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1997-98 Season Review

Hokies finish at 10-16 in the regular season

With a new coach in Bobby Hussey and one of the youngest teams in school history, Virginia Tech took an up-and-down ride during the 1997-98 basketball campaign and finished 10-16 in the regular season.

Hussey, regarded as one of the finest basketball strategists in the country, worked with nine new players and a touch of experienced hands and molded the cast into a team that showed vast im-provement during the course of the year.

The Hokies finished on a high note, beating Duquesne, 91-79, on Seniors' Day at Cassell Coliseum last Saturday. Tech's only two seniors, Shawn Browne and Myron Guillory, were ringleaders in the finale with 18 and 13 points, respectively.

Tech won three of its last six games and, in the process, escaped the Atlantic 10 Conference cellar. The Hokies wound up tied with La Salle and Duquesne for fourth place in the West Division. The three teams have identical conference records of 5-11.

Indicative of the improvement the Hokies made was a late-season triumph over Dayton, one of the A-10's best teams. Tech edged the Flyers, 54-53, in Blacksburg after losing by 25 points to Dayton on the Flyers' home court early in the campaign.

Tech started the year with three straight non-conference wins, including a last second 66-64 win at William & Mary. It was Guillory who lifted the Hokies to victory in that game with a closing three-pointer.

The Hokies next played in Charlotte, N.C., against South Carolina and North Carolina, two teams ranked highly in the national polls. The Techmen almost beat South Carolina, losing just 74-73. Tech played North Carolina even for a half before finally losing, 78-57.

One of Tech's best defensive performances came in a December loss to powerful West Virginia by just 55-52. One of the team's worst performances also came in December in a 73-65 setback to VMI.

The Hokies broke even in opening A-10 games, bowing to Duquesne on the road, 72-65, but defeating St. Joseph's at home, 72-61, behind the 20-point performance of freshman guard Jenis Grindstaff.

The Hokies lost to arch-rival Virginia at Roanoke, 69-55, and went into a tailspin, losing seven contests in a row.

Tech broke the string in a home game against Fordham, 89-70, and proceeded to play well down the stretch. One of the most impressive victories came when Tech handed St. Bonaventure its first home court loss, 69-68, in overtime on a closing free throw by freshman Rolan Roberts, who scored a season-high 23 points.

The exciting win over Dayton easily was the highlight of the home season. The Hokies won it on a four-foot baseline shot by Grindstaff with just three seconds left on the clock.

Roberts led the Hokies in four major categories - scoring (13.3), rebounding (6.5), field goal percentage (53.4) and blocked shots (56). He had more blocked shots than any other freshman player in the country.

Grindstaff has had his moments of glory. He ranks second in scoring at 10.7 and leads the team in assists with 91.

Center Russ Wheeler, forward Eddie Lucas, guard Brendan Dunlop, center Alvaro Tor and forward Andr

Virginia Tech Men's Basketball

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Links Traditions On Campus Schedules Tickets Sportsfinder Marketplace record of 213 wins and 110 losses against non-conference teams. Tech i 129-19 (88.4) at Cassell Coliseum versus non-conference foes since becoming