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Virginia Tech basketball: Mike Young named one of the best talent evaluators

Young does an excellent job of finding and developing talent.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament First Round - Virginia Tech vs Notre Dame Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech head basketball coach Mike Young has been praised for years for his knack of finding talent and developing that talent. However, Young was off the radar for many years, spending 30 years at Wofford, including the final 17 as head coach.

Young was successful and happy at Wofford. He led the Terriers to the NCAA Tournament five times, quite the achievement for the private liberal arts school. At Wofford, Young wasn’t landing any elite recruits. He found talented players who fit his system and spent 4-5 years developing them.

In 2019, Young landed his dream job at Virginia Tech. Having grown up in Radford and playing at Emory & Henry, the Hokies were his childhood team. He quickly impacted the Hokies, leading his first team to a .500 record, which was impressive considering how bare former head coach Buzz Williams left the roster.

Young has led the Hokies to the NCAA Tournament in two of the last three years, but his most impressive feat may have been leading Tech to its first-ever ACC basketball championship in 2022.

How does Young do it?

The same way he did at Wofford: By finding and developing talent.

Jamie Shaw of On3 recently spoke to coaches anonymously, and they named some of college basketball’s best talent evaluators. Young made the list, as one anonymous SEC coach praised Young.

Chris Capko at USC, Ron Sanchez at Virginia, and Mike Young at Virginia Tech. I think all three of them do a great job of evaluating and developing talent. They also value a lot of the same things that I/we value in recruiting.”

It’s not uncommon to see Young popping up at tournaments across the region in the offseason, looking for talent. Some head coaches may send their assistants and only take an interest in elite talents. Not Young. He watches them all.

Young will begin his fifth season at Virginia Tech later this year.