Senior Devin Wilson doesn’t provide much offense as his backup, but he is a respectable game manager and a solid defender. The Hokies will attempt to do their best Notre Dame impression in the postseason by trying to win with one big on the floor and maintaining a high efficiency, three point launching offense. Redshirt freshman Mamadi Diakite was a top 40 recruit in last year’s class after graduating high school a year early; he likely added more strength and developed his game more by redshirting than he would have playing his senior year of high school (although actually playing after leaving high school early has had mixed results). Kerry Blackshear, but he’s a step up as a rebounder and shotblocker and he’s actually more efficient on the offensive end because he doesn’t attempt to step outside of his comfort zone. Now once the entire wall has been rebuilt, then trowel a skim coat like stucco all over the outside and the inside of the wall. Outlaw is a dangerous outside threat (37.5% 3pt.) and does help stretch the floor, but the Hokies just became significantly less competitive defensively and on the boards. UNCW wins games at the offensive end of the floor, and UVA disrupts everyone at that end of the floor.
While Hall doesn’t have much confidence in his own shot, he’s efficient with the basketball and a good passer; more importantly, he’s physically active at both ends of the floor, and, at 6-5, 210 pounds, he may replace Brogdon as the team’s best wing defender. He didn’t necessarily excel as a distributor, but everyone settled into their roles and Robinson’s play did improve, with his scoring increasing (9.9 ppg.) and his shooting improving (43.3% 3pt.) over the team’s last 13 games. While that should make UVA vulnerable to teams with more frontcourt talent, Tony Bennett’s pack line defense has remained effective (currently 11th in FG% defense and 51st in rebounding margin), and the Cavaliers are at least headed for a strong showing in ACC play once more. A game that you play can be a decoration, too: pin the spider on the web! He was reason number one for the Hokies dramatic improvement in Williams second year, leading the team with 15.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game and shooting 35.6% from behind the arc for good measure. There was little reason to believe the Hokies would be able to compete inside prior to last season, but Zach LeDay, a transfer from South Florida that had produced next to nothing in his first two years of college eligibility, seemingly came out of nowhere to give Virginia Tech a hard nosed, imposing, skilled post presence.
Buzz Williams may still be able to get his team back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007, but a run there now seems unlikely until next season. Virginia Tech was fortunate enough to lure a young, successful coach to town two years ago despite their botched handling of Seth Greenberg’s firing, and it seems very likely they will find themselves back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in ten years. Cement board is time consuming to install, messy (a lot of dust is kicked up when you cut it with a specialized carbide jigsaw blade) and back breaking (a 3′ x 5′ sheet weighs 45 to 60 lbs). Extra tile may be needed if one or two get cracked or cut wrong. Williams has grown accustomed to being limited to small lineups over the past two years, so this will not be anything new.
In addition, that talent did not translate into wins once the Tigers moved to the newly formed, more competitive American Athletic Conference, as the team did not make the NCAA Tournament or NIT either of the last two years. With only one significant personnel loss from what was a very young roster that should mature, Buzz Williams has the Hokies in position to contend for an NCAA Tournament appearance in just his third year. March 14 NCAA Tournament Update: UNCW is a popular pick to upset UVA in the first round, and it really doesn’t make sense. March 6 Postseason Update: Ty Outlaw has put up video game numbers since Chris Clarke’s injury, averaging 15.6 ppg. In the backcourt, Kyle Guy has been as good as advertised offensively (9.4 ppg. Good imitation skins, like fabric can be bought by the yard. It’s the Fly Tyer’s choice – a simple Balsa Popper Fly that can be fished almost as soon as the glue dries or a detailed one with a realistic paint scheme that makes the fishing fly come alive! Count me as one of your fans as well. Even if rebounding becomes an issue, Virginia should be Duke’s strongest contender with all of the things they do well.
It could work; Virginia Tech is 11th in the country in 3pt. percentage, 10th in overall field goal percentage, and a very respectable (although not quite to the level of the Irish) 59th in assist to turnover ratio. Dec. 22 pre-conference update: Even without the dismissed Austin Nichols, Virginia’s defense has been stifling (4th in the country in field goal % defense), and offensive efficiency has stayed close to last year’s numbers. Feb. 3 update: With so much perimeter talent, including a suddenly surging Ty Jerome, the Cavaliers are now playing with four perimeter players for big minutes each game, with sturdy but still 6-5 Devon Hall holding up remarkably well as an undersized power forward in those groups. Bennett also has 6-5 point guard Ty Jerome, a top 60 prospect that’s well regarded as both a shooter and passer. Dewan Huell, a 6-9 top 25 prospect, is the most highly regarded high school player Larranaga has ever signed, and he will be given the task of replacing Jekiri. Departures: Sheldon McClellan (16.3 ppg., 40.6% 3pt.), Angel Rodriguez (12.6 ppg., 4.5 apg., 1.7 spg.), Tonye Jekiri (7.6 ppg., 8.6 rpg.) and Ivan Cruz Uceda (5.4 ppg., 44.8% 3pt.%) graduated; James Palmer transferred to Nebraska.