Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Arrivals, departures at Tech
The Hokies add Allan Chaney from Florida, but Hank Thorns leaves the ACC program.
MATT GENTRY The Roanoke Times
Former Virginia Tech guard Hank Thorns wants increased playing time and the opportunity to score more at his next school.
Virginia Tech Hokies basketball
Hank Thorns wants more playing time, so he is leaving Virginia Tech.
Allan Chaney wants a fresh start, so he is joining Virginia Tech.
Thorns, who has been a backup point guard for the Tech men's basketball team for two seasons, said Monday he intends to transfer.
He said he informed coach Seth Greenberg of his decision Saturday.
"I wanted a bigger role," Thorns said. "I wasn't able to play like myself. I didn't feel like I was being treated like I should've been treated.
"I deserved more time. I felt like I was better than Coach was making me look. ... I wasn't able to show my scoring ability."
The departure of Thorns will free up a scholarship next season for Chaney, a forward who played for Florida this year.
Chaney, whose freshman season ended with a suspension in March, said he orally committed to Tech on Sunday. He picked Tech over Temple.
"Coach Greenberg's a great guy, and he looks like he's a trustworthy guy," Chaney said Monday. "He can really help me."
Thorns averaged 4.6 points, 21.1 minutes and a team-high 3.2 assists in 2007-08, when he broke Bimbo Coles' Tech freshman record for assists (113). He started 12 games.
The 5-foot-9, 140-pound Thorns averaged 2.7 points, 18.9 minutes and 2.4 assists this year. He started two games.
"Coach felt like he didn't need me to score," Thorns said. "But he probably portrayed it as I probably couldn't score. I can score on anybody. "This year I felt like I could've helped our team a lot more. And next year I felt like I could've helped our team a lot more, and I guess my role wasn't going to be what it was supposed to be.
"Coach wanted me to be a facilitator. ... Just passing the ball isn't going to get me to be successful. ... I don't think he gave me a chance to just be myself."
Greenberg and Thorns each said Thorns could have remained on the team and on scholarship had he wanted to.
"I love Hank," Greenberg said. "I'm going to miss him. We're not going to be as good a team without him. But I wanted to be honest with him, and give him an opportunity.
"He's been a terrific player for us. He's been someone I admire a great deal for his leadership skills. ... He wanted an expanded role, and I think we've got to go inside next year."
Thorns declined to say which schools he hopes to visit in search of a new team.
Tech will still have two point guards next season -- starter Malcolm Delaney, and fall signee Erick Green of Paul VI High School in Fairfax.
Chaney will have to sit out next season under the NCAA's transfer rules; he will then have three years of eligibility.
The Baltimore native has been friends with Delaney since they were in middle school together.
After his freshman year of high school, Chaney moved from his mother's home in Baltimore to his grandmother's home in New London, Conn., so he could get away from "the city."
He was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Connecticut as a senior at New London High School. He averaged 26 points and 15 rebounds that season.
Chaney played in 23 of the Gators' 36 games this year, starting two of them. He averaged 3 points, 2.1 rebounds and 9.8 minutes. Chaney scored 13 points in a November start against Washington. He missed nine Southeastern Conference games with a sprained foot.
He said Florida coach Billy Donovan wanted him to be a "back-to-the-basket player," and he disliked that.
"I just wanted to be a little closer to home," he said. "Once basketball started to tilt and really went downhill for me, that added insult to injury. I felt it was time for me to move on."
After the team's first-round NIT game, Donovan suspended Chaney for the rest of the season for disciplinary reasons. The suspension wound up covering the team's final two games.
"I'm not going into detail," Donovan told the Orlando Sentinel in March. "He's injured, so he couldn't play anyway. It's just other things I dealt with."
Chaney said the suspension was for an incident that took place two hours before the Gators' first-round NIT game against Jacksonville.
"I started playing dummy defense, putting my hand up every time [a certain teammate] shot the ball," Chaney said. "The strength coach wasn't too happy with that. ... He said, 'Either you sit down or go into the locker room.' ... I wasn't disrespecting the program. I wasn't disrespecting him. ... I didn't sit down because I didn't think that I did anything wrong. So I tried to walk away from him.
"He came over to me again and said, 'Sit down or go into the locker room.' I just went into the locker room."
The next day, he was suspended. Chaney said the suspension was "uncalled for."
"I said, 'If you're going to suspend me for this, I think I should leave,' " Chaney said.