Virginia Tech Hokies
Overall Rank: #26
Conference Rank: #3 Atlantic Coast Conference
2009-10: 25-9, 10-6
2009-10 postseason: NIT
Coach: Seth Greenberg (132-94 at Virginia Tech, 345-264 overall)
Virginia Tech has gone to the NIT for three consecutive seasons. Despite a 23-8 record heading into the postseason, the Hokies were left out of the big dance due to their cupcake non-conference schedule. Coach Seth Greenberg toughened up his schedule a bit this year and that appeared to be a safe move with his top ten scorers returning. However, a season ending injury to productive forward J.T. Thompson will cause a few problems.
Key Losses: F Lewis Witcher
The key newcomer is Allan Chaney, a transfer from Florida. The 6-9 sophomore barely saw the floor for the Gators two years ago, but he was quite productive when he did. His presence will help lessen the blow of losing Thompson, but Thompson was an extremely steady performer and Chaney lacks the experience to do what Thompson has done for the last three years. Jarell Eddie will be a great wing player at some point, but for now the depth in front of him is too strong. The same can be said for tough minded point guard Tyrone Garland and shooter Erik Sorenson.
The backcourt is full of superstars, most notably Malcolm Delaney and Dorenzo Hudson. Those two combined to average 35.4 points per game last season and Delaney has developed into a great point guard and one of the ACC’s best players. The only concern is the outside shooting of that duo. Delaney was once a superb outside shooter, but his long range shooting percentage dipped to a mere 30.6 percent last season. Hudson put up even worse numbers from beyond the arc. Terrell Bell is the unheralded wing who tallied 6.1 points and 6.1 rebounds last season. His ability to rebound from the wing is a huge plus on a team that generally struggles on the glass against conference opponents. Add Erick Green, Ben Boggs and Manny Atkins to the mix and the Hokies have a ton of talent and experience to fill up the their guard lineup.
Jeff Allen is the main interior player for Virginia Tech and, without Thompson, is really the only proven and consistent frontcourt player this team now has. Allen has developed into a fine interior scorer and has the ability to step outside and hit the mid-range jumper with consistency. He will even go beyond the arc occasionally, but probably should not. Even with his sporadic perimeter play, Allen is a beast on the glass and averaged 7.4 rebounds per game. If he and Bell could get any help from the five spot in the rebounding department, this group may drastically improve on the glass. Allen even led the Hokies with 2.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game during his junior campaign and expect more of the same from the 6-7 Washington, D.C. native.
Who to Watch:
Victor Davila earned a majority of the starts at the five spot last season, but players like Thompson were much more productive. Davila has the most size on the roster at 6-9 and 245 pounds which kept him in the starting role last year, but he needs to pick up his production now that he is an upperclassman. Cadarian Raines is an explosive sophomore, but he is still pretty raw after seeing limited action in 21 games.
Raines, Davila and Chaney have to be ready to pick up the slack now that Thompson is gone. Davila was not a very productive starter as it was and now the depth behind him took an unexpected hit. Davila will be fine playing 25 minutes per game, but it is Raines and Chaney who need to prove that they can step up and help fill the void left behind by Thompson. Either way this is an NCAA Tournament team, but how far they go will depend a lot on the depth of the frontcourt.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Malcolm Delaney, Senior, Guard, 20.2 ppg
Dorenzo Hudson, Senior, Guard, 15.2 ppg
Terrell Bell, Senior, Guard, 6.1 ppg
Jeff Allen, Senior, Forward, 12.0 ppg
Victor Davila, Junior, Forward, 5.3 ppg
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