|by David Hood|
The Tigers (11-10 overall, 3-4 ACC) take on the Hokies (12-10, 1-6) in a 4 p.m. tipoff at Cassell Coliseum, and will do so for the second straight game without Jennings, who earlier this week was suspended indefinitely for failure to comply with the team’s academic standards. Jennings is averaging 8.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game on the season. He is fourth in team scoring and second behind Devin Booker in rebounds.
Jennings also was suspended for the team's loss to Hawaii at the Diamond Head Classic after he yelled at Brownell in the previous game.
Brownell said Friday that Jennings has to meet Brownell’s criteria – which he declined to specify – before he is allowed to return to the team.
“He is not practicing this week,” Brownell told the media Friday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum. “I have set some guidelines up that I want him to meet. He has to take care of those things, and if he does and gets himself where I think he’s in a good place, then we’ll talk about bringing him back.”
Brownell said the suspension is part of his policy of holding players accountable for their actions.
“It’s part of college basketball. If you’re about doing things the right way and about holding your guys accountable, you are going to have these situations,” he said. “I think there are a lot of coaches that wouldn’t discipline their kids for some of the things that happen.
“They wouldn’t take them out of the game. I believe at times you have to sit kids down and make them understand that it’s a privilege to be a part of the program and when you don’t do the things you need to do all of the time, there are going to be consequences and sometimes those consequences are going to be taking you out of the game. Obviously, I felt that way this time.”
David Hood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org