Thursday, December 27, 2012

Most memorable Virginia Tech basketball moments of 2012

Former assistant coach James Johnson (left) took over when Seth Greenberg (right) was fired after nine seasons at Tech.

The Roanoke Times | File 2009

Former assistant coach James Johnson (left) took over when Seth Greenberg (right) was fired after nine seasons at Tech.

Virginia Tech Hokies basketball

Berman Courtside

1. The firing of Seth Greenberg

On the morning of April 23, Virginia Tech alerted the media that athletic director Jim Weaver would hold a 4 p.m. news conference about an unnamed topic. Two hours after Tech sent out that email, Weaver informed Seth Greenberg that he was fired after nine seasons as men's basketball coach. It was a surprising move, considering that Tech's season had ended back on March 9. But turnover on Greenberg's staff had left Weaver unhappy.

2. The hiring of James Johnson

Weaver did not hire an established head coach to replace Greenberg, instead opting for a familiar face. On May 1, Tech announced that James Johnson, who had been a Greenberg assistant for five seasons, would succeed his former boss. Johnson had left Greenberg's staff three weeks earlier to become an assistant at Clemson.

3. Hokies upset Oklahoma State

Erick Green scored 28 points to lead Johnson's team to an 81-71 home win over No. 15 Oklahoma State on Dec. 1. It was Tech's first win over a ranked nonconference foe in 17 years. The game put Green on the national radar.

4. Hokies win at UVa

Greenberg's team had been 0-4 in ACC play before knocking off No. 15 Virginia 47-45 in Charlottesville on Jan. 22. Tech beat a ranked foe on the road for the first time since 2009.

5. Tech women stun Maryland

The women's basketball team won 75-69 at No. 8 Maryland on Jan. 26, beating a top-10 opponent for just the fifth time in its history. It was the seventh and final win of the season for the Hokies.

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