Anyone who was present for Sunday’s basketball game against the Cavaliers knows the Hokies have a very bright future. Although the Hokies suffered a heartbreaking loss 50-47, they arguably outplayed the #2 team in country behind the leadership of first year coach Buzz Williams. Williams is the perfect coach for the Hokies as he has brought an enthusiastic spirit as well as a ton of success to the Hokies. No one was more pumped up than Buzz Williams the entire game, running back and forth down the sideline and coaching with great intensity.
While the Hokies have not had a lot of success this season, they have shown fantastic effort in every game, and certainly have a lot of young talent. Freshman guard Justin Bibbs has led the team in scoring this season averaging 13.6 points per game. Unfortunately he is out indefinitely with a concussion. Freshmen Ahmed Hill, Malik Muller and Jalen Hudson have logged good minutes for the Hokies in the backcourt and gained really good experience in their first years. Freshman forwards Satchel Pierce and Shane Henry have also contributed well for the Hokies and played admirably against the Cavaliers on Sunday
Along with the current freshmen on the team the Hokies will also benefit next year from several transfer players. The most notable transfer is certainly guard Seth Allen from the University of Maryland. Allen is sitting out this year but will be eligible to play at the beginning of next season. Allen started at the point guard position for the Terrapins during the 2013-14 season and was a key component to all of their success in their last year in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Allen averaged 13 points and 3 assists in his final season with the Terrapins including a career high 32-point effort in their victory against ACC rival Florida State. Allen will certainly be a key component in the Hokies’ lineup next season.
The Hokies also will benefit from the services of forward Zach Leday transferring from the University of South Florida. Leday is a 6’7, 223 pound forward who played in all 32 games last season for the Bulls and was a very reliable post player for the Bulls. Leday had a breakout game against Seton Hall, exploding for 15 points and 15 rebounds to go along with five blocks. With forwards CJ Barksdale and Trevor Thompson both leaving the team, Leday can add good depth to the Hokies’ frontcourt next season.
The 2015 recruiting is considered one of the best recruiting classes in the history of Virginia Tech basketball. University of Virginia faithful were frustrated when the Hokies landed four-star forward Chris Clarke who is the top recruit in Virginia. Clarke of Cape Henry Collegiate is a 6’6, 190 pound forward and is ranked as the no. 59 recruit in the country by Rivals150. Clarke is a monster in transition and can dominate elite competition with his size and versatility. Clarke had previously committed to Tennessee but reneged to sign with Buzz Williams and the Hokies.
The Hokies also will have four-star forward Kerry Blackshear and four-star guard Justin Robinson next season. Blackshear is a strong player in the post, and also the ability to step outside and hit the jumper. Blackshear will likely compete right away for playing time in his freshman campaign. Robinson will also be a component to the Hokies team next season. He should immediately have great chemistry with fellow recruit Chris Clarke as they played AAU together for the team Boo Williams. Robinson is a true point guard, who has the ability to penetrate the basket or set up his teammates with crisp passes.
— VT Tweets (@VTHOKIE_NATION) January 28, 2015
All the pieces are set in place for the Hokies to have a breakout season in the ACC next year. Coming off an exhilarating 70-67 win against Pittsburgh last night, Hokie fans certainly have a lot to look forward to for the rest of this season and certainly next season. If the Hokies continue to give the effort and intensity that they have had this year under Buzz Williams, they could find themselves contending for an NCAA tournament bid next season.