There are going to be the complainers and the angry people, but last night, the Virginia Tech Hokies completed their 2019-2020 Basketball season with a loss. It wasn’t even close for either half. The Tar Heels have recovered themselves and have been on a multigame tear. The Heels are currently ranked 14th for the Tournament, and that’s not the Carolina that we faced earlier in the ACC half of the season.
It showed last night, and the Hokies just never got into the game. Their one and done ACC tournament effort isn’t the worst thing that could have happened, though. There was just no defending against Carolina, and Tech couldn’t get its collective shooting percentage up enough to keep pace.
The Hokies put up a 56 point effort, with three players putting up double digit scoring efforts, led by Hunter Cattoor, then followed by Jalen Cone and Landers Nolley II. There just wasn’t enough there, and there certainly wasn’t enough effective defense to keep the Heels away from the rim. The Heels were overwhelming in mid range and inside. Their seven 3 pointers were just not answered by Tech.
Hokies Score Respectable Numbers but Not Enough
|L. Nolley II||10||1||3|
Tech’s scoring Percentages were not enough to make up for their tepid defense. The Hokies were taking a lot of shots from the floor, but not gabbing many boards, and certainly not hitting the shots.
Virginia Tech Scoring Percentages:
Field Goals - 29.0% (18-62), Three Pointers - 27.8% (10-36), Free Throws - 90.9% (10-11)
The Probabilities and Promise
With that ACC Tournament Loss, it’s doubtful that the Hokies will get a post season bid, even at the NIT Level. That still remains to be seen and there might be enough attention garnered with their selection committee that the Hokies could still get a bid, but the end of the season fade is a tremendous amount to overcome.
The Hokies finish the regular season at one game above .500 (16-15) and .500 with the ACC Tournament loss. That’s ranked 10th in the ACC - which is decidedly better than the preseason 14th that was predicted way back in Football season.
The 2019-2020 Hokies featured 6 Freshmen of either shirt on the bench roster (with one of those, Jalen Cone actually being a High School Senior). The promise of 2020-2021 is that every one of those players will be back with all of the experience gained and the fruits of the second really good recruiting run coming to the floor.
No one rational expected Mike Young to start from scratch and have a flashy brilliant high flying team. He didn’t. He did manage to pull off a season that exceeded expectations and put the reforming Hokies on the road to bigger and better things ahead.
We’ll see what happens for the post ACC Tournament Selection Day activities. Again, we really think that the season has just closed out and the team will get to the training grind after a break. You never know until whatever happens, happens.
Meanwhile the Hokie Spring Sports teams are flying. Softball and Baseball are playing great, and the students are off for the week. It’s quiet in Blacksburg.