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October 16, 2013Sign-up for HokieHaven.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!
CHARLOTTE -- It's hard to not forget about Erick Green. Last season's ACC player of the year, who also led the country in scoring, might have graduated in May, but he's still constantly brought up in discussions about the Hokies.
Much of that is because of Green's accomplishments. But just as much is due to the gaping hole he leaves behind. It's unclear where the productivity will come from for Virginia Tech, which has been widely picked to finish last in the ACC this season.
Of course, that didn't keep the Hokies from feeling and acting upbeat at today's ACC media day at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte.
"I think we're gonna surprise a lot of people," redshirt sophomore forward Joey Van Zegeren said. "We're gonna remain with our goal, to get the ACC championship. I know a lot of people don't expect a lot from us, but we're gonna surprise a lot of people."
Virginia Tech is hoping its biggest surprise comes from a freshman, forward Ben Emelogu. Just weeks after arriving in Blacksburg, Emelogu was named the Hokies' team captain. And Emelogu has his sights set on Green-like accolades.
"When I came on my official visit, I talked to him," Emelogu said. "It just seemed like, I wanted to be able to do what he did, live up to what he accomplished and hopefully be able to pass him. That's a goal I set of mine. It's a great feeling to just come after him and be a part of the program he was a part of."
Green though, was everything to last season's Virginia Tech team. It's highly unlikely any player this season sniffs his accomplishments. But unlike last season, this group at least won't rely solely on one player.
"I think we all, coming towards the end of the season last year, expected that we were gonna have to step up a lot more with him being gone," Van Zegeren said. "I think a lot of people have stepped up in practice and showed that they are capable of doing certain things and we're all capable of taking on better roles. That's what's gonna help us and we're gonna be a more balanced team, very unselfish."
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