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College basketball notebook: Virginia Tech announces vaccination policy for indoor athletic events

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Beginning Saturday, Virginia Tech fans will need more than a ticket when they enter Cassell Coliseum.

Virginia Tech announced Monday that it is instituting a COVID-19 vaccination policy for all home indoor athletic events, beginning with Saturday’s men’s basketball home game against Notre Dame.

To enter a Tech indoor athletic event, fans age 12 and older and venue personnel will be required to present an official COVID-19 vaccination card (or a photo or digital version of the vaccination card); or proof of a vaccine medical exemption; or printed or digital proof of a negative COVID-19 test (either a PCR or antigen test) that was taken in the 72 hours prior to the game.

Anyone providing proof of a vaccine medical exemption will also have to also show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid test that was taken in the 72 hours prior to the game.

Tech students need only show a valid Hokie Passport, which is a Tech identification card.

Fans will also need to be prepared to show a photo I.D. to verify ownership of the vaccination card, medical exemption or negative test. Children age 12-17 won’t need a photo I.D., but a parent or adult companion may need to verify their identity.

The new policy will remain in effect until further notice. The policy was developed by the Tech athletic department, Tech campus officials and Tech’s COVID-19 task force.

No ticket refunds will be issued to fans who don’t want to comply with the policy.

The existing policy requiring fans to wear masks at Tech home indoor athletic events also remains in place.

The vaccination policy also covers other Tech home athletic events this weekend, including a Saturday wrestling match at the Moss Arts Center and a Sunday women’s basketball game at Cassell.

So fans might want to come early to this weekend’s athletic events because of the new process for entering.

Miami clicking

For weeks, the men’s basketball world has been waiting for a team to emerge as the second-best squad in the ACC.

That search ended last weekend when coach Jim Larranaga’s Miami Hurricanes knocked off then-No. 2 Duke 76-74 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“They have a veteran team and all of them can shoot and they share the ball,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday on an ACC video conference. “They’re very difficult to defend.

“Hell, he might win the league.”

Miami (13-3, 5-0), which was picked 12th in the ACC’s preseason media poll, will carry a nine-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game at Florida State.

Sixth-year senior point guard Charlie Moore, a graduate transfer from DePaul, is averaging 12.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals. Miami is the fourth college stop for the 5-foot-11 Moore, who had 18 points and seven steals in the win at Duke.

“Moore is sensational,” Larranaga said. “He shares the ball so willingly in practice every day that the guys just like playing with him. And the more they play with him, the more they share the ball.

“He’s a heck of a shooter. He’s a heck of a ball-handler. He’s a heck of a passer. … His defense is outstanding.”

Another newcomer, George Mason transfer Jordan Miller, is averaging 9.2 points.

The Hurricanes also have some familiar faces, including sixth-year senior guard Kameron McGusty (18.1 ppg); guard Isaiah Wong (16.3 ppg); and forward Sam Waardenburg (7.0 ppg), a sixth-year senior who did not play last season because of a foot injury.

The Hurricanes did not look like one of the ACC’s better teams in November, when they were just 4-3. They lost to UCF at home and suffered lopsided losses to Dayton and Alabama in a tournament in Kissimmee, Florida.

“In November, we were just trying to learn each other,” Larranaga said. “In college basketball now, with so many newcomers on your team, it takes awhile to develop the right chemistry.

“Eventually, as [Moore and Miller] got … more and more confident in our system, they started playing more confidently and aggressively. The same with a guy like Sam, … [who was] just trying to get back in shape. … Plus our freshmen were learning.”

The 6-foot-10 Waardenburg is the only Miami starter taller than 6-7.

“So many teams in the ACC are so much bigger than us in terms of height, weight,” Larranaga said. “We looked at our roster [last summer] and we said, ‘Hey, we think the best way [to win] is to maybe spread the floor and play five-out on offense and kind of scramble a little bit on defense, try to force some turnovers.’

“The guys have gotten more and more comfortable in this style.”

Hokies-Tar Heels rescheduled

The ACC announced Monday that the Virginia Tech men’s basketball game at North Carolina has been rescheduled for Jan. 24, which is a Monday. The 8 p.m. game will air on ACC Network.

That game was originally scheduled for Dec. 29 but was one of two Tech games that was postponed because the Hokies had COVID-19 woes.

In other ACC men’s basketball scheduling news, Virginia’s Feb. 1 home game against Boston College has been moved up from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Radford game ppd.

The Radford women’s basketball team’s game Tuesday at North Carolina A&T has been postponed because of COVID-19 issues in the A&T program.

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Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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