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Virginia Tech basketball: Hokies open up Mike Young era with an ACC win over Clemson

Landers Nolley was as advertised.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 24 Div I Men’s Championship - Second Round - Liberty v Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech guard Wabissa Bede
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Things are a bit different in the ACC this season. All ACC teams are opening up against a conference opponent, thanks to the new 20-game conference schedule. For the Virginia Tech Hokies and new head coach Mike Young, that meant a trip to Clemson in a tough early-season matchup.

Well, Young and the Hokies passed their first test of the new with an impressive 67-60 victory over the Tigers in Littlejohn Coliseum.

Landers Nolley II, the four-star freshman who was supposed to make a major impact last season, made his college debut and scored 30 points. Nolley was sensational, having one of the more impressive debuts in school history. Heck, Nolley had one of the more impressive debuts in recent ACC history. He was that good.

The 6’7” wing from Atlanta connected on 12 of 23 field goals, including four of eight from three-point range. Nolley also pulled down five rebounds and anytime it felt like the Tigers were getting close, Nolley shut the door with a big bucket.

Numerous Hokies played big roles in the win. PJ Horne has big shoes to fill in place of Kerry Blackshear. While Horne didn’t have a great scoring night, he did chip in with eight points and seven boards. Junior guard Wabissa Bede has really emerged as a leader for this young group, he scored seven points, led the Hokies with eight rebounds and seven assists. Remember, Bede thought about transferring in the spring.

Freshman guard Nahiem Alleyne came off the bench and scored 11 points for Tech. Prized freshman point guard Jalen Cone also came off the bench, playing just eight minutes but connecting on his only field-goal attempt of the night.

Not only was it Young’s first win at Virginia Tech, but also his 300th career victory. After the game, Young deflected praise toward his team, per Hokie Sports.

We’re just over there trying to stay out of the way. These are good players. Significant (getting the win), but don’t give me a whole lot of credit. I’ve got good players, and we’re going to continue to get better.

Young is the perfect coach to lead the post-Buzz WIlliams’ Hokies.

The Hokies host Coppin State in Blacksburg on Friday night at 7:00 pm in Young’s first home game.

So, Hokies, what was your first impression of Nolley, Young and the new Hokies?