Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Virginia Tech’s Jarell Eddie about trying to replace the leading scorer in the nation.
You lost the nation’s leading scorer from last year (Erick Green, 25 ppg). How on earth is your team going to be able to fill the offensive void left by the departure of the ACC co-POY? We will just have to spread out the scoring. Erick had a great year so we need guys to step up.
You are one of only two seniors on the roster, how much pressure is there on you to be a leader this year? There is not pressure: I want to be a leader for our team. I know what it takes to win ACC games so I will share my knowledge with the young guys.
Three of your new conference opponents this year will be Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse. How competitive do you expect the brand-new ACC to be this winter? It is going to be really competitive and it will increase the intensity. It was already a dog-fight every night in the ACC, and adding three more great venues will turn it up a notch.
Your non-conference schedule includes games against West Virginia, Michigan State, and VCU. Which of these three games do you feel will present your biggest test? Michigan State is ranked really high in the polls so they will definitely present a great challenge, as will VCU’s havoc defense. We lost at West Virginia last year at the buzzer, so that will be an intense game as well.
Your school has not made it to the NCAA tourney since 2007, what will it take to get there this March? We have to play better defense and rebound the ball better. We will be able to put the ball in the hole: we just have to stop teams in crucial situations.
What are your expectations for the upcoming season? I expect us to be a top-five team in the ACC and play well in the ACC tourney.
In 2012 you led your team three-point shooting as well as free throw shooting. What is your secret for being a great shooter? Just repetition and shooting the ball consistently.
Last November you scored a career-high 28 points (5-5 3PM) in a nine-points win at UNC Greensboro. Was it just one of those scenarios where every shot you put up seemed to go in because you were “in the zone”? Yes. I was aggressive and it was 1 of those days where I could not miss.
You finished the season by being named to the ACC All-Academic team. How much importance do you place on academics? My family always taught me that academics come before basketball. I have always been a good student: studying for tests, taking notes, asking questions, etc.
You turned 22 yesterday, what did you do for the big day? I spent it with my girlfriend: we went to a nice restaurant in Roanoke.