Without question the strength of this year's Hurryin' Hokies is going to be the backcourt. There's far more help than a season ago when it was Devin Wilson or bust. Let's take a look at the cast of characters.
The sophomore returns after a very strong opening campaign with a very mediocre surrounding cast. Wilson was named to the All-ACC Freshman squad after starting all 31 games for the Hokies. He finished with 9.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game all while logging a team high 34.9 minutes per contest.
He showed an ability to get to the basket and draw fouls, but DW desperately needs to improve his free throw shooting in order to take advantage (65.9% last season).
Wilson has room to improve but he's clearly still the main guy at point guard. You've got to like his ability and toughness and with some improved shooting he can take a big step toward making the regular All-ACC team.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Buzz on Devin Wilson: "The things we want to do are predicated on him being really good."</p>— Rush the ACC (@rtcACC) <a href="https://twitter.com/rtcACC/status/527565523656388609">October 29, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
After being forced to sit his first season in Blacksburg due to an issue with the NCAA clearinghouse, Müller is finally ready to make his debut for the Hokies.
The 6'3", 220-pound guard was expected by some to challenge for the starting point guard spot last season prior to being ruled ineligible. He's a strong kid from Germany who will see time at both guard spots based on Buzz Willams' comments on Tech Talk Live the other night. Buzz said he's a really good player who could be great. He also said that Müller isn't a point guard or a two guard, he's just a guard who won't be bad at anything.
That speaks to some versatility that will be very useful on such a young team with unproven depth.
Here are a few highlights and an interview from the 2010 Jordan Brand Classic International Game where Malik was named MVP. He beat out among others, future NBA No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Bennett.
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The redshirt junior made nine starts for the Hokies a year ago and played in 14 games while battling through leg injuries in his first season in Blacksburg.
He finished as Tech's second leading scorer with 11 PPG, though that's obviously misleading. He had some big games where he showed his potential as a scorer putting up 28 points in a win over Radford and scoring 27 while adding six rebounds and five assists against then No. 1 Michigan State.
That second performance is a bit misleading as most of those points came in the second half when the game was already decided, but Smith showed he has the ability to create and not just score from outside which is important.
He should benefit from this team's need to shoot more from outside as Buzz and Co. have intimated will be the case. Assuming he can stay healthy, he'll be a valuable shooter who showed the ability to run the point in a pinch.
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As I pointed out in our wings preview, many of those players will see time in the backcourt as well. Will Johnston, Ahmed Hill, Jalen Hudson and maybe even Justin Bibbs will all rotate. It will be interesting to watch the personnel groupings to see what works best. Ultimately, everyone will play because it's all hands on deck in the first season under coach Buzz.