeable. You could tell he's followed the football season, from Virginia's struggles against Southern California, Richmond, Connecticut and Duke, to its four subsequent victories over Maryland, East Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

"As a coach," Greenberg said, "the hardest thing to do is get your team back. To get that team back on point, and to get them believing and trusting in one another is a testament to coaching. As a coach, you want to sit down and study them and say, 'What did you do to keep the guys together?' "

Some other leftovers from Sunday's basketball interviews:

Virginia coach Dave Leitao suggested his Cavaliers will take advantage of their new-found depth and gamble more defensively.

"For three years we played defense by the book, conservatively, like a baseball manager," said Leitao, entering his fourth season at U.Va. "We went by the percentages."

Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said of sophomore guard Terrence Oglesby, "It would not surprise me at all if at the end of the day he's the career scoring leader at Clemson."

Oglesby averaged 10.2 points last season and displayed outrageous shooting range, making 40.3 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Purnell admitted he had no idea who Clemson's top career scorer is, or how many points he totaled. When we looked it up in the Tigers' media guide, we found it was Elden Campbell with 1,880.

Oglesby scored 356 last season. Given a conservative estimate of 30 games a year, he would need to average 17 points a game for the next three seasons to surpass Campbell.

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