Virginia Tech Hokies
2012-2013 Overall Rank: #73
Conference Rank: #8 Atlantic Coast Conference
Virginia Tech Team Page
Nothing was more noteworthy at a Virginia Tech basketball game than the voice of their head coach. Seth Greenberg’s nasally chirp, reminiscent of The Penguin from Batman lore, could be heard from the rafters in Cassell Coliseum to the microphones on television. With the firing of Greenberg and the unpleasant situation that developed while finding a replacement, not only will the team be led by a new voice but that old, familiar voice will not be heard from again.
2011-2012 Record: 16-17, 4-12
2011-2012 Postseason: none
Coach: James Johnson
Coach Record: 0-0 at Virginia Tech, 0-0 Overall
With the firing of Greenberg, a number of players decided to exercise their option to leave. Forwards Dorian Finney-Smith and JT Thompson both transferred. And top incoming recruit Montrezl Harrell got out of his letter of intent. Throw in the graduations of major senior contributors Dorenzo Hudson and Victor Davila and this Hokies squad is very, very shallow. Not only will Virginia Tech be short on talent this season; they will be short on depth. Any injury to a starter will be debilitating and if last season’s role players don’t take a healthy step up, VT will struggle to find five starters as it is.
Johnson did pick up one transfer player, Adam Smith from UNC-Wilmington, but he will be forced to sit out this season. Coach Johnson will also be given use of a healthy Cadarian Raines, something Seth Greenberg rarely had at his disposal. However, the only player that really matters from a national standpoint is guard Erick Green. Green is one of the very best guards in the conference and should be the focal point for Tech’s entire offense and scoring. He will control the ball on nearly every possession he is in the game, either finishing with a shot or a pass to a shooter. The problem for Green will be finding players he feels confident passing to. Virginia Tech had been a very poor offensive team under Greenberg, shooting poorly from the outside, while executing slowly and sluggishly in the half court.
Who to Watch:
Keep an eye on last season’s bench players who are being forced into a starting role. Jarell Eddie, Cadarian Raines, and Robert Brown all contributed in different ways off the bench a year ago. None of them started with any consistency, nor had much pressure placed upon them. That will all change this season as all three men will be given huge minutes surrounding Erick Green. Each has their own strength they will be looking to improve upon. Eddie is a solid outside shooter and may become Green’s second banana; Raines is a big body down low and should control the paint on both the offensive and defensive sides; Brown is a swing forward with length and athleticism who showed he is capable of many things on a basketball court but struggled with consistency. If all three don’t take that next step, Green will have trouble running this team.
The Hokies have surprised in the past, having a string of third place finishes in the ACC. However, this team will be hard pressed to even sniff the upper half of the conference standings. With only one star player, question marks throughout the rest of the roster, a brand new head coach with a new system to implement, and an overall shakeup of the team, the Hokies should consider this season a success if they receive an invitation to the NIT.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Erick Green, Senior, Guard, 15.6 points per game
Robert Brown, Sophomore, Guard, 6.8 points per game
Jarell Eddie, Junior, Forward, 9.1 points per game
CJ Barksdale, Sophomore, Forward, 2.7 points per game
Cadarian Raines, Junior, Forward, 5.9 points per game
Madness 2013 NBA Draft Rankings:
#61 Erick Green