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Virginia Tech Basketball: Jenga and the Season Ahead

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The 2014-15 Hokies have a new coach and a very young team.

Every team Buzz Williams has ever coached has a theme and this year's club is using Jenga. As he explains in the video above, the word is often associated with taking pieces away as in the game, but it really means "to build".

That's exactly what this season will be about. The record might only be slightly better, but this team can make progress in other ways.

An influx of freshman and transfers has essentially rebooted the roster in just a matter of months.

Even the playing surface got a slightly new look.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Cassell Coliseum court is getting a facelift this summer as well as new <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ACC?src=hash">#ACC</a> logos. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hokies?src=hash">#Hokies</a> <a href="http://t.co/sPRbxH9kZu">pic.twitter.com/sPRbxH9kZu</a></p>&mdash; VT Men&#39;s Basketball (@VT_MBBall) <a href="https://twitter.com/VT_MBBall/status/494146389098524672">July 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Here's the Cassell Coliseum court with the new ACC logo in the lanes.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Which seat will be yours to see the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hokies?src=hash">#Hokies</a> this season? Make sure to get your tickets today! <a href="http://t.co/mHUv7ZRFWQ">http://t.co/mHUv7ZRFWQ</a> <a href="http://t.co/B574H191PB">pic.twitter.com/B574H191PB</a></p>&mdash; VT Men&#39;s Basketball (@VT_MBBall) <a href="https://twitter.com/VT_MBBall/status/525044589829574656">October 22, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Buzz's emphasis on building is wise and an important part of turning around a floundering program. Everything has to be recalibrated from the playbook to the way the team works out.

Preseason workouts took a major step with the implementation of a Buzz Williams bootcamp.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>VIDEO: 2014 <a href="https://twitter.com/VT_MBBall">@VT_MBBall</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BootCamp?src=hash">#BootCamp</a> | Our guys had no choice but to work together, work harder, &amp; work to completion: <a href="http://t.co/uAw39glN9o">http://t.co/uAw39glN9o</a></p>&mdash; Buzz Williams (@TeamCoachBuzz) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamCoachBuzz/status/521704334070140928">October 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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The team basically went through the ringer in the form of lots of running and other conditioning drills. It's an intense bonding and team building exercise, not to mention an incredible workout.

The team has also made a conscious effort to reach out to the community during preseason workouts, traveling around the area to meet fans in places like Salem.

The 22nd annual Tip-Off Banquet was well attended as well.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Great turnout at 22nd Annual Tip-Off Banquet in the Hahn Hurst Center tonight. Thanks National Bank of Blacksburg <a href="http://t.co/tlTXhewVTY">pic.twitter.com/tlTXhewVTY</a></p>&mdash; VT Men&#39;s Basketball (@VT_MBBall) <a href="https://twitter.com/VT_MBBall/status/525811110877085697">October 25, 2014</a></blockquote>

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A lot of Buzz's job is getting out there and rebuilding the brand of Vriginia Tech men's basketball. Getting people to buy into a massive rebuild is a significant challenge, in both recruiting players and putting fans in the seats. there's no question Buzz has worked that angle hard.

His website and Twitter feed are both active and incredibly uplifting. Both are frequently platforms for countless inspirational quotes and stories.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The way you THINK determines the way you FEEL, &amp; the way you feel influences the way you ACT.</p>&mdash; Buzz Williams (@TeamCoachBuzz) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamCoachBuzz/status/527064187995185152">October 28, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Some of it hits home while others are more frivolous, but all speaks to the man behind it.

As Tech guard Adam Smith said at media day:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Adam Smith: &quot;what&#39;s great about him (Buzz Williams) is that he&#39;s more of a philosopher than a basketball coach.&quot; <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OperationACC?src=hash">#OperationACC</a></p>&mdash; Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) <a href="https://twitter.com/TroyMachir/status/527452726012444672">October 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Williams is an extremely hard-working, religious, family-man with a seemingly boundless source of energy at his fingertips. He's everywhere and never appears to slow down.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>A few minutes for <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamCoachBuzz">@TeamCoachBuzz</a> with <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNDanaOneil">@ESPNDanaOneil</a> at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ACCMediaDay?src=hash">#ACCMediaDay</a> at ESPNU studios <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hokies?src=hash">#Hokies</a> <a href="http://t.co/FXgPwSwLs5">pic.twitter.com/FXgPwSwLs5</a></p>&mdash; VT Men&#39;s Basketball (@VT_MBBall) <a href="https://twitter.com/VT_MBBall/status/527448673467510784">October 29, 2014</a></blockquote>

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By all accounts Buzz has the kind of drive you need to succeed in Blacksburg. This year's squad will be so young and thin up front that not much will be expected. They will learn and likely struggle at times in the hopes that the experience will pay off next season when Tech is shaping up nicely after transfers Seth Allen (PG) and Zach LeDay (F) become eligible along with another impressive recruiting class.

This year, Tech will build the foundation and work to become a great team down the line. Despite not having coached a game in Blacksburg, Buzz has already completely reshaped the roster physically. Now he hopes to change the culture.

So far at least, you have to like the effort.