Well, well, well…how the times have changed in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech football is 6-6 and barely bowl eligible and Virginia Tech basketball is 6-0 for the first time since 1982. What year is this, anyway? 2012? Fascinating…
All the result of a new head coach, some chemistry, and a new system – it’s incredible what one off-season can do for a team. Last year Virginia Tech looked anemic on offense, this year the Hokies are a top-10 offense. In fact, this is the first time since 1988 that the Hokies have scored 90 or more points in the first six games. That’s extremely impressive.
Not only that, but this team passes the eyeball test. This is perhaps the biggest testament to the job that new head coach James Johnson has done with this team. Sure the first five games weren’t against the best competition, but this game tonight against Iowa was a real test and the Hokies passed that test with flying colors.
Iowa is a good team with good size, and was considered by some a sleeper pick within the Big 10 conference. This was the first real challenge this season for the Hokies with many more tests to come over the next couple of weeks. Tonight though, let’s all stop and appreciate what’s going on in Blacksburg.
Basketball is fun again. I mean really, really fun.
Erick Green is asserting his dominance against teams by scoring more than 20 points again. By the way, he’s scored 20 or more points in every game this season. Green led all scorers tonight with 24 points while contributing five rebounds and five assists. He is truly playing like an All-ACC caliber guard right now through six games.
Strong contributions from Robert Brown (18 points, 2 assists, 1 steal), C.J. Barksdale (11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block), Jarell Eddie (11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals), and Joey Van Zegeren (10 points, 3 rebounds) vaulted the Hokies to an impressive showing in the Big 10/ACC Challenge.
The only time tonight that Virginia Tech really struggled was for a stretch where Iowa switched to the 2-3 zone in the second half. Virginia Tech struggled to penetrate the zone, passed around the perimeter, and failed to hit open 3-pointers when the looks presented themselves. It was very last year in terms of a stylistic look. The Hawkeyes went on a run and cut a 17 point Virginia Tech lead down to three points.
However, Jarell Eddie finally managed to break the zone after a good drive and finger roll finish. Erick Green then got to the free-throw line, and the Hokies eventually forced Iowa to revert back to man coverage. From there it was smooth sailing for the new-look “Hurryin’ Hokies.”
This was just the beginning though for the Hokies, which face a top-15 Oklahoma State team at home on Saturday. If you’re in the area, make the trip to Cassell Coliseum and see this team in action. It’s most certainly worth the price of admission, and this is definitely a team worth supporting. If you’re a student, there’s no reason not to attend. Period.
It’s early in the season, but damn this team is fun. Simply put – Virginia Tech basketball is on the path back.