Virginia Tech doesn't have practices so much as it has torture sessions. "Conditioning is a big part of our game," drawls coach Charlie Moir, an otherwise humane sort who likes to drill with temperatures in the gym in the 80s. "We're a transition team, a quick-hitting team. These boys need to sweat."
Likewise, Hokie fans are in a lather about what Tech ought to do this season in the Metro Conference. Heck, there hasn't been such anticipatory perspiration in Blacksburg since the introduction of chemical fertilizers. Five Hokie starters are back from two seasons ago, when the Gobblers won a school-record 23 games.
Tech's most potent weapon is Dell Curry, the 6'4" junior guard who poured in 19.3 points per game last year. But the MVP was 6'5" forward Perry Young, now a senior, who led the team in rebounding with 6.7 per game. Moir needs more boards from everyone if the Hokies are to take out conference favorite Memphis State. "We've beefed up in that area," he says. Boned up would be more accurate. Tech's new BMOC is 6'11" Roy Brow, a 200-pound diamond in the rough from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. While prepping last season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., Brow force-fed opponents 13 of their own shots. Per game. Bobby Beecher, a 6'9" natural forward who was the Metro's Rookie of the Year in 1982-83, will start at center while Brow and 6'8" juco transfer Dave Burgess catch on.
En route to third place in the NIT last year, Tech upset teams like N.C. State, Louisville (twice), Memphis State and Virginia. But slowdown underdogs like Richmond and Tulane tripped up the Hokies. If Tech pulls down more rebounds and dictates its own tempo, things could really get cooking down in Blacksburg.