- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
IT'S EASY TO FEEL SORRY FOR THE HOKIES. LAST MARCH THE NCAA tournament selection committee snubbed Virginia Tech for the fourth straight year, despite 22 wins—including nine in the ACC and four against Big Dance teams—achieved with a squad ravaged by injury. "I'm not sure how many teams in the country could have survived four of their top eight players going down for the season and still have won 22 games," ninth-year Hokies coach Seth Greenberg says. Still, he says, "Last year is history. We have to move on."
As it does, Tech will have to replace 35.4 points per game from those who have departed while relying on players coming off serious injuries. Out are leading scorer Malcolm Delaney (18.7 points per game) and rebounder Jeff Allen (9.7 rebounds per game, third in the ACC). In is a wave of inexperience: The Hokies' bench played just 18% of the team's minutes last year, ranking 341st in Division I. Expect junior guard Erick Green (11.6 ppg last season) to be the go-to scorer, but Greenberg says much of Tech's offense will be "by committee."
Other than Green, senior forward Victor Davila is the only likely starter who has seen significant playing time. Last year he shot 57.1% from the floor but was woeful from the free throw line, where he went 52 for 112 (46.4%)—by far the worst among those with significant playing time. Senior forward JT Thompson has only 17 career starts and is coming back from an ACL tear in his left knee that kept him out all of last season. Thompson's cousin, senior guard Dorenzo Hudson, played nine of the team's first 10 games last season and was averaging 10.4 points before an injury to his right foot required season-ending surgery.
Help, however, may be at hand. No player—perhaps ever—has gotten as much hype in Blacksburg as incoming freshman Dorian Finney-Smith. The 6' 8" forward from I.C. Norcom High in Portsmouth, Va., has already been labeled the best Hokies hoops recruit in 30 years. Finney-Smith brings his seven-foot wingspan to help address Tech's rebounding concerns and secure a shaky offense in the paint.
If Finney-Smith, together with the rest of the nation's 12th-ranked freshman class, can mesh with the upperclassmen, and if everyone can stay healthy, the Hokies might finally get asked to the Dance.
COACH Seth Greenberg (9th year) 154--106 (57--55 in ACC)
ASSISTANTS Robert Ehsan, James Johnson, John Richardson
2010--11 RECORD 22--12 (9--7, T-4 in ACC)