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Jeff Eisenberg

JT Thompson's knee injury leaves Virginia Tech short-handed

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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As if Virginia Tech's embarrassing football loss to James Madison last Saturday wasn't bad enough, now Hokies fans have to cope with some unfortunate news regarding their basketball program.

Senior forward JT Thompson, Virginia Tech's leading scorer off the bench last year, will undergo season-ending surgery Tuesday after tearing his left ACL in a pickup game on Monday afternoon. The 6-foot-6 Thompson played both forward positions last season for Virginia Tech, averaging 7.3 points and 4.6 boards per game.

"I am extremely disappointed for JT," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg said in a statement. "JT is a huge part of what we have been able to accomplish over the last three years. His work ethic, energy, toughness and skill level will most definitely be missed."

The loss of Thompson is particularly damaging for Virginia Tech given the real possibility that power forward Allan Chaney will also miss the season as a result of a heart condition.

The Florida transfer was diagnosed with a viral inflammation of the heart after he collapsed on the court after an April workout. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported last month that Chaney will have an MRI on his heart in October but Greenberg told the paper that it could be December before Virginia Tech determines whether or not he will play at all next season.

For a Virginia Tech team that is expected to contend in the ACC after returning the core of last season's 25-win team, these are potentially damaging losses. Guards Malcolm Delaney and Dorenzo Hudson and forward Jeff Allen will still form the core of the team, but depth at forward will be an issue.

Sophomore Cadarian Raines and incoming freshman Jarell Eddie are the only two remaining reserve forwards on Virginia Tech's roster. Raines played sparingly as a freshman last season, while Eddie is Rivals.com's 70th-rated prospect.

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