Dec 3, 2014; University Park, PA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Joey Van Zegeren (2) drives to the basket as Penn State Nittany Lions forward Brandon Taylor (10) defends at Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State wins 61-58. Mandatory Credit: Brett Carlsen-USA TODAY Sports
The Virginia Tech Hokies entered this season with a lot of young talent in the backcourt, but a lack of depth in the frontcourt. The Hokies brought in Satchel Pierce and Shane Henry to join Joey van Zegeren and Christian Beyer, but the Hokies still did not have much depth.
The Hokies can’t really afford to lose much in the frontcourt, but one player has found a way to cost himself the chance to play in a few ACC games.
This announcement was a major surprise as van Zegeren is not known as a guy that has these type of issues to my knowledge. However, van Zegeren must have done something that frustrated Buzz Williams enough into deciding to suspend van Zegeren for an indefinite amount of time.
It is unknown what exactly caused this suspension, but it definitely is a statement that Williams is willing to suspend anyone if they break the team rules. It will be interesting to see how long van Zegeren ends up being suspended for, but the timing of the suspension means that he will not play against Syracuse.
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This definitely will hurt the Hokies against Syracuse as the Orange have two very good big men in Rakeem Christmas and Chris McCullough. These players are dominant in the post and are both at least 6’9” while the Hokies only have one player that is at least 6’9” in Satchel Pierce.
The experience of Joey van Zegeren would have been valuable in this game, but the Hokies will now need Pierce, Shane Henry, and Christian Beyer to all step up in the Dutch big man’s absence. This game against Syracuse was already going to be a challenge, but the loss of van Zegeren hurts even more.
It would not be surprising if van Zegeren is back in a couple of games though the length of the suspension could tell us more about how substantial the problem was. Hopefully, van Zegeren will get his act together and this will only be a one time issue with the Dutch big man.
However, Joey van Zegeren’s indefinite suspension does prove that Buzz Williams is not going to except low character just to win games which is going to be a big part of building a winning culture for Virginia Tech basketball.
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