Doug Gottlieb is one of ESPN’s up-and-coming personalities and one of the most prominent college basketball analysts in the country. Gottlieb played for legendary coach Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State from 1997-2000, a career that included an Elite Eight appearance in 2000.
Gottlieb hosts his own talk show on ESPN Radio from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Earlier this week he took some time to talk about the upcoming college basketball season, and what he thinks Virginia Tech has in store for the Atlantic Coast Conference and the country in 2010-11.
Collegiate Times –
Malcolm Delaney tested the NBA Draft waters before deciding to return for his senior season. Just how valuable is he to this team?
: Well, he’s the ACC’s leading returning scorer, and a guy whose played four years in one of the country’s top conferences.
I don’t think you can overstate how valuable he is in all phases: the offensive end, at the free-throw line and defensively he has shown great leadership.
In terms of his work ethic, he’s kind of a machine. When you have a bunch of young guys see your best player really take care of himself, that’s the best kind of leadership. He’s incredibly valuable to his team.
J.T. Thompson and Allan Chaney figured to be huge factors in the Hokies’ frontcourt this season. Neither will play this year. How big of a loss are they?
It will be most felt against Kansas State and in the ACC. Against Kansas State, it’s on the road and they’ll probably face foul trouble. (Tech) is a small team to begin with, so it’s tough.
In the ACC, there’s an attrition factor. If everyone stays healthy the whole year, I don’t think there’s a huge effect. I think realistically, they didn’t lose a starter. Keeping that in mind, once you reach the NCAA Tournament, you only go six or seven players deep anyway. It won’t hurt them as much trying to go deep in the NCAA Tournament, but it will hurt in trying to win the ACC.
: It was well documented that the Hokies’ weak schedule last year cost them an NCAA bid. Head coach Seth Greenberg went out and scheduled a road trip to Kansas State and Purdue will come to Blacksburg for the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. How do the Hokies stack up in those two games?
Kansas State was actually beaten three times at home last season. They are very good — but the one thing about them is there are times when they really struggle to score. They are a great defensive team, great in transition and rebound the ball great, but they are not a great offensive team. It’s a game Tech can win. You can’t let them get momentum plays or lose the turnover battle. It’s not like it’s an un-winnable game.
Now Purdue is a game I expect Tech to win. (Purdue guard) E’Twaun Moore versus Delaney is a heck of a matchup. Purdue lost several key players off last year’s team — and losing (star forward) Robbie Hummel is huge. Considering this game is at Cassell, which I expect to be a zoo — I figure it’s a game Virginia Tech should win.
If they lose both of those games, it’s not a death sentence. If they win them both, boy that would set them up for a great year.
: You were on the call for Dorenzo Hudson’s 41-point game against Seton Hall last year. What type of season should we expect from Hudson this year?
I think you’ll see him score 3-4 more points per game. He’s a tremendous athlete. What I like best about him is he has a couple of shots that you know he’s going to get within the offense that he can make with his eyes closed. I think with his physical tools, he should be an All-ACC Defensive Team guy. I think he can be the solid No. 2 guy behind Delaney.
: College Gameday will visit Blacksburg this February when Duke comes to visit. What does it say about the Tech program that was non-existent on the national stage less than a decade ago?