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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
3-point shot: Va. Tech primed to succeed

By Andy Katz

1. Former Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg was convinced he had a much-improved team next season. Erick Green would likely be an all-ACC guard. Dorian Finney-Smith is a possible star in the league. Last season’s team had only three seniors. That’s why this reeks of a classic athletic-director move of firing a head coach to set up a winning roster so the new coach has success in year one before a rebuild begins. The timing, with two-plus weeks left in the spring signing period, and the spring semester ending soon, might make it harder for anyone to leave.

2. UCLA has a chance for a special season with the top-rated recruiting class led by Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle AndersonJordan Adams and now Tony Parker, too. This is a Calipari-Kentucky-like class, oozing with one-and-done NBA potential. But for the Bruins to have a unique season like Kentucky just had, they must get veteran leadership, too. UK always had at least two selfless contributors who were upperclassmen. That puts the burden on Josh Smith, David and Travis Wear, Larry Drew II and Tyler Lamb to show significant improvement in leadership as well as their production.

3. Schools looking at Mark Lyons should pause after reading Xavier coach Chris Mack’s statement. If Lyons was against the constructive criticism about what he needs to improve upon, then why toss a potential disruptive force into a locker room for only one season? Lyons has to share some of the blame for Xavier’s mid-season collapse before the Musketeers rebounded to reach the Sweet 16. But something is clearly wrong if he can’t finish his final year at Xavier.