Since we’ve reached the relatively quiet period for college basketball, it’s a great chance to pause a see how the numbers are looking for the team. The Virginia Tech Hokies are 9-3 on the season and 1-1 in the ACC.
All three of their losses have come against teams projected to make the NCAA Tournament at this point (seeds based on ESPN’s latest Bracketology) - Duke (1), Dayton (4) & BYU (10). With wins over Michigan State and Clemson, along with seven other non-conference home victories, Tech has had a very solid start to Mike Young’s first year in charge.
First let’s look at the individual leaders on the team in a few key categories:
- Minutes: Wabissa Bede (29.7), Landers Nolley (29.4) & Nahiem Alleyne (28.7). Nine players are averaging at least 11 minutes a game.
- Points: Nolley (17.3), Alleyne (10.6) & P.J. Horne (8.8). The next three are all in the seven point range.
- 3 Point Shot Percentage: Jalen Cone (53.3%), Nolley (44.2%), & Horne (41.9%).
- Overall Shooting Accuracy: Tyrece Radford (63.3%), John Ojiako (55.6%), & Horne (53.8%).
- Rebounds: Radford (6.2), Nolley (5.5), & Horne (4.6).
- Assists: Bede (77), Nolley (30), & Isaiah Wilkins (21). While it’s expected that Bede will lead the team in assists, that is a steep drop off to second place.
- Free Throws: Cone (88.9%), Nolley (75.7%), & Alleyne (73.5%). Of the nine players who have seen significant minutes, only Hunter Cattoor has a sub-.500 accuracy from the three throw line, something that should improve as the season progresses.
Overall the stats line up with who you would expect the leaders to be in the various categories. However, Radford and Ojiako leading in overall accuracy is a surprise, but great sign. True they have taken fewer shots, but both are shining as they have been given more opportunities. Now a look at how the overall team is doing on the national level.
- Scoring: 72.8 points per game, tied for 163rd. Sunday’s opponent, Maryland Eastern Shore currently has the second lowest points per game in the country at 53.9, just behind UVA in 351st place.
- Defense: Tech is allowing opponents to score 63.1 points per game, the 47th best defense in the nation.
- 3 Pointers Taken: 27 attempts per game, tied for 41st. North Florida leads the nation with 34/game.
- 3 Point Accuracy: 39.5%, tied for 17th. Saint Mary currently leads all team at an impressive 45%.
Overall, KenPom has Tech ranked as the number 64 team in the country. Plenty of promise in Young’s first stretch in Blacksburg, and plenty for Virginia Tech to lean on as the ACC games begin to roll in. The Hokies return to action on Sunday (12/29) as they host Maryland Eastern Shore at 6 pm ET.