Football season is over. And for the Virginia Tech Hokies, that’s a good thing. After a disappointing season came to an end on Monday in Annapolis, Maryland, with the Hokies losing to Cincinnati in the Military Bowl and finishing 6-7 on the season, fans are ready for some good news.
Fortunately, that good news comes in the form of Buzz Williams and Tech’s No. 10-ranked basketball team. While Blacksburg has long been known as a football town with Virginia Tech considered a football-first school, that trend could slowly be changing. The 12-1 Hokies’ basketball team is loaded and on the verge of a historic season as ACC play began with Tuesday’s 81-66 win over Notre Dame in Blacksburg.
This success hasn’t came out of nowhere. Most expected this team to be very good in 2018-19. But that was before senior Chris Clarke was removed from the team before the season and prized freshman Landers Nolley had some sort of eligibility issue that still hasn’t been resolved. However, without Clarke and Nolley, both of whom were expected to be big contributors this season, this team has kept on rolling along and for once, the basketball team is the talk of the town in Blacksburg.
Sophomore Nickeil Alexander-Walker leads the Hokies in scoring, averaging 18 points per game and is one of four players averaging at least 13 points per game. Kerry Blackshear, Justin Robinson and Ahmed Hill are all averaging 13 PPG, while Robinson is also dishing out six assists per contest and remains one of the top point guards in the country.
As a team, Tech is tied for No. 49 in scoring offense, and, surprisingly, No. 5 in scoring defense. As our own Jawhar Ali points out, the Hokies rank really high in KenPom’s rankings as they sit No. 4 in offensive efficiency and No. 33 in defensive efficiency.
#Hokies now sit at 7th in KenPom's rankings after today's win against Notre Dame. They have the nation's 4th best offense and the 33rd best defense. Pretty sure that's the highest they've ever been, and by a wide margin.— Jawhar Ali (@soundslikejafar) January 2, 2019
Virginia Tech ranks No. 2 in the country in three-point field-goal percentage, shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc, which is amazing considering how much they shoot from downtown. Overall, the Hokies rank No. 13 in field-goal percentage.
The numbers prove just how good this team is. With ACC play now now underway, the competition will stiffen, but this team appears quite ready to remain one of the best teams in the country.
So, Hokie Nation, now is the time to come out to Cassell Coliseum and support this team. The Cassell should be packed all season as this is a special group and they could use your support. Everyone wants a winner and this group is winning at a clip like no other Hokie team in recent memory. And, after all, this team is good medicine after a disappointing football season.